St. Louis Cardinals: A Plan From Within To Save the Bullpen

May 16, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Brett Cecil (21) waits to be removed from the game by manager Mike Matheny (22) during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Brett Cecil (21) waits to be removed from the game by manager Mike Matheny (22) during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Of the eight relievers the St. Louis Cardinals have, these are the three that need to go.

Jonathan Broxton

Broxton and Cecil have competed for most frustrating reliever this season. In sixteen games, his ERA stands at 6.39, and opposing hitters are raking him for a .367 batting average. Lefties are hitting an even .500 against him.

What’s equally frustrating about Broxton is the way Matheny uses him. Broxton has pitched in far too many close games in his time with the St. Louis Cardinals, and this season is no exception. He’s just not what he once was, and John Mozeliak would do well to simply bite the bullet since he’s on the last year of his contract.

All he’s doing right now is blocking an opportunity for a minor league reliever to come up and get a shot.

Kevin Siegrist

It appears Kevin Siegrist is also not the pitcher he once was. His fastball velocity was way down to begin the year, although it’s crept up a bit towards the mid-90s range in recent outings.

A few things trend to the positive side for Siegrist. In April, he walked 11 in 8 1/3 innings. Through 8 2/3 innings in May, he has yet to walk a batter. He’s had to rely on his curveball more since his fastball no longer sizzles, and that’s actually been an average-to-plus pitch for him.

But at the end of the day, his ERA is 5.29 and he’s still struggled with lefties, who are hitting .296 against him this year. Siegrist may well turn it around this year, but this is a decision Mozeliak will have to weigh. Is Seigrist a viable option in the Cards’ pen this season and beyond? Does Mo investigate his value on the market? Or is he simply not worth much because of his slow start?

Whether to keep or let go of Siegrist is a toss-up.

Miguel Socolovich

Socolovich made the Opening Day roster in part because he was out of minor-league options. The organization would rather have had him pitching out of the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen than run the risk of losing him to another team via waivers.

At times this season, he’s looked good, as he features a plus-changeup. But the numbers just aren’t there, as he’s posted a 6.75 ERA in thirteen games. Hitters are hitting him at a .290 rate, and he’s given up four home runs in just 17 1/3 innings.

The time has come when replacing Soco with minor-leauge arm outweighs the risk of losing him.