(BaseballStL) — After missing 52 games on the disabled list, Kevin Siegrist may be sitting his final one out Tuesday night.
The Cardinal lefty is back in St. Louis after a rehab stint in Springfield that lasted five games and allowed him to check off boxes on his recovery.
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“We talked about he needed to go back-to-back days which he did, he needed to throw multiple innings, so he’s done a nice job with the opportunity he’s had.,” Mike Matheny said.
The hard-throwing reliever finished his Springfield stay with back-to-back appearances on July 17 and 18, and threw 27 pitches in 1.1 innings Monday night.
“I feel good. Rehab went really well,” Siegrist said. “The rehab they planned and set for me I felt did a good job getting me back.”
He said the nerve issue that had spiraled on him since May 24 was no longer an issue, and didn’t feel any discomfort. The biggest hurdle for the 25-year-old was regaining command of his pitches after so much time away from the mound.
“First it was just trying to find the zone. Once I found the zone, every time I went out it was easier to perform,” he said. “I couldn’t wait to get back. It was probably the most frustrating thing you could go through, and you just want to be back and help the team out.”
What began as forearm tightness evolved into a tight shoulder due to a nerve issue, and before he knew it, it was nearly two full months before he returned to St. Louis
“This was a shocker to me. Everything just kept spiraling a little bit,” he said.
Siegrist said his body feels like it’s 100 percent, and the only remaining aspect of recovery is regaining his substantial velocity.
“It was like 93-95. It’s tougher to pitch in games like that being on a rehab assignment. Hopefully I can add a couple more miles an hour,” he said, explaining some of that can be aided by the stage of a major league stadium. “You just get more adrenaline up here, bigger situations, stuff like that.”
While he has Tuesday off, the Cardinals expect Siegrist could be in action Wednesday.
“I imagine he’s going to be considered here real soon,” Matheny said. Team doctors will examine the reliever to get an idea of strength, but there is no indication he wouldn’t be able to pitch against the Rays.
To make room, someone will get sent to Memphis. There are already three left-handers in the bullpen, and the recent addition of Shelby Miller would make for rather crowded quarters with Siegrist’s return.
Matheny said there’s no plan in place as of Tuesday, and the club could use the opportunity to get a player extra work if they need it.
“Just look at how things go today, look at our staff as a whole, see who fits best and what each guy individually needs,” he said. “If somebody needed some time in Memphis for whatever reason that’s always an option.”
Siegrist held a 3.60 ERA with 27 strikeouts and eight walks in 20 games before going on the DL.