The Domino Effect

Cardinals' closer Jason Isringhausen left Tuesday night's game with a strained right abdominal muscle and will be examined again on Wednesday.

An injury to the closer will have a domino effect up and down the roster that could even impact a position player down at the end of the bench.

Tentative plans apparently at this time, include shifting right-hander reliever Julian Tavarez into the closers role, until Isringhausen can return.

It's very unlikely that Isringhausen will be immediately placed on the DL, leading to the Cardinals making a series of roster decisions today.

LHP Carmen Cali is expected to be called up from Memphis early Wednesday to shore up the bullpen. To make room on the roster, the Cardinals are expected to send a position player to Memphis.

The most likely candidates for a road trip to Memphis are utility infielders Hector Luna or Abraham Nunez.

Luna has only appeared in four games this season compared to the 10 appearances of Abraham Nunez which would suggest that Luna will probably be sent down later today to make room for Cali.

Adding to the confusion, Cardinals left fielder, Reggie Sanders was also injured Tuesday night.

Reggie was struck by a pitch on his left hand in he eighth inning and was taken out of the game in the ninth. X-rays showed a bruise on his hand, but Sanders didn't think he would miss more than a game, but there is a good chance he could be out for a few days.

With Sanders on the sideline it's unlikely that the Cardinals would send down any of the reserve outfielders to Memphis to make room for a pitcher.

There has been some suggestions that the Cardinals could call up major league veteran, RHP Kevin Jarvis, but Jarvis just pitched last night in Memphis and he would then have to be added to the Cardinals 40 man roster.

The Cardinals would add Jarvis to the 40 man roster, which is unlikely with Carmen Cali already on the roster.

With Carmen Cali being a left-hander means that Jimmy Journell a right-hander already on the roster and in the bullpen, could see significant more playing time in the next week to 10 days with RHP Julian Tavarez shifting into the closer's role.

Journell has appeared in only two games this season, 04/18 vs Pittsburgh, 04/24 vs Houston.

In the two games, he has pitched one inning each and has allowed two earned runs, for a 9.00 ERA. In addition Journell has walked three batters and managed to strike out just one in his limited playing time.

Hopefully with a little more work, Journell can bring that ERA down to a respectable number and improve on his gawdy strike out to walk ratio.

The summary of the domino effect:

Jason Isringhausen from the bullpen to the trainers table.

Julian Tavarez from middle relief to closer.

Jimmy Journell from spot relief to middle relief.

Carmen Cali from Memphis to St. Louis, to the bullpen.

Hector Luna from the bench in St. Louis to the infield in Memphis.

Or not.

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