Marte replaces Linebrink on Cards' roster

An injury leads the St. Louis Cardinals to make a roster change one game into the 2012 regular season.

Prior to last Sunday's final Florida spring training game, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the purchase of the contract of Scott Linebrink. The veteran non-roster invitee was added to the 40-man and 25-man rosters to open the season.

The honeymoon lasted all of one regular-season contest for the 35-year-old. Though he did not pitch in the season opener Wednesday night in Miami, Linebrink is apparently destined for the disabled list.

Linebrink has returned to St. Louis for an MRI on a sore lat, reports the Post-Dispatch. Reliever Victor Marte, one of the last cuts from spring training, has reportedly joined the club in Milwaukee.

This spring, Linebrink appeared in nine games. Over 9 2/3 innings, the right-hander yielded just one run. He fanned two and walked one.

Marte, 31, was a non-roster invitee in major league training camp, his first as a member of the organization. He finished the spring having allowed just one earned run in nine innings. The right-hander fanned seven and walked two. As Memphis' closer in 2011, Marte collected 31 saves and registered a 1.44 ERA.

In 39 2/3 MLB innings with Kansas City in 2009 and 2010, Marte logged a 9.30 ERA while walking more, 27, than he struck out, 26. The Cardinals purchased his contract from the Royals last April after a rash of injuries left the Memphis pen short of healthy arms.

With no game on Thursday, the Cardinals do not have to make a move immediately. They are expected to purchase Marte's contract and place Linebrink on the disabled list on Friday. Marte's addition would bring the 40-man roster up to full strength after the club freed up a spot earlier this week when designating Adam Ottavino for assignment.

The Redbirds, set to open their season Thursday night, added left-handed reliever Nick Greenwood from Springfield on Wednesday in apparent anticipation of Marte's departure.

In placing their second reliever onto the 40-man this week, the club can only hope it will go better this time around with Marte than it did with Linebrink last.

Update: Mid-day Friday, the Cardinals made the moves official. Linebrink's injury is called "right shoulder capsulitis" with the recommendation for rest. His DL transaction was backdated to March 30. Marte will wear uniform number 66.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his minor league features during the season at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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