At this point it's cold comfort to hear about the St. Louis Cardinals' great run differential and the peculiar way in which they've struggled, et cetera, but here's the good news, if you're looking to at least see their bullpen struggle in a slightly different way: It makes no sense for this team to continue to carry three left-handed relievers, and it's not likely the third one, Sunday loser Barret Browning, will be around much longer. My guess: When Jaime Garcia comes back, former college closer Joe Kelly will go to the bullpen.â†µ
That solves, or at least attempts to solve, two problems at once: Garcia is better than Kelly in the rotation, and Kelly's mid-90s sinker might actually gin up some strikeouts an inning at a time.
Browning sneaked his way into the medium-term bullpen picture on the strength of his first few appearances, but nothing in his minor league record suggests he's earned a year-long engagement in the Cardinals' bullpen. And as long as the Cardinals are fascinated by Brian Fuentes, he's an experiment they can't afford to continue.â†µ