MILWAUKEE -- Kyle McClellan is getting closer, and he's confident with one or two more appearances, he'll be where he needs to be. But he acknowledged on Tuesday that returning to the bullpen has not been a completely seamless experience.
"Without a doubt," said McClellan, who has been scored upon in each of his two outings since returning to relief work. "It's something that, I've done it before, but it's been a while. There's a different feeling. Adrenaline and all that, throwing more often. I've got to kind of get the routine."
McClellan pitched in the starting rotation for four months before the Cardinals acquired Edwin Jackson in a trade. That bumped McClellan back to his old job pitching in relief. His first game out of the 'pen was rocky from the start. In his second game, he pitched one fine inning before running into trouble in the second.
Still, he and manager Tony La Russa said there's no reason to grade McClellan on a curve. Results are expected, sooner rather than later.
"I think he's a quality pitcher, starter or reliever," La Russa said. "No curve. Just pay attention to the fact that it's a different role and different warming up, different emotions. So try to help him through that."