St. Louis Cardinals Hopes for the Offseason: Matt Belisle
Fans knew the St. Louis Cardinals were going to part ways with Pat Neshek and Jason Motte this off season. Not a surprise. But who the team did sign, in Matt Belisle, did have some scratching their heads.
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Belisle isn’t exactly a name that stops you in your tracks. He’s an 11-year veteran relief pitcher. He spent the last six seasons with the Colorado Rockies, a team that doesn’t get much national attention and one that only plays our Cardinals a few times during the season. So, it’s pretty OK that most Cardinals fans were like WHO? when they heard that Belisle was not only on the Cardinals radar, but he was about to be signed by our beloved team.
Matt Belisle signed a one-year contract earlier this fall with the St. Louis Cardinals that is worth a cool $3.5 million and could increase to $4 million if he hits incentive marks.
And let’s hope he does hit those marks!
Belisle is projected a bridge type of pitcher possibly leading to Seth Maness in the seventh, Jordan Walden in the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth. Tough task, indeed, for the new guy. But he has a lot of experience as a set up man. Take a look at his career numbers!
In 11 seasons and 524 total major league games, he has an ERA of 4.41. He has 48 wins, five saves and 575 strikeouts.
So here are my hopes for Matt Belisle’s offseason.
* Get some tough skin. St. Louis and Denver are a bit different on the levels with which they care about baseball. Cardinals baseball rules St. Louis… neigh … the Midwest and a good majority of the South in the summer. This role that you are taking on has been challenged by many a qualified man. There is a lot to live up to with the fans. They expect perfection. While we know that no one is perfect, we want you to come as close to it as you can. No big deal!
* Work on fielding. That’s my request of all pitchers now. After seeing Randy Choate this offseason. I think all pitchers should be able to properly field their position. No matter if it’s a series in the middle of May or during the NLCS in October. No matter the situation. Field your position. Calmly. Professionally. It’s your job!
* Enjoy the guys in the bullpen! They are a fun bunch and will appreciate any sage advice you can provide them.
* Loyalty? With the amount of years you spent with Colorado, you seem like a loyal guy. I hope you work your way to become a fixture in the bullpen for a few years, if you want!