This past couple weeks, members of the United Cardinal Bloggers have been doing their annual post-season roundtable. Each writer or site poses a question to the group and gathers their thoughts. While John Mozeliak successfully nuked my question by already picking up Jaime Garcia‘s option this weekend, I switched gears to gauge the opinions on what to do with the team’s arbitration eligible players.
As fans we see it all the time. Another tight game and the manager makes the walk to the mound to bring in your bullpen’s best pitcher for his second or third consecutive day of work. Either by routine or by role, the manager makes this decision, in most case, purely out of habit without consulting whether the statistics say it’s a good move. But he’s a pitcher the manager has faith in to get the job done.
On Sunday afternoon the St. Louis Cardinals put the finishing touches on their 2013 campaign that saw them finish with a 97-65 record, good for best in the National League. For a team that spent most of the first half of the season in that position before floundering mid-summer, it was a happy ending.
The team, however, will enter postseason play for the tenth time in the last fourteen seasons with about as many questions as answers. Here are three important questions that the team will need to find answers to if the franchise’s 12th World Series title is in the cards.
Yesterday was the UCB trip to the ballpark where select members received the opportunity to have a brief Q&A session with John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt III. My question for the team’s General Manager would have been when do the bullpen issues reach critical mass and require the team to start making moves? The answer? Today. Marc Rzepczynski will be headed to Memphis while Seth Maness should catch up with the big league club today. It was a surprise selection considering the struggles of the team’s setup guy and expected closer Mitchell Boggs.
Seth Maness was an 11th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 MLB draft. A right handed pitcher out of East Carolina. He was a middle infielder when he started his collegiate career, but was converted to pitcher after injury struck the Pirates’ starting rotation. He was Conference USA’s Pitcher of the Year in 2010.
Maness, 24, compiled an 14-4 record over 7 starts in Palm Beach and 20 more in Springfield. His combined ERA was 2.97. He was awarded the organization’s Pitcher of the Year Award after the season. I’m not sure if you could really call it a breakout season for the young right hander considering he posted a 1.53 ERA over 53 innings between Batavia, Quad Cities, and Palm Beach in 2011.