St. Louis Cardinals Recall RHP Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A, Option LHP Tyler Lyons


With lefty Jaime Garcia due to return from the disabled list this week and make his first big-league start of 2015, the Cardinals bolstered their usable pitching depth on Sunday, sending Saturday’s starter, Tyler Lyons, back to Triple-A Memphis while recalling righthanded reliever Sam Tuivailala.

Lyons, who had no record with a 5.54 ERA, a 1.77 WHIP, and a .321 opponent batting average in three big-league starts, will have his spot in the rotation filled by Garcia. Garcia will be the third different left-hander to enter the Cardinals’ rotation since Adam Wainwright went down for the season, as rookie Tim Cooney preceded Lyons in the rotation, making a single start on April 30.

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The addition of Tuivailala will give the Cardinals an incredibly deep nine-man bullpen for the next few days. Though that’s about the largest contingent of relievers you could possibly see on a big-league team with the 25-man roster limit in place, the Cardinals could use the depth for the next couple days. They’ve had a severe problem with starters failing to last into the sixth and seventh innings, and Lyons made it through just 3.2 innings yesterday before giving way to long reliever Carlos Villanueva. With Villanueva likely to be unavailable for the next couple days and guys like Kevin Siegrist and Matt Belisle having been a bit overworked in recent days, the addition of Tuivailala gives the Cardinals an avenue to rest their premium bullpen arms.

Tuivailala, whose greatest asset is his high-90s fastball, will be looking to break his streak of giving up runs in each of his big-league appearances to date. He’s pitched in one game during 2015, a two-inning appearance in extra innings in which he gave up a home run to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez. He made his big-league debut in September of 2014, pitching in two games against the Cincinnati Reds.

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