Oli Marmol sounds like a man with his hands tied when it comes to the Cardinals' bench

Katie Woo's postgame questions for Oli Marmol seemed to reveal his frustration regarding the lack of options off the bench right now.
Colorado Rockies v St. Louis Cardinals
Colorado Rockies v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals offensive woes continued on Tuesday night after falling to the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 2-1. If you listen to Cardinals' manager Oli Marmol after the game though, you can tell he's frustrated by the lack of options available to him to deploy late in games.

Massive props to The Athletic's Katie Woo for her line of questions for Marmol regarding his bench usage. She was able to set up the concern that many fans have - a lack of talent off the bench - and then provide a few moments where that was highlighted in the game that resulted in the telling answer we got from Marmol. Take a moment to listen to the questions she asked in the tweet below (starting at the 2:40 mark).

Woo wrapped up her questions by simply saying "It just seems at this point there are limited options as to how you can deploy your bench in late-innings and games like this", to which Marmol responded "There is, because of the reasons you just described. Yes. Yeah, that's correct."

That's about as loud of a call for reinforcements to his bench without actually saying it as I've ever heard.

The issues certainly have not been helped by the injuries the club is dealing with right now. Tommy Edman has not played a game this season, Lars Nootbaar landed on the injured list recently, and Willson Contreras has been out since early May. Even their young slugger Jordan Walker has been unable to contribute as he's working on his swing in Memphis.

Getting some of those guys back would go a long way toward improving the Cardinals' bench, but it's clear that there are a few guys on the roster who just really tie the Cardinals' hands with their presence when it comes to situational moments.

Brandon Crawford is on the roster to back up Masyn Winn and mentor him. You could use him as a pinch hitter if you want, but more likely than not, you'll probably like your option that is already at the plate, so he really only has one use on this roster - start a game when Winn needs a break.

Matt Carpenter has had his share of impactful moments this year, but he's probably their most dangerous hitter off the bench...which is not a place you want to be in at this stage of his career.

Dylan Carlson has struggled mightily this year, and if you go to him off the bench, you either burn him against a left-handed pitcher (which his bat has not been good anyway) or you hold him on the bench in case you need to pinch hit for Siani, as no one else on this team can play center field.

Jose Fermin could back up Winn and fill multiple roles on the club, allowing them to better utilize the roster spot currently held by Crawford, but alas, he

It's not uncommon for clubs to have a player on their bench who serves a special role on their bench, like a defensive specialist or veteran presence (and of course the backup catcher), but to have four of those types of players on your bench at one time really hurts what a manager is able to do to attack bullpens late in games.

That's not to say all of the players who fill reserve roles for St. Louis right now are not useful players, the bigger issue is the fact that they have a collection of players who can only play very unique roles.

The Cardinals are not a well-oiled machine. They cannot afford to lose an edge in the margins like this. They don't have a top-tier rotation, their bullpen can only do so much, their defense has been good most of the season but frustrating in recent weeks, and their offense has yet to fully click. If they aren't going to be excellent at multiple things, then they cannot afford to underutilize their bench the way they have. That's not an Oli Marmol issue, that's on John Mozeliak and this front office.

Mozeliak recently stated that the club is interested in a right-handed bat who can play some center field. Acquiring that kind of player as soon as possible would certainly help. So would getting healthier. If this team was five games over .500 rather than three games under, they could probably afford to wait things out. But right now, Marmol needs help, and it's the front office's job to make that happen.