Matt Belisle becomes part of growing bullpen for St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals wasted no time to make their second significant change in their bullpen. Within the past hour, the team agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with veteran relief pitcher Matt Belisle. According to Fox Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal, the deal comes with potential incentives for the right-handed pitcher.
Belisle has spent his eleven year career with the Cincinnati Reds and the Colorado Rockies. The righty has pitched in 21 career games against the Redbirds posting two wins and a 1.75 ERA. He boasts 14 career victories against all other NL Central teams with five saves and 100 holds in eleven seasons.
Despite a rocky campaign in which he lost seven games and compiled a 4.87 ERA in relief, the Cardinals were were willing to take a chance, sticking to a similar approach they have used in recent years. Veteran arms like Edward Mujica, Randy Choate and Pat Neshek have all been able to retrack their career since Mike Matheny took over as skipper, emphasizing the team’s willingness to complement homegrown youth with experience in the bullpen.
Other than Choate, the Texas native has more experience than any other current pitcher in the Cardinals bullpen. Belisle has pitched 754.1 innings, averaging a 3.14 strikeout-to-walk ratio with his two previous teams. He’s pitched at least 60 games in six different seasons, including the last five with Colorado.
Belisle is the second major addition to the Cardinals bullpen, as the team acquired Jordan Walden in a package deal with the Braves two weeks ago. Both relievers add flexibility to a Cardinals bullpen primarily raised around young arms, but it’s unclear what type of role the pair of pitchers will play until the upcoming season progresses.