Kristhiam Linares: Eager to Pitch

The left-handed reliever joins the Gulf Coast League Cardinals on a rehab assignment anxious to get back on the mound.

The St. Louis Cardinals have assigned Palm Beach Cardinals' left-handed reliever Kristhiam Linares to the Gulf Coast Cardinals to begin his rehab assignment.

Linares, 23, was signed by the Cardinals organization in March, 2009 after having pitched in the Florida Marlins system. He was sent to Double-A Springfield to begin his season. There, the Venezuelan-born pitcher made ten relief appearances allowing 13 hits, four earned runs, 11 walks, and striking out five over 11 innings.

He was placed on the seven-day disabled list on May 8, later being activated and reassigned to A-Advanced Palm Beach on May 30. While in the Florida State League, Linares had five relief outings, allowing six hits, seven earned runs, four walks, and striking out five over 6.1 innings. He was later placed on the 'unofficial' disabled list at Palm Beach with the same reoccurring pain in his shoulder.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder made his rehab debut Tuesday for the GCL Cardinals. He entered in the fourth and pitched a scoreless inning giving up just one hit, striking out two, and inducing a fly out.

Insider exclusive: I chatted with Linares last week. He is very frustrated with the way his 2009 season has been up until now and is eager to get back out on the mound and make an impact.

Linares also said he plans to again pitch this coming winter for Los Bravos de Margarita of the Venezuelan League. The reason he pitches for Margarita instead of his hometown Caracas is because there is more of an opportunity to get time on the hill. Margarita will be hosting the 2010 Caribbean Series next February.

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