Cards Ring in New Year by inking lefty

Cards Ring in New Year with lefty

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals added another candidate to their lefty relief derby on Monday, signing Royce Ring to a one-year contract. Ring is the third left-handed reliever St. Louis has acquired this winter.

Ring, 28, posted an 8.46 ERA with Atlanta in 2008. He struck out 16 against 10 walks in 22 1/3 innings. For his career, he has a 4.93 ERA, 53 Ks and 40 walks over 65 2/3 innings in 94 appearances.

The Cardinals also signed Trever Miller this offseason, and claimed Charlie Manning off waivers. Another lefty, Ian Ostlund, could get a look after signing as a Minor League free agent with a non-roster invitation to Major League Spring Training. St. Louis non-tendered Randy Flores and Tyler Johnson and is content to let Ron Villone leave as a free agent.

Ring was a first-round pick by the White Sox in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft and was once a very highly-regarded prospect. He has had an up-and-down Major League career, pitching well in brief stints in '06 and '07, but struggling as a member of the Braves in '08.

Over the course of his career, Ring has held left-handed hitters to a .229 average with a .350 on-base percentage and .321 slugging percentage. Righties, however, have hit him to the tune of .267/.353/.425.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.