Analyzing the Cardinals Bullpen
The 2011 Cardinals have many highs and many lows in the team and one of those things on the 2011 Rollercoaster is the bullpen. In the past few years the bullpen has always had its highs and lows and this season is going to be another example of this. Lets, take a look to analyze the Cardinals bullpen:
Left Handed Relief:
Trever Miller- Miller has been a huge key to the bullpen for the Cardinals since his arrival in 2009. He has a 4-2 record during his time with the Cardinals so far. He has held left handed batters to a .180 batting average since 2008. He has been used mainly as a left handed specialist but has finished over 10 games for the Cardinals, with no saves in two opportunities.
Brian Tallet- The Cardinals signed Tallet, this offseason and in 4 games so far this season Tallet has yet to allow a run. In the past Tallet has been used as a starter for the Blue Jays, so he can offer a long relief as well as being a left handed specialist.
Right Handed Relief:
Miguel Batista- Batista is a 40 year old veteran has been with several teams in his long 17 year career. He has been used as a Starter and a reliver in the past. At 40 years old he is a perfect pitcher for Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan, they like the old veteran pitchers. In 4 games so far Batista has yet to allow a run and has 4 strikeouts, we’ll have to see what he can offer the Cards this season.
Bryan Augenstein- Augenstein was claimed off waivers from the Diamondbacks this off-season and won the final spot in the bullpen after a terrific spring. His stuff may not be all quite there but with Duncan’s help and the help of veterans in the bullpen Augenstein may become a terrific force out of the pen. He has performed well so far but was credited with the extra innings lost in the home opener.
Jason Motte- The hard throwing righty who was a converted catcher, has shown signs of brilliance pitching for the Cardinals. He won the closer job in the 2009 season and lost it after a blown save against the Pirates on opening day. Motte can throw a fast ball in the high ninety’s but struggles with the breaking ball pitch. He is considered a candidate to become the next Cardinal’s closer.
Mitchell Boggs- Boggs is often credited with having the best “stuff” in the bullpen. He can throw hard and has good breaking balls to be used as strikeout weapons. He is considered a heavy favorite for the next Closer after Ryan Franklin. Boggs was mainly a starter in the minors, but found a home in the Cardinals bullpen. He is currently leading the bullpen with 9 strikeouts.
Ryan Franklin- Of all the closers in the Major Leagues, Franklin could be one of the worst. He is not meant to be a closer and before being a Cardinal was never a closer or even a setup man. Franklin has been clutch in the past but how many of his saves were just pure luck? Watching him close is like watching the home run derby, if Franklin puts it in the strike zone it is a hit or even a game winning home run. If not for the love that La Russa has for Franklin he would be out of that closers role and hopefully that will happen soon. Boggs or Motte would be much better to watch than the second oldest player on the team out there throwing soft toss to the opposing team.