The surprise news came down just over half an hour ago from the Cardinals official Twitter.
Miguel Batista has been given his unconditional release from the organization. To fill his spot on the roster, Lance Lynn has been called up from Memphis and will be available out of the bullpen tonight.
Batista, 40, was a statistical anomaly early in the season. He seemed to get hit up when given situations where men were on base, but never found himself tagged with many earned runs. Over the first two months of the season he carried a 2.01 ERA over 22.1 innings of work.
However, June has been tough on Batista who has thrown 7 innings and allowed 10 earned runs on 7 hits and 5 walks. That’s good for a 12.86 ERA over 7 appearances. Last night’s appearance seemed to be the final straw for the club as Batista failed to finish out the inning, instead getting tagged for three earned runs without recording an out.
With the release, you have to wonder if that’s the last we see of Miguel Batista in a major league uniform.
On the other hand, Lance Lynn gets recalled for his second opportunity with the Cardinals. After making two spot starts for the Cardinals as he took the spot of Kyle McClellan during McClellan’s DL stint, Lynn was sent back to Memphis. But in St. Louis, Lynn went 1-1 with his 5.23 ERA. In each start he showed flashes of dominance as half of the 10 innings he has thrown have been 1-2-3 innings. However, the wheels did occasionally fall off as he allowed 5 runs in his first start but just 1 in his second.
The report from the Cardinals indicated that Lynn will pitch out of the bullpen for the Cardinals. Hopefully he will give us some more of those 1-2-3 innings rather than the troublesome innings. I like the move as while Batista’s numbers early in the season were good, he wasn’t pitching well at all.
There is an alternate idea that is a little more radical, though.
Many fans have had the idea of recalling Lynn and letting him start while moving Kyle McClellan back to his bullpen role to stabilize it. This seems to be an issue that is pretty divided.
Personally, I think that is the best decision. Right now the bullpen is at risk to blow every game, regardless of who starts it. If you have McClellan in the bullpen to stabilize it and be the go-to get-me-out-of-a-jam guy that he has been, then you increase the odds of maximizing your chances in the games the starter does hand the bullpen a lead.
I understand that McClellan has given the team a chance to win pretty much every 5 days, but it doesn’t matter how good a chance he gives us while the bullpen comes in and lets the other team blow the game wide open by failing to get people out.
With Albert Pujols on the disabled list for the foreseeable future, doesn’t it make sense to want to maximize your chances of winning game that the starter hands the bullpen a lead? Or do we want to just have a starting pitcher turn in 7 solid innings and then have the bullpen (originally wrote blowpen, freudian slip?) give it up.
Anyhow, what this move does do is free up a spot on the 40 man roster. This has led some to speculate that it will lead to a move for lefty reliever J.C. Romero from Philadelphia, but it could just be to allow them to have the freedom to bring up Bryan Augenstein when they take him off the disabled list. Should be interesting to watch and see, but there are still several problems left in the bullpen. Was Batista just the first or is he a warning shot to the rest of the pen to get their act together?
Also check out Jerry and I on tonight’s UCB Radio Hour at 10:30 pm Eastern as we discuss the results of the Cardinals draft and their minor league system in general.