The Cardinals "may be closer to a decision regarding relief pitcher Ryan Franklin," writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Strauss quotes manager Tony La Russa as considering "creative" alternatives for the beleaguered former closer. Strauss believes options include a DL stint or designating Franklin for assignment to take him off the 40-man roster and have him pitch in the minors while drawing his big league salary. Strauss says a resolution is expected before the Cardinals leave Thursday for Tampa Bay.
Franklin, 38, has a 8.46 ERA, 5.5 K/9, and 2.3 BB/9, with nine home runs and 44 hits allowed in 27 2/3 innings. His groundball rate is down significantly, but his struggles are largely due to a whopping 23.7% of his flyballs leaving the yard and 35% of balls in play dropping for hits. Franklin is earning $3.25MM this year.