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Kyle McClellan's absence has left the club without a long reliever.
Cardinals' equipment manager Rip Rowan should stitch a white cross over a red patch to the uniform of Kyle McClellan, not just because McClellan (who is a native of St. Louis) is unfortunately injured, but also because he has been the Swiss Army knife of the Cards' pitching staff since 2008.
McClellan has the ability to pitch in any situation and has been particularly effective against lefties throughout his career—a .211 average allowed to southpaws to be precise.
A testament to his team-first attitude, McClellan volunteered to step into a starting role last year and finished with a 12-7 record while nearly doubling his average yearly innings load.
Though he was very effective early last year, he faded gradually as the innings caught up to him and it may have even served as the impetus for his elbow injury this season, where he has largely been ineffective and has now been shut down.
Marc Rzepczynski has been primarily tasked to fill this void as he has been billed as a lefty with starter-quality effectiveness to batters on both sides of the plate. However, he has clearly been exposed by right-handers (.297/.350/.568/.918) in 2012.
With McClellan, the team hopes that surgery is not needed and with 6-8 weeks of rest he may return late this year. Until then, the Cardinals will have difficulty finding such a diverse hurler.