St. Louis Cardinals: Closer in Waiting
The St. Louis Cardinals have officially removed their season-starting closer from his role. Now the question remains as to who will replace him.
After the blown save on Friday, Trevor Rosenthal was officially removed from the St. Louis Cardinals closer position. While Mozeliak stated on Sunday that there are no plans to send him to the minors, the future of Rosenthal lays in wait.
What happens now? While much has been written about Seung Hwan Oh and Kevin Siegrist taking this slot, little has been written about Jonathan Broxton nor the closer-in-waiting in Memphis, Sam Tuivailala. Let us change that.
Let’s first look at Broxton who effectively closed the game on Sunday. In the last fifteen games, Broxton has appeared in 13.1 innings surrendering only six hits and three earned runs while walking four and striking out nine. His ERA in the past fifteen games is 2.03 (Rosenthal’s 15-game ERA is 10.64).
In Sunday’s game, Broxton appeared in one complete inning surrendering zero hits while walking one and allowing zero runs.
Someone else who had a good Sunday was Tuivailala in Memphis. Tuivailala, to me, is the actual heir apparent for the closer role and he was actually mentioned specifically by Mozeliak in his comments about the closer role on Sunday.
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In his appearance in Memphis on Sunday, Tuivailala entered the ninth inning in jam with the bases loaded and no one out. In this appearance, one in which the likes of Rosenthal (in this season at least) would have allowed two or three runs to score, Tuivailala shut the door without allowing any of those loaded bases to score.
In his last seven appearance, Tuivailala has allowed only three hits in 7.1 innings pitched. In these appearances, he has allowed zero earned runs. In these appearances, he has tallied eight strike outs. Sounds like a closer, right?
It must be admitted, since our critics will jump on these, that both Broxton and Tuivailala have been rocked a time or two this season. Tuivailala has surrendered four runs twice this season and Broxton has surrendered five runs once. These are not stats becoming of a closer.
To this note, however, it should be remembered that Rosenthal has surrendered three runs in three games and two runs in four games. These games, by the way, ended in a Cardinals loss. Definitely not becoming of a closer.
So, will a committee be responsible for closing? Will Broxton get another chance to show his closing prowess? Or will we see Tuivailala get another call-up? Follow me on Twitter and we will watch these things unfold together!