St Louis Cardinals: Way-too-early trade deadline shopping list
New spot, same story. When everyone in the bullpen was healthy at the beginning of the year, things were great. Alex Reyes in the 9th let Jordan Hicks, Giovanny Gallegos, and Andrew Miller excel earlier in games. However, health and lack of performance has made the group look much different.
Genesis Cabrera has been given a bigger role and has ran with it, proving he could be an effective pitcher in higher-leverage spots. Outside of him, most everyone else has been worse than expected. Specifically, Tyler Webb and Ryan Helsley both need to show some more and in Webb’s case, he needs to do it quickly.
The three most trusted arms (Reyes, Gallegos, Cabrera) have shouldered way more innings than the rest of the bullpen and won’t be able to sustain this workload over an entire season. Mike Shildt needs a fourth option out there that he can trust to go to in games where the big three aren’t available. When he doesn’t have that, the bullpen has blown games.
Helsley and his 100 mph fastball have shown promise, but he’s had a few rough outings in May. If he can step up and become more dependable while Webb has struggled, that would make a world of difference. However, adding another arm if they can’t find one in house is never a bad idea for a team with postseason aspirations.
In all, the biggest thing the Cardinals need is to get healthy. Health solves a lot of the big problems the team is having right now, but the other thing is just the mental consistency to stop walking opposing batters and stop making bad errors. The skill and talent is there, and these are unforced mental errors that have cost the team games already.
The Cardinals haven’t done anything big at the trade deadline in a few years, but that doesn’t mean that this year will be the same. It’s early, but keeping an eye on the future is never a bad idea when it comes to what the front office can do to put the team in the best position to win it all.