Apr 18, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcherRandy Choate
(36) reacts after being pulled after pitching to one batter and giving up a hit to Cincinnati Reds right fielderJay Bruce
(not pictured) during the eighth inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won the game 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports
2. Will the bullpen be utilized more effectively?
In 2014, the St. Louis Cardinals relief pitchers accounted for over 20 losses losses and 16 blown saves. One year later, St. Louis’s bullpen is still experiencing inconsistencies in the back end of games, having accounted for 12 losses and 9 blown saves through the first half.
Plenty of positive surprises have emerged in the bullpen, including Trevor Rosenthal‘s All Star campaign highlighted by a 1.49 ERA and 26 saves. Kevin Siegrist picked up 4 saves in spot duties as an eighth inning specialist, but he’s shown signs of weariness along with teammates Seth Maness and Randy Choate, all who place within the Top 5 for MLB relief appearances.
July has proved the roughest month of any on this year’s Cardinals bullpen so far, as four relief pitchers have given up multiple earned runs in July alone. Even with veterans Jordan Walden and Matt Belisle expected to return from the disabled list later this month, the bullpen may consider a slight reconstruction to bring more team stability moving forward.