5 Cardinals relievers who are showing their prowess in Spring Training

Several newcomers who are fighting for a spot in the bullpen have had great springs thus far.

St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages
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The St. Louis Cardinals have a brand-new bullpen. This area of the team was the most with the most competition baked in at the start of spring training. While Ryan Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos, JoJo Romero, Andrew Kittredge, and Keynan Middleton were virtual locks for roster spots, an assortment of new and old players were vying for the final three spots out of the 'pen.

Andre Pallante, Ryan Fernandez, Riley O'Brien, Matt Svanson, Nick Robertson, Riley O'Brien, Wilking Rodriguez, John King, and even Matthew Liberatore and Zack Thompson were all fighting for 3 spots on the 2024 roster. Some of these players have had fantastic spring showings thus far.

I will now insert the gratuitous "spring training stats generally don't matter" disclosure. While each of these players is having a stellar spring, evaluation of them should hinge more on career stats rather than microscopic showings in games that largely don't matter.

These 5 new arrivals to the Cardinals are strutting their stuff this spring training.

Ryan Fernandez

Ryan Fernandez deserves some recognition here. The Rule 5 acquisition is fighting for a spot in the bullpen in 2024, and his spring showing thus far has given him a chance. Fernandez has pitched 5 innings this spring, and he has struck out as many batters. He has given up 4 hits, walked 1 batter, and allowed just 1 run in relief. He has 1 save and 1 hold, so Marmol has been using him late in games this spring.

If the Cardinals don't place Fernandez on the major league roster, his rights return to the Boston Red Sox. If he continues to pitch well, justification for his placement on the roster won't need to be made. Fernandez will probably be the final reliever added to the roster if he indeed makes the team. Don't expect to see him late in games or during high-leverage situations.

The Cardinals paid nothing to get Ryan Fernandez. If he doesn't make the roster, so be it, but he has proven thus far in spring that he has the ability to get outs while limiting run damage. Fernandez's ability to strike batters out (28.1% in the minors) is his calling card. High K rates will benefit the Cardinals' bullpen in 2024.