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Transaction Analysis 9/11: Gallegos to IL with Groin Strain, Crismatt Recalled

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MLB: Game Two-Detroit Tigers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have announced the following transactions:

9/10/20: After 2nd game of the doubleheader, returned RHP Nabil Crismatt to the ATS.

9/11/20: Placed RHP Giovanny Gallegos on the 10-day IL (right groin strain). Recalled Nabil Crismatt from the ATS. Also outrighted RHP Ryan Meisinger to the ATS. CPP at 58.

Crismatt was added to the Cards’ active roster yesterday as the 29th man for the doubleheader. The Cards were required to get back to a 28-man active roster following the 2nd game of the doubleheader. They could not wait until this morning to decide what to do. This is why you see the official transaction pages mention Crismatt’s return to the ATS (although they describe it wrongly as an option and wrongly described it as a recall when he was added in the first place), and this is also why the Cards announced today that he has been recalled. He was recalled, because technically he was sent back to the ATS in a paperwork transaction last night. Crismatt was initially optioned to the ATS on August 20th, so he didn’t even need the injured list exception to be able to be recalled tonight. The Cards chose Crismatt over Junior Fernandez and Roel Ramirez, the only other 40-man roster pitchers at the ATS. The move still leaves the Cards with 15 pitchers and 13 position players, with a 4-man bench.

Gallegos came into the 2nd game of yesterday’s doubleheader with the Tigers in the top of the 7th inning with the Cards ahead 3-1. After walking Sandy Alcantara and giving up a base hit to Victor Reyes, Gallegos then gave up a base hit up the middle to Jonathan Schoop on an 0-1 fastball. That gave up a run to cut the Cards’ lead to 3-2, but the more concerning thing was that that 0-1 pitch was a 91 mph fastball, which was well below Gallegos’s average exit velocity. The Cardinal doctor and manager Mike Shildt both came out to check on Gallegos, who had a grimace on his face, and Gallegos was removed from the game.

After the game, Mike Shildt said in a press conference that Gallegos had a groin injury and that he would be sent for further imaging. Now Gallegos has been put on the 10-day IL and the timetable for his return is unknown. Since he pitched yesterday, there is no backdating possible, and he will be out of action at least until September 21st. He will miss 13 games during that time, including 3 doubleheaders. If he is able to come back in the minimum time, he will be on the active roster for the final 7 days of the season, during which 8 games will be played. It is, of course, possible that Gallegos could be out for the rest of the regular season.

Ryan Helsley and Andrew Miller would figure to be the immediate candidates for closer duty, or you could see something approaching more of a bullpen by committee. With no more days off this season, and 4 doubleheaders yet to play, you can probably expect Mike Shildt to play it by ear. This is the 3rd big blow to the pitching staff the Cards have suffered in the last week. Let’s hope the bad news stops here.