5 Cardinals who could be off the roster by the end of May

These players stand to lose their spot on the 26-man roster for one reason or another this month.
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Giovanny Gallegos

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that Giovanny Gallegos was at risk of being designated for assignment or traded just one month into the season, I wouldn't have believed you.

Gallegos was the Cardinals' best reliever from 2019-2022. His ERA+ during that time was 142, and he ranked 15th in reliever ERA, 8th in FIP, and 6th in fWAR during that time span. Gallegos was a top-10 reliever in all of baseball for 4 years.

That simply hasn't been the case these past two years. An uninspiring 2023 season (4.42 ERA, 25.8% K rate, 1.80 HR/9 in 55 innings) pushed Gallegos out of high-leverage situations. He has performed even worse this year.

In 9 innings, Gallegos has a 9.00 ERA, 8.36 FIP, and while his strikeout rate has improved (28.9%), his walk rate has ballooned to 15.6%. One of the most obvious reasons for Gallegos's fall from grace is his fastball velocity. It has slowly ticked down each year since 2021. His four-seamer is average just 92.5 MPH. Additionally, Gallegos has consistently been one of the slowest pitchers in baseball. The pitch clock may have had a greater effect on his game than originally anticipated.

Gallegos has been so bad this year that he could be a DFA candidate. He is a free agent at the end of the season, and he is 32 years old; with younger players such as Riley O'Brien, Nick Robertson, and Ryan Fernandez as options out of the bullpen, Gallegos could very easily be cut for one of those three. O'Brien has the most "stuff", so his return from injury would push Gallegos off the roster.

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