NEW YORK -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said on Sunday that Fernando Salas recently passed a kidney stone, which had been bothering the right-handed reliever since Spring Training.
It was not previously public knowledge that Salas, who was optioned to Triple-A on May 26, was dealing with such a medical issue. When Salas was sidelined with an illness during Spring Training and earlier this season, specifics of the illness were not disclosed.
This news certainly begs the question of whether there is correlation between Salas' kidney stone issue and his early troubles. He never found much of a rhythm during Spring Training, and the inconsistencies continued into the regular season. By the time Salas was sent down, his ERA had ballooned to 6.32 in 18 appearances.
The results were quite disappointing from a player who had entered spring as a favorite to serve as the club's eighth-inning setup man. Last season, Salas led the Cardinals with 24 saves. He logged a career-high 75 innings in 68 appearances and finished with a 2.28 ERA.
Salas has made four outings since his demotion and has given up four earned runs and six hits in four innings. Three of those runs and four hits came in a one-inning appearance on Sunday. Salas has struck out five and walked none.