Cardinals shuffle beleagured bullpen

Browning and Cleto called up as Sanchez and Freeman are returned to Memphis.

A day after their relief corps allowed seven runs to Pittsburgh, the St. Louis Cardinals took action, recalling right-hander Maikel Cleto and purchasing rookie lefty Barret Browning from Triple-A Memphis. To make room on the team's 25-man active roster, the Cardinals optioned right-hander Eduardo Sanchez and left-hander Sam Freeman to Memphis. In addition, Kyle McClellan (right elbow strain) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Browning's elevation to the club's 40-man roster.

Cleto, 23, appeared in four games (5.0 IP) for the Cardinals earlier this season. He was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA (6.0 IP/1 ER) in recent action at Memphis. In five games since June 19, he has allowed just three hits and struck out seven. He earned a save for the Redbirds in their win against Albuquerque on Wednesday (June 27).

Browning, 27, made his Major League debut with his first appearance. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Georgia native was selected by the Cardinals last December in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Browning has posted a 2-3 mark with a 1.89 ERA in 30 relief appearances this season for Memphis, holding the opposition to a .192 batting average against. He has struck out 36 batters in 38.0 IP and allowed just one home run. The former Florida State University Seminole has been assigned uniform #62.

Sanchez (0-1, 6.60 ERA) has appeared in 17 games for the Cardinals this season and Freeman (0-1, 6.00 ERA) was used in 13 games since making his MLB debut on June 1.

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