Pen on Paper: Mapping the 2016 Cardinals Bullpen

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The Middle Men 

Here’s hoping

Kevin Siegrist

is getting lots of spa treatments this winter. He’s earned it. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Matheny rode like Seth Maness and Kevin Siegrist like rented mules this season. Siegrest led the bigs with 81 appearances and finally wore out in the postseason. Maness, meanwhile, had the fourth-most number of appearances and saw his ERA jump by nearly two whole runs. Let’s take a brief look at how the last few Major League appearance leaders fared the season after:

  • Cleveland’s Bryan Shaw led the Majors with 80 games in 2014. He showed no ill effects last year, when he appeared in 74 games and posted a solid 2.95 ERA.
  • Tampa Bay’s Joel Peralta was the leader in 2013, again with 80. The following season his ERA jumped by a run and opposing hitters batted about 50 points better. A neck sprain limited him to 29 innings for the Dodgers this past year. His ERA was over four again.
  • Matt Belisle, Shawn Camp and Randy Choate each had a league leading 80 appearances in 2012. We won’t count Choate since he faced one batter in many of those outings. Belisle followed his 80-game season, during which he had a 3.71 ERA, with two so-so seasons with 4+ ERAs in Colorado. He was on track for a resurgence in St. Louis this year until elbow inflamation ended his season in June. Poor Camp. His workload with the Cubs essentially ruined him, and he hasn’t been a big league regular since.

The takeaway? Pitchers are like snowflakes. They’re all different. Both Siegrist and Maness could come back and be just fine in 2016. Better than fine, in fact. But in the meantime, I’m biting my nails. And hoping guys like Tyler Lyons and Mitch Harris build off solid 2015 campaigns and become as reliable as Siegrist and Maness.