Cardinals demote Stechschulte; Crudale recalled

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

The AssociatedPress

The Cardinals, struggling on their final homestand before the All-Star break, juggled their bullpen Monday by optioning struggling right-hander Gene Stechschulte to Triple-A Memphis and recalling right-hander Mike Crudale from Triple-A Memphis.

Stechschulte, 6-2 with a 4.78 ERA, is coming off two dismal outings. He loaded the bases with none out in the 11th inning of a 7-2 loss to Milwaukee on Thursday, then gave up a two-run home run to Aaron Boone in the ninth inning of Sunday's 12-8 loss to Cincinnati.

The Cardinals were 2-4 with seven games to go entering Monday night's game against the San Diego Padres.

The demotion was Stechschulte's second this year, but manager Tony La Russa doesn't expect him to be down too long.

"It's hard for me, and I told him too, to think about our ballclub in the second half without him being a big part of it," La Russa said.

La Russa said the move was more about Crudale, beginning his third stint with the Cardinals this year, pitching so well in the minors. Crudale was 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA and seven saves at Memphis.

"It's more that Mike is pitching so well and we needed to bring him up," La Russa said.

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