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Cardinals Place Jason Motte on Disabled List, Recall Nick Greenwood

The St. Louis Cardinals have placed righthanded relief pitcher Jason Motte on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalled lefty Nick Greenwood from Triple-A Memphis.

While it’s certainly conceivable that Motte could have been affected by the back injury in his recent outings, perhaps an equally appropriate diagnosis would be “broken confidence”. The 32-year-old just has not been able to put it together since returning from Tommy John surgery this past May, failing to recover the elite fastball velocity that formerly made him so effective. In 22 innings this year, most of which have been in non-pressure situations, the former NL saves leader has put up a 4.91 ERA with a 1.50 WHIP and a .287 opponent batting average. And while he was an elite strikeout guy before his injury, Motte has not been able to punch hitters out nearly as easily this year, only having 16 strikeouts in those 22 innings. Presumably, Motte will take the rest of the month to rest and then return to the Cardinals’ roster in September when rosters expand.

Greenwood, who was 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA in 19 innings spanning nine outings over a stint with the big-league club earlier this season, will give the Cardinals an unbelievable four lefties on their seven-man bullpen staff. He joins Sam Freeman, Kevin Siegrist, and Randy Choate, and he’ll likely be used to cover long relief innings once again. In 9.1 innings since returning to Memphis, Greenwood has given up five earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks. It’s debatable how much the Cardinals will really need a long reliever now that the guys with lower stamina, such as Marco Gonzales, Joe Kelly, and Carlos Martinez are now out of the rotation, replaced by proven innings guys like Justin Masterson and John Lackey, but he’s good to have around in the event that they need to preserve the bullpen.

Tags: Jason Motte Nick Greenwood St. Louis Cardinals

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