The Cardinals boosted their bullpen on Tuesday with the promotion of Sam Tuivailala.
After optioning infielder Paul DeJong to Triple-A following Sunday’s victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the St. Louis Cardinals had an open roster spot to play with in advance of Tuesday’s doubleheader with the Milwaukee Brewers. Considering the obvious need for pitching depth that comes with having to cover 18 innings in one day, the Cardinals chose to boost their pitching staff, recalling righthanded reliever Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis.
Tuivailala’s promotion was a long time coming, as he likely would have been brought up late last month when Miguel Socolovich was designated for assignment if he hadn’t been spending the required 10 days in Memphis following his demotion on May 22. Tuivailala has pitched well both in the majors and at Triple-A this season, posting a 3.27 ERA with a .238 opponent average, eight strikeouts, and five walks in 11 big-league innings and a 1.65 ERA, .158 opponent average, 17 strikeouts, and two walks over 16 1/3 Triple-A innings.
It’s very possible that he could immediately find himself in play for late-inning opportunities, as the Cardinals don’t really have any reliable relievers besides Seung Hwan Oh and Trevor Rosenthal right now. Matt Bowman appears to be exhausted, and the team could use a more powerful seventh-inning option.
This is the fourth promotion of the season for the 24-year-old Tuivailala, who has logged 38 big-league appearances over four seasons and made his first Opening Day roster this April.