Cardinals release J.C. Romero

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals are down to one left-hander in the bullpen after releasing J.C. Romero.

Manager Mike Matheny is OK with that.

In addition to Marc Rzepczynski, Matheny has a pair of righties, Kyle McClellan and Victor Marte, who have been successful in the past pitching to left-handed hitters.

"It's not just somebody that throws with the left hand, it's how they pitch to left-handed hitters," Matheny said before Monday night's game against the Cubs. "The fact that you've got righties that can get out lefties, really, what is the difference?"

Right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez, who was among the final cuts in spring training, was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. The 23-year-old Sanchez was 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in 14 appearances in the minors but did not allow a run in his last five outings. He didn't give up any runs in seven spring training games, with 14 strikeouts in eight innings.

In the last six games, only one St. Louis starter recorded an out in the seventh.

"We were trying to get J.C. right and he just had a couple of rough ones, and we were in a spot where we needed to get some healthy arms in the bullpen," Matheny said. "Sanchez was throwing well, and since he's had a couple of days off he can come in and help us right away."

The 34-year-old Romero allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings in his last three appearances and was 0-0 with a 10.13 ERA in eight innings over 11 games overall. The Cardinals were the sixth team in 12 seasons for Romero.

Sanchez was briefly the Cardinals closer last season, going 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 30 innings with five saves. He finished last season with 10 consecutive scoreless appearances over 12 innings.