The Cardinals have placed right-handed reliever Seth Maness on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his pitching elbow, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com (Twitter link). Maness’ placement on the DL comes after the Cardinals previously optioned him to Triple-A Memphis, though this decision will keep the 27-year-old on their major league roster and enable him to embark on a rehab assignment, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes (on Twitter).
Maness told Langosch on Friday that his health wasn’t a problem (via Twitter), but elbow inflammation would help to explain his dreadful start to the 2016 campaign. Prior to landing on the DL, Maness surrendered 10 runs in 12 2/3 innings. Also of concern: His average fastball velocity declined from 89.5 mph last year to 87.3. Maness has never been a strikeout pitcher, instead inducing most of his outs via the ground ball, but both those marks are at career lows (4.26 K/9 and 52 percent grounder rate, respectively), and his BB/9 has risen to a personal-worst 2.84.
Before this season, Maness established himself as a mainstay in the Cardinals’ bullpen by tossing the 10th-most relief innings in baseball (205 2/3) from 2013-15 and pitching to a solid 3.15 ERA/3.52 FIP/3.27 xFIP during that three-year period.