Dean Kiekhefer (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Left-handed relief pitcher Dean Kiekhefer is moving from St. Louis to Seattle.

Left-handed relief pitcher Dean Kiekhefer is moving from St. Louis to Seattle

Seattle Martiners press release

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced Friday that the club has claimed left-handed pitcher Dean Kiekhefer off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.

http://www.scout.com/player/92131-dean-kiekhefer?s=321

With today's transaction, the Mariners Major League 40-man roster is now at 36 players.

Kiekhefer, 27, made 26 relief appearances with St. Louis after making his Major League debut with the Cardinals on May 14 at Los Angeles-NL. Over 5 stints with the Cardinals (5/13-6/18, 7/20, 7/26-8/2, 8/3-5 & 8/29-end of season) he held opponents scoreless in 20 of 26 appearances, going 0-0 with a 5.32 ERA (13 ER, 22.0 IP), while walking 7 and striking out 14. The 6-0, 175-pound left-handed reliever limited opponents to a .273 (24x88) average, including a .209 (9x43) average vs. left-handed batters. Kiekhefer also appeared in 29 games with AAA Memphis, going 6-1 with 2 saves and a 2.08 ERA (8 ER, 34.2 IP).

Kiekhefer was originally selected by the Cardinals in the 36th round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Louisville. Over 7 minor league seasons, he is 20-16 with a 2.65 ERA (110 ER, 373.0 IP) in 264 games, 1 start. He has limited opponents to a .251 (359x1429) average, while walking only 55 and striking out 275. Of his 264 appearances, he has tossed at least 2.0 innings or more in 90 games (34%), including not allowing a run in 59 of those 90 appearances. Kiekhefer has posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5.00 in his minor league career and has issued only 34 walks over his last 286.1 innings dating back to 2012. During this stretch, dating back to 2012, his 5.82 strikeout-to walk ratio (198 K, 34 BB) is tied for the 2nd-highest in the minor leagues, while his 1.07 walks-per-9.0-innings ratio (34 BB, 286.1 IP) is 2nd-lowest in the minor leagues (min. 250.0 IP).

Brian Walton’s take

As we have outlined over the recent days, the Cardinals needed to shed players from their 40-man roster to make room for new additions, whether prospects to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft or free agent signees.

Earlier, The Cardinal Nation had projected that Kiekhefer would be one of the players removed from the 40-man roster, which is what came to pass before Seattle claimed him to add to their 40-man.

The sidearmer made his MLB debut last season and was effective against left-handed hitters (.209), but not against righties (.333). In his 22 innings with St. Louis, Kiekhefer allowed 13 earned runs and a 14-to-7 strikeout to walk ratio. As the numbers above indicate, Kiekhefer has thrived in the minors in part due to impeccable control.

Assuming free agent Brandon Moss is not given a qualifying offer, St. Louis' 40-man roster is temporarily at 37 players.

What is next?

Likely more moves are coming, perhaps including this one suggested by Derrick Goold.

https://twitter.com/dgoold/status/794633824873410560

Update

On Friday evening, the Arizona Diamondbacks made an announcement, claiming outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker off waivers from St. Louis.
https://twitter.com/Dbacks/status/794678366687268864
This would take the Cardinals down to 36 players on their 40-man roster.
http://www.scout.com/player/142384-jeremy-hazelbaker?s=321

More details behind these decisions and many others are in the following article.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Playing Out Cardinals 40-Man Roster Decisions

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


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