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Tyler Lyons, Alex Reyes and a Potential Tag-Team Closer Setup for the Cardinals

As far as we know, the Cardinals haven’t settled on a closer for 2018. Not unless Todd Worrell is coming out of retirement, or something.

In a slow moving offseason of low on activity, there’s still plenty of time to acquire a solution. It really depends what the Cardinals want to do … or how much they’re willing to pay. It depends on their patience and how they weigh short-term desires with a longer-view approach. It depends on how they see their own pitching prospects.

If president of baseball ops John Mozeliak and GM Michael Girsch are inclined to spend, free agents Greg Holland and Addison Reed are still available. (As of this writing, anyway.) Trades are possible, especially if the Cards are willing to satisfy Tampa Bay’s rather high demands for closer Alex Colome.

Perhaps management is reluctant to give a big-money deal to Holland, or to overpay for Reed. The Cardinals are excited by the potential of the power arms that are punching out hitters on the way to St. Louis. From a practical standpoint, why spend a ton of money to go for Holland and block the entry of a Ryan Helsley or Jordan Hicks? Hey, I’d much prefer to have an established closer who brings a strong history to the role. The pressure of closing can crack pitchers. Just because a dude throws 98 mph, it doesn’t mean he can handle the mental strain of getting the 25th, 26th and 27th outs to ice a victory for his team.

There are some in-house options. Again, I’m not saying that this is what I would do … or even endorse. But it’s not exactly insane to think about the job being handled by relievers who already work for the Cardinals.

And no, I’m not talking about Adam Wainwright … look, 2006 was a long time ago. Waino is 36 and coming off elbow surgery and two rough seasons. He doesn’t throw as hard, but that hasn’t always been necessary for Wainwright. His famous Curve Ball is a killer, right? Well, it has been. But in 2017, opponents punished the Wainwright hook for a .282 average, .443 slugging percentage, 4 homers, 5 doubles and 2 triples. RH batters crushed Uncle Charlie for a .552 slug and .362 average in ’17.

I’m not talking about Brett Cecil, or Sam Tuivailala, or John Brebbia, or Matt Bowman.

I’m not referring to Luke Gregerson, the recent free-agent signee. Gregerson will be 34 in May. Last season his most important pitch, the slider, averaged 82.2 mph for the first three months of the season, and dropped to 81 mph over the final three months. And Gregerson’s sinker also lost velocity.

Let’s narrow the focus instead of putting 223 names out there. We aren’t taking the Census here; we’re looking for legitimate closer candidates.

I’m zeroing in on two guys.

There’s the lefty that who continues to be overlooked by many. Or so it seems to me, anyway. He’s the lefty with surprisingly wicked wipeout stuff. A lefty who used to be slapped around by RH batters that used a platoon-split advantage to spark fire and smoke with their bats.  But this lefty has reversed the trend.

There’s the nasty RH pitcher who missed all of last season to rehab from elbow surgery. In 2016, when he came to the big leagues on a vapor trail of fastball heat and prospect hype, the big man brought the heavy artillery.

The lefty is Tyler Lyons.

The right hander is Alexander Reyes.

Why Tyler Lyons? 

— In 144.1 innings of big relief, he has a 2.74 ERA, a healthy 27.6 percent strikeout rate, a fine 3.76 K-BB ratio, and has limited opposing hitters to a .620 OPS.

— Last season Lyons faced 206 batters as a reliever; it was the first time he’d pitched exclusively in relief for a season. And Lyons took to the role, holding hitters to a .206 average, .301 onbase percentage, .307 slugging percentage, and a .608 OPS. His strikeout rate, 31 percent, ranked 25th among big-league relievers who worked at least 50 innings. Lyons strikeout rate was superior to that of the aforementioned Holland.

— Lyons took aim at RH batters with his increasingly dominant slider in 2017. Facing 135 RH batters for the season, Lyons kept them down to a .224 average, .311 OBP and weak .319 slug. And here’s the most impressive thing: Lyons struck out 34 percent of the RH hitters he confronted last season. Needless to say, that’s exceptional. The Lyons slider was so vicious, I think he had to register it with local law enforcement and get a license to carry it to the mound. One problem: gotta cut down on the walks; last season’s overall 9.1 percent BB rate was too high.

Why Alexander Reyes? 

— I’m sorry but is this a trick question? Let’s begin with this: when he’s on, Reyes makes RH batters look like overmatched, lunging, imbeciles.

— In his first adventure in the majors in 2016, Reyes was a hammer in relief and also started five games. He struck out 27.5 percent of his batters faced. He was dinged for one homer in 189 plate appearances against him. And he also induces ground balls! His GB rate was 43 percent in 2016.

— Overall Reyes was scratched or a .201 average, .298 OBP and .280 slug.

— Reyes struck out 35 percent of RH batters faced.

— As a reliever, in 17.1 innings of small-sample performance, Reyes had an 0.52 ERA, whipped up a 33.8 percent strikeout rate, and allowed a .140 batting average with a .269 OBP and puny .228 slug.

There are potential problems and concerns.

First, the Cardinals will move slowly with Reyes this season. The plan, at least right now, is to roll him out in May, in a bullpen role. After a year of down time, he’ll have to show he’s fully healthy, viable and sharp. And while LH batters didn’t exactly bash Reyes —  .243 average, .672 OPS — he didn’t have the knockout strikeout rate against them in ’16 … a K rate of 18 percent.

But I can envision this scenario: Lyons and Reyes forming one helluva tag team to close out games with a volley of strikeouts.

Or the Cards could just sign Greg Holland.

Thanks for reading …

–Bernie

More: Miklasz – What’s This Nonsense About a “Window” For the Cardinals?

  • Terry Ryno

    Bernie, I agree I’d much rather see Sutter or Worrel in their prime closing in 2018 but Lyons and Reyes isn’t a bad backup option. Assuming they don’t sign or trade for an experienced closer, my biggest hope is that Maddux makes the pitching change calls. I think he’ll do a better job of picking the right match ups then Mike M. Not trying to knock Mike here, just think the games getting more complicated and all mangers need to do more delegating.

  • joe thomas

    I could see it both ways….both of them have the potential to be good closers, but on the other hand neither has really proven anything, plus Reyes would probably give everyone a heart attack every time out with the amount of free passes he issues. I’ve never understood the hype with Reyes, while everything that is written about him screams greatness, his numbers don’t jump off the paper what so ever….2016 AAA, 4.96 ERA 1.454 WHIP 4.4 BB/9 12.8 k/9 (that’s nice!)

    His AA career looked promising (minus the high walk rate), but I feel too many people are assuming he’s a CY Young pitcher already….

    • Tom Dickerson

      Did you watch him pitch in the majors in 2016?. He was lights-out dominating for 2 months.

      • joe thomas

        that’s a very very small sample size….40 Innings pitched….it’s not uncommon for pitchers to have a couple weeks, months or even a full year of great outings, then the league adjusts and said pitcher is not all to exciting. You don’t have to luck to far for someone like that, Wacha.

        I just don’t know about a guy with career control issues (both in the minors and majors if we’re looking at both) closing out games.

  • I can’t think of anything riskier than going into a season hoping to find a closer. I would rather hope to “find” a fifth starter or an everyday player. Problem with Reyes is we can’t be sure if he has a closer’s mentality. His relief experience doesn’t help us to evaluate that. Same with Lyons. Hey, it could very well work out with either of them. It certainly worked with Wainwright back in the day. I suppose (I could be wrong) that closers typically establish themselves as closers in the school of hard knocks. Question is, are we ready for the experiment? Going into a season? Granted, Oh didn’t work out last season, and he had established his credentials as a closer. However we went into 2017 with a justifiable belief that Oh was our closer. That is a more defensible position than “hoping to find a closer.” And if neither Reyes nor Lyons works out, Moze finds himself in an untenable position with the fans. It is far safer for the Cardinals (and for Moze) to sign a certified closer. Nothing demoralizes a team and its fans more than a blown save.

    • Daniel

      Take a look at who were starting closers for teams at beginning of last season and the list of closers at the end. If there’s infallible truth I’ve learned from fantasy baseball is that there’s always another great closer right around the corner.

  • LawrenceKScardsfan

    It is sad to think the Cardinals may squander, and I do mean squander, Reyes talent as part of a “potential tag team” closer. From the sneak preview of 2016, Reyes looked like a potential second coming of Bob Gibson – a bonafide top shelf starter. With Martinez and Reyes, the Cardinals could have a 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation for the next few seasons that would rival Gibson/Carlton, Andujar/Tudor, or Carpenter/Wainwright.

    So what gives? Is it simply a desire to save money? A recognition that a trade for Colome is impossible? Or is it that the Cardinals simply have no one from their vaunted farm system able to step into the role?

    The same weakness haunted us last year too. We should have never gone into the season with Oh penciled in to the closer role. There were closers available in the free agent pool. The Cardinals did not offer. This year there are closers available. The Cardinals have not offered.

    The fans may be happy if Reyes is shoehorned into the role. I’m not sure how Reyes would feel about it. I for one think it is a bad move.

    • Daniel

      Worked out well when Waino became a closer.

      • LawrenceKScardsfan

        For a part of one season? He didn’t become a closer until the very end of the 2006 season (because of an injury to Jason Isringhausen). He was a starter in 2007.

        • Daniel

          He still was a reliever for that season. What’s the difference between pitching in relief and closing? Especially when it comes to getting a young player ready for starting. Are you inferring that relieving/closing is Reyes’ future? It’s more like easing a really young pitcher coming off TJS into major league hitting.

          • LawrenceKScardsfan

            You really don’t see a difference between the bullpen and closing out a game?

    • Terry Ryno

      Lawrence, I wouldn’t want Reyes locked into a relief role like Rosie was but for 2018…… I don’t see the harm. Especially early (May-June) when he first comes back.

      • LawrenceKScardsfan

        He’s coming back from TJ. My initial impression of the plan was that he would be used in the bullpen to stretch him out and sometime in the summer he would move into the rotation.

        The closer role is easily the most stressful position in the bullpen. Not sure if that’s “easing” him back into form.

        • Terry Ryno

          I didn’t actually mean as THE CLOSER but in the pen and possiblly as one of the closers. At the moment I don’t see anyone on the team who I would call THE CLOSER, more of a mix and match (which best be in the hands of Maddux not Mike)

    • James Berry

      I don’t believe you or any other fan can say with any certainty that our FO hasn’t made offers to get a closer. From what i’ve read, the Rays have, thus far, asked for an exorbitant package for Colome. As for the free agents available, with closer experience, rarely do we here about offers made from our FO.

      • LawrenceKScardsfan

        Conversely, I don’t believe you or any other fan can say with any certainty that our FO has made offers to get a closer. I’m sure you realize I was not discussing a trade. When I made the statement about an offer, it was directed at free agents. So I’m not sure why you interjected the Colome trade prospect.

        • James Berry

          Where did i claim they had made offers? Unlike you, where you flatly stated they haven’t made any offers. I have no belief that you are in the “inner circle” that would have knowledge of any offers made or no offers made.

          You simply want others to believe they haven’t, for whatever purposes, i do not know.

          • LawrenceKScardsfan

            And you and the “inner circle” simply want others to believe they have made offers to closers despite a lack of evidence. It’s interesting that they would make a big deal about offers to Heyward, Price, and Stanton – but complete silence on an offer to a closer – ANY closer over the last three off seasons. But wishful thinking eh?

            Ok – to make you happy, since somehow this is a real burr under your toe – let me amend my statement to say: “The Cardinals did not disclose any offer to any closer publicly.” I hope now you can sleep better.

          • James Berry

            Pay attention. I do not know if they did or did not make any offers. You do not know if they did or did not make any offers. You merely want to throw a blanket statement out there that they didn’t without any knowledge what so ever.

            Heyward cost us pitching and was a FA after 1 season with us. Of course it would be more public.

            Price made it public that the Cards made an offer.

            Stanton drama was never going to be behind the scenes. There was never a chance that every team trying to get him wouldn’t be known.

  • M W

    Bad, bad, bad idea.

    The team is trying to get Reyes ready to be a starter in 2019. He needs to be able to pitch a couple of innings at a time when he is used.

    • Tim

      Plan is to use him in bullpen till May June and then in the rotation

  • rightthinker4

    I would be okay with the idea except that Reyes is coming of TJ surgery. I think the Cardinals would be wiser to sign a free agent closer (Reed or Holland), use Reyes out of the bullpen initially, with the idea of building arm strength, then sliding him into the starting rotation. Lyons would be the 8th inning guy or even close a game when the closer has been overused by the manager.

    Don’t think the Cardinals are willing to trade for Colome. The asking price is too high. That’s why I think free agency is the path for the Cardinals to acquire a closer.

  • Right Bernie. We can file this waste of print in the same column with how Almedys Diaz will be the Cardinals SS for the next 10 yrs. And of course let’s not forget, Stephen Piscotty is the future of the middle of the Cardinal order.

    Miklasz is just another DeWitt butt kisser. The big dog is just another apologist, for a man who refuses to spend an appropriate amount of payroll commensurate to obscene profit levels. I’m currently watching “The Outlaw Josie Whales”. There’s a line in the movie that says, “Don’t pee down my back and tell me it’s raining”.

    DeWitt, Mozeliak & cronies apparently are unwilling to pay the price tag for some of the closers currently available. So they now they resort firmly to plan #2, which they’re quite used to and adept at. They predictably now tell us as usual, what we already have in house will suffice. Just like what we had at the last 2 trade deadlines, were good enough to get us in the playoffs. And of course, like nearly every other dam’d thing this org has done in recent yrs, that was a completely erroneous and idiotic miscalculation. Or what about the pseudo 100% mythical “dry powder” Modumbiak claims to keep in reserve for team needs that arise later in the season. That dry powder more seasons than not, remaining firmly in DeWitt’s pocket.

    DeWitt has got Miklasz hard at work for him, offering up excuses. One has to wonder, if Miklasz is part of DeWitt’s payroll.

    • Tim

      Cool down Milo. To me Bernie is an independent analyst who backs his claims with stats. As far as predicting the future , we all take crack at it and while nobody is perfect, he has had a very good record.

      As for saving DeWitt’s money, one thing everyone has to understand that it is a business. If Cardinals put a bad product, they will not get the attendance and lose. Like every business they want to get good profit and so far their track record in the small market team is excellent.

      • Thanks for the stunning bulletin/revelation that baseball is a “business”. As if anyone watching how DeWitt runs this team, would doubt that it is run with a major emphasis on profitability. In fact that obsession with the bottom line, has resulted in where this org sits today.

        The Stanton situation without question, clearly defines where we now find ourselves. This time the top highest money offer in stunning fashion, did in fact come from DeWitt. It’s too bad when the Scherzer situation was presented, he didn’t act in the same way. But everything is deferred to a later date with this owner. Nothing is accidental with this org, although they love to claim that excuse–as for example with the embarrassing Chri Correa fiasco. And Correa is just another shining example of how long of an incompetent level this org has sunk. They were indeed “once” the best MLB org in the business. But that is simply a memory.

        The Stanton situation is a case of closing the barn door, after the horse has escaped. Stanton wouldn’t come here. He values a club that has a strong chance to win a championship. Clearly Stanton did not believe DeWitt and his optimum business acumen, offered up the best chance for him to finally get a ring. Stanton was a very special opportunity, lost forever.

        I guess it also was a business, when the they did virtually nothing at the last 2 trade deadlines. As if either of those 2 clubs were good enough to stand pat. As if a team truly trying to make every possible effort to win, wouldn’t border on the cautious side by trying to fortify their team. While 90% of those we compete with for those playoff spots, more yrs than not do far more.

        It’s very simple, either they refused to spend the cash, or they simply miscalculated. The appararently felt their club was good enough to get into the playoffs, as is. i assume you like the rest of us watched those 2 clubs, and agreed they needed some help. No matter the reason, the strategy was unquestionably proven to be wrong, and was borne out via the final results. Even the 2015 100 win playoff bound team, did very little to bolster a roster that clearly displayed signs of trouble by season’s end.

      • Kkkkathmandubirdsview

        St. Louis is not a small market team, not with the $1 billion cable deal! Or with the 3.4 million fans that go through the turnstiles every year. We also need at least one starter. Astros have two former Cy Young
        winners (Verlander and Keuchel), all Star McCullers, Cole, and Morton.
        Peacock, no slouch either, goes to the pen. They also have McHugh in
        reserve. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have an aged veteran, question marks
        with Wacha and Mikolas, a rookie Weaver, and only Martinez as someone to
        rely on. Incidentally, the combined projected WAR for the Astro 5
        according to Steamer and Depth Charts is 17.1, whereas the projection
        for the Cardinals 5 is 12.4. So much for the Cardinals starting
        pitching. The bullpen prognosis is worse, if we are going to stand pat
        hoping that Gregerson will be a successful closer, or that someone else
        like Lyons, or anyone else in the Cardinals system can step in if
        Gregerson can’t cut it. I have been a Cardinals fan for 59 years, but
        the narrative of the last few years is not credible, and insults the
        intelligence of the “best fans in baseball”. You have the money, the
        solutions are there in the free agent and trade market to get a proven
        closer, a strong starter, and another bat to complement Ozuna (a good
        move). So why are you prepared to accept what has been done so far this
        winter as the required improvements for the team? The only reasonable
        conclusion that I can make is that you are profit maximizing rather than
        trying to win, which from a business standpoint makes sense, but is not
        acceptable to fans. I am seriously thinking that I should invest my
        emotion and interest in my fantasy baseball teams, where I can make the
        changes that I want, or just select a good team to cheer for every year
        depending on the moves made in the winter (Houston, Minnesota, Angels,
        etc), rather than being promised significant improvements that do not
        materialize. Unless you are saving resources to acquire Harper, Machado,
        Donaldson, or other free agent pieces next year, which I highly doubt.

    • Tim,

      Thanks
      for the stunning bulletin/revelation that baseball is a “business”. As
      if anyone watching how DeWitt runs this team, would doubt that it is run
      with a major emphasis on profitability. In fact that obsession with
      the bottom line, has resulted in where this org sits today.

      The
      Stanton situation without question, clearly defines where we now find
      ourselves. This time the top highest money offer in stunning fashion,
      did in fact come from DeWitt. It’s too bad when the Scherzer situation
      was presented, he didn’t act in the same way. But everything is
      deferred to a later date with this owner. Nothing is accidental with
      this org, although they love to claim that excuse–as for example with
      the embarrassing Chris Correa fiasco. And Correa is just another
      shining example of how low of an incompetent level this org has sunk.
      They were indeed “once” the best MLB org in the business. But that is
      now but a memory.

      Ask yourself this question, and answer it
      honestly. Was there any way possible, Stanton would’ve turned down
      DeWitt’s offer, say 3-5 yrs ago. I believe the answer is absolutely NO
      WAY. Just that short period of time ago, players would long for an
      opportunity to play for the Cardinals, this org, this overwhelming
      supportive fan base. And of course the amiable fan base, hasn’t
      changed. That’s still an attractive aspect for a player considering
      coming here. But the ugly truth is, fan worship simply is no longer
      enough. It doesn’t negate/offset the negatives that are part of the
      rest of the package, of playing in this town. And the blame for that,
      in no way goes to the fans.

      The Stanton situation is a case of
      closing the barn door, after the horse has escaped. Stanton wouldn’t
      come here. He values a club that has a strong chance to win a
      championship. Clearly Stanton did not believe DeWitt and his optimum
      business acumen, offered up the best chance for him to finally get a
      ring. Stanton was a very special opportunity, lost forever.

      I
      guess it also was a business, when the they did virtually nothing at the
      last 2 trade deadlines. As if either of those 2 clubs were good enough
      to stand pat. As if a team truly trying to make every possible effort
      to win, wouldn’t border on the cautious side by trying to fortify their
      team. While 90% of those we compete with for those playoff spots, more
      yrs than not do far more.

      It’s very simple, either they refused
      to spend the cash, or they simply miscalculated. They apparently felt
      their club was good enough to get into the playoffs, as is. i assume
      you like the rest of us, watched those 2 clubs, and agreed they needed
      some help. No matter the reason, the strategy was unquestionably proven
      to be wrong. And it was borne out via the final results. Even the 2015
      100 win playoff bound team, did very little to bolster a roster that
      clearly displayed signs of trouble by season’s end.

  • JeremyR

    Reyes could be an ace starting pitcher. To use him as a reliever, even a closer, would be absolutely criminal.

    • Daniel

      The guy is just coming back from Tommy John surgery and has 44 innings of major league experience. Let the guy ease back into action, sheesh.

    • Tim

      Due to Tommy Johns last year, he will be limited by innings this year and probably start in bullpen.

  • JeremyR

    Ultimately though, you have to ask this. Would the Cardinals be better off with or without Holland and/or Reed?

    I don’t see how they could possibly be worse with them. Both have very solid track records. Holland had a bad month in 2017.

    The only thing that would hurt to sign that would be DeWitt’s wallet. Which sadly, is the only thing that seems to be important anymore to our owner in Cincinnati.

    • Steve k

      I read one article online that had Wade Davis(before he signed) at 4 years $60 million with Reed at four year $36 million. Davis came in at 3 years and $52 million. If you scale Reed down to Davis’ numbers, that puts him at 3 years $30 million.

      To me, that is not a ridiculous contract when you gave Cecil 4 years @ $31 million. Reed is younger and RH, but he has been a closer before, so you have to pay up for that.

      It is good that the Cards have RH power arms coming along like Helsley, Hicks, and Hudson that may be suited for relief roles. I believe Reyes needs to be developed as a starter, so he should work as long relief out of the BP at the MLB level coming off of TJ surgery.

  • Scott Warren

    So a team that is supposed to be a “contender” is just going to turn one of the most important roles on the field over to not one but two players that have never done it before? With one being a rookie no less. Uh, no thanks.

    • badgerboy23

      I do not buy into the whole DeWitt being cheap thing, and while Mo has blown some moves of late, his overall track record is pretty sound. But closer by committee will not work with MM at the helm. MM has proven that managing a BP is his biggest weakness. I don’t think Maddox will change that because MM does not listen. For things to work for MM, every position has to have a clear cut starter, every pitcher must have a clearly defined role, all must be All Stars and leaders and no one can get hurt. Making choices is not a MM strength.

      • Tim

        +1

    • Daniel

      Wade Davis was a set up guy in KC before moving into the closer role in 2015 for their WS win.

  • geoff

    Is Colome actually available or is that just something people wish? Holland would be a good addition, the problem would be length of contract. I wonder if it is possible to sign a guy like that for less years with a front loaded contract, so a team doesn’t feel or look so stupid because they are still paying some 38 year old former closer who can no longer break a pane of glass with his fastball. I. like 99% of the experts in here, don’t really know the inner workings of any of the major league teams. All we heard this off-season was that Tampa was going to blow it up and it looks like the only thing they did was unload an aging Longoria before his contract vested as a 5+10 player. Just a few years ago the Cards were in a similar position and seemingly out of nowhere came Rosenthal. Holland is a proven, but aging, closer and two years down the road signing him to that five or so years he wants now will probably not look so great. Addison Reed is really not more proven than the possibilities Bernie mentioned, or perhaps this is the year Tuivailala clicks. Prospect-wise, before he was traded I thought Alcantra could be the perfect candidate to finish games, getting his feet wet in the big leagues before moving into the rotation, much like Martinez did. If you look at it, the market is not exactly overloaded with closers, either as free-agents or in trade. I am not positive but, I would wager that no team has a surplus of closers that they are looking to trade for second basemen and outfielders , of which the Cardinals have more than an ample supply. Complain all you want about DeWitt being cheap but keep in mind that there is a difference between stupid and cheap. Last year, had Cecil been a major league quality pitcher, instead of being a guy who should have been pitching over in Sauget, Mo would have been the genius he thinks he is. I hope Mo isn’t done making moves and tweaking the roster. I am not certain that I would want to go into the season with Greg Garcia as my only left-handed bat off the bench, and maybe it’s time that Mo gave Mike a full bullpen to work with. He was forced into a position of riding his good horses to death because the bullpen had four or five guys who just were not good enough to be on the roster. In about eight weeks players will be starting to practice down in Jupiter and Oquendo will be trying to make an average first baseman of Carpenter and an outstanding shortstop out of Dejong, while Mabry tries to turn another good hitter into a dead pull launch angle driven .240 hitter with pop. Spring training can’t start soon enough for me.

  • Big T

    Reyes is to good of a pitcher to use exclusively as a closer for the season. No problem with controlling his innings and letting him build arm strength initially within the bull pen. Personally I believe the Cards need for an additional starter is more important for now. Losing Lynn and Leake is at one third of all our starts last year. We need to insulate those lost innings. IMO. I am not saying a closer isn’t important but because they are, but we have several in house candidates who should be given a shot. (Tui, Lyons, Brebia, Greggerson, Hicks, Hudson, Helsley,) Yes ideally you would have one already named and signed but we don’t. Mo has always had a way of finding a reliever or two at mid year to strengthen the pen. Cards pitching depth will provide relief for the pen this year. IMO.

    Other side of the pancake says: If you don’t get one before the season the price will go up as other teams sustain injuries and other teams emerge as contenders who also have the same need.

    • Steve k

      I agree that you don’t make a pitcher like Reyes a reliever until he proves he can’t cut it as a starter. What if Max Scherzer was developed as a closer?

      • Big T

        Steve k – Great point. I see depth in a bull pen being equally as important as a “closer guy.” Particularly given our depth of young pitching prospects. Mike Maddux is the man who will develop them to their fullest potential.

  • N Beyond

    Oh god no. Just so much no… If we go into the season with an in house closer option, i think it would be safe to say the offseason sucked

  • James Berry

    No thanks. There are far too many problems with this scenario.

    I’d like Colome, but if the price in prospects is too high, then i’d rather have Reed. Holland is just too much of a gamble at the price he’ll likely get and i don’t want him in a Cards uniform when it blows up.

  • American Citizen

    The last 2 World Series Championships the Cardinals won, we went into the season with no real confidence in who our closer would be. In 06 we had Izzy, and nobody had confidence in him at that point. In 11, it turned out to be Salas.

  • puertorricane

    Reyes future is as a starter but coming of an injury and missing an entire uear it’s not a bad idea to make him a reliever for the entire 2018 season.
    He could get two and three innings saves ala Iglesias from the reds. By 2019 he’ll be strong enough to go back to the rotation.