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Cardinals add Freeman, Rondon to bullpen

ST. LOUIS -- After leaning heavily on their bullpen in Monday's 17-5 loss, the Cardinals added a pair of fresh relievers prior to Tuesday's game against the Cubs.

Left-hander Sam Freeman -- the Cards' No. 20 overall prospect -- and righty Jorge Rondon joined the big league club as part of a roster shuffle that also sent Eric Fornataro back to Triple-A Memphis. Fornataro's demotion was due mostly to circumstance (not results), as the Cardinals knew he would be unavailable for at least a day after throwing 39 pitches in two innings on Monday. Randy Choate, who threw 35 pitches on Monday, is also hands off for at least a night.

Fornataro made seven appearances -- and a positive impression -- during his first opportunity at the Major League level.

"I was really pleased with how he threw in getting his experience up here," general manager John Mozeliak said. "So I think he benefited from that, and hopefully he'll grow from it."

In finding relief for the big league 'pen, the Cardinals went about identifying who was both fresh and pitching well in Memphis. Rondon hasn't thrown since Friday; Freeman last pitched Saturday.

This is a second callup for Rondon, though he has yet to make his Major League debut. After returning to Memphis in late April, Rondon allowed one run on nine hits and one walk in 9 1/3 innings. He struck out six.

Freeman, who has made 37 appearances for the Cardinals over the past two seasons, had a string of six scoreless outings at the time of the callup. Overall, he had allowed seven earned runs on 22 hits and six walks in 16 2/3 innings. He is stretched out to pitch multiple innings, if needed.

"[I] just wanted to work on throwing strikes and attacking the zone, and I was able to do that," Freeman said. "Just trying to simplify things and getting back to attacking hitters, letting my stuff do the work."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.
Read More: St. Louis Cardinals, Sam Freeman, Jorge Rondon, Eric Fornataro