After a weekend series with the Pirates that saw the Cardinals pen give up 11 runs in 8.1 IP, the Cards made a move today to try to shore things up.
The Cardinals called up right handed, control artist Seth Maness from AAA Memphis and optioned Marc Rzepczynski to AAA.
This is not to put the blame for all of the Cards bullpen issues at Scrabble's feet. But the Cardinals needed a fresh arm in the pen and Scrabble wasn't cutting it as a lefty specialist.
Will this fix the Cardinals bullpen issues? Probably not. There is more to the problem than just Scrabble's ineffectiveness.
First, we still need to get Mitchell Boggs back on track. However, the Cardinals cannot just option him to Memphis to get things sorted out. He would have to clear waivers first, which isn't going to happen. Thus, Boggs needs to figure it out at the major league level.
Second, the Cardinals still need to sort out their 7th and 8th innings guys. After dominating last year, Trevor Rosenthal has been extremely hittable this year so far, making it hard for Mike Matheny to rely on him in pressure situations. However, due to lack of better options, Matheny must rely on him to handle the setup role.
As for the 7th inning, the Cardinals recently tried Joe Kelly in the spot (on Saturday) and he proceeded to give up 4 runs in 0.1 IP.
Of course, when the Cardinals are winning games 9-1, like they did on Friday, you can hide your bullpen issues. But, short of Friday's game, the Cards offense has struggled a bit lately. With leadoff man John Jay hitting only .226/.278/.357 on the season, the Cards offense is missing its reliable table setter from the last couple years.
Yet, despite all these issues, the Cards find themselves sitting at 14-10 and only 1/2 game behind the Pirates for the Central lead.
So, I guess things could be worse.