Bullpen Slot #4 – Todd Worrell
A career 2.56 ERA and 145 ERA + for Worrell as a Cardinal is what gets him on this list. Worrell burst onto the scene in the second half of 1985, becoming the team’s closer and notching a 2.91 ERA and 125 ERA+ over 17 games for the Cardinals. He then helped the Cardinals’ get to the World Series against the Royals in 1985 by allowing just one run over 6.1 innings in the NLCS. In the World Series, Worrell pitched four games allowing just two runs over his 4.2 innings pitched.
Worrell then pitched the best of his five seasons as a Cardinal in 1986, when he pitched in 74 games, with an ERA of 2.08 (3.71 FIP), and an ERA+ of 176. Allowing him to notch a league best 36 saves that year, and earning him the NL Rookie of the Year award. Worrell would go on to pitch two more seasons for the Cardinals, notching an ERA at or below 3.00 in each season. Including getting back to the playoffs in 1987, when he allowed just two earned runs in 11.1 innings pitched.
Unfortunately for Worrell, he suffered a torn ligament in his elbow in September of 1989, when going for the club record in saves. He missed all of the 1990 season, and then the 1991 season when he suffered a torn rotator cuff when trying to rehab his elbow. Worrell came back in the 1992 season and was reduced to being the setup man in 67 appearances for the Cardinals, where he finished with an ERA of 2.11.
That was not good enough to save his Cardinals’ career, as he signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers to be their closer for the next five seasons. At his height, Worrell was a dominant reliever and would be a nasty sixth/seventh inning guy on this roster.
Next: Bullpen Slot #5 - Steve Kline