DETROIT -- A week ago, manager Mike Matheny projected that the Cardinals would stick with an eight-man bullpen through the end of Interleague Play, noting that there would be less of a need for bench players in American League parks. The Cardinals' tour through a pair of AL cities began on Tuesday and continues for six games.
However, the Cardinals' decision to give the roster spot of reliever Maikel Cleto to utility player Skip Schumaker on Tuesday brings that bullpen count back to seven.
So what changed?
That decision, Matheny explained, was largely tied to Cleto's recent workload -- which wasn't much. The right-hander last pitched on June 8 and had logged only five innings since his May 31 callup. As a result, the Cardinals saw a need to get Cleto back to the Minors, where he can pitch on a more regular schedule.
"We were really looking at a week where we hadn't used him. It was a shame," Matheny said. "He had been throwing the ball better, and we'd like to see him get back and get some consistent workload and then have him ready in case we do need him."
The fact that the Cardinals have a mostly rested bullpen following Monday's off-day also presented the opportunity to return to a more traditional roster split of seven relievers and 13 position players. The club had been using a 13-man bullpen since June 9.
During his time with the Cardinals, Cleto allowed three earned runs on nine hits in four innings.