The St. Louis Cardinals could be getting relief pitcher Giovanny Gallegos back but it won’t come without another big loss.
When the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Minnesota Twins beginning Tuesday, they will have a welcome sight in the bullpen and a missing name from the starting rotation.
Giovanny Gallegos will be back with the team on Tuesday, but they will also be losing Miles Mikolas to the Injured List.
Mikolas was scheduled to pitch Wednesday against the Twins, but it seems that rookie Jake Woodford may be in line to make that start as the 23-year-old was called up in conjunction with Mikolas being placed on the IL.
Gallegos’ return gives the Cardinals a great asset at the back of their bullpen. Although closing duties are currently assigned to Kwang Hyun Kim, Gallegos would seem to be a favorite to set up for him and probably be one of the top options to step in for save opportunities if needed.
Gallegos, acquired from the Yankees in 2018, had a breakout season out of the Cardinals bullpen last season pitching to the tune of a 2.31 ERA in 66 games.
The Cardinals bullpen was a strength last season due in part to Gallegos, and the expectation is that it should again be a strength this season. With Gallegos returning Tuesday, he will have only missed the opening series of the season in which the team took two out of three games from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It is still unclear why Gallegos was unable to pitch in summer camp, and the reason is still undisclosed. He seems to be healthy and ready to contribute though.
For Mikolas, this injury comes as a complete surprise as nothing was said about this injury until today. Mikolas had dealt with a similar issue to start the 2020 season but was assumed to be healthy and he looked fine in his intrasquad start.
Jake Woodford, the Cardinals’ number 11 prospect, was the 39th overall pick in 2015 by the Cardinals. Woodford is generally seen as a back-of-the-rotation arm but had a solid year last year at AAA Memphis. While he could make the start on Wednesday, the Cardinals have other options in Daniel Ponce de Leon, Austin Gomber, or Kwang Hyun Kim.
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The Cardinals are surely delighted to get Gallegos’ arm back in the bullpen, but the Mikolas news is very troubling. Until we know more about exactly what happened with his arm, the Cardinals are going to have to make do with what they have.