Are Changes Needed In The Cardinals Bullpen? Vote Now

The 2013 season is now two weeks old. The St. Louis Cardinals have played 12 games. With 150 still to come, it’s difficult to panic already. But after yesterday’s 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cardinals are tied for the National League lead in one painful pitching category: blown saves, with four.

With the Chicago Cubs, no less.

roller-coasterSorry, that’s a terrible bit of info to toss out there on a Monday morning.

But there’s unfortunately a pitching stat in which the Cardinals lead the majors that’s even worse: bullpen ERA. Yep, the relievers’ collective 6.09 ERA is No. 30 at the moment, while the Cubs 5.82 is No. 28. Interestingly, the Washington Nationals are between the two at 5.90.

It won’t be a surprise that Mitchell Boggs, who had a blown save yesterday and during the 16-inning game in Arizona on April 3, has the highest ERA at 11.37. That’s largely the result of the six earned runs he allowed in the ninth inning of the home opener a week ago.

Trevor Rosenthal is the owner of the other two blown saves, from April 3 as well and from the home opener. His ERA is not terrible, 4.50, but he wasn’t necessarily effective yesterday either as he gave up a single and then a home run to Ryan Braun to start the eighth and end the Cardinals scoreless innings streak at 39.

The timing of Boggs and Rosenthal having bad days on the same days is obviously not good. Fernando Salas has mostly had those same bad days: he was the losing pitcher yesterday, as he gave up a 10th inning homer to Jonathan Lucroy, and in the 16-inning game on April 3.

But what’s the solution?

It is just two weeks into the season, after all, and every year has its ups and downs over the course of six months. The starters — who’ve been stellar and currently they have the lowest ERA in the majors at 1.82 — will hit rough spots. We already know the offense will be streaky again, as it has been already.

Yet is a change needed for the bullpen?

That’s where you come in. What’s your opinion — is there a genuine problem? Is it best just to stay the course? Should the team make a change at closer? Should they sign a closer?

I’m interested to know your reaction. Make your choice, or add another beyond the few I’ve suggested based on Twitter comments I’ve noticed in the past week.

[poll id=”24″]

 

One of the good things about baseball: it goes on, and tonight the Cardinals begin a series in Pittsburgh against the on-a-roll Pirates. They came back yesterday from a 5-0 deficit in the seventh inning to win 10-7 and sweep the Reds. Game time is 6:05 p.m. Central, with Lance Lynn and James McDonald pitching.



Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email aaronmilesfastball@gmail.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

10 thoughts on “Are Changes Needed In The Cardinals Bullpen? Vote Now

  1. Here’s a question for everyone voting “Yes. Sign Brian Wilson right now.”

    If Brian Wilson was capable of being a major-league closer, don’t you think another team would have signed him already? I know, sometimes we are so myopic about the Cardinals’ problems we forget there are 29 other big league teams out there. But think about this — even the Giants would rather watch Sergio Romo blow saves than invite Brian Wilson back. And they know Wilson best.

    How about instead of adding yet another Proven Veteran(TM) to the bullpen we give one of the kids a chance, like Joe Kelly, who was a pretty darn good closer in college?

  2. Here’s a question for everyone voting “Yes. Sign Brian Wilson right now.”

    If Brian Wilson was capable of being a major-league closer, don’t you think another team would have signed him already? I know, sometimes we are so myopic about the Cardinals’ problems we forget there are 29 other big league teams out there. But think about this — even the Giants would rather watch Sergio Romo blow saves than invite Brian Wilson back. And they know Wilson best.

    How about instead of adding yet another Proven Veteran(TM) to the bullpen we give one of the kids a chance, like Joe Kelly, who was a pretty darn good closer in college?

  3. I vote to wait it out a few more games at least. We’re only 12 games in! That said, I’m not totally sold on Boggs as the closer. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a very valuable place in this bullpen, but it may not be in the 9th inning.

    I’m also not convinced the answer needs to come from the outside … At least not until we try a few “in house” options. Trevor Rosenthal is still a newbie. I have high hopes that he’ll adjust and be fine. That said, I am totally on board with the idea of giving Joe Kelly a chance. He’s been in the role before, and is not really being utilized right now. Might as well see what he can do, if Boggs continues to struggle.

  4. I vote to wait it out a few more games at least. We’re only 12 games in! That said, I’m not totally sold on Boggs as the closer. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a very valuable place in this bullpen, but it may not be in the 9th inning.

    I’m also not convinced the answer needs to come from the outside … At least not until we try a few “in house” options. Trevor Rosenthal is still a newbie. I have high hopes that he’ll adjust and be fine. That said, I am totally on board with the idea of giving Joe Kelly a chance. He’s been in the role before, and is not really being utilized right now. Might as well see what he can do, if Boggs continues to struggle.

  5. I’m for ‘closer by committee’ for now. No reason to name anyone closer at this point. I wouldn’t take Brian Wilson if he cost $0. He would not be better than anything we already have, and I don’t think he’d fit on the team.

  6. I’m for ‘closer by committee’ for now. No reason to name anyone closer at this point. I wouldn’t take Brian Wilson if he cost $0. He would not be better than anything we already have, and I don’t think he’d fit on the team.

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