St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals Fantasy Baseball Daily Bullpen Updates and Closer Depth Chart

Closer 1st in line 2nd in line 2016 Closer Updated
STL Trevor Rosenthal Jordan Walden Matt Belisle Trevor Rosenthal 3/8/15

Previous updates:

March 8, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal seems secure in his spot to start 2015, though the departure of All Star Pat Neshek has left a hole in the set up role. However, the Cardinals acquired Jordan Walden and Matt Belisle, who will likely slot into the late innings along with Kevin Siegrist. The Cardinals have made a habit of picking up relievers and making them stars, and that could happen with either of their new additions, or journeyman Carlos Villanueva. Villanueva has posted much better numbers as a reliever than as a starter, and if the Cards shift him to that role, he could be a poor man’s Pat Neshek.

Starting 2015 hierarchy: Rosenthal | Walden | Belisle.
Primary holds candidates – Walden, Belisle.

September 20, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal started the 9th inning last night with the Cardinals protecting a one run lead, but after a walk and a hit, he was replaced by veteran Randy Choate.  Choate got a big strikeout of Jay Bruce and then Seth Maness came on for the last out to pick up his third save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Neshek | Martinez.

September 14, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — Pat Neshek got the last two outs of the 9th inning for his 6th save of the season last night.  Manager Mike Matheny said that he does not want to use closer Trevor Rosenthal or Neshek on consecutive days if he can avoid it the rest of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Neshek | Martinez.

September 3, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — As we speculated on Tuesday morning, Pat Neshek picked up a vulture save with Trevor Rosenthal getting a night off. In other news, Jason Motte returned from the disabled list on Tuesday; time will tell whether a high-leverage role for him is in the cards.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Neshek | Martinez.

August 30, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Pat Neshek had a rough outing on Friday night.  He took the loss after giving up four runs in less than an inning of work.  This could give Trevor Rosenthal a slightly longer leash.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Neshek | Martinez.

August 19, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal’s troubles continued on Monday, as he blew his fifth save of the season. This came on the heels of being yanked mid-save chance on Sunday, but despite that, Mike Matheny continues to back his closer. He claimed Rosenthal’s performance “was not actually that bad” on Monday, but with Pat Neshek lurking, Rosenthal’s hot seat has to be even hotter now. Additionally, Carlos Martinez is back in the Cards’ bullpen after being recalled from Triple A and is expected to slide into the seventh inning.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Neshek | Martinez.

August 18, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – After Trevor Rosenthal walked three batters in the 9th inning on Sunday, Mike Matheny yanked him from the game, allowing Seth Maness to pick up his second save of the year. Despite the hook, Matheny remained adamant after the game that Rosenthal was his man. But with Pat Neshek continuing his run as maybe the best set-up man in the game, Rosenthal has to be looking over his shoulder.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Neshek | Maness.
Trevor Rosenthal to Hot Seat.

August 17, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Kevin Siegrist took the loss last night, giving up four runs in less than an inning of work.  Siegrist has now given up 11 runs in 9 appearances since returning from the DL on July 25th.  Seth Maness picked up the 8th inning hold on Friday night and has not given up any runs so far in August.  With Siegrist struggling, Maness should see more time in the later innings.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Neshek | Maness.

August 16, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal was given the night off yesterday after throwing 24 pitches in an adventurous save on Thursday.  Pat Neshek recorded his 4th save of the season and should continue to see any save chances when Rosenthal is unavailable.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Neshek | Siegrist.

August 9, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Jason Motte has been placed on the DL with lower back tightness.  Lefty Kevin Siegrist should see some more time in the 7th and 8th innings while Motte is out.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Neshek | Siegrist.

August 8, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Pat Neshek picked up a vulture save on Thursday night, filling in for a resting Trevor Rosenthal. The Monkey’s Knicks hat remains intact.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Neshek | Motte.

July 28, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — Kevin Siegrist has returned from the DL and despite taking the loss on Friday night, pitched a perfect eighth inning on Sunday against the top three bats in the Cubs’ order. The left-hander appears to be a solid option for holds going forward, but Jason Motte is still likely the third choice for saves behind Trevor Rosenthal and Pat Neshek.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Neshek | Motte.

July 16, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals might not trade for an established closer, but Trevor Rosenthal has been unreliable enough lately to warrant a sell signal anyway. TRADE DEADLINE BUY: Pat Neshek. SELL: Trevor Rosenthal.

July 9, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — In stressing the importance of getting Trevor Rosenthal regular rest, Mike Matheny noted that All-Star Pat Neshek is the team’s backup closer, while Jason Motte — who gave up four runs in a Sunday appearance — will continue to be used outside any designated role.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Neshek | Motte.

June 18, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal was given a second straight night off, and the Cardinals went with Jason Motte with a four-run lead in the ninth. But after Motte gave up a home run and a ground-rule double to bring the tying run to the plate, Pat Neshek got three straight outs to nail down the victory. Although we still believe Motte would close if Rosenthal went down with an injury, Neshek is making a strong case as well.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Motte | Neshek.

June 17, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — Seth Maness got the Cardinals out of a minor jam in the eighth inning and stayed on to complete the ninth and collect his first save of the season in a 6-2 victory over the Mets.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Motte | Neshek.

June 5, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — Carlos Martinez had a truly awful May, which has forced Mike Matheny to pull him from eighth-inning work in favor of Pat Neshek, whose 22-game scoreless streak ended on Tuesday. Although Neshek has the prime setup job — and picked up an 11th-inning save of his own on Wednesday — if Trevor Rosenthal is unable to go on any particular night, it will likely be former closer Jason Motte who fills in for him.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Motte | Neshek.

May 21, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals — Jason Motte, he of the beard and the cancer foundation, returned to the Cardinals roster on Tuesday after Tommy John surgery. Mike Matheny didn’t commit to a role for Motte apart from “right-handed pitcher,” but he also hinted that he wouldn’t be afraid to use Motte in a high-leverage spot right away.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Martinez | Motte.

May 17, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Jason Motte is close to returning to the Cardinals bullpen.   He has pitched well so far on his rehab assignments, throwing 6.2 scoreless innings.  Trevor Rosenthal picked up the save last night and is 12 for 13 in save opportunities so far this season.  However, his ERA is 4.50 and he has allowed 12 walks in 20 innings so he has not been dominant.  Motte will likely be eased back into high leverage situations but could be a guy to keep an eye on in deeper leagues.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Martinez | Siegrist.

March 31, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – Carlos Martinez had a solid spring and was considered by some to be a favorite to win the 5th starter position in St. Louis, but the club recently announced that they were going to be giving that job to Joe Kelly.  Martinez will be bounced back to the bullpen, where he’ll set up for Trevor Rosenthal.  Hierarchy change: Carlos Martinez to Set-up, Kevin Siegrist to 2nd in line.

March 13, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals – We’re high on Trevor Rosenthal based on his electric work in set-up, but we can’t help but be a little leery of Jason Motte at the same time. Ranked #5 in our preseason closer rankings.

March 9, 2014
St. Louis Cardinals– At age 23, Trevor Rosenthal had one of the best seasons of any closers last year and will start the year as closer in 2014.  Jason Motte is coming back from Tommy John surgery and might not be ready for the start of the season but should see time in set-up role if he is ready to go.  Kevin Siegrist, and his 0.45 ERA, will be used in the 7th and 8th innings. Carlos Martinez is competing for a rotation spot but could factor into the late innings if he ends up in the bullpen instead.  Starting 2014 hierarchy: Closer – Trevor Rosenthal, Set-up – Jason Motte, 2nd in line – Kevin Siegrist. 

September 29, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals — Edward Mujica continues to struggle.  The Cardinals brought Mujica on for the 9th with a 6 run lead.  He gave up 3 hits while only recording one out.  Seth Maness ended up getting the save.   No hierarchy change.

September 25, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals — Two games, two post-Mujica save chances, two saves for Trevor Rosenthal — and on a combined 13 pitches. The young righty continues to impress. No hierarchy change.

September 24, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals — Over the weekend, the Cardinals demoted Edward Mujica from the closer role in favor of a committee, and on Monday night, erstwhile set-up man Trevor Rosenthal picked up its first save. Other possible committee members include Carlos Martinez, former closer John Axford, and lefty Kevin Siegrist — who got the first out of the ninth on Monday and hasn’t given up a run in nearly two months. Hierarchy change: Trevor Rosenthal to Closer, Kevin Siegrist to Set-Up.

September 21, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Edward Mujica started the 9th inning last night with a 2 run lead.  He proceeded to give up 3 hits and a walk, while only recording one out.  The Cardinals brought on former Brewers closer John Axford to try and get the save, but he gave up an infield single to tie the game.  The Cardinals took the lead again and Carlos Martinez pitched a perfect 10th inning to pick up the save.  Mujica ended up being charged with 2 runs and now has given up 7 runs in 6.2 innings in September.   With the Cardinals battling for first place they could look to super set-up man Trevor Rosenthal or young Carlos Martinez to close out some games down the stretch. Hierarchy change: Carlos Martinez to 2nd in line, replacing Kevin Siegrist, Edward Mujica to Hot Seat.

August 31, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals acquired former closer John Axford from the Brewers on Friday.  Mujica and Rosenthal have been great all season so it is unlikely that Axford will see any save opportunities.  However with a couple good outings, Axford could certainly move into 2nd in line.  We will see how the Cardinals use him.  No hierarchy change.

August 23, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Edward Mujica, who has been pressed into several 2-inning outings over the past several weeks, is dealing with some nagging injuries, including a sore back and dead arm.  The Cardinals think he’ll be OK, but Mujica owners might want to add Trevor Rosenthal just in case.  In deeper leagues, the hard-throwing righty certainly won’t hurt, as he boasts among the most strikeouts of any reliever in baseball.  No hierarchy change.

August 12, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – We’ve extolled the virtues of Kevin Siegrist in this space before, and finally, the young lefty is getting some love.  On Sunday, he pitched the 7th inning and earned his fifth hold of the season, three of which have come this week in similar circumstances.  The 24-year old lefty currently has a 0.84 ERA, a 0.60 WHIP, and is now getting the high-leverage innings he deserves.  Hierarchy change: Kevin Siegrist to 2nd in line, replacing Seth Maness.

July 18, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals have the best record in baseball and a solid bullpen but, like most teams, they would add another middle reliever if the price were right. TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL: None.

July 11, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Kevin Siegrist continues to flat-out dominate, as he’s now amassed 17 Ks in 12.1 scoreless innings since being called up.  But it’s Seth Maness who has been getting the call ahead of Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica lately.  After pitching the 7th a few days ago, Maness got the call for the 6th and 7th last night, earning the win.  Hierarchy change: Seth Maness to 2nd in line, replacing Kevin Siegrist.

June 15, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Kevin Siegrist pitched another perfect inning last night and has been very impressive since getting called up.  The young lefty has pitched 4.1 innings with 9 ks and has only given up 1 hit.  Siegrist also had 44 ks in 27.2 innings at Triple-A Memphis this season.  Hierarchy change: Kevin Siegrist to 2nd in line, replacing Seth Maness.

May 27, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Seth Maness picked up the win yesterday, pitching part of the sixth and seventh innings ahead of Rosenthal and Mujica.  Carlos Martinez was sent down to the minors and it looks like Maness will take over his late inning role.  Hierarchy change: Seth Maness to 2nd in line, replacing Carlos Martinez.

May 6, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Mitchell Boggs on Friday was sent to the minors to sort things out, as the Cardinals somewhat surprisingly called up top prospect Carlos Martinez to replace him.  Martinez projects as a starter, but for now, his 99-mph fastball will be used in the late innings in St. Louis.  He’s now pitched two clean innings and could be a candidate to close if something happens to both Edward Mujica and Trevor Rosenthal.  Hierarchy change: Carlos Martinez to 2nd in line, replacing Mitchell Boggs.

April 22, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Mitchell Boggs’s nightmare season continued on Sunday, as he was summoned in a tie game in the 8th inning, and allowed four runs while only recording one out.  With an ERA that now stands at 12.46, he’s got a long way to go before he returns to any kind of substantial role in the Cardinals bullpen.  Trevor Rosenthal will be the guy to set up Edward Mujica for the time being.  Hierarchy change: Trevor Rosenthal to Set-up, Mitchell Boggs to 2nd in line.

April 18, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – As predicted, Edward Mujica got his chance to close tonight, and although he made things interesting with a couple singles to lead off the ninth, he managed to escape with the save. He should be the man in St. Louis going forward. Hierarchy change: Edward Mujica to Closer, Mitchell Boggs to Set-Up.

April 16, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals — After Mike Matheny told reporters that he would eschew prescribed roles to play matchups with his bullpen, he threw Mitchell Boggs in a four-run game — and had Edward Mujica warming up when Boggs got into trouble. Mujica is probably the best Cardinal reliever to own, and certainly seems a better bet to pick up saves than Trevor Rosenthal.  Hierarchy change: Edward Mujica to Set-Up, Trevor Rosenthal to 2nd in line.

April 15, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Mitchell Boggs blew another save yesterday, one inning after Trevor Rosenthal allowed two runs to score.  Cardinals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said Boggs “is going to keep grinding through it… and we’ll see what he’s made of,” so it sounds as if Boggs will continue to close, though he’s on an increasingly fiery Hot Seat.  One more meltdown and the Cardinals could look elsewhere — either to Rosenthal or Edward Mujica, who manager Mike Matheny spoke highly of after the game.  No hierarchy change.

April 10, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – A day after his bullpen completely melted down, Mike Matheny used his relievers the same way he had all season: Edward Mujica for the 7th, Trevor Rosenthal for the 8th, and Mitchell Boggs for the 9th. Matheny had said he would leave Boggs in the closer role for now, so his usage was no surprise, but Rosenthal’s status as the set-up man was up in the air. However despite his inexperience, the hard-throwing righty will continue on in his 8th inning role. Hierarchy change: Trevor Rosenthal to Set-up, Edward Mujica to 2nd in line.

April 9, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Mitchell Boggs had what he described as “the worst outing of my career” on Monday, as he turned a tie game into an eventual 9-run loss for the Cardinals. Skipper Mike Matheny suggested after the game that Boggs, despite also blowing a save last week, would still be his closer, but it might not be for long. Edward Mujica may get a shot to close games, as could youngster Trevor Rosenthal, who has been pitching the 8th inning (albeit poorly) for the past week. Hierarchy change: Trevor Rosenthal to 2nd in line, replacing Mark Rzepczynski. Mitchell Boggs to Hot Seat.

March 25, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Jason Motte will start the season on the DL.  The Cardinals closer felt his forearm tighten up after his most recent appearance, and the Cardinals announced over the weekend that they were shutting him down for at least a week due to a mild flexor strain.  Mitchell Boggs will close in his absence.  Hierarchy change: Mitchell Boggs to Closer, Edward Mujica to Set-up, Mark Rzepczynski to 2nd in line; Jason Motte injured.

February 24, 2013
St. Louis Cardinals – Starting 2013 hierarchy: Closer- Jason Motte, Set-up- Mitchell Boggs, 2nd in line- Edward Mujica.

August 1, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals acquired Edward Mujica from the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Mujica will likely pitch the 7th inning for the Cardinals, which is a role they’ve been trying to fill all season. Hierarchy change: Edward Mujica to 2nd in line, replacing Victor Marte.

July 12, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals need some bullpen help, as Jason Motte has been shaky for much of the season. The St. Louis Dispatch reported on Tuesday that Huston Street could be an option, and Street expressed the desire to close if he moves elsewhere. Such a deal could hurt Motte’s value. TRADE DEADLINE BUY: None. SELL: Jason Motte.

June 15, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals – Victor Marte pitched parts of the 7th and 8th innings on Thursday, earning his 9th hold of the season. While Mark Rzepczynski generally pitches later in games than Marte, he’s struggled as of late and would likely remain in a specialist role even if Jason Motte and Mitchell Boggs both suffer injuries. Hierarchy change: Victor Marte to 2nd in line, replacing Mark Rzepczynski.

May 24, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals – Mark Rzepczynski pitched the 8th inning ahead of Jason Motte on Wednesday night, and the lefty has proven the ability to pitch to both righties and lefties. Hierarchy change: Mark Rzepczynski to 2nd in line, replacing Fernando Salas.

April 24, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals – For the second straight night, and third in the last four, Mitchell Boggs pitched the 8th in a tight game; he has clearly passed Fernando Salas as the Cards’ top set-up option. Hierarchy change: Mitchell Boggs to Set-up, Fernando Salas to 2nd in line.

April 11, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals- Mitchell Boggs pitched two perfect innings of relief on Tuesday and has established himself as a reliable late-inning replacement for the ailing Scott Linebrink. Hierarchy change: Mitchell Boggs to 2nd in line, replacing Scott Linebrink.

April 1, 2012
St. Louis Cardinals- The Cardinals will stick with Jason Motte as their closer, while Fernando Salas, who started 2011 as the closer, will step in quickly if Motte struggles. Scott Linebrink was added as a veteran relief pitcher and would likely take over if both Motte and Salas struggle. Starting 2012 hierarchy: Closer- Jason Motte, Set-up- Fernando Salas, 2nd in line- Scott Linebrink.

Sept. 24, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Summoned in a tie game in the 8th, Kyle McClellan gave up 3 runs and got the lost last night. McClellan has had a tough couple weeks and the Cardinals have been looking to Marc Rzepczynski, who they acquired from the Blue Jays last month, later in games. Hierarchy change: Marc Rzepczynski to 2nd in line, replacing Kyle McClellan.

Sept. 23, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Jason Motte won the closer’s job in early September after an incredible string of 33 consecutive outings without allowing an earned run. But he’s been shaky of late, and walked 3 of the 5 batters he faced last night, contributing to the Cardinals 9th inning collapse. Fernando Salas couldn’t salvage the damage, but the Cardinals may go back to their original closer in the season’s final week. Jason Motte to Hot Seat.

Sept. 20, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Jason Motte struggled in the 9th last night, giving up a pair of runs while only recording two outs, and the Cardinals lifted him in favor of Arthur Rhodes, who gave up a hit to the only man he faced. Octavio Dotel was the next man out of the pen, and he finally retired the last man, earning the save. No hierarchy change.

Sept. 17, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Fernando Salas picked up the save in the 11th inning last night, after Jason Motte had already pitched. No hierarchy change.

Aug. 31, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Tony La Russa has said save opps will be merit-based for the rest of the year, but it was Fernando Salas, not Jason Motte (and his streak of 30 straight games without an earned run), who pitched the 9th last night. This looks to be a platoon for now. No hierarchy change.

Aug. 28, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Jason Motte has not allowed a run in 28 straight appearances, and Tony LaRussa finally gave him the chance to close. He picked up the save today, and replaces a struggling Fernando Salas. Hierarchy change: Motte to Closer, Salas to Set-up.

Aug. 23, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Fernando Salas got in trouble in the 9th, and after allowing the tying run, he wasn’t even allowed to get out of his own jam. Jason Motte came in and allowed an inherited runner to score. Salas has had a great season so far, but this was his 2nd straight blown save. Salas to “Hot Seat.”

Aug. 22, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- Jason Motte pitched the 8th inning last night and has finally moved ahead of Kyle McClellan on the Cardinals depth chart. The Cards did have a 4-run lead, but were trying to avoid the sweep and were treating it as if it were a save situation, using Salas in the 9th as well. Hierarchy change: Motte to Set-Up, McClellan to 2nd in line.

Aug. 20, 2011
St. Louis Cardinals- While Mitchell Boggs has great stuff, he’s still unpolished, and Tony LaRussa has been reluctant to use him in close, late-game situations. Those innings are usually spread around to several relievers, the most prominent being Kyle McClellan, who pitched in a scoreless game in the 8th and 9th innings last night. Hierarchy change: McClellan to Set-Up, replacing Boggs.

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