Is This Farewell For Miguel Batista?

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 19: Miguel Batista #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals pumps his fist after getting a double play to end the inning against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium on June 19, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

It's been one hell of a run for Miguel Batista.

Despite career numbers that wouldn't make you look twice -- 4.51 ERA, 1.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio -- Miguel Batista has been pitching in the major leagues this season after his 40th birthday.

He might have pitched his last, though. From the Cardinals' Twitter feed:

Miguel Batista given unconditional release. RHP Lance Lynn recalled from Memphis (AAA) and will be in the bullpen tonight.

You might argue that Batista deserves at least one more shot; after all, before getting rocked in two of his last three outings, he'd sported a 2.28 ERA in 27 appearances for the Cardinals. There was even some loose talk about giving him a shot as the Cardinals' closer (it now seems unlikely that Tony La Russa seriously considered that notion, but then again with him you never know).

You might also argue that Batista has been given plenty of chances already. Since posting solid numbers with the Mariners in 2007, Batista's got a 4.86 ERA with nearly as many walks as strikeouts.

Lance Lynn was up previously for a couple of spot starts and acquitted himself fairly well. He hasn't exactly been dominant in triple-A, though, and might actually be better-suited for relief duties, at least until Dave Duncan's able to spend some serious time working with him.

For much of his career, Miguel Batista was just an innings-eater, but there's certainly some value in eating innings. Still, it's sort of a shame that he's stuck on 99 career victories, and it's sort of a shame that he didn't get the W in the biggest game of his life.

For much more about the Cardinals, please visit Viva El Birdos.

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