Cards release Romero, Call up Sanchez | Quick Hitters

By Craig Phelps


St. Louis, Mo – The St. Louis Cardinals have released 2008 World Series champion, J.C. Romero and called up the young right handed pitcher, Eduardo Sanchez, from Triple-A Memphis to join them for tonight’s match-up against the Chicago Cubs.

J.C. Romero’s release comes after three consecutive catastrophic appearances; this span includes the Cardinals May 5th 2-8 loss to the Astros, May 7th 9-6 victory over the Diamondbacks, and May 12th 2-7 defeat to the Braves.  Romero allowed a homerun in each of these three games including two-run shots on both May 5th to Jed Lowrie and May 7th to Cody Ransom.

That May 5th long bomb by Lowrie put the Astros up by six runs (8-2) in the bottom of the eighth inning and sealed the Red Birds fate for the loss.

His May 7th outing was even worse.  Romero let up five runs on four hits while throwing just 18 pitches.

On May 12th, Romero helped two more runs cross the plate, both earned, on four hits and an astonishing 35 pitches.

In his previous eight games, the former Philly had yet to allow a run, but he also allowed four runners to reach base in just 4.2 innings of work.  Romero only recorded three strikeouts against the 19 batters he faced within this time span.

Regardless of his recent work, this seems like an awful quick trigger finger for a traditionally successful reliever.

Eduardo Sanchez would have been part of the Cardinal’s opening day roster if it were not for control issues during spring training.

In seven games, eight innings, Sanchez did not allow a run to cross the plate prior to the start of the regular season.  Only four batters reached via a hit for a .154 opponent batting average and he struck out an amazing fourteen members of the opposition.  The main drawback for Sanchez was that he walked five batters and lost control of his pitches at time.  So, despite an ERA of nil, the young righty was sent to Memphis for further seasoning.

Sanchez, who posted up a 1.80 ERA, recorded five saves, and struck out 35 batters in 30 innings in 2011, has continued his struggle for control in Triple-A.

The 23 year old Venezuelan has managed to record six saves in eleven games and 13.1 innings.  While he has struck out 13 batters, he has also walked 10 people.  His 1.30 strike out to walk ratio qualifies as the second worst of his minor league career thus far; he had a SO/BB ratio of 2.19 last season in the big leagues.

Sanchez will help solidify a Cardinals bullpen that has struggled in the month of May and has been severely taxed over the past three games.  The 5’11, 170 lbs. pitcher will prove to be a solid set-up man for closer Jason Motte once he is able to consistently dial in on the strike zone.

Quick Hitters

Puma’s Return – Lance Berkman returned to the Cardinals line-up on Sunday after being enrolled on the disabled list on April 19th with a strained left calf muscle.  Fat Elvis went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts in the Cardinals 4-7 loss to the Atlanta Braves.  Shane Robinson was sent back down to Triple-A Memphis after hitting .311 with a homerun, two doubles, five RBI’s, and a stolen base in 45 major league at bats.

Beltran Rewarded for Crazy Week – Not to be outdone by the AL’s Player of the Week in Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, Carlos Beltran received the National League’s weekly title.  Beltran, who leads the NL with 13 homeruns and is tied for the league lead in RBI’s (32), recorded long balls in six games with 13 RBI’s, and was a single shy of the cycle during May 11th’s 12-inning loss to the Braves.  Beltran recorded two multi-homerun games last week including a grand slam and two run shot during May 8th’s 6-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.

Rebound Time; Cards host Cubs – After playing possum to the Atlanta Braves the past three days and facing their first sweep of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals are ready to take on the Chicago Cubs in a short, two game series tonight and Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.  Jake Westbrook (4-2, 1.76 ERA) and Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.08) will take on Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.02) and Paul Maholm (4-2, 4.05) respectively.  Tonight is a 6:05 start on ESPN, Fox Sports Midwest, and 1120 KMOX will tomorrow’s game will appear on its usual stations with a 12:45pm start.

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