ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals returned an important piece of their bullpen puzzle Friday, but it cost them an important reliever in return. The club swapped left-handers from the dugout to the trainer's room, activating Brett Cecil from the disabled list before the second game of a four-game set in
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals returned an important piece of their bullpen puzzle Friday, but it cost them an important reliever in return. The club swapped left-handers from the dugout to the trainer's room, activating Brett Cecil from the disabled list before the second game of a four-game set in San Diego.
Lefty reliever Tyler Lyons was placed on the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move. Lyons' stint is backdated to Wednesday, a day after he allowed two runs over an inning of work against the Twins. He is dealing with a mid back strain, the club announced.
Cecil's return comes after the left-hander made two rehab appearances, one at Double-A Springfield and another at Triple-A Memphis. He tossed a scoreless inning in each. Inactive since the first week of the season due to shoulder soreness, Cecil spent much of the past month at extended spring training. He's thrown just one-third of an inning at the big league level this season, the entirety of his workload coming on Opening Day against the Mets.
Cecil went 2-4 with a 3.88 ERA across 73 appearances in 2017, his first season in St. Louis.
In his absence, Lyons spent long stretches as the only lefty in the Cardinals' bullpen. And for the most part he labored in 18 appearances, tied for the team lead and tied for third-most in the Majors. Lyons owns a 6.17 ERA across 11 2/3 innings, over which his walk rates increased and strikeout rate declined from a year ago. He went 4-1 with a 2.83 ERA over 50 appearances in 2017.
Lyons joins Yadier Molina, Carlos Martinez and Dominic Leone in a group of Cardinals players sent to the disabled list over the past seven days, continuing a six-week stretch notable for the dizzying frequency of its roster moves. Both manager Mike Matheny and general manager Michael Girsch commented Thursday on the continued movement, during which the club's desire to maximize the flexibility of its 40-man roster coalesced with a slew of injuries. St. Louis has made 21 separate transactions in 11 days this month and sent 11 players to the disabled list over the course of the season's first 35 games.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.