Cards don't expect Fuentes to return

2012-08-14T17:40:00Z 2012-08-14T23:42:55Z Cards don't expect Fuentes to returnBY DERRICK GOOLD and RICK HUMMEL
August 14, 2012 5:40 pm  • 

Rookie Trevor Rosenthal, the hard-throwing righthander who vaulted from Class AA to the majors last month, was recalled this afternoon to add some fresh power to the big-league bullpen. Meanwhile, lefthander Brian Fuentes was placed on the restricted list and isn't likely to be back this season.

Rosenthal, 22, was pulled from his start for Class AAA Memphis Monday night in Memphis in preparation for joining the big-league team today.

To make room for Rosenthal, the Cardinals placed Fuentes on the restricted list, without pay, after the lefthanded reliever informed them he needed to leave the team for personal reasons. Fuentes was signed in July as a minor league free agent and appeared in six Cardinals games with an earned run average of 9.00. He had not pitched since last Wednesday  when he walked three and allowed four runs in one inning.

Players on the restricted list do not count against the team's 25- or 40-man rosters. Sometimes, they are not paid while on the restricted list and Cardinals manager John Mozeliak said this was one of those times.

"He chose not to be here today," said Mozeliak. who said his only options were to release Fuentes or place him on the restricted list. The Cardinals would have to pay Fuentes if he were released.

By signing Fuentes after Oakland had let him go, Mozeliak said the Cardinals clearly had significant plans for the one-time All-Star closer. "To have it end this way is definitely disappointing," said Mozeliak.

"I didn't close the door on anything but I do not anticipate him coming back."

Mozeliak said he did not know exactly Fuentes' "personal" situation. "I did not dig in on it," said Mozeliak. "He was not looking to share with me exactly what was going on." 

Manager Mike Matheny, citing Fuentes' return to his home in Merced, Calif., as a family-related move, said he also didn't expect the 37-year-old back this season.

“A return this season would fall under unlikely,” said Matheny. “We haven’t heard anything that would lead us in that direction.

"It's a personal issue that needed his personal attention. He called and talked about how much he enjoyed being part of it this season so far. It's keeping priorities first. When your family needs you, you need to be there. Sometimes, it's very hard to pull it off when you have kind of a distance between you."

Rosenthal allowed earned runs in just one of his four previous outings for the Cardinals. That came in his last game, on July 29, when he allowed a two-run, game-deciding homer to Chicago's Anthony Rizzo.

Before that, Rosenthal had sat for five days without pitching.

Asked how he planned to use Rosenthal this time, Matheny said, "When your starting pitching is doing their job and you’re not using your bullpen much, usually good things are happening. So we don’t have a script of what we’re trying to do or expectations on how many innings or pitches.

"But it has a way of working itself out.  We know he’s fresh and ready, to go and some point, we’re gong to use him.”

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Cardinal Beat

Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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