SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cardinals continued their bullpen shuffle Thursday, recalling right-hander John Gant from Triple-A Memphis and designating left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist for assignment after activating him from the 10-day disabled list.Gant, who was acquired last December from Atlanta in the Jaime Garcia trade, will take the roster spot
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cardinals continued their bullpen shuffle Thursday, recalling right-hander John Gant from Triple-A Memphis and designating left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist for assignment after activating him from the 10-day disabled list.
Gant, who was acquired last December from Atlanta in the Jaime Garcia trade, will take the roster spot vacated by Mike Leake, who was traded to Seattle on Wednesday. With the team's No. 3 prospect Jack Flaherty taking Leake's spot in the rotation Friday, St. Louis was able to use the spot on the roster for Gant on Thursday before rosters expand Friday.
Gant, 25, has a 3.83 ERA with 99 strikeouts in 103 1/3 innings over 18 starts for Memphis this season. His lone appearance with the big league club this year came on June 6, when he allowed the Reds two runs on three hits over 3 1/3 innings. Manager Mike Matheny said Gant will be in the mix for some late-game situations as the season comes to an end.
"He's obviously been stretched out and he's been throwing well, too," Matheny said. "He's one of those guys that they were very high on what he's been able to do since he was here last. I think we have someone that can go deep for us, but also someone we can throw in the mix when we need some help to see how it looks.
"It's been a topic here recently, and it seems like we're talking about it a lot, but we're still trying to figure out those roles, so there's a lot of opportunities there."
Needing a 40-man spot for Flaherty led to Siegrist being designated for assignment. The left-hander was in the midst of a tough season with a 4.98 ERA over 34 1/3 innings and a 13.2 percent walk rate that ranked 192nd among 203 relievers with at least 30 innings. He had been battling a number of injuries, most notably left forearm tendinitis.
"There was some neck things and issues with the arm," Matheny said. "I think it just kind of went a couple different directions, but unfortunately, it was just hard to get in front of it."
Siegrist, who was under team control for two more seasons, had fallen out of favor as a top left-hander in the Cardinals' bullpen with Brett Cecil, Tyler Lyons and Zach Duke also on deck. Left-handers were slugging a career-high .420 against him this year.
"It's just been a season of trying to get him healthy," Matheny said. "It's always been a challenge, and you're fighting to get yourself right, but then it comes down to the business of the game, too. Our lefties down there are throwing well, and trying to figure it all out with the roster, it gets complex. But unfortunately, injuries sometimes open up doors for things like this."
• With September roster expansion coming Friday, Matheny expects the team will add around "five or six" guys to the roster for the stretch run, with Gant and Flaherty being two of the additions.
Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.