Cards Recall Pitchers Tuivailala, Greenwood

The St. Louis Cardinals have added an extra pitcher for their final two pre-All-Star break games.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to tonight’s game in Pittsburgh that they have recalled right-handed pitcher Sam Tuivailala and left-handed pitcher Nick Greenwood from Memphis (AAA). The team also announced that right-handed pitcher Mitch Harris (right groin strain) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 9, and that first baseman Xavier Scruggs was optioned to Memphis (AAA) following last night’s game.

Tuivailala, 22, who appeared in three games for the Cardinals earlier this season, has compiled a 3-0 mark with 12 saves (12 save opps.) and a 1.78 ERA in 30 games at Memphis, striking out 26 in 30.1 innings pitched. He was recently named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team.

Greenwood, 27, was 7-3 with a 5.42 ERA in 22 games (12 starts) at Memphis, but since becoming a regular starter for the Redbirds on May 25, he’s 5-2 with a 3.88 ERA (51.0 IP/22 ER). The 6-1, 180-pound lefty is 2-1 with a 2.01 ERA over his last three starts (22.1 IP/5 ER). Greenwood appeared in 19 games (one start) for the Cardinals last season, going 2-1 with a 4.75.

Brian Walton’s takes

Despite continuing problems scoring runs, the Cards have decided they need another pitcher more than another hitter in the final two games heading into the All-Star break.

When both Harris and Tuivailala were with Memphis, they shared ninth-inning duties, so bringing up the latter to replace the former seems quite reasonable. If both Tuivailala and Tim Cooney remain with St. Louis, Memphis will have no representatives in the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game.

I have mixed thoughts about Greenwood. On one hand, the lefty has been solid for Memphis recently. Yet it has been in a starting role, while he will likely pitch as a long man out of St. Louis’ pen. In 12 starts this season, Greenwood has a 4.45 ERA. In 10 relief appearances for the Redbirds, his mark is a lofty 9.62.

He is likely with the Cardinals as bullpen insurance in case of a blowout or extra innings game. Between them, Miguel Socolovich and Carlos Villanueva pitched four innings on Friday night in Pittsburgh.

It seems clear that the recent success of call up Dan Johnson at first base made Scruggs expendable from St. Louis’ perspective, at least temporarily.

One has to give the Cardinals credit for trying all available pieces.

With Greenwood’s 2015 St. Louis debut, 41 of the 43 players* on the organization’s 40-man roster will have seen action with St. Louis this season. The only ones yet to appear in the bigs are Memphis infielder Ty Kelly and Springfield catcher Michael Ohlman. (* The 43 includes three injured Cardinals moved to the 60-day disabled list – Adam Wainwright, Jordan Walden and Matt Adams.)

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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