7 pleasant surprises for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021

Miranda Remaklus
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 12: Members of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 at Busch Stadium on September 12, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 12: Members of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 at Busch Stadium on September 12, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) /
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ST. LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 11: Giovanny Gallegos #65 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on September 11, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO – SEPTEMBER 11: Giovanny Gallegos #65 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on September 11, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) /

Giovanny Gallegos

Despite leading the majors in blown saves with eight, Giovanny Gallegos has been a pleasant surprise for the Cardinals this season as he’s stepped into a new role. Much of the 2021 season, Gallegos has been a spot reliever and set-up man for Alex Reyes. After stepping up in recent weeks to become the team’s presumptive closer, it’s great to see Gallegos seem to adjust nicely to the new role.

Gallegos is 5-5 on the season with nine saves. He’s pitched 73.1 innings and has 86 strikeouts on the season. He has an excellent 30.2 called + swinging strike out rate. Gallegos has moments of absolute effectiveness as he has a 99% active spin on his four-seam fast ball at an average of 94.3 mph and a 98% active spin on his change up with an average of 87.1 mph.

While it would be nice to see Reyes get back that same mojo that earned him the closer role and an All-Star game appearance, Gallegos has earned the closer role for now. He follows Yadier Molina’s lead and makes his pitches. Gallegos must continue to use his effective stuff and follow Molina’s lead to have hopes of continuing this improbable ride – wherever it make take this team and fans.

Vamonos, Gio!

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