Apr. 3, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly (58) throws during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Image Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Bullpen Problem

The last two seasons, St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak has had to make some moves in order to help the bullpen.

These moves paid off during the 2011 season as the Cardinals would go on to win the World Series over the Texas Rangers. The Cardinals were able to obtain Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson and Marc Rzepczynski when they sent Trever Miller, Colby Rasmus, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters to the Toronto Blue Jays. It came after the Blue Jays made a trade with the Chicago White Sox.

Dotel was benefitial for the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series as he was able to contain Ryan Braun. Dotel was not resigned by the Cardinals.

Of the four players that the Cardinals acquired, only Scrabble remains.

Last summer, Mozeliak shipped Zack Cox, a former first round draft pick, over to the Miami Marlins in exchange for reliever Edward Mujica. This led to the creation of the law firm known as Mujica, Boggs, and Motte.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the 2013 season. Motte found something in his elbow, which may very well lead to his being out for the entire season. This is not a good thing for the Cardinals. Not at all.

Mitchell Boggs did his best to fill in as the temporarily closer but it just has not been a good fit. It’s a far cry from his home in the 8th inning.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bernie Miklasz looks at the solitary closer this season.

A meltdown occurred when Matheny moved Boggs from his sweet spot (the 8th inning) to make him the replacement closer. Boggs has a 12.46 ERA and little or no confidence. That’s only one part of the awful chain reaction set off by Motte’s damaged elbow. The Cardinals’ bullpen ERA (5.69) is the worst among the 30 MLB teams.

Hours later, Bernie wanted to know if Mo can fix the problem.

This brings me to Joe Kelly. Kelly has only appeared in four games this season, which is baffling to media and fans alike. He pitched an inning on opening day and just over an inning two days later. His last two appearances came on April 7th and just over a week later on April 15th. It’s just mind-boggling. This is a guy that should be given a chance. What is Mike Matheny thinking?!?

Kelly went to California-Riverside, where he finished his college career ranked first in saves with 24 over the course of his career.

His 2009 season was good enough for second place for saves as far as individual records are concerned.

Derrick Goold writes about Kelly in the Post-Dispatch.

Something has got to give. What it will be? I just don’t know right now.

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