Sam Tuivailala (Scott Rovak / USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals lost reliever Kevin Siegrist to mono, with Sam Tuivailala his replacement.

The St. Louis Cardinals lost reliever Kevin Siegrist to mono, with Sam Tuivailala his replacement.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced Friday that left-handed pitcher Kevin Siegrist has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 30, due to mononucleosis.

Right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala has been recalled from Memphis (AAA) and will join the Cardinals for tonight’s series opener with Milwaukee.

Tuivailala, 23, was 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 29 games for the Triple-A Redbirds, converting 13 of 16 save opportunities.  “Tui” fanned 48 batters in his 32.0 innings pitched, and during the month of June, he converted 8 of 10 save opportunities, striking out 20 batters in 13.1 innings pitched.

The 6-3, 225-pound Tuivailala owns a career mark of 0-1, 5.17 ERA in 16 games with the Cardinals between 2014 and 2015.  He’s recorded 21 strikeouts in his 15.2 innings pitched in the majors.

Tuivailala wears uniform no. 64.

Brian Walton’s take

The last time St. Louis had a relief need this season, they tried lefty Dean Kiekhefer in his MLB debut. Now, they are going for a more proven option in Tuivailala.

I am sure Tuivailala is fine with it, but this marks the second consecutive July in which he was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team, but then was almost immediately promoted to St. Louis.

After an uneven start to his season, Tuivailala has been pitching much better of late. Not mentioned in the above stats is that The Cardinal Nation’s 11th-ranked Cardinals prospect has dropped his Triple-A walk rate from a far too high 5.2 per nine innings last season to a better, but still too high 3.9 here in 2016. In June, however, it is down to a very acceptable 1.4.

If he can keep that up, Tuivailala’s big league trial this time could go better than before.

Memphis has not yet announced its roster addition to replace Tuivailala.

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