The move essentially signals the 35-year-old will begin the season on the club's 25-man roster. It was telegraphed when hard-throwing, but still erratic right-hander Eduardo Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A Memphis last week.
Linebrink's veteran status may be considered a positive for the 2012 Cardinals bullpen. Other than left-hander J.C. Romero, new closer Jason Motte, at 29 year old, was the oldest reliever on the roster.
Linebrink wasn't just added for his age, however. This spring, he has appeared in nine games. Over 9 2/3 innings, the right-hander has yielded just one run. He fanned two and walked one.
With this move, the Cardinals' 40-man roster is full.
The Cardinals still have 31 players in major league camp, though effectively the total is 26.
The two remaining non-roster invitees, reliever Victor Marte and infielder/outfielder Eugenio Velez, appear to be assured of being sent down. Chris Carpenter, Skip Schumaker and Allen Craig are slated to open the season on the disabled list, though those moves are not yet official.
To see the full rosters from the entire Cardinals system, check out the Roster Matrix, always kept current at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his minor league features during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
© 2012 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.