Cardinals’ Sam Freeman Gets Chance as Kevin Siegrist Hits DL


The St. Louis Cardinals made a roster move prior to Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, placing lefthanded pitcher Kevin Siegrist on the disabled list while recalling lefty Sam Freeman from Triple-A Memphis. Siegrist, who pitched an inning and a third last night, returned to St. Louis to have his arm examined on Saturday. After an initial analysis of his injury, it appears that he has a left forearm injury, rather than an elbow injury, as he first feared. While that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of the woods—plenty of pitchers have ended up having Tommy John surgery after initially being diagnosed with forearm injuries—it doesn’t sound as if his ailment is that terribly bad at the moment.

The soreness that he was going through, which caused him to be unavailable several times over the past couple weeks, could be an explanation for why he’s been so inconsistent this year. While Siegrist has been better lately and hasn’t given up a bunch of hits on the year, he hasn’t been nearly as reliable as he was as a rookie in 2013, when he had an 0.88 WHIP and gave up only two runs over 45 appearances spanning 39.2 innings. Perhaps some rest will allow him to regain some of the consistency that made him so effective last year.

Meanwhile for Freeman, he’ll get a much deserved extended chance to prove that he’s a big-league quality reliever. Freeman has been dominant at whatever level he’s pitched at since the beginning of 2013, registering a 2.97 ERA last year in Memphis and then coming up in August and becoming one of the Cardinals’ most reliable bullpen arms down the stretch. If it wasn’t for the presence of Siegrist and the already-established Randy Choate, as well as Mike Matheny’s insistence on putting the worn-out Edward Mujica on the postseason roster, Freeman likely would have been in the Cards’ playoff bullpen.

This year, Freeman has been very solid at Memphis, and he threw a scoreless, hitless inning with a walk during a cup-of-coffee stint with the big-league club earlier this month. Now that he’s got this chance to be the Cardinals’ leading lefty, with Choate confined to “LOOGY” (lefty one-out guy) duty, it will be all on Freeman to prove that he deserves to stick around. The undersized lefty has shown plenty of potential when he’s previously gotten chances with the major-league club, but now at 27 years old, it’s time for him to show that he’s a legitimate big-league pitcher, and with Siegrist’s return being uncertain, the Cardinals will really have to hope that he can do that.