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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Drew Rom

Drew Rom was another 2023 acquisition. Via the trade deadline fire sale, John Mozeliak was able to bring in Rom, a left-handed pitcher who focuses on command. While his fastball (91 MPH average velocity) won't blow anyone away, he is able to locate his pitches on the outside of the strike zone.

The Cardinals received Drew Rom, 24, in a package in exchange for Jack Flaherty from the Baltimore Orioles. Rom stands 6'2", and he uses a three-quarters arm slot for the majority of his pitches. Though he was never a top prospect, he still made Baltimore's organizational top 30 in a deep farm system. Rom was recently ranked the Cardinals' 29th-best prospect in MLB.com's rankings.

His minor-league stats are decent. Rom sported a 3.71 ERA, 1.314 WHIP, and 10.6 K/9 across 101 appearances (89 starts) and 450.2 innings. The Cardinals were desperate for pitchers with strikeout potential last year, so their targeting a guy who strikes out batters at a 27.5% clip made total sense. St. Louis immediately sent him to AAA Memphis but called him up for 8 starts at the end of the season.

Rom's sweeper is probably his best pitch of the 4 that he throws, but he did not have a single plus pitch last year according to Baseball Savant. Rom generates a decent horizontal break with his sinker (15.6 inches).

Drew Rom's introduction to St. Louis last year was uninspiring; he appeared in 8 games--all starts-- and pitched 33.2 innings. His 8.02 ERA was exorbitant, and his 18.8% K rate paired with an 11.2% walk rate gave many fans worry, justifiably so.

Rom appears to have put his MLB debut behind him this spring. He has pitched in only 5 innings, but he already has 5 strikeouts, only 1 walk, and he has allowed only 1 hit and no runs. Rom pitched 3 shutout innings on Sunday's game despite several pitchers around him allowing runners to score. If he can continue to pitch this well, he may fill one of the final spots in the bullpen in 2024.

In order to make the rotation out of the gate, Rom will have to jump Zack Thompson, Matthew Liberatore, and likely Gordon Graceffo in the depth chart. Rom's ability to pitch multiple innings is an attractive attribute out of the bullpen, however.