Redbirds shuffle Minor League bullpens

Redbirds shuffle Minor League bullpens

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' move to add Eduardo Sanchez into the big league bullpen created a ripple effect in the organization's Minor League system.

Taking Sanchez's spot in the Triple-A bullpen will be lefty Sam Freeman, who was a first-time participant in Major League Spring Training this year. He then began the season with Double-A Springfield, where he made 15 relief appearances before this promotion. In those 17 1/3 innings, Freeman allowed five runs (three earned) on 12 hits and four walks. He struck out 12.

"He's been pitching well down there," Cardinals farm director John Vuch said. "This is an opportunity to see him pitching at a higher level."

Though the Cardinals are down to one lefty in the bullpen, Memphis will now have four. Freeman will be joining Barret Browning, R.J. Swindle and Nick Greenwood. None of those three were considered ready to make the jump to the Majors as a potential replacement for J.C. Romero.

The organization also promoted right-hander Richard Castillo from Class A Palm Beach to Springfield, where he will move into the rotation. He'll take the spot that belonged to righty Michael Blazek. Blazek is headed to the bullpen after going 1-3 with a 6.61 ERA in seven starts.

"He's pitched good at times. He's pitched not so good at times," Vuch said of Blazek. "His best year being when he pitched out of the bullpen at [Class A] Quad Cities, so I think we saw him ultimately as a reliever. This was sort of the ideal time to do it."

Right-hander Todd McInnis will take the open rotation spot in Palm Beach.

The organization has also released outfielder Amaury Cazana, who was playing in Memphis. The Cardinals needed to open a spot there for Shane Robinson, who was optioned down from St. Louis on Sunday.