The St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen has improved, but adding an arm like Jose Cisnero could be the reliable addition they need.
After coming into the year as a strength, the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen has been a weak point at times this year.
Fans have seen young left-handed pitcher Genesis Cabrera elevated from a lesser role into a high-leverage guy, but there haven’t been many positives. The magic wore off for Tyler Webb, sending him back to the Minors, and Jordan Hicks is missing significant time after a flare-up in his surgically repaired elbow.
While things have gotten better since Andrew Miller returned from injury and Ryan Helsley has thrown five straight scoreless appearances (no walks and only one hit in 5.0 innings), the bullpen is easily an area where help at the trade deadline would be appreciated.
After another tough series in Atlanta, the Cardinals head to Detroit to face off against the Tigers in a two-game series. While there are multiple Tigers that the Cardinals might be interested in trading for, one name that could help the bullpen is Jose Cisnero.
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Cisnero, 32, has been with the Tigers for three seasons after debuting all the way back in 2013 with Houston. While he does have a four-year gap in his MLB resume from 2014 to 2019, Cisnero owns a 3.56 ERA over the past three seasons with Detroit.
For the Tigers this year, Cisnero has finished eight games in 33 appearances, saving two games. The majority of his usage has come in the 8th inning for the 30-42 Tigers, making him an interesting arm to look at acquiring.
Cisnero’s fastball sits around 97 mph but he also throws a slider, sinker, and changeup. While Cisnero is a big part of the Detroit bullpen (he leads them in appearances), he has two years of arbitration left and is making just under $1M this season.
Judging a price for Cisnero is tough given his age and two years of control, but the Tigers are a team that are stockpiling prospects, likely meaning that acquiring Cisnero wouldn’t take anyone from the MLB roster.
With Cisnero being the Tigers’ most-used reliever, odds are good that he takes the mound during one of the two games this week. Keep an eye out, he could be a player in Cardinals jersey by the end of the year.