In a rather unexpected development, the St. Louis Cardinals have announced that Kevin Siegrist will be going on the disabled list due to mononucleosis. The move is retroactive to June 30, when Siegrist last pitched. This means that Siegrist can come back right after the All-Star Break. To take Siegrist's place on the roster, the team has called up righty Sam Tuivailala.
Tuivailala, who made his debut at the end of the season in 2014 and gave up two home runs in an innings, and then got in 14 games last season. Last year in the majors he struck out 31% of batters to go with a pretty hefty 12% walk-rate. So far this season in Memphis, he has struck out 34% of batters with a 10% walk rate. His ERA this year is an unfortunate 5.23, but his FIP is a solid 2.98.
As for a scouting report, he throws gas and ranked ninth on our prospect list before the season:
He works consistently in the upper 90s with his fastball, topping out right around the century mark, and the pitch actually has plus movement as well. You don't see many fastballs deserving of a pure 80 grade, but Tuivailala's is probably one of them. He complements that heater with a breaking ball that began as a waterfall curve but is morphing into a large slider, as he's throwing it harder and with more tilt as time goes on.
It will be interesting to see what role Tuivailala takes on in a bullpen currently in flux. It might be necessary to throw him right into the fire to see what he's got. Siegrist had been tasked with getting important outs late in games, and its not entirely clear who Mike Matheny trusts at this point. Siegrist had a rough home run rate this season which produced a 4.50 ERA in 23.1 innings pitched. He had a bout with the flu earlier this year, and its possible Siegrist has been a little fatigued all season.
This move leaves the Cardinals with only Tyler Lyons as a left-handed option in the bullpen so it is possible he might receive some higher leverage role in the bullpen. Lyons has given up 8 home runs this season, but only one of them to a left-handed batter. In any event, a bullpen already with questionable roles throughout just got a little more confusing.