New Year Resolutions for the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen.
Seung-Hwan Oh: Record 40 saves.
Last year, Oh appeared in 76 games overall and took over as the closer for the second half of the season. He posted a 1.92 ERA while recording 19 saves. With a firm grasp on the closer role for 2017, Oh has a chance to crack 40 saves in a contract year, a milestone which the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals has reached three times since 2012 (Jason Motte once and Trevor Rosenthal twice).
Trevor Rosenthal: Re-establish himself as a dominant reliever.
The St. Louis Cardinals have stated that they are going to allow Trevor Rosenthal to compete to become a starting pitcher. However, I still think he is best served in a relief role. After returning from injury in September, Rosenthal looked more like his dominant self. While the sample size is extremely small, Rosenthal threw 11.1% more strikes and posted a 1.29 ERA over seven September/October innings.
Brett Cecil: Continue his relief dominance while transitioning to a new league.
Brett Cecil has quietly been one of the best relievers in baseball since his move to the bullpen in 2013. He has posted an ERA and FIP below 3.00 in three of his four seasons in relief and an xFIP below 3.00 each year. He has a chance to be a dominant complement to Rosenthal and Oh at the back end of the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen.
Kevin Siegrist: Continue improving his approach in attacking left-handed hitters.
Siegrist has suffered from reverse splits throughout his career, allowing lefties to hit better than righties off him. This problem was most severe in 2014, when lefties hit .300/.417/.410 off him.
Since then, he has improved against LHB each year, limiting them to a .259 average in 2015 and a .217 average in 2016. If he can get LHB down to his .178/.260/.334 line he holds against righties, Siegrist will be one of the top bullpen arms in the NL.
Tyler Lyons: Excel in his role as the LOOGY.
Currently, the St. Louis Cardinals are without a pitcher they can use against only one or two left handed batters in big situations. However, Lyons splits indicate he could be the guy to fill the role. He held lefties to a .152/.214/.250 line in 2016. His slider is his best offering, and LHB hit a miniscule .118 average and .206 SLG against the pitch last year.
Matt Bowman: Induce ground balls on 65.0% of balls in play.
With Seth Maness off the squad for next year, the St. Louis Cardinals turn to Bowman as their double play specialist. Last year, he got hitters to put the ball on the ground 61.7% of the time, greater than Maness’ 59.4% career average but lower than his 68.4% career high.
Jonathan Broxton: Convert 85.0% of Hold opportunities.
A hold for a reliever is similar to a save, with the exception being that the pitcher does not finish the game. Manager Mike Matheny showed in 2016 that he is going to continue to rely on Broxton in middle relief, but if Broxton can convert Holds at this rate, that may not be such a bad thing.