St. Louis Cardinals: Bullpen change made through DFA and promotion

michaeldavidmiles
May 8, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Miguel Socolovich (63) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Miguel Socolovich (63) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Cardinals announced mid-day on Saturday that the changes to their bullpen have begun.

Miguel Socolovich, with the St. Louis Cardinals since 2014, has been designated for assignment. Many fans believe this move long overdue. This is likely the first step in a bullpen shakeup that has been needed for far too many weeks now.

Socolovich was signed by the Red Sox in the amateur draft of 2004 and was in their system until 2008 when he was traded as part of the deal that landed the Sox David Aardsma from the White Sox. Soco was in the White Sox organization until he was granted free agency in 2011. He was signed by the Orioles for the 2012 season.

He was placed on waivers in August of 2012 and picked up by the Chicago Cubs until they granted him free agency in November of 2013. His next year was spent with the New York Mets but again he was granted free agency at the conclusion of the 2014 season. This was when he joined the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2015, Soco appeared in 29.2 MLB innings for the Cardinals and posted a 1.82 ERA. In AAA that season, he appeared in 32.2 innings for an ERA of 2.48. The signing looked like a positive one.

In 2016, Soco again split time between Memphis and St. Louis. He appeared in 51.2 innings in Memphis and eighteen innings in St. Louis. To his credit, he posted a 2.00 ERA in St. Louis while showing some of is weakness in Memphis where he posted a 3.14 ERA. While still respectable, he started to show the weaknesses in his pitching.

In 2017, Soco has exclusively served the St. Louis Cardinals. He has appeared in 18.2 innings this season. The proverbial wheels, however, fell off this season and he currently owns an 8.68 ERA. He is one of the strongest weaknesses in the Cardinals pen and his designation is the first move in making the pen better.

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In the wake of his DFA, the St. Louis Cardinals purchased the contract of minor-league right-handed relief pitcher, John Brebbia.

Brebbia, 26 years old, was selected by the New York Yankees in the thirtieth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He joined the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 2016 and has pitched for the Memphis Redbirds in 2016 and 2017 as well as for the Springfield Cardinals during the 2016 season.

In 2016, he posted a 4.06 ERA in 37.2 innings in Springfield and a 6.23 ERA in 30.1 innings in Memphis. What started as a question mark addition has turned into an impressive find as his numbers have blossomed in 2017.

Before his promotion on Saturday, Brebbia appeared in 26.2 innings this season for the Memphis Redbirds where he has recorded twenty-nine strikeouts, allowing only sixteen hits, and allowing only five earned runs. He owns a 1.69 ERA on the young season and will make his MLB debut with the St. Louis Cardinals.

While many will say that additional moves are needed for the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen, today’s news is step one in what should be immense changes to come.

Next: Five Cardinals story lines

What do you think of today’s news? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading! P.S. I’m hoping that the next name we see DFA’d is that of Jonathan Broxton. Who is with me?!

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