Minutes after the Greg Holland signing became official, the Cardinals placed left-hander Brett Cecil on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain, and recalled left-hander Ryan Sherriff from Triple-A in a corresponding move. The club also transferred right-hander Alex Reyes from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL in order to make room for Holland.
The news of Cecil’s injury comes as something of a surprise, and is upsetting news to a Cardinals club that’s currently without Luke Gregerson and will need to wait for Holland to work his way back into game shape. The lefty’s 2017 performance was middling, as he pitched to a 3.88 ERA and 3.65 xFIP with just 8.82 K/9 after exceeding 11 K/9 in each of his previous three seasons. Hope for a another strikeout-heavy campaign isn’t off to a good start with news of a shoulder injury about which we don’t yet know the severity.
The 31-year-old Cecil has been a reliable setup man since his first full season as a starter-turned-reliever in 2013. In the past five seasons with the Blue Jays and Cardinals, the southpaw owns a 3.14 ERA with 327 strikeouts in 272 2/3 innings to go with 12 saves and 66 holds. Cecil also sports an impressive 48.2% ground ball rate during that time.
For Reyes, being transferred to the 60-day DL means the Redbirds’ top prospect won’t be eligible to pitch for the team until at least May 28th. It’s a quick change of heart for a team that only recently said that the fireballer, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, wouldn’t be moved to the 60-day DL. The club doesn’t have much rotation depth beyond Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty, particularly following an offseason trade of Sandy Alcantara to the Marlins as part of a package for Marcell Ozuna.
Sherriff, 27, has just 13 major league appearances to his name, all coming in the latter half of 2017. The lefty showed well in a small sample, striking out 15 hitters while allowing just five earned runs. For his MiLB career, Sherriff has proved something of a ground ball phenom, topping 56% in three of his past four seasons. He’s spent his entire career in the Cardinals organization after being selected in the 28th round of the 2011 draft.