4. The relief pitching corp has received too much criticism for Cardinals' season
When you rely too heavily on pitchers who can not perform to lofty expectations, you quickly pivot and use arms out of the bullpen. If this is done too much, which has been the case for several seasons, that bullpen will get taxed.
After struggles, Jordan Hicks was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Genesis Cabrera was released after objecting to his usage. The Blue Jays picked him up. Chris Stratton has struggled due to increased use and was traded to the Texas Rangers.
Drew VerHagen and Andre Pallante have increased usage this season, getting multiple innings of work per appearance. They are each struggling their way through appearances.
Giovanny Gallegos remains a high-leverage reliever in later innings. He still has his struggles when he's used more often. Ryan Helsley has been on the injured list due to a right forearm strain and could return soon, but do not count on him returning to form. Earlier in the season, he struggled mightily if used on consecutive days. This has been an issue for him for a couple of seasons now. Due to these struggles, the team must reassess how to use both Gallegos and Helsley.
JoJo Romero has been the pleasant surprise of the season out of the bullpen. Once a late-innings reliever who did not get many performances, he is now the go-to arm to close out games. In 26 games this season, he is 4-1 with a 3.34 ERA over 35 innings pitched. He has three saves and has struck out 40 batters.
Like the rest of the team, the Cardinals will mix and match to see what they have with the bullpen. It would not be surprising to see Mozeliak make a move or two to help bolster the bullpen along with the starting rotation. It's finally time to fix an issue lingering to the point of festering this season.