Cards call up veteran Williams, option Mayers

Move bolsters taxed bullpen; Walden transferred to 60-day DL to make room

Cards call up veteran Williams, option Mayers

NEW YORK -- The Cardinals purchased the contract of right-hander Jerome Williams from Triple-A Memphis on Monday to replace righty Mike Mayers, who was optioned to Memphis.

Right-hander Jordan Walden (right shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Williams on the 40-man roster.

Williams, who was signed by the Cardinals to a Minor League deal in June and went 5-3 with a 4.89 ERA in nine starts for the Redbirds, will provide depth for a Cardinals bullpen that has tossed 20 2/3 innings over the last three days.

"He has the ability to throw a lot of pitches," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We've obviously been working our guys pretty hard ... and we needed some reinforcements. Hopefully we don't need Jerome. I'd love for our starters to go out there and sail, but the likelihood of needing some arms down there is pretty high, and he's a guy with some experience that has been around a while."

The 34-year-old Williams is 52-66 with a 4.57 ERA in 225 games (149 starts) in 10 seasons with the Giants, Cubs, Nationals, Angels, Astros, Rangers and Phillies.

Mayers was tagged for nine runs on eight hits over 1 1/3 innings in his Major League debut against the Dodgers on Sunday at Busch Stadium.

Mayers' first career strikeout

"I talked to him for a little while after the game and reinforced the kind of season that he's having," Matheny said. "I reminded him of the fact that he started in Double-A this year. That's a big deal to be able to come in for a team that is right in the middle of things and that we think enough about you to let you come in and make a start for us with all the talent that we have.

"That doesn't change with what happened, but then we talked about what he learned, and he had some good observations about how he went about it, how he responded to a couple things and things he needs to work on."

Worth noting

The first-place Cubs, who sat 7 1/2 games ahead of the Cardinals in the National League Central entering Monday's games, acquired left-handed closer Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees on Monday. Chapman has posted 25 straight scoreless appearances against St. Louis, with the club last scoring off him back in 2011, when Tony La Russa was still managing.

Cubs get Aroldis from Yanks in blockbuster

"I think we are really due to get him, I'll be honest," Matheny said. "We are not concerned with what we can't control, and that we can't control until we get to face him."

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.