April 2, 2019 at 10:11 am #85529April 2, 2019 at 10:27 am #85536
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This is a great article. I am a big believer in Gant. It was mystifying during the offseason when some were advocating trading him. He is a valuable weapon despite the pedigree.April 2, 2019 at 11:00 am #85549
Thanks, gscottar.April 2, 2019 at 4:15 pm #85580
Yep, the save was big, especially given what happened the day before. Gant stared 1-4 in the face and didn’t blink. Well, one eye might’ve twitched a bit on the walk to Frazier, but he didn’t blink. I also hope that in a couple of months we’ll be able to look back and say Brebbia was underrated.April 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm #85582
Based on how he was treated in 2018 compared to his results, I would agree already that Brebbia is underrated. His biggest misfortune is having another minor league option available.April 2, 2019 at 9:00 pm #85602
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I like Gant and considered him for the x-factor thread. Brebbia is probably under-rated as well. Everyone goes ga-ga over guys that throw around 100, but pitching is more than velocity.
These two guys may end up with the late inning assignments at some point this year.April 2, 2019 at 10:06 pm #85607
yea im a big fan of gant as well. but i am a really big fan of brebbia. i think fans totally sleep on him. i hear all the time how he is the B squad far as relievers go. so far i haven’t seen that in the last three years ive watched him. for me, hes the reliever i trust the most right now.April 3, 2019 at 8:36 am #85623
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I agree guys. I trust Gant and Brebbia as much as anyone in our pen right now. They both should serve as reminders to all of us that pedigree isn’t everything. Gant was a 21st round draft pick and Brebbia was a 30th round pick. I guess they would qualify as diamonds in the ruff.April 3, 2019 at 10:33 pm #85800
Reyes did not get the save. Hudson did, but Gant was still the winning pitcher.
If Alex Reyes gets this save, his teammate, John Gant, would become the first ever Cardinal with 2 wins and a save in the team's first 6 games to begin a season
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) April 4, 2019April 4, 2019 at 12:22 pm #85868
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I am not as concerned with the bullpen as some. If you remember when we had the hot August last year it was when Shildt replaced Cecil, Gregerson, Holland, et al. with the young guys. So far they seem to be pretty solid except for the meltdown game in Milwaukee.
Don’t know what they will do when Gregerson and Cecil become available. Hope we don’t waste too much time with them if they or no more effective than last year.
As Martinez, Gregerson and Cecil become available it will be interesting to see what the club does with the rotation and the pen.
So far the pen has generally been better than the starters.April 4, 2019 at 2:42 pm #85878
“So far the pen has generally been better than the starters.”
That is an understatement, sir.
Very early stats. Though six games, the #stlcards rotation is 14th of 15 in the NL with a collective 6.28 ERA. The bullpen is no. 1 in the NL at 2.49. Only caution flag for relievers is 16 walks in 25 1/3 innings.
— Brian Walton (@B_Walton) April 4, 2019April 15, 2019 at 11:10 am #87469
2 things I notice differently about Gant this year is that 1) He seems to use more than 2 pitches, as before he just threw a fastball, and the Vulcan changeup mostly. Seems like he added a cutter and slider to the mix, and they are effective. 2) Also seems that he has had an uptick in velocity, as I do not recall him hitting 97 on the gun before.April 15, 2019 at 12:08 pm #87474
The only negative I see with Gant is the seven walks in 11 2/3 innings. He, Brebbia, Mayers, Leone and Hicks have all been very good overall this season.April 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm #87478
That’s why I am leery of Gregerson (particularly) and Martinez coming back and possibly upsetting the apple cart, as it were. With the exception of needing another good lefty, I like our bullpen.April 15, 2019 at 1:22 pm #87479
I am less concerned. The easy swap out for Gregerson is Gallegos. Then the question becomes how Shildt injects him into the usage plan. Hopefully, the answer is “very carefully”.
Martinez may be tougher from a roster perspective, but there could be multiple weeks until then.April 15, 2019 at 1:26 pm #87481
But what happens when they go back to 12 relievers? They basically don’t have a backup shortstop. Gyorko is not good fill in, as his body type seems more likely to get injured at short. With that said, I hope Dejong stays healthy.April 15, 2019 at 1:42 pm #87483
If they said they are going back to 12 relievers any time soon, I missed that.
If DeJong goes on the DL, Sosa gets called up from Memphis, would be an easy call. Or maybe they look to the future and add Edman to the roster.
My bigger point is that in an injury situation, all that is needed is coverage for a few innings to finish the current game. A real replacement gets on a plane or drives up I-55 for the next night. The replacement does not have to be on the 25-man when the injury occurs to be considered a viable back-up.April 15, 2019 at 3:51 pm #87491
You were right about the roster. Gallegos down and Robinson back. At least for now. We’ll see what happens when they decide when Gregerson is ready.
P.S. I forgot about Webb. He is another reliever with options.April 23, 2019 at 7:04 am #88480April 23, 2019 at 7:48 am #88491
The Dependable Four.April 23, 2019 at 8:28 am #88497
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I think Hudson goes back to Memphis for some fine tuning when Martinez is ready. Hope they keep Brebbia.April 23, 2019 at 10:30 am #88515
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I think Hudson goes back to Memphis for some fine tuning when Martinez is ready. Hope they keep Brebbia.
I agree on both fronts, sooner. Hudson (and Reyes) need some more seasoning and hopefully will be available to be the next man up as the season progresses. Both could be ultra valuable as bullpen guys in September and October to limit innings and maximize their effectiveness.April 23, 2019 at 10:40 am #88517
If I recall correctly wasn’t Ellis thought of more highly when the Gant/Ellis trade was made?April 23, 2019 at 4:07 pm #88551
C27, that is correct, though the difference was not huge. At MLB Pipeline, Ellis was no. 17 and Gant no. 21 on their Braves top 30.April 24, 2019 at 12:30 am #88608
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With tonight’s two-inning stint, Gant is now on pace for 90 appearances and 120 innings — both wildly unacceptable. He likely won’t last through June. But that’s okay. (For the team, if not for John Gant.)
I’m not complaining about Mike Shildt, just as I didn’t complain about Mike Matheny when he road the bullpen hard. It’s ten times smarter than a starter being overworked. Because there might be another good bullpen arm right around the corner in Triple-A. But there are no above average starting MLB pitchers sitting in Memphis.
And the unpleasant truth is that someone on the staff is always going to be overworked by the manager, if every single game matters, from April through September, and the manager is trying his hardest to win every single time.
That’s the difference between the Matheny/Shildt teams and the LaRussa years. There were several seasons when Tony’s Redbirds more or less routed the division by Labor Day. Four times they won the Central by ten games or more, and two other times the margin was six and eight games. And conversely there were also years when the club was nowhere near the playoff race. (Three times under LaRussa they won just 73-78 games.)
So under Tony LaRussa there were many years without the incessant, season-long, vise-like pressure. Without the grinding, constant, day-in, day-out pressure to win every game, month after month after month, all the way to the very end.
Unlike with Mike Matheny. Now, he won as many games per season as LaRussa. More in fact. But the Matheny margins in the standings were quite thin — not most years, but every single year. Even when Matheny’s Cardinals led the majors in wins in 2013 and 2015, the division title still came down to the final week — or weekend. When they won 100 games, the Pirates won 98 and the cubs 97. When the Cards won 97, Pittsburgh won 94. There were no chances to breathe.
Every single year since LaRussa left town, the Cardinal season has hung in the balance right up until game 160 or so. Since Matheny’s tenure began it really has been a constant crucible unlike any in club history. Perhaps unlike any seven year stretch in the history of any team. Not because the Cardinals haven’t been as good as they were under LaRussa. (They’ve been better than under LaRussa. About two wins per year better.)
But the opposition is also better now. So the Cardinals have had to win every single game that they could, over and over and over, for seven-plus seasons. And when you’re doing your darnedest to win every single game, someone (or two) on the pitching staff will be overused eventually. It’s inevitable.
Tonight the Brewers didn’t use Josh Hader. And maybe that’s why they lost. But they know that Hader is a superlative talent — you know, like Andrew Miller used to be — that they must try to protect when they can, because he could be a big part of their team for years to come.
That’s not John Gant. Gant has done a great job. But he is not ever going to be Josh Hader. And neither were Matt Bowman or Seth Maness or even Kevin Siegrist.
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