St. Louis Cardinals: Have no fear, bullpen help is on the way

Cardinals manager, Mike Shildt, announced on Friday night that reliever Giovanny Gallegos is en route to St. Louis.

Help is on the way for the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen. Giovanny Gallegos has received travel clearance and is on his way to St. Louis.

Per Anne Rogers of MLB.com, Cardinal manager Mike Shildt said a “few hurdles” will need to be overcome for getting Gallegos into the workout Saturday, but he was “hopeful.”

Shildt also said Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera, are getting closer to joining the team for workouts. Reyes hasn’t been in camp for reasons not disclosed by the Cardinals, while Cabrera had been held out after he tested positive for COVID-19, but was asymptomatic. According to Shildt, both pitchers could join the Cardinals early next week.

This news helps relieve a shaky bullpen situation for the Cardinals, but not solve it. With Jordan Hicks opting out of the season with a pre-existing condition and John Brebbia out for the season with Tommy John Surgery, Mike Shildt’s bullpen options were becoming thin.

The bullpen which had been a 2019 strength, was turning into a concern for the 2020 Cardinals.

Now with Gallegos back, the Cardinals will have another closer option, although not by the season opener. Meanwhile, Cabrera would give Shildt another left-handed option in the bullpen and a finally healthy Reyes could be an invaluable piece.

For Mike Shildt, patience will be the key with all three players. Opening day is less than a week away, and the three pitchers’ readiness for the season opener is still in question. “We’re not going to rush them, to rush them,” Shildt said. “We’ll put our eyes on them and take them as they show up.”

Until the Cardinals find out how ready Gallegos, Reyes, and Cabrera are when they report, the bullpen concerns will not be totally relieved. Who knows what can be expected from Brett Cecil. John Gant started 2019 strong, but struggled in the second half. And Andrew Miller was up and down last year.

The closer position is still up in the air with HIcks and Brebbia both done for the year. Ryan Helsley is a fan favorite to close out games but is untested. If all else fails, Carlos Martinez could be called again to close out games.

As stated earlier, patience is needed with these three pitchers. However, at the same time, with only a 60 game season, time can’t be wasted, An early shaky bullpen could cost the Cardinals a chance for the postseason.

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It’s good to have Giovanny Gallegos, Genesis Cabrera, and Alex Reyes back in the mix, but all three will need to be ready as soon as possible.