(BaseballStL) — As expected, Joe Kelly was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday. Kelly, who missed strained his left hamstring attempting to beat out a bunt in Milwaukee, will miss at least three starts.
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With their starter on the DL, the Cardinals brought up two relievers from AAA Memphis. Jorge Rondon and Eric Fornataro will join the team in Washington D.C., while Keith Butler was optioned to Memphis.
Rondon was in the late running for the final bullpen spot during spring training, but was eventually edged out by Butler.
Fornataro has appeared in four games in Memphis, going 1-0 with a save. He’s allowed one hit in his four appearances.
The move shores up the bullpen for a possible role for Carlos Martinez in the rotation during Kelly’s absence. Martinez and Kelly battled for the fifth rotation spot through spring, both posting strong numbers in their appearances. The job went to the 25-year-old Kelly, and Martinez returned to his late-inning role in the pen.
The Cardinals clearly intend to make the latter a starter in the future, possibly as soon as this season. Kelly waited through nearly the entire first half of 2013 before getting a start, and finished with 12 in the second half. With two extra arms in the bullpen, Martinez could be primed for a move into the rotation.
The club could also still make a move to recall Tyler Lyons for a start Monday night- Kelly’s next scheduled start. He started Wednesday in Memphis, and would be in rhythm for Kelly’s slot. Thursday’s move gives the team several options, something they will no doubt need as they find themselves in a stretch of 20 straight games that concludes May 1.