PHILADELPHIA -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa asserted Saturday that the decision to leave Kyle McClellan off the team's National League Division Series roster was done in the pitcher's best interest. McClellan has dealt recently with a case of what the club calls "dead arm," and the team was concerned about his ability to pitch on consecutive days.
McClellan was surprised and upset by the decision, and La Russa said he understood the pitcher's frustration. He pointed out the Phillies' heavily left-handed lineup as a case for having McClellan on the roster, given that McClellan is more adept than most right-handed relievers at getting lefties out.
"I don't blame him for being upset," La Russa said. "I would [be], too. The concern is about him, and I've got to believe that sooner or later, he'll appreciate that we're more concerned about him than we are us, because he's a major weapon to lose out of that bullpen against these guys."
La Russa said that the club hopes that the rest could make McClellan fully available for a potential appearance in the NL Championship Series.