2021 Bullpen

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  • #150175
    stlcard25
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    The last two years have featured good to great Cardinal bullpens that have really helped the team have the success they did. There are a lot of candidates for what will probably be 8 spots (5 starters, 8 relievers on a 26 man roster.

    Hicks
    Gallegos
    Reyes
    CMart
    Gant
    Cabrera
    Webb
    Miller
    Gomber
    Helsley
    Ponce
    Elledge
    Whitley
    Fernandez
    Rondon
    Oviedo
    Thompson/Liberatore late season

    What do you think? Will the pen be a strength again? Was letting Brebbia go a mistake, as a VEB article said yesterday. Will Reyes and Carlos be in the pen or rotation? How about Gomber? Will Libby or Thompson go the route of many others who debuted as relievers before moving to the rotation?

    Lots of questions but it could be an exciting group.

    #150187
    Brian Walton
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    No matter how the Cardinals roster stacks up, I believe Brebbia’s pitching for SF will show letting him go was a mistake. I have believed all along that shaving someone off the back end of the 40-man (Nogowski, for example) would have been worth it. Time will tell, but losing three years of Brebbia does not make sense to me. “You can never have enough pitching…”

    For this exercise, it seems like you may need to define your starters before you can decide your relievers. It may also make sense to consider who has minor league options and who doesn’t, as that can affect roster decisions. The good news is that they have plenty of flexibility and many of the pitchers who don’t make the opening roster are likely to get called up soon enough.

    #150189
    bccran
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    5 possible closers. Wow.

    #150221
    gscottar
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    I don’t see why the pen wouldn’t be a strength again. It is probably the strongest part of the team. It will be interesting to see if CMart and Reyes end up in the pen or the rotation.

    As for Brebbia, that was kind of a strange move. Was saving $200k really worth the extra roster spot? I understand that he may not be available until mid-season but if the season is delayed he won’t end up missing that much time.

    #150222
    bccran
    Participant

    Too much overlap to keep Brebbia. Better to give him a chance with another organization. Also, there are some guys like
    Whitley, Fernandez, and Elledge that they want to give some time to in order to assess.

    #150228
    forsch31
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    Brebbia had proven his worth as a reliever. The only unknown is how he will throw after coming back from TJS. Why would it make sense to get rid of a proven reliever just to assess someone else who couldn’t do much better than Brebbia had done in 2017-2019? Considering Brebbia probably won’t be ready until mid-season, the others would still have their opportunity to be assessed.

    I guess we should not re-sign Wainwright to give another starter some time to assess. While we are at it, don’t re-sign Molina so we can assess Knizner.

    #150229
    stlcard25
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    Brebbia had TJ in June, so it’s possible he could miss til at least the All Star break. He’s a good pitcher, but I think we have better ones available.

    #150234
    mudville
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    Brebbia wasn’t going to be pitching until late July or August, and probably not pitching well until 2022. They simply didn’t want to pay him $800K+ for not doing anything to help the team win games.

    #150235
    mspaid
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    The bullpen will be a strength, probably the only strength. The offense will be awful and the rotation after Flaherty and maybe Kim will be highly suspect.

    #150237
    bccran
    Participant

    You give your young relievers a chance, Forsch, because you think their ceiling is higher than Brebbia’s. That the logic.

    #150249
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

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    The fallacy in that logic, bccran, is the Cardinals did not have to choose between their “young relievers” and Brebbia. They could have kept them all. Wisely, you don’t give away solid pitching depth for nothing. Brebbia is not a waiver-wire guy…

    #150250
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

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    mud said:

    Brebbia wasn’t going to be pitching until late July or August, and probably not pitching well until 2022.

    That is not what I heard, but if I missed this source, please share it.

    Brebbia said a few weeks ago that he will be getting on the mound in January and the normal progression suggests he is already well into flat tossing and long tossing. Some relievers have been able to return from TJS in as soon as nine months, which for him will be April. Most do not think the 2021 season will open before May 1 and it could be later.

    There is no guarantee on the timing of his return, but the size of the risk taken is very small. The Giants would not have paid him and gave him an MLB roster spot if after examining him, they thought he would miss the entire season. But even if he misses all of 2021, the Giants also get two more years of control after that.

    I am firmly on record as opposing the Cardinals’ decision. I think I understand it. I just do not agree.

    #150255
    jj-cf-stl
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    Gomber and Reyes are my picks to click. Both took a step forward last season and I’d like to see both get thrown in the deep end. Sink or swim, and I expect both to impress.

    #150278
    gscottar
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    Are you expecting them to be relievers or starters?

    #150289
    jj-cf-stl
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    No expectations on their roles. Just hoping they are counted on heavily whether it be by leverage or IP.

    #150292
    stlcard25
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    I’m hoping Reyes nabs a spot in the rotation. This is probably his last shot to start, and I think the increased reliance on the fastball could help him there. Of course, he hasn’t pitched as a starter for a little while so they may not be able to ramp him up past a certain number of innings.

    Gomber is an interesting candidate. He seems to me to be too good to be in the pen (not that he will be crazy successful but that his ability to pitch a lot of innings is not well used in the pen). On the other hand, I am not certain he will be much more than a #5 starter. I know jj is high on him though, so maybe he really will break out.

    #150300
    14NyquisT
    Participant

    No matter how the Cardinals roster stacks up, I believe Brebbia’s pitching for SF will show letting him go was a mistake. I have believed all along that shaving someone off the back end of the 40-man…. would have been worth it. Time will tell, but losing three years of Brebbia does not make sense to me. “You can never have enough pitching…”
    Wisely, you don’t give away solid pitching depth for nothing.

    Does this surprise anyone?

    #150301
    14NyquisT
    Participant

    StL25:
    I’m hoping Reyes nabs a spot in the rotation. This is probably his last shot to start, and I think the increased reliance on the fastball could help him there. Of course, he hasn’t pitched as a starter for a little while so they may not be able to ramp him up past a certain number of innings.

    If Reyes can pitch up to his potential in ’21, it would be like adding a near top-tier starter to our roster.

    Alex has had so many injury setbacks and that tainted episode so expectations plummeted. He actually fell off the radar screen for a while. They say that he is now healthy and ready to go. Just how far is get to be determined but at least for now there is renewed hope.

    #150356
    jj-cf-stl
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    Can we agree these four are expected to earn and hold a rotation spot during ST?
    Flaherty
    KK
    CMart
    Mikolas

    These four have no options and all pitched significant innings on last seasons staff.
    Miller
    Webb
    Gant
    Ponce DeLeon

    These four have options but are currently viewed as the back of the bullpen?
    Reyes
    Gallegos
    Gomber
    Hicks

    There’s 12 pitchers above and the opening post of this thread assumes a 13 man staff, so one spot open for Wainwright?

    On the 40man but not included above are Cabrera and Helsley, along with Whitley, Elledge, Fernandez, Rondon, Oviedo and Woodford. Hudson (IL).

    Is it possible the FO just didn’t want to be in a position of demoting Brebbia, once available? Was the Brebbia non-tender just a chance for him to land elsewhere on a staff that simply isn’t as deep? I’m not convinced I’m looking at this right, so speak out on necessary adjustments.

    #150366
    stlcard25
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    These four have options but are currently viewed as the back of the bullpen?
    Reyes
    Gallegos
    Gomber
    Hicks

    I agree with most all of what you wrote except that I think Cabrera comprises part of the back of the bullpen, with Gomber possibly starting in Memphis to be the next man up if a starter goes down.

    #150368
    jj-cf-stl
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    Ok, so Gomber demoted and Cabrera to the late inning pen, does that help open a spot for Brebbia? Or still outside looking in?

    We could do the “someone will get hurt” scenario but that someone is currently Brebbia, which doesn’t help his case.

    fwiw, I have Gomber as the SP5 currently, and if Adam re-signs I get your Gomber demoted scenario, since PDL is out of options.

    #150369
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

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    For reference, the last Opening Day in which the Cardinals did not have at least one pitcher on the major league disabled/injured list was 2010.

    In the 10 years since, here are the number of pitchers who were unavailable due to injury as the season began:

    2020 3
    2019 3
    2018 3
    2017 5
    2016 3
    2015 1
    2014 3
    2013 2
    2012 1
    2011 1

    last 5 years average 3.4
    10 years average 2.5

    So far, the known total for 2021 is one – Hudson.

    P.S. jj, your comments suggest you may have missed the news that Brebbia signed with the Giants.

    #150370
    stlcard25
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    Ok, so Gomber demoted and Cabrera to the late inning pen, does that help open a spot for Brebbia? Or still outside looking in?

    Yeah, I agree that there’s really not much room for Brebbia. I suppose the argument is that they could have traded him when he got healthy for at least something in return.

    As for Gomber, I think he’s behind all 4 guys you listed as starters and may be competing with Reyes for a spot in the rotation if there’s no Waino. If Waino returns, I think Memphis is nearly assured. I actually think Reyes may reach something approximating his potential this next year. I know that’s a good way to get your heart broken, but he looked electric this year.

    #150371
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    stlcard25 said:

    Yeah, I agree that there’s really not much room for Brebbia. I suppose the argument is that they could have traded him when he got healthy for at least something in return.

    Two points.

    1) Some number of pitchers will be injured between now and Opening Day, creating more openings. (See the actual data from recent years posted above.)

    2) The word is the Cardinals are looking for “payroll neutral” trades, apparently to beef up the offense. It seems pretty obvious what they have to trade away – pitching.

    P.S. I get that we cannot predict which players will get hurt and which ones might be traded, but odds are good the 12 mentioned above won’t all be active on Opening Day – for one reason or another. This is why the depth is important.

    #150374
    stlcard25
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    Those are fair points, Brian. Brebbia had TJ in late June. Even if the season is delayed to May, what would the chances be that he comes back by opening day? Seems like a July-August timetable would be more realistic.

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