PITTSBURGH -- The Cardinals placed left-handed reliever Dennys Reyes on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, retroactive to Aug. 16, with a left elbow strain. The club called up right-hander Fernando Salas from Triple-A Memphis to take Reyes' roster spot.
The move is not necessarily an indication of any worsening in Reyes' condition. The veteran played catch again on Tuesday, just as he did Monday, and reported that it went well. But it had become clear that even if Reyes continued to progress, he wouldn't be able to pitch in a game for at least a few more days. Given that he will be eligible to be activated in one week, on Aug. 31, it made sense to call up the extra reliever to cover his spot for those next seven days.
"That's really the difference," Cards manager Tony La Russa said. "He's going to be out another several days, and [now] we don't have a void in that spot."
Still, it's bad news if only because the organization is suddenly thin on left-handed pitching once again. The club released Renyel Pinto, and Nate Robertson has exercised an opt-out clause in his Minor League contract, electing free agency. Both veteran lefties had been pitching at Memphis, but obviously neither is available now.
"There wasn't a left-hander that we could bring up," La Russa said.
Reyes, 33, has a 3.94 ERA in 50 appearances for St. Louis this year. He has struck out 24 against 18 walks in 32 innings. La Russa said he believes that Reyes can be ready at the end of the minimum 15 days.
This marks Salas' sixth stint with the Cardinals this season. He's pitched 14 1/3 innings at the Major League level, posting a 2.51 ERA with 13 strikeouts and five walks.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.