Jonathan Broxton Released by Cardinals; John Gant Recalled From Triple-A Memphis

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 05:  Pitcher Jonathan Broxton #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws a pitch in the eighth inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on May 5, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals released veteran relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton on Wednesday. The Cards recalled starting pitcher John Gant from the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds to fill the void in their 25-man roster. 

St. Louis announced the moves on their official Twitter feed.

Broxton struggled mightily during the early stages of the 2017 season. He owned a 6.89 ERA and 2.17 WHIP through 20 appearances out of the bullpen prior to the release. The lone bright spot on his stat line is 16 strikeouts across 15.2 innings.

The 32-year-old Georgia native was previously one of the National League's top relievers. His best season came with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009 when he finished the year with a 2.61 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and an eye-popping 114 strikeouts in 76 innings. He also racked up 36 saves.

Broxton admitted his role changed heading into this season, though. In March, the former closer told Glenn Sattell of MLB.com he looked forward to working with younger pitchers.

"I've put my time in," he said. "I've had some great years. So I'm just trying to pass it on down and go out there and have fun with it, because you're not guaranteed [playing] this game forever."

The two-time All-Star selection's numbers have faded considerably since posting a 2.30 ERA in 2014.

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Meanwhile, St. Louis acquired Gant from the Atlanta Braves in December as part of the Jaime Garcia trade.

The 24-year-old right-hander made 13 relief appearances and seven starts with the Braves last year. He accumulated a 4.86 ERA in 50 innings.

Gant possessed a 2.19 ERA through three starts for the Redbirds this season. He'd missed the start of the campaign with a groin strain.

He figures to pitch out of the bullpen to replace Broxton for the time being. He's also an option to make a spot start if the Cardinals need one.