Cardinals call up Lyons to bolster bullpen, demote Garcia

The last time Tyler Lyons was called up by the Cardinals he worked three innings of relief against the Pirates.

Jeff Curry/Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals reached to Triple-A Memphis to bolster their bullpen Monday morning, calling up left-hander Tyler Lyons and sending down infielder Greg Garcia.

While the move will leave the bench short, the club must consider the need for a fresh arm greater than that for a pinch-hitter and backup infielder. Garcia struck out in his only two at-bats since he was called up last week, and he didn’t look great in either one.

With a three-game series at third-place Pittsburgh starting Monday night, the Cardinals want to be sure they have enough in their bullpen. Cardinals relievers were called on to work 12 innings over the weekend in Pittsburgh. Nick Greenwood is likely to get a couple of days off after throwing 43 pitches in a 3 1/3-inning outing in place of starter Justin Masterson on Sunday.

Even after Masterson struggled for the fourth time in his first five starts with the Cardinals, Matheny indicated that the big right-hander would start the first game of a doubleheader Saturday against the Cubs. If the club was considering Lyons for that start, it could have waited until later in the week to call him up. Clubs are allowed to add one man to the roster for doubleheaders.

Lyons’ last appearance for St. Louis, coincidentally, came against the Pirates. He worked three innings in relief of Shelby Miller in a 9-1 loss July 10. For the season, Lyons is 0-3 with a 5.46 ERA in seven outings for the Cardinals.