Cards call up Todd, designate Boyer
Relievers swapped in tired 'pen; Lohse likely headed to DL
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals made one move on Thursday, and another is coming any day now.
A day after pitching five innings of relief, right-hander Blaine Boyer was thanked by being designated for assignment. The Cardinals have 10 days to trade Boyer, release him or waive him with the purpose of sending him outright to the Minor Leagues. Righty Jess Todd's contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis to take Boyer's spot on the roster. The move adds depth to a bullpen that has worked hard in recent days.
The Cards are waiting on Kyle Lohse, but they are not expected to wait long. Lohse aggravated a right forearm injury during his start on Wednesday night and was pulled in the third inning. The club is likely to place Lohse on the 15-day disabled list within the next few days. Lohse will not make his scheduled start on Monday, with Brad Thompson getting the nod in his place.
St. Louis chose to wait because yet another wheel is in motion. Infielder Joe Thurston's wife is expected to go into labor any day now. When that happens, the Cardinals will call up an infielder from Memphis. In order to clear the roster spot for that move, it is expected that they will place Lohse on the DL.
Tyler Greene and perhaps Joe Mather are likely candidates for that callup, when the time comes. In the interim, though, Boyer was the victim of a numbers game, and Todd is in the Major Leagues.
"[Boyer] did a good job, and he knows we like him," manager Tony La Russa said. "He sees the pinch we're up against."
Lohse pitched two-plus innings on Tuesday in his return from injuring his forearm in the first place. He said he felt fine until he took a tumble while trying to field a bunt by Johnny Cueto, at which point the injury flared up again. Now it appears he won't start again for another couple of weeks.
"I think it's going to happen," La Russa said of a DL move with Lohse. "It seems like when he dove, he really stressed that area again, and he had inflammation at the end of the game. I think that's more like a given."
On the plus side, Pineiro is progressing well and is expected to take his turn on Sunday. He was scratched from a start Tuesday due to back spasms. However, he threw a bullpen session on Thursday afternoon and reported no problems afterward.
"I didn't feel anything at all," Pineiro said after the throw. "Nothing. It was a normal bullpen. I felt good yesterday, but they wanted to give me an extra day to make sure that I was good to go. I'm pretty sure they might be watching the pitch count, but other than that, there's no reason why I can't go out there 100 percent."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.