Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Rarely does a team rely on rookie pitchers as much as the St. Louis Cardinals have this year.  The bullpen has held up so far with youngsters Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist, and Trevor Rosenthal coming through in a big way.  Closer Edward Mujica and eighth inning man Rosenthal have both been pleasantly reliable, but the overall inexperience in the bullpen has to be a concern heading into the stretch run. The Cardinals traded away key pieces from the 2011 bullpen Mitchell Boggs and Marc Rzepczynski earlier in the season, leaving Mujica, lefty specialist Randy Choate, and the struggling Fernando Salas as the only veterans in the pen.  This obviously was a concern for Cards general manager John Mozeliak.  Last week, the club finalized a deal to acquire former Brewers closer John Axford, who had cleared waivers.  If the once-dominant Axford can benefit from a change of scenery and recapture his own 2011 form, then the Cardinals will have made a great deal.  But the move seems a little desperate, and it reveals a lack of confidence in some of the rookie relievers. Axford had a modest 4.47 earned run average and seven losses this season with the Brewers before the deal.  In completing the trade, the Cards sent away inconsistent 24-year-old reliever Michael Blazek, who had shown flashes of promise in this, his rookie year.  Clearly the Redbirds were looking for a relief pitcher who has been through some postseason battles, otherwise they might as well have taken their chances with the younger Blazek, considering both pitchers have had rough patches this year. While the division leading Pirates have made trades to acquire veteran bats Marlon Byrd, John Buck, and Justin Morneau since the non-waiver trade deadline, the Cardinals only response, Axford, seems menial.   But Mozeliak has shown a knack for acquiring the right reliever in midseason trades multiple times, with Octavio Dotel and Rzepczynski in 2011, and Mujica last year.  In the 2011 deal, Dotel and Rzepczynski seemed like a raw return for potential star Colby Rasmus, however without those two crucial bullpen additions, the Cardinals probably do not win the World Series that year.  It will be interesting to see if Mozeliak has done it again, or if the 30-year-old Axford’s best days are truly behind him.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

Manny Pacquiao after loss: 'I thought I won the fight'

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets


Falcons draft pick's house burned down during draft

Packers trade up to draft Brett Hundley

Greg Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Mayweather bans Rachel Nichols, Michelle Beadle from covering fight

Five takeaways from Day 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft

Elite recruit Jaylen Brown commits to California

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Brooklyn Decker expecting first child with Andy Roddick

Michigan using other programs' draftees to recruit players?

Texas staffer takes shots at Baylor, Texas A&M during draft

Rob Gronkowski wears awesome suit to Kentucky Derby

WATCH: Bryce Petty reacts to being drafted by the Jets

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

WATCH: A-Rod fights back tears

A-Rod hits 660th home run, ties Willie Mays

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Celebrities make their picks

Ryan Succop offers to arm-wrestle Marcus Mariota for No. 8

Laila Ali rips Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Peterson wants more money from Vikes

Chip Kelly just doesn’t care about defense

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.