So: The St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen is not very good. Wednesday's loss probably wasn't the first time you noticed that, but it was a representative time: Victor Marte and Sam Freeman not being very good at all, Fernando Salas being not nearly as good as he was last season, and a surprisingly solid starting pitcher--in this case, rookie sinkerballer Joe Kelly--hung out to dry. So, with MLB trade rumors season in full swing, is there anyone out there for the Cardinals to chase?â†µ
Unfortunately, one of the best options is Francisco Rodriguez, currently plying his trade in-division for the Milwaukee Brewers; since he's only signed to a one-year deal I'm not sure the Brewers would lose anything by trading him to an NL Central rival, but they might be reluctant to do it if there are other suitors. I suggested Minnesota Twins lefty Francisco Liriano as a possible swingman option yesterday, but I don't think that's the kind of immediate help the average Cardinals fan is looking for.
One internal option: Joe Kelly, who found himself stiffed by the bullpen on Wednesday. Kelly was a relief pitcher in college, and while the Cardinals are right to keep him in the rotation as long as they can, to try to maximize his value, if Chris Carpenter or Jaime Garcia can come off the disabled list on schedule it might make sense to leave Kelly, for the rest of the season, in the major league bullpen instead of the AAA Memphis rotation. His mid-90s sinker, already impressive in the rotation thus far, would look even better out of the pen, where he wouldn't have to spot his less-than-stellar breaking pitches.â†µ