What each Cardinal pitcher has to prove during the final stretch

Every Cardinal still has something to play for, even though the team is on the brink of elimination. Today, we'll break down what each member of the pitching staff must prove over the final weeks of the season!

Thompson faces off against the Cincinnati Reds
Thompson faces off against the Cincinnati Reds / Aaron Doster/GettyImages
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Giovanny Gallegos

Giovanny Gallegos is in the middle of his worst year at the MLB level. The good thing is, he's still an effective reliever. His ERA currently sits at 4.42, which is incredibly average. His FIP is a bit lower at 4.28. This is, again, the worst year Gallegos has recorded in a seven-season career as a reliever. The consistency Gallegos has provided over the better part of the last decade is unbelievable. I have previously made the case that Gallegos is a valuable player, and I still stand by that.

Unfortunately, most fans miss or ignore those positives. They view each season individually. Heck, they tend to view each game individually. Each Gio implosion stings anew, and each shutdown inning is merely expected. His job is often thankless. While Gallegos has been an elite high-leverage reliever for the better part of the last five seasons, he's never been a closer. This isn't a talent issue, it's just that the Cardinals have never decided to utilize him in that specific role. Instead, he's been part of committees or he's acted as a set-up man.

With so many relievers missing significant time this season, (Helsley, Romero, Hicks, Naughton, etc.) Gallegos just needs to remain healthy. It would help if he could close out a few big games, as that may quell some fears among fans about his ability to perform in the big moment.