Cardinals Bullpen Is Good As Is: An Opinion

Hayden See, Reporter

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The Cardinals’ bullpen is underrated heading into 2019.

Veteran southpaw Andrew Miller was acquired last month to lock down the back end of the bullpen, but many are still skeptical.

The Redbirds bullpen is more solid than most fans think.

Jordan Hicks had a great rookie season. He put up an earned run average of 3.59, a fielding independent pitching of 3.74, while striking out eight batters per nine innings. Hicks is among one of the harder throwers in the entire league. At only 22, Hicks is expected to be a long fixture in the Redbirds’ pen.

Another name many fans seem to gloss over is Dominic Leone. Acquired in the Randal Grichuk trade with the Blue Jays in the 2018 offseason, he was slotted in the back end of the bullpen. He put up a 2.56 earned run average, 2.94 fielding independent pitching, while striking out almost nine and a half batters per nine innings. Last season he was plagued with a nerve injury on his right arm. He only threw 24.1 total innings, way down from his 70 innings from 2017.

Andrew Miller also looks to be a big part of the bullpen. He fits the Cardinals’ need for an experienced arm in the back end of the bullpen. He has a surplus of experience pitching in October. Last season was a down year. He was limited to a total of 34 innings due to lingering knee and shoulder issues. In that time, he recorded a 4.24 earned run average, 3.51 fielding independent, while striking out eleven batters per nine innings.

Despite the majority opinion, the bullpen looks to be a strong point for the Redbirds. Cecil and Gregerson could still show some aches and pains pitching, but overall it looks very, very viable heading into the 2019 season.