The season has barely begun and the Cardinals are already struggling. Nine games in and the Cardinals’ record is 3-6, so what gives?
An obvious problem area this season seems to be the bullpen. Brett Cecil was a nice pick-up during the offseason, but has yet to shine this season. He has pitched in 4 games and already racked up one loss and an ERA of 15.00. While it is only the beginning of the season, he has not been giving off a great first impression. Questions were raised after one of his pitches ended in a ball stuck to catcher Yadier Molina, in the oddest play I have ever seen. Cecil’s previous stats, however, show that he pitches much better in the second half of the season. Here’s to hoping we start seeing a dominating performance from him sooner rather than later.
Seung-Hwan Oh has been another letdown so far from the Cardinals’ bullpen. He has pitched in three games, resulting in 1 win and no losses or saves yet, with an ERA of 12.27. After a stellar rookie season in 2016, resulting in 6 wins, 3 losses, 19 saves and an ERA of 1.92, fans were expecting big things from him in 2017. Oh came in last season and became an ace closer, taking over for a struggling Trevor Rosenthal. Thus far in the 2017 season, we just are not seeing that same pitcher.
Jonathan Broxton is also off to rough start, pitching a mere 2.2 innings and earning an ERA of 16.88. Kevin Siegrist has also been having a hard time, pitching only 2.1 innings to result in an ERA of 19.29 over three games.
While four of the key relief pitchers have ERAs over 12, there are several bullpen pitchers who are off to a great start. Trevor Rosenthal made his 2017 debut against the Washington Nationals. He pitched one inning and struck out the side. Matt Bowman has 3.2 innings so far this season, and his ERA sits at 0.00. Miguel Socolovich has an ERA of 1.80 after pitching 5 innings and is looking strong.
The bullpen is definitely struggling, but it is still early. The team is still waiting on the return of Tyler Lyons, who is currently on his rehab assignment in Memphis. The team may be off to a rough start, but the 2011 season started rough as well. There are 162 games in a season, 6 bad games are not a death sentence. The Cardinals are about to play a series against Matt Holliday and the New York Yankees tonight, so let’s see how these next games play out.