Cardinals’ Bullpen Best in Baseball
In the current state of baseball, to have a winning team, you need a strong bullpen. The past two years the World Series champions have had top tier bullpens. The Kansas City Royals bullpen, who won the 2015 World Series, had the second best ERA in the league while throwing the 5th most innings. Likewise, the 2014 World Series Champions, San Francisco Giants bullpen, had the 5th best ERA while having the 3rd most wins. Also, the amount of innings pitched by the average MLB bullpen has gone up 8% making your 7th, 8th, and 9th inning guys more important than they have ever been.
The most important part of any bullpen is the closer and the St. Louis Cardinals have one of the best in the league. Trevor Rosenthal is the definition of a dominant closer. At only 25 years old, Rosenthal has already had 2 seasons of more than 45 saves while posting a career ERA of 2.66. He has the ability to blow by MLB hitters with a fastball that averages 98 MPH with the ability to reach triple digits.
— Total Cardinals Move (@Total_CardsMove) February 22, 2016
In addition to their flame throwing closer, the St Louis Cardinals have an excess of impressive set-up men. Their newest acquisition, Seung-hwan Oh, comes from South Korea and is nicknamed “The Final Boss” because of his ability to close out games. Oh had very impressive stats in Korea but the question is whether or not his dominance will transfer over to the MLB. In addition to Oh, the Cardinals also have a young lefty reliever that goes by the name of Kevin Siegrist. At the age of 26, he already has recorded 102 Holds while posting an ERA of 2.68. Siegrist has the ability to throw in the mid 90s from the left side, which leads to his impressive 11.01 career K/9 record, striking out almost 30% of the batters he faced.
Besides Oh and Siegrist, the Cardinals also have veteran set-up men in Jonathan Broxton and Jordan Walden. Broxton will be entering his 12th MLB season while having pitched for 5 different teams. He is still able to throw his fastball around 95 MPH while developing a curveball in more recent years. Walden also bring a lot to the table for the Cardinals bullpen. He had the ability to throw in the high 90s before he had to get surgery on his shoulder ending his 2015 season. If Walden can bounce back in the 2016 season, he can be a crucial in the 7th inning role for the Cardinals.
The Cardinal’s bullpen can carry them throughout the 2016 season and, if the Cardinals make it, they could help them make a run to the Fall Classic.
Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports