Motte feeling good after playing catch
After playing catch for the first time in five weeks on Saturday, injured Cardinals' closer Jason Motte reportedly felt no soreness in his arm. In fact, he felt good enough that he played catch a second consecutive day on Sunday.
Sunday's session came from even further out, and with a little more effort. Motte threw from about 60-65 feet that day, reports MLB.com.
It's good news for Motte, who suffered a torn ligament in his right arm in Spring Training. It had previously been reported that he may have needed Tommy John surgery had he not shown any improvement by May 1. While he isn't out of the woods yet, the fact that he is throwing again is certainly encouraging.
Motte earned the closer role late in the 2011 season. He saved 42 games last year with a 2.75 ERA and 10.75 K/9.
Rzepczynski down, Maness up
To help bolster a struggling bullpen, the Cardinals have optioned Marc Rzepczynski to Triple-A and called up Seth Maness to replace him on the roster.
Maness was the organization's Pitcher of the Year in 2012, reports MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch. He was not already on the 40-man roster, but there was an open spot so the Cardinals will not have to designate anyone for assignment.
The Cardinals bullpen has struggled in closer Jason Motte's absence. The team's relief corps has a 6.08 ERA this season, dead last in the major leagues. The second worst bullpen--the New York Mets'--stands at a 5.35 ERA. Rzepczynski, nicknamed Scrabble, has been a big part of those problems. In eight innings, he has allowed seven earned runs.
Maness hasn't been outstanding in four minor league starts this season, posting a 4.32 ERA. This season has been his first taste of Triple-A. He started 27 games between High-A and Double-A in 2012, with a 3.27 ERA. Maness's best attribute has been his ability to maintain a miniscule walk rate. In 2012, his BB/9 was just 0.53. He will likely serve as a long relief man with the Cardinals.