SAN DIEGO -- Once a top relief prospect in the Cardinals' organization, Eduardo Sanchez was claimed off waivers by the Cubs on Tuesday. It ended the right-hander's eight-year tenure with St. Louis, which signed him as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela.
In order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Tyler Lyons, who will start for the Cardinals on Wednesday, the organization chose to remove Sanchez. That required the Cardinals to place the 24-year-old right-hander on waivers, and when they did, the Cubs snatched him.
Sanchez gave the Cardinals' bullpen a lift in 2011, when he came up and allowed just six earned runs over 30 innings. Over the past two seasons, however, Sanchez struggled with the consistency of both his delivery and his pitches. He appeared in only 17 games for the Cardinals in 2012 and posted a 6.60 ERA in 15 innings. He was pitching for the club's Triple-A affiliate this year.
Sanchez also has been on the disabled list with an arm injury at least once in each of the past three seasons.
"We talked about him for a number of years about having some of the best swing-and-miss stuff in the organization with an electric slider," manager Mike Matheny said. "But he just had trouble repeatedly staying in the strike zone. He had good life typically, but also could get very erratic. It was a tough mix for him to get past."
Lyons joins Cardinals in anticipation of MLB debut
SAN DIEGO -- On Wednesday, Tyler Lyons will become the sixth rookie to pitch for the Cardinals this season as he makes the start in place of the injured Jaime Garcia. On Tuesday, however, he was mostly concerned with fitting in and finding his way.
Lyons joined the Cardinals -- albeit unofficially because he has not been added to the roster yet -- a day before he is slated to make his Major League debut. He found a No. 70 jersey hanging in front of his clubhouse stall and planned to watch Tuesday's game with a critical eye, picking up any tendencies he could on the Padres' offense.
Lyons said that he believes his experience in big league camp this spring prepared him well for this transition.
"I think being there was huge for me, just in being comfortable when I get in here in the clubhouse and in the game situations, facing other big league clubs and big league hitters," Lyons said. "I think being in Spring Training gives me a sense of comfort going into [Wednesday]."
Lyons, a ninth-round Draft selection out of Oklahoma State University in 2009, was 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts with Triple-A Memphis. A year earlier, he led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with three complete games. He learned on Saturday night -- a day after allowing three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings -- that his next start would be at the Major League level.
"I've done some things well," Lyons said, when asked about his season. "I've had a couple of innings that have gotten me in trouble, but overall I feel like I have thrown the ball well. And over the course of the last month and a half, I felt like I have improved on some things and gotten comfortable out there."
With Jake Westbrook on the mend, Lyons' stay in the Majors may be temporary. He can, however, pitch himself into consideration for additional starts with an impressive outing on Wednesday.
"I'm just taking it all in right now and excited to be here," Lyons said. "I can't really control all that. I'm just going to enjoy it and make the most of it."
Freese out for second day as thumb heals
SAN DIEGO -- David Freese remained out of the Cardinals' lineup for a second straight day on Tuesday due to continued swelling in the area around his right thumb that required three stitches on Sunday.
Freese said that the stitches will be taken out Friday, though the third baseman believes he'll be able to play before then. He described his hand Tuesday as "better" than it was a day earlier.
Freese suffered a gash near his right thumb on Sunday when he was spiked while chasing down and applying a tag on Milwaukee's Norichika Aoki in the first inning. Freese played the rest of the game but needed three stitches to close the cut afterward.
Manager Mike Matheny said he chose to hold Freese out for a second straight day primarily because the padding and bandage on Freese's right hand could affect his ability to throw.
"He wasn't quite ready to go and let the ball go clean out of his hand on the throw," Matheny said. "He's swinging pretty good. There's a chance he could rip it open. We're going to watch him today and see how he responds."
Franklin will represent Cardinals on Draft night
SAN DIEGO -- Former Cardinals pitcher Ryan Franklin, now an assistant to general manager John Mozeliak, has been helping the organization as it scouts potential picks for the upcoming First-Year Player Draft. His Draft-related work won't end there.
Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that Franklin will serve as the Cardinals' representative at MLB Network's Studio 42 in New Jersey on Draft night. Franklin will be responsible for relaying the Cardinals' pair of first-round selections from the front office to MLB officials.
The Cardinals are one of four clubs to have multiple first-round picks. They will make the 19th and 28th overall selections; that second pick is the compensation the organization received for Kyle Lohse's free-agent departure.
The Draft will begin at 6 p.m. CT on June 6 and will be televised live on MLB Network and MLB.com. Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is also scheduled to be on hand for the Draft as a representative for MLB.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
• Mike Matheny, Ty Wigginton and several other Cardinals staff members visited the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego on Tuesday, where they met with members of the Navy SEALs. The group was shown the process of becoming a SEAL, as well as some of the weaponry used. They also took a ride on a military boat that reached speeds of 50 mph.
"It was extremely intense," said Matheny, a first time visitor to the base. "The chief officer for the SEALs was there, [and it] was neat to hear from him. He kind of asked about the similarities with baseball, and I could hardly even give him an answer. I was completely humbled with what those guys do day in and day out and a little embarrassed when we were walking out there and someone was asking for an autograph. It just didn't seem right."
• Jake Westbrook (right elbow inflammation) said he expects to throw off the mound on Wednesday after a third successful session of flat-ground throwing. Westbrook threw from a distance of 120 feet on Tuesday afternoon.
• Native Oklahomans Pete Kozma and Matt Holliday said that their family and friends were not directly affected by the tornadoes that destroyed areas of the state on Monday. Tyler Lyons, who attended Oklahoma State University, said he, too, checked in with friends and former college teammates, all of whom escaped the damage.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.