The Cardinals announced today that Brian Fuentes would be making the trip to St. Louis ahead of schedule, skipping his intended appearance tonight for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. Fuentes, 36, was signed by the Cardinals on July 15th with the hopes that he can be the pitcher he was when he was one of the top closer candidates on the free agent market in years’ past.
Fuentes was downright horrible this season with Oakland. He had a 6.84 ERA in 25 innings along with a 1.60 WHIP. He was Designated For Assignment (DFA) by the Athletics on July 3rd and received his release on July 11th.
He signed a minor league deal just four days later. He pitched two appearances for the Cardinals’ Gulf Coast League Rookie level team, going two innings while allowing a hit and striking out one. He then pitched an inning for Springfield, striking out two. The team was under a deadline to move him to the majors as he could opt out of the contract on July 31st if he wasn’t with the big league club.
Making room for him on the 25 man roster is Victor Marte. Marte looked like he was going to play a big role in the bullpen as he got off to a strong start in high leverage situations. However, he quickly became overexposed in recent months, following up his strong April with a 5.02 ERA and a .320 opponents batting average since May 1st.
Chuckie Fick has been placed on waivers by the Cardinals to remove him from the 40 man roster. Fick made his major league debut this season, having thrown 1 2/3 innings in May, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk, and an earned run. He was returned to Memphis on May 31st.
I think Fuentes is getting the call early. I would have liked to give him a few more innings in the minor leagues before we brought him up. However, the team was desperate for a fresh arm and we had to get him up soon anyway. We will see how it works out.