By adding MacLane, who like Ottavino was in Triple-A Memphis' rotation, the Cardinals essentially gain a long man in their pen. That provides a cushion for rookie starters Ottavino and P.J. Walters in case a greater number of relief innings are needed.
Reliever Fernando Salas and outfielder Joe Mather were optioned out to Triple-A Memphis to make room for the new additions. In doing so, the Cardinals are going with an eight-man bullpen and only four position player reserves, at least temporarily.
Like Ottavino Saturday and Salas the day before, MacLane will be making his MLB debut. He has been assigned uniform number 62. The 27-year-old MacLane was scheduled to pitch next for the Redbirds on Monday. He last started on Wednesday, allowing four runs in six innings.
On the season, the control specialist has struck out 34 and walked just six in 63 innings. MacLane has a 3-4 record with a 3.86 ERA. He was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks one year ago and was our 2009 Memphis Redbirds Starting Pitcher of the Year. MacLane was honored by being named Memphis' opening day starter in 2010.
For more information on MacLane's long journey to the majors, check out my recent article from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, "MacLane follows road back to Memphis".
Salas made just one appearance for St. Louis. The right-hander faced four batters in his MLB debut on Friday at Wrigley Field. He retired three and one reached via a Felipe Lopez error.
Mather opened the season with the big club for the first time in 2010, but struggled with the bat. The 27-year-old posted a line of .191/.208/.277 in 50 at-bats over 27 games.
Ottavino, the Cardinals' first pick in the 2006 draft, was 4-3 with a 4.17 ERA for the Redbirds this season in eight starts. The 24-year-old right-hander fanned 37 and walked 11 in 41 Triple-A innings and will be wearing number 35 with the Cardinals.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Brian pens a column each Wednesday at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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