The Cardinals have sent lefty reliever Brian Tallet, shelved by a broken bone in his glove hand for the better part of a month, on a rehab assignment.
Although the club has denied any plans to cut ties with deposed closer Ryan Franklin are imminent, I wonder if it will cut him lose to make space for Tallet when he's ready to return to the big league roster.
Franklin is obviously the last pitcher on the depth chart. He's been reduced to mop up duty because the skipper obviously has no confidence in him to keep meaningful games close. And it's easy to see why. Franklin has a .393 batting average against. He's allowed 24 hits -- including five doubles, four homers and a pair of triples in 13 2/3 innings pitched.
Does it make sense to send Fernando Salas, who apparently is the latest guy to get a shot at winning the closer job, or Eduardo Sanchez, who is striking out hitters in droves, back to the minor leagues so you can keep a guy that your not going to use in your bullpen? Not at all. At this point, the Birds need every effective reliever they can get.
The Cardinals could send down a position player. But there are going to be problems on that side of the roster when Skip Schumaker is soon going to return from a DL stint. Who are you going to send out, Jon Jay? He's done a great job as the fourth outfielder. Tyler Greene? He's your only true shortstop behind Ryan Theriot on the big league roster. It isn't going to be Nick Punto who is the best infield defender on the roster besides Albert Pujols.
The Cardinals face further complications when reliever Bryan Augenstein comes off the 60 day DL. The Redbirds moved him to the 60 day list from the 15 day list because players on the 60 day list don't count against the 40-man roster. So, even if the demote someone to the minor leagues, someone is going to have to be released from that list to make room.
It only makes sense that Franklin is the guy to go. And maybe he'll benefit from the change of scenery. Or, better yet, maybe Walt Jocketty won't be able to resist adding another former Cardinals player to the Reds payroll...