Seth Maness (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals have returned reliever Seth Maness from the DL, sending Dean Kiekhefer to Triple-A.

The St. Louis Cardinals have returned reliever Seth Maness from the DL, sending Dean Kiekhefer to Triple-A.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to Sunday’s game that they have activated right-handed pitcher Seth Maness from the 15-day disabled list (right elbow inflammation) and optioned left-handed pitcher Dean Kiekhefer to Memphis (AAA).

Maness, 27, went on the disabled list May 13 after going 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA in 13 games (12.2 IP) to begin the season.   He combined to go 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five games (5.0 IP) with Memphis (AAA) and Springfield (AA) during his injury rehabilitation assignment.   He pitched a scoreless inning last Thursday (June 16) at Nashville in his most recent appearance.

Kiekhefer, a rookie, was 0-0 with a 5.73 ERA in 11 games (11.0 IP) with St. Louis.

Brian Walton’s take

Though St. Louis made a roster move for the third consecutive day, there is no surprise here. The Cardinals’ beleaguered bullpen clearly needs help and Maness offers the club a far more experienced arm than Kiekhefer. Not any more complicated than that.

Kiekhefer was lights out against lefties (.174/.208/.304/.512) but righties had their way far too often (.364/.440/.591/1.031).

At this point, Memphis has not announced their corresponding move to make roster room for Kiekhefer's return.

Update – Church is out of session

On Monday morning, the Cardinals announced the release of right-handed reliever John Church from the Memphis roster. The former Mets farmhand had been signed as a free agent in February.
In 29 2/3 innings over 25 Triple-A appearances, the 29-year-old posted a 3.35 ERA to go with 25 strikeouts and 13 walks. Church went 0-1 and converted his only save opportunity.

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