St. Louis Cardinals Recall Sam Tuivailala, Place Jordan Walden on Disabled List


The St. Louis Cardinals made yet another roster move on Sunday morning, placing relief pitcher Jordan Walden on the 15-day disabled list with right bicep inflammation and recalling righthander Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis.

Even though Walden’s injury is expected to be short-term, it’s a potentially significant loss for the Cardinals. Walden, who had moved into a role as the club’s primary setup man, has an 0.87 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over 12 appearances spanning 10.1 innings. In his absence, the Cardinals will need pitchers like Matt Belisle and Seth Maness to step up in the eighth and may need Kevin Siegrist to increase his role against righthanded hitters.

Tuivailala, best known for an overpowering fastball that often exceeds 100 miles per hour, made his major-league debut in September of 2014. He didn’t fare particularly well, allowing two earned runs over 0.2 innings of mop-up duty against the Cincinnati Reds, then putting a September 21 game against the Reds out of hand while allowing another two runs over one-third of an inning. He has fared better in Memphis this year, allowing just one run, none earned, on three hits and six walks with 12 strikeouts over nine innings. He’s served as the Redbirds’ closer and is 3-for-3 in save opportunities this season.

It’s quite possible that Tuivailala will only be with the big-league club for two days, as the Cardinals will need to open a roster spot for Tyler Lyons, who will come up from Memphis to start on Tuesday. Tuivailala is the third in a series of relievers that the Cardinals have called up from Triple-A recently, following Mitch Harris and Miguel Socolovich, so it’s possible that the team could exercise a “last-in, first-out” policy when it comes to bullpen management.