ST. LOUIS -- Dean Kiekhefer, who made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2016, will be pitching for another organization next season after being claimed off waivers by the Mariners on Friday. St. Louis had designated Kiekhefer for assignment earlier in the week in order to start clearing 40-man roster space for necessary additions.
Kiekhefer, 27, had been in the Cardinals' organization since 2010, when he was a 36th-round Draft pick out of the University of Louisville. He was added to the 40-man roster last fall in order to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft and then earned his first big league promotion on May 13.
In 26 appearances with the Cardinals, Kiekhefer posted a 5.32 ERA over 22 innings. He struck out 14, walked seven and produced a 1.409 WHIP. With Triple-A Memphis, Kiekhefer compiled a 2.08 ERA in 29 games.
Kiekhefer's departure leaves the Cardinals with one fewer lefty option as they begin building a bullpen for 2017. The club is already preparing to be without left-handed reliever Zach Duke, who underwent Tommy John surgery, and have some health questions regarding rehabbing southpaws Marco Gonzales, Tim Cooney and Tyler Lyons.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.