It was a busy day for the St. Louis Cardinals on a transaction front. The team announced that they have released LHP J.C. Romero and recalled RHP Eduardo Sanchez. In an unrelated move, the team released minor league outfielder Amaury Cazana.
Romero, 35, signed a $750,000 deal with the Cardinals as the second left handed reliever out of the bullpen. He spent time with four different organizations in 2011 and likely was hoping for some security where he could settle in and rebuild his value. For the first month of the season, he looked to be well on his way to doing just that. Over 8 appearances he pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing 4 hits and no runs. However it all went downhill from there. In his last 3 appearances, totaling 3 1/3 innings he allowed 10 hits and 9 runs, all earned.
In his place, the Cardinals will call up reliever Eduardo Sanchez. Sanchez, 23, impressed in 2011, posting a 1.80 ERA over 30 innings. He even got a chance to close for the Cardinals before he began struggling with control issues. The Cardinals cut him during Spring Training to give him an opportunity to work on his mechanics and control, now he’s back with improvements made, says the organization.
This should ultimately be a good move, but definitely not the one that I expected. I figured they would demote Fernando Salas to let him get his stuff sorted out before returning. However, Sanchez has the swagger on the mound and most will admit that he has the best stuff of any pitcher in the Cardinals’ bullpen. The question with him will be control. And I don’t even know if it’s all control related either. I noticed during the season that players picked up that he wasn’t getting called strikes on his very nasty slider, so they waited him out. They were always close pitches, but he wasn’t getting calls.
In an unrelated move, maybe more related to Shane Robinson‘s return to Memphis, Cuban outfielder Amaury Cazana was released by the Cardinals. Cazana, 33, was drafted in the 18th round of the 2006 draft by the Cardinals, who had high hopes for him. Cazana succeeded in the minors, posting a career line of .338/.408/.528 in 481 games at the AAA level. He was, however, off to an exceptionally poor start, hitting just .238.