Last night was a bummer in more ways than one, as we lost two players to injury. Mike Mayers' velocity was down to right around 92 mph from his typical 95-97 and after a HR allowed to Yelich and a walk to Moustakas, the training staff came out to check on him. He had said last night that he had felt a pain under his armpit. He has been placed on the 10-day IL with a right shoulder lat strain.
In the second inning last night, O'Neill made a throw home from center field that was way off line. Drew Robinson pinch hit for O'Neill in the 3rd inning and played the rest of the game in CF. We were told at the time that O'Neill's right arm was sore, and he has been placed on the 10-day IL with right elbow nerve subluxation. This is very disappointing for O'Neill, as it seems like every chance he gets to impress and to get something going, he goes down with an injury.
Those IL moves allowed the Cards to recall both Munoz and Gallegos. Munoz was added as the 26th man for the Mexico series, but was returned immediately after the game on April 14 because he had not spent the necessary 10 days on option. Now that an IL move has been made, he can be recalled. Gallegos was optioned to Memphis before yesterday's game because the Cards wanted to go with a 5-man bench given the day-to-day status of Harrison Bader and his hamstring. Normally, he would have to spend 10 days on option, but the second IL move the Cards made allows Gallegos to be recalled immediately. He was the only real option for right-handed short relief. Deciding to stick with the 5-man bench, the Cards prefer Munoz over Robinson. Robinson has played more CF, which is the immediate position of need, given O'Neill's IL move and Bader hurting. But the Cards like Munoz's bat and his stronger arm. Robinson has hit it out of the infield only once since he has been with the Cardinals.
The interesting add here is Ryan Helsley. I had thought Daniel Ponce de Leon was an option. He last pitched on April 12, starting the game with 5.2 IP. With 3 days rest, he would have been available out of the bullpen almost immediately. Plus, he pitched with the Cardinals last year, with a strong opening outing of 7 no-hit innings. Helsley, however is more fresh. He last pitched on April 11, starting the game with 3 IP, allowing 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB and 2 SO. His only other game was a planned piggyback start with Genesis Cabrera on April 6. In that start, he pitched 4 IP and allowed 0 H, with 1 BB and 3 SO. Ponce de Leon and Helsley have allowed the same number of runs and have the same number of strikeouts, with Ponce de Leon facing 47 batters total with 10.2 IP, and Helsley facing 28 total batters over 7 IP. It may have just come down to wanting to keep Ponce de Leon stretched out as a starter in case the Cards face a rotation need, just wanting to give Helsley a try while taking comfort in the fact that he can throw multiple innings, or a combination.