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Brian Fuentes called up by Cardinals, Victor Marte shipped out

The Cardinals pulled the plug on the Victor Marte project Wednesday, sending the former Royals closer back to Class AAA Memphis after a strong start -- followed by a protracted period of mediocrity.

The club did so to make room for former Oakland reliever Brian Fuentes who impressed during a minor league tune-up stint enough to be added to the major league roster a week before the Cardinals had to make a final decision about his fate.

Fuentes started off the 2012 season well but, apparently, had problems with Athletics management and was demoted from his job as closer. As he was used more sparingly, Fuentes saw his numbers suffer.

St. Louis is betting that Fuentes still has some gas in the tank. The club opted to keep improving lefty Marc Rzepczynski and promising rookie southpaw Barret Browning on the roster to go with three wronghanders instead of the two they started with at the beginning of the season.

Chuckie Fick, who had a major league cup of coffee earlier this season, was removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Fuentes.