ST. LOUIS, MO (KSDK) - The St. Louis Cardinals have purchased the contract of reliever Brian Fuentes from Springfield (AA) today.
To make room for the four-time All Star, the Cardinals optioned pitcher Victor Marte to Memphis (AAA). To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cardinals designated pitcher Chuckie Fick for assignment.
Fuentes was in the second year of his two year contract with the Oakland A's, when he was released on July 11 following a disappointing string of outings. In his last seven appearances with the club, the left-handed specialist allowed runs, six times. He surrendered 14 hits in those six innings of work and had been considered a lost cause by the Oakland organization. He has a 2-2 record with a 6.84 ERA in 25 innings pitched in his time with the A's.
The Cardinals signed Fuentes to a minor league deal on July 15th. He appeared in two games this month during a rehabilitation assignment with the Cardinals Gulf Coast League and then moved up to Springfield. He worked a scoreless inning last night, getting two of his three outs via the strikeout.
Fuentes reached the peak of his career in 2009 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He recorded 48 saves with a 3.93 ERA in 55 innings of work. He played seven seasons early in his career with Colorado and holds the Rockies all-time saves record with 115. Fuentes' career marks stand at 26-43, a 3.58 ERA and 633 strikeouts in 608.1 innings of work.
A change of scenery back to the national league may be the second life the Cardinals hope for in the lefty. He is expected to join the team against the Dodgers tonight and do not be surprised to see Fuentes thrust into a key at-bat right away as he is a strike-out pitcher. He will wear number 40.