The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the more disappointing teams in baseball so far. Entering play on Monday, the Cardinals are 36-36 and tied for 3rd place in the NL Central with the Cincinnati Reds, who are also at .500 with a 35-35 record.
The Cardinals are four games back of the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, who are tied for the lead in the NL Central with a 40-32 record. They are further back in the Wild Card path, though, as they are five games back of the San Diego Padres for the second Wild Card spot.
Part of the reason why the Cardinals have had issues is injuries. The biggest injury was to their ace, Jack Flaherty, due to a strained oblique. He was 8-1 with a 2.90 ERA when he hit the injured list and there’s no definite timetable for his return but it looks like he’ll be out for at least another month.
That’s why the Cardinals have been linked to Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray, but the Rockies asking price may be to steep for the Cardinals.
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But the Cardinals bullpen has also had it’s issues too
On the season, the Cardinals bullpen has been spotty. Overall, their bullpen ERA is 20th in baseball at 4.21. They have been better of late but even their relievers that have been getting good results haven’t been getting in a pretty way.
For example, Cardinals closer Alex Reyes has an ERA of 0.82 … but he is walking a staggering eight batters per nine innings.
Other relievers, though, have not been getting results. Two examples are Ryan Helsley, who has an ERA of 5.65 in 31 games and Daniel Ponce de Leon, who has posted an ERA of 6.75 in 16 games (two starts and a total of 24 IP). The Cardinals bullpen has had it’s fair share of injuries too as veteran left-handed reliever Andrew Miller was on the IL to start the season and Jordan Hicks (arguably, their best reliever) has been on the IL since the beginning of May and will be on the IL for a while.
That’s where the Rockies could come in. Rockies closer Daniel Bard could be traded here in the next few weeks and the Cardinals could be a fit.
The Cardinals could also be a fit for some of the Rockies other players as well, including outfielder Charlie Blackmon, as Mark Feinsand of MLB.com contended.
To contend make up some ground on the Brewers and Cubs and separate themselves from the Reds, the Cardinals are going to have to make some moves before the trade deadline. And considering that the Rockies could be one of the biggest sellers at the deadline, Daniel Bard could help them out in the bullpen, either as a closer or in the back end of their bullpen, not just for this year, but for next season as well.