Pitching was a major problem for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2023, and while the rotation shouldered most of the blame, the bullpen had its issues as well. The Cardinals bullpen had a 4.47 ERA last season, which ranked 23rd in the major leagues. Ryan Helsley was not the dominant force at the back end of games that he showed himself to be in 2022, and Giovanny Gallegos, the team's other bullpen stalwart, had a down season by his standards as well.
The Cardinals have a few spots in their bullpen solidified for the 2024 season, but questions remain about the bridge to get there. John King was a pleasant surprise, as he surrendered only three earned runs in 18.2 innings, but his 3.84 FIP suggests regression is imminent. Andre Pallante had issues last season, with a 4.76 ERA and only 5.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Perhaps the “death ball” he has been crafting will help him improve.
One can’t forget about the arms on the farm, though. The Cardinals' minor league pitching department has been much maligned in recent years, as the team has fallen far behind most of the major leagues in its development of pitchers amid its insistence of relying on defense instead of strikeouts, but some hurlers made strides at the minor league levels and could find their way into the Cardinals bullpen this season.
These four pitchers have a chance to make their major league debuts out of the bullpen for the Cardinals in 2024.