The Cardinals could make a shocking postseason bullpen addition

jbuchheit
May 8, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Genesis Cabrera (92) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Genesis Cabrera (92) delivers a pitch against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera believes he will be added to the St. Louis Cardinals’ postseason roster.

The St. Louis Cardinals have a few decisions to make regarding the bullpen for the Wild Card series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Adam Wainwright, Jake Woodford and Zack Thompson are three pitchers who could be on the roster bubble for the first series, and a dark horse has emerged to possibly snag a roster spot.

According to John Denton, lefty reliever Genesis Cabrera is confident that he will be in the bullpen for the Cardinals, at least in the first round. If he has recovered from his injury and illness as he apparently indicated, he could be a weapon.

Cabrera’s last game was on Aug. 26, after which he was demoted to Triple-A. His final game there on Sept. 27 didn’t inspire much confidence, as he was knocked around for six hits and five earned runs in one inning. But if he can show flashes of what he did last season, he could be the swing-and-miss lefty the Cardinals need.

The Phillies are a strong team against left-handers, but the top of the order usually consists of left-handed batters Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper, so a skillful utilization of Cabrera against those two (and Rhys Hoskins) could produce results.

The Cardinals, though, just announced that lefty JoJo Romero will not be on the roster, so it’s a head-scratcher that a pitcher who has been pitching against minor league hitters could be trusted in the postseason over a player who was just playing in the major leagues.

This also raises the question of fellow southpaw Zack Thompson’s presence on the roster. The Cardinals have repeatedly hinted that they don’t trust him much, often pitching him in low-leverage situations, and his peripherals indicate that regression could be coming. But he has been strong on the season, and it would appear to be a glaring omission if he is left off of the roster. It’s possible both he and Cabrera could make the bullpen if the Cardinals elect to carry three lefties.

One far-out thought: Cabrera might believe Harper is terrified of getting in the box against him after Harper was hit in the head with a Cabrera pitch last season. Maybe Cabrera thinks he has an advantage over Harper in that case.

It would be a curious decision if Cabrera were to make the roster, and I have flashbacks of Mike Matheny going with a recently returned Michael Wacha in the 2014 NLCS to lead to the Cardinals’ elimination. I’m not sure if Cabrera is the right choice, but Oliver Marmol has given me reason to trust his decisions.

Next. Willson Contreras interested in STL. dark

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