Blazek joining Cards; Gast to DL
Right-hander Michael Blazek is expected be in uniform for the Cardinals on Sunday after being recalled from Double-A Springfield. St. Louis cleared a spot on the 25-man roster by moving left-hander John Gast to the disabled list.
Gast pitched to only six hitters on Saturday before being pulled due to left shoulder tightness. His early exit forced the bullpen to cover the next seven innings, prompting the need to get an additional pitcher to Dodger Stadium for Sunday’s series finale.
Blazek, who was already on the 40-man roster, had been a standout in the Springfield bullpen this season. In 17 appearances (19 2/3 innings), Blazek allowed two earned runs on 11 hits and 10 walks. He struck out 25.
Blazek, 24, has been in the Cardinals’ organization since being taken in the 35th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. He was used primarily as a starter until transitioning into a bullpen role last season.
With Gast now on the DL for at least 15 days, the Cardinals will have to find someone to take his spot in the rotation. One of the starting candidates for a call-up would be right-hander Michael Wacha. Wacha was scheduled to start for Triple-A Memphis on Sunday but is no longer listed as the team’s probable starter, fueling speculation that he will be joining the rotation soon.
Wacha, the Cardinals’ top pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in nine starts this season. He has struck out 34, while walking 15 in his first year in Triple-A.
If Wacha does join the club this week, he will become the sixth rookie pitcher to join the Cardinals since April 29. Blazek, Seth Maness and Carlos Martinez have been summoned to provide help in the bullpen. Gast and Tyler Lyons were needed to make spot starts.
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