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Former Cardinals hurlers get the heave ho

It's been a bad 24 hours for former Cardinals pitchers.

Ron Villone, a lefty in the 2008 Redbirds bullpen was cut by the Mets. Villone gave up 8 hits and six runs in five spring innings pitched. His release will apparently leave New York with only one bullpen lefty.

Mike Maroth, who looked like a real find after a great first start following his acquisition from the Tigers, but then fell apart in epic style, was released by Toronto.

Also with the Toronto organization, Matt Clement was demoted Sunday to Class AAA. Clement never saw game action after being signed last season. Out more than two years following surgery on a severly damaged shoulder, he reported to camp with a weak arm and was immediately a non factor.

Meanwhile, the Royce Ring era may not be over after all.

The recently cut Cardinals lefty has accepted an assignment to Class AAA Memphis instead of opting to become a free agent.