Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/4/13
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.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

NBA seems to scrub Afflalo-Bjelica altercation from League Pass archive

Disciplinary action coming for Rockets, Clippers

Raisman blasts USA Gymnastics over abuse allegations

Report: Cavs front office communicating less with players, coaches

Sports world reacts to meteor lighting up Michigan sky

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Celtics legend Jo Jo White passes away at 71 after battle with cancer

Rajon Rondo wonders why Isaiah Thomas deserves tribute from Celtics

Trevor Ariza reportedly viewed as Rockets' aggressor

Source: Lakers ‘frustrated’ Lonzo Ball won’t stand up to his father

Payton downplays taunting Vikings fans with ‘Skol’ clap

Report: Steelers owner facing pressure to fire Mike Tomlin

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Eight gutsy NBA trade deadline deals that would turn the tide

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

2018 NFL Mock Draft

Grading the deal: Pirates trade Andrew McCutchen to Giants

The NBA's deep middle class emerges

Is Mike Moustakas that much better than Travis Shaw?

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

Cardinals 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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

The 'It's a walk-off!" quiz

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

Sports & Politics Intersect: After all the bluster, college football sticks to sports

The 'Home field disadvantage' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bruins, Flames, Jets are taking flight

Sabres look to be biggest sellers ahead of NHL trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker