The St Louis Cardinals need bullpen help and have looked to the waiver wire to help. The first name in is Brandon Waddell on a claim from the Orioles.
The St Louis Cardinals claimed left-handed pitcher Brandon Waddell off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles and assigned him to Triple-A Memphis, the team announced. Additionally, left-hander Tyler Webb cleared outright waivers and will be assigned to Memphis.
Waddell, 27, is a 6-foot-3, 180 pound pitcher who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft. He has limited major-league experience, throwing 8.1 innings with a 3/6 strikeout-to-walk ratio, while posting a 6.48 ERA and 7.72 FIP. He primarily relies on his slider and four-seam fastball — he’s thrown each a combined 88.4 percent of the time — while sprinkling in a changeup (7.7 percent) and sinker (3.8 percent).
While Waddell offers upside, it is unlikely he makes a significant impact at the major-league level this season. He provides organizational depth and another left-handed arm with a solid spin rate (2625 RPM on his slider) that the team can attempt to mold for future seasons. There is a possibility, however, that he impresses and replaces Webb as a left-handed option for the Cardinals.
Webb, 30, was designated for assignment by the Cardinals last week. He fell behind Andrew Miller and Genesis Cabrera as the team’s lefty options and considering his immense struggles (26 runs in 16.1 innings) and his inconsistent command (19 walks with 14 strikeouts), getting Webb out of the bullpen was something the team had to do.
Even then, the Cardinals were keeping their fingers crossed that Webb would clear waivers. They are hopeful that an extended stint in Triple-A can help him regain last year’s form, where he emerged as one of their most important relievers while posting a 2.08 ERA and 19/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 21.2 innings.
With the team 3-7 in their last 10 games and coming off a 17 games in 17 days stretch, the Cardinals can use all the pitching they can get, and adding Waddell and retaining Webb gives them options throughout the organization.