To bolster their left-handed relief corps with Triple-A Memphis, the St. Louis Cardinals have re-signed veteran Rich Rundles to a minor league contract for the 2011 season.
“He’ll be in our minor league camp, and will be utilized more as a lefty vs. lefty type guy, as that seems to be his biggest strength,” said Cardinals farm director John Vuch.
The 29-year-old pitched for the Triple-A Redbirds in 2010, his 12th season as a professional. He first signed with the Boston Red Sox after being taken in the third round of the 1999 draft. He also has a total of nine games of major league experience with the 2008-09 Cleveland Indians. 2011 will be Rundles’ third season in the Cardinals organization, as he also pitched in 2006 at Double-A Springfield.
For Memphis in 2010, Rundles made 56 appearances, posting a 7-1 record and a 3.23 ERA. He allowed 56 hits, 24 runs (20 earned), four home runs, 18 walks, and struck out 35 over 55 2/3 innings. Rundles held Pacific Coast League left-handed batters to a collective .156 average and ended the season with nine consecutive scoreless outings covering seven innings.
Following the regular season, the lefty became a minor league free agent. He headed to Venezuela where he made 15 winter ball appearances for Aragua. There, he yielded just three earned runs in 15 innings for a 1.80 ERA. Rundles fanned 13 but issued six walks. He held left-handed hitters to a collective .190 batting average.
Other lefties potentially competing for jobs with Memphis in 2011 include swingman Raul Valdes who pitched for the New York Mets last season and returnee Tyler Norrick. Ryan Kulik also has brief PCL experience. Samuel Freeman is returning from Tommy John surgery and neither he nor Rule 5 pick Jean Mijares have yet to reach Triple-A. Same with left-handed starter Nick Additon.
To view depth at all levels of the Cardinals system on one page, remember to bookmark the Cardinals Roster Matrix, maintained at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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