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Cardinals claim Augenstein

Perhaps the Cardinals are trying to show indecisive manager Tony La Russa that they are serious about winning next year in a way I don't quite understand.

I don't know how else to explain that the team has announced that it has claimed former Diamondbacks farmhand Bryan Augenstein off waivers.

Augenstein, a six-foot-six righthanded pitcher, threw 120 2/3 innings in 2010 in Class AAA ball. He allowed 162 hits and compiled a 6.56 ERA. His only time in the majors happened in 2009 when he pitched 17 innings for the Diamondbacks. He surrendered 23 hits and six walks to allow 16 runs, 15 of them earned, and a 7.94 ERA.

A seventh round draft pick in 2006, according to some reports, the Diamondbacks thought the former University of Florida hurler was a steal. But scouts said he had below average velocity, especially for someone of his size. He dominated hitters in the low minor leagues, striking out 99 while walking 14 in 2008 at the Class A and Class AA levels. But as he scaled the minors, his walks and hit totals increased and his ERA went through the roof.

I'm guessing Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan thinks he's a worthwhile project to take on. He was a darkhorse candidate for Arizona's rotation in the spring. So, if nothing else, he'll provide emergency depth in the minors.