6 difficult roster decisions the St. Louis Cardinals must address ASAP

The St. Louis Cardinals need to make some decisions about their roster, and fast.
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages
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4. Can the Cardinals afford to wait until the trade deadline to add more bullpen help?

Ryan Helsley, JoJo Romero, and Andrew Kittredge have formed the "Big 3" for the Cardinals this season. Sure, they have not been perfect, with Kittredge specifically cracking more often as of late, but they are about as good of a late-inning trio as you could have, and the Cardinals need to make sure that remains a strength for them.

Matthew Liberatore, John King, and Ryan Fernandez make up a really impactful trio behind them as well, giving St. Louis six arms they can rely on during games. So why is there such a need to add more arms to this mix? They even have someone like Chris Roycroft who continues to impress as of late.

Well, the issue comes from the fact that they really do need this bullpen to excel whenever it is called upon, and they go multiple arms from it on a daily basis. Unless the rotation starts eating innings consistently again or the lineup breaks open more games to take stress off their relievers, the Cardinals need to have plenty of relievers to cycle through in order to keep up the kind of production they need from it.

The need really comes from the right side at this moment. With Helsley locked into save situations only, the Cardinals need more than just Kittredge and Fernandez to go to from the right side. Romero and King have nice reverse splits, but it's helpful to have more right-handed arms when playing matchups each day. Roycroft may emerge as that guy, but they still need to see more from him before it's fair to put him in that conversation.

Riley O'Brien just began a rehab assignment and Giovanny Gallegos has been on his own as well, but even if both can return and be impactful arms, we've seen just how easy it is for this bullpen to thin out due to injuries. Mozeliak has been open about how contenders always need to add to their bullpen, so that seems to be in the Cardinals' plans right now, but how long can they wait for reinforcements?

I do think names like Roycroft, O'Brien, and Gallegos will determine that here soon. If they can rise to the occasion, or someone like Kyle Leahy or Gordon Graceffo, then they'll be fine until the end of July. But if things go south performance-wise or more injuries occur, this bullpen gets thin quickly. That is not an inditement on the front office, they did a really nice job rebuilding this bullpen during the offseason, but you have to adjust to the cards you are being dealt.

Losing Middleton for the year hurts. Being without O'Brien and Gallegos for long stretches is tough as well. Using Liberatore as a rotation piece for a few weeks contributed to the lack of depth for a bit as well.

If the Cardinals feel confident in their bullpen mix for the next few weeks, great. They just need to make sure they are using all eight guys and lessening the workload on the "Big 3" as they can. But if the offense and rotation cannot do their part to make that possible, the Cardinals may have no choice but to go out and grab an arm this early for the bullpen.