Cardinals: How St. Louis should structure their roster for playoffs

Aug 28, 2022; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O'Neill (27) celebrates with after hitting a go ahead three run home run against the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 28, 2022; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O'Neill (27) celebrates with after hitting a go ahead three run home run against the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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ST LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 04: Ryan Helsley #56 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on August 4, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 04: Ryan Helsley #56 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning at Busch Stadium on August 4, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The playoff bullpen

RHP – Ryan Helsley 

RHP – Giovanni Gallegos 

RHP – Andre Pallante

LHP – Steven Matz

LHP – Jose Quintana

RHP – Jordan Hicks 

LHP – Zack Thompson

RHP – Chris Stratton

When playoff time rolls around, rotations shrink and your best remaining arms end up becoming bullpen weapons, and such is the case with Matz and Quintana.

The club has struggled to find consistency from southpaws out of the bullpen, with Zack Thompson being the lone reliable left hander at the moment. T.J McFarland was DFA’d early this year and Genesis Cabrera was just sent down to AAA to figure out whatever funk he is in. Letting Matz and Quintana take opportunities in big spots against left handed hitters, or even using them for multiple quality innings, is a huge advantage for the club.

Ryan Helsley holds down the fort as the club’s closer, but expect Marmol to deploy him in big spots, even if its not the ninth inning. Helsley may be the best reliever in baseball, with a 1.04 ERA and 77 SO in 52 innings. His mix of 100 mph+ fastballs and nasty off-speed pitches makes him an elite chess piece for the Cardinals in any series.

Right handers Giovanni Gallegos, Andre Pallante, and Jordan Hicks will likely be relied on during middle innings to bridge the gap to Helsley. Thompson and Stratton also provide great depth for the club, should their starting pitching falter in any series.

Next. Jordan Walker may be called up soon. dark

This club is deep, and with a few shifts in bullpen usage and lineup construction, Marmol can put this team in the best possible position to succeed come October. The Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves will be difficult to beat in the postseason, but this roster gives St. Louis a real shot against any team in baseball.

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