St. Louis Cardinals

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

Closer1st in line2nd in line2019 CloserUpdated
STL*Bud NorrisGreg HollandTyler LyonsLuke Gregerson4/22/18

* = closer-by-committee

Previous updates:

April 22, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals — For a minute, it looked like we might finally see a Greg Holland save opportunity.  With the Cardinals clinging to a one-run lead in the 9th inning, rookie Jordan Hicks gave up a couple walks and hit a batter to load the bases with one out.  Holland was warming in the bullpen, but Hicks got a double play to end the inning.  It shouldn’t be too much longer before Greg Holland finally gets a chance to do what he was signed to do.

Hierarchy Remains: *Norris | Holland | Lyons.
* = closer-by-committee

April 21, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals — Okay, we can’t keep pretending that Greg Holland is at the top of this bullpen when he never sniffs a save chance. We’ll adjust when and if he gets a role commensurate with his paycheck, but for now, Bud Norris and his five saves have earned the slot. The Cardinals have a lot of good late-inning options behind those two, but Tyler Lyons has three eighth-inning holds in his last three appearances, so we’ll give him the nod.

Updated hierarchy: *Norris | Holland | Lyons.
* = closer-by-committee

April 20, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Likely future closer Greg Holland got in some work with his team down three in the seventh inning Thursday night and held the Cubs to no hits with just one walk in a clean frame. He’ll need to string a few appearances like this one together before he is given the full reins as closer.

Hierarchy remains: *Holland | Norris | Hicks.
* = closer-by-committee

April 18, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Mike Matheny called on Greg Holland to protect a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning. A walk, a two-run homer and another walk ended Holland’s night early, however, and Bud Norris came on to convert a five-out save. Norris now has four saves this season and should be the team’s closer. However, with Matheny insistent on easing Holland into that role, Norris’ grasp on the ninth inning remains tenuous. For now though, Norris is the man to own in St. Louis. Meanwhile, Matheny expects Luke Gregerson to be part of the setup mix in what is becoming a crowded bullpen.

Hierarchy remains: *Holland | Norris | Hicks.
* = closer-by-committee

April 17, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals activated Luke Gregerson before yesterday’s (postponed) game. It’s quite possible that he enters the mix for saves until Greg Holland is ready for the full time gig, but we’ll see how he is used before we mess with the hierarchy.

Hierarchy remains: *Holland | Norris | Hicks.
* = closer-by-committee

April 16, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Bud Norris got another save on Sunday, though it wasn’t the most inspired outing. Adam Duvall homered to lead off the inning, making it a one-run game. A bunt single and a hit batsman then sandwiched a couple of strikeouts, followed by Billy Hamilton rapping a hard liner to left that fortunately found the glove of Harrison Bader, allowing the Cardinals to escape. Despite the shaky outing, though, two saves in three days is what fantasy owners will care about, so until the “easing in” of Greg Holland is complete, we’ll slap a committee tag on this bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: *Holland | Norris | Hicks.
* = closer-by-committee

April 14, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals — In a clear save opportunity, the Cardinals opted to go with Bud Norris over $14 million man Greg Holland. Norris put the tying runs on base, but managed to escape unscathed. Even as Norris was struggling, Holland wasn’t warming up, although Mike Matheny likes whoever is closing to feel trusted, “like the king of the world,” so don’t read too much into that. After the game, Matheny said Holland would “get his opportunity, but we’ve got to get him feeling really good about his stuff before we do that.” We still think that Holland will close soon, but his leash may be shorter than usual with Norris pitching well.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Norris | Hicks.

April 13, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – After entering the game with an eight-run lead, Mike Mayers pitched the final three innings to earn his first career save. Mayers does not factor into the Cardinals’ late-inning plans. Per usual, the first person who can prove they earned a save from Mayers for their fantasy team will win free Closer Monkey Premium. Pics or it didn’t happen!

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Norris | Hicks.

April 8, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Bud Norris struck out the side yesterday to record the first save of the season for the Cardinals.  Greg Holland will close as soon as he gets to St. Louis, but Norris was brought in this off-season to help the bullpen and could see a few more save chances before Holland gets called up.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Norris | Hicks.

April 6, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Future closer Greg Holland’s debut for the Cardinals organization was a success. He tossed a clean inning Thursday, getting two groundouts and a strikeout on seven pitches (five strikes). He’ll definitely close for the Cardinals, it’s just a matter of when. He could be up within a week or so.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Leone | Hicks.

April 4, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – It was a rough Tuesday for Tyler Lyons and Dominic Leone, as the duo allowed four earned runs in a comeback win for the Brewers. Leone gave up two dingers in the ninth to blow his first save opportunity. He doesn’t project to get too many more chances, as Greg Holland is close to joining St. Louis and take over as closer.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Leone | Hicks.

April 3, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – In making the ballclub out of spring training this year, Jordan Hicks skipped over AA and AAA entirely, and the Cardinals have shown no reluctance to use him in big spots. Yesterday, he closed out the 8th inning with a gross diving slider followed up by a front-door offering, and stayed on for the 9th with the Cardinals up four runs, upping his season line to 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 Ks. Hicks is ascending fast.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Leone | Hicks.

April 2, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals hierarchy is suddenly a very crowded place. We’ve opted to keep Greg Holland in the closer spot even though he won’t be up for another week or two, and we’d also like to keep Leone and Lyons on our chart, as they’re still the duo likely to get save chances in his absence. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the head-turning stuff possessed by Jordan Hicks. Last night, Hicks and his 102-mph fastball handled the 8th inning with the Cardinals up four runs; look for him to get more chances for holds as he continues to prove himself.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Leone | Lyons.

April 1, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals have finalized their deal with Greg Holland, and he will report to Single A to get ready.  Holland could be ready to join the Cardinals in as few as 10 days.  We will leave Holland at the top of the hierarchy since he was clearly signed to be their closer, but Dominic Leone and Tyler Lyons should see save chances until he is ready to join the team.

Hierarchy remains: Holland | Leone | Lyons.

March 30, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Greg Holland has finally found a home. He signed a one-year deal worth $14 million on Opening Day with St. Louis. He wasn’t available for Thursday’s game (there was no save situation anyway, as the Cardinals lost 9-4), but he’s expected to step in and close in short order, as he has been training at the Scott Boras facility. Meanwhile, impressive rookie Jordan Hicks made his major league debut, tossing a clean inning while throwing harder (101.6) than Mets starter Noah Syndergaard did. He’s a name to watch this year in the Cardinals bullpen.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Leone | Lyons.

March 29, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Greg Holland has agreed to a one-year, $14 million deal with the Cardinals. He will almost certainly serve as the team’s closer once he gets up to speed and should be added in all formats. He still has to pass a physical for the deal to become official, but we are moving him up to the top of the hierarchy with the understanding that he may not close for at least a week or two.

Updated hierarchy: Holland | Leone | Lyons.

March 27, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – In addition to Dominic Leone, GM John Mozeliak recently mentioned Tyler Lyons as a possible closer candidate in Luke Gregerson’s absence. Beat reporters like Lyons, too, so we’re placing the lefty in the set-up role ahead of the also-promising Sam Tuivailala and the experienced, but struggling Bud Norris (10.80 spring ERA).

Updated hierarchy: *Leone | Lyons | Tuivailala.
* = closer-by-committee

March 25, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – Luke Gregerson will start the season on the disabled list thanks to a strained hamstring. Mike Matheny did not name a closer, but all signs point to Dominic Leone being the first choice for saves. Bud Norris will also get some consideration for the ninth inning as well. Don’t sleep on Sam Tuivailala as a candidate for late-inning work as well. The 25-year-old has been terrific this spring, posting 12 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. He has not allowed a run and even picked up a save.

Updated hierarchy: *Leone | Norris | Tuivailala.
* = closer-by-committee

March 22, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals — Nothing official out of St. Louis, but there’s still a feeling among writers that Luke Gregerson, back from his injured oblique, will get the first shot at closing ahead of Dominic Leone, Bud Norris, Tyler Lyons, and Sam Tuivailala. Between injuries and competition, even if Gregerson gets the nod, we don’t expect him to keep the job for long.

Hierarchy remains: *Gregerson | Leone | Norris.
* = closer-by-committee

March 14, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – With Luke Gregerson still ailing and Bud Norris sporting a 9.95 ERA this spring, the Cardinals appear to be moving towards Dominic Leone as a closer candidate. They’re giving him a nice long look in the role during the exhibitions — Leone picked up his third save on Sunday — and general manager John Mozeliak mentioned him as a closer candidate in a recent radio interview. If Gregerson can get healthy by the start of the season, we still think the job is his, but Leone could end up being a great pickup late in your drafts.

Updated hierarchy: *Gregerson | Leone | Norris.
* = closer-by-committee

March 12, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – It’s been nine days since Luke Gregerson last appeared in his first and only spring training game thus far, as an oblique injury has kept him sidelined since then. Gregerson began as the presumptive favorite for the St. Louis closer gig, but his absence means that the door is now open for offseason acquisition Bud Norris. And while Norris hadn’t done much to stake his claim, getting shelled in his first two spring appearances, he did post a clean inning on Saturday. We’ll continue to monitor Gregerson’s injury.

Hierarchy remains: *Gregerson | Norris | Lyons.
* = closer-by-committee

February 28, 2018
St. Louis Cardinals – The St. Louis Cardinals enter 2018 without a proven closer, and manager Mike Matheny has pressed the front office to bring in a reliable 9th inning arm. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak declared Luke Gregerson the front runner, but that was before the Cardinals acquired Bud Norris, who thrived as a reliever last season with the Angels and has an outside shot to win the closer’s job out of spring training. Tyler Lyons could be in the mix as well, but as a lefty, he may be relegated to a specialist role. One intriguing option is Alex Reyes, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery, but looks to be ready in May. For now, look for the Cardinals to play the hot hand early in the season. We’ll give Gregerson the inside track in the committee for now.

Starting 2018 hierarchy: *Gregerson | Norris | Lyons.
* = closer-by-committee
Holds candidates: Norris, Lyons, Reyes.

September 20, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Juan Nicasio kept the score tied in the ninth and then got the ball in the 10th with the Cardinals now ahead by two runs. After allowing a leadoff homer, Nicasio retired the next hitter before ceding the inning to Tyler Lyons in order to take advantage of a lefty-lefty matchup and eventually convert his third save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: *Nicasio | Lyons | Oh.
* = closer-by-committee

September 10, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — The Cardinals went right back to their newest bullpen piece last night, and Juan Nicasio responded by striking out two in a scoreless inning for the save.  Nicasio has been pitching well and racking up reliever stats (2 wins, 2 holds, and 2 saves in his last 7 appearances).   Seung Hwan Oh has not been particularly effective at the top of the committee, and now the Cardinals look ready to use the veteran Nicasio in that spot.

Updated hierarchy: *Nicasio | Lyons | Oh.
* = closer-by-committee

September 9, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Things are wide open in the Cardinals bullpen, and the newly acquired Juan Nicasio is right in the thick of it. His first appearance for the team found him successfully protecting a three-run lead against the Pirates, who traded him to the Phillies in a bizarre salary dump on August 31, only to see him moved to a fellow playoff contender. Nicasio hasn’t given up a run in eight outings (in three different uniforms), and though he won’t be eligible to pitch in the playoffs, he could play a big part getting the Cardinals there.

Updated hierarchy: *Oh | Lyons | Nicasio.
* = closer-by-committee

September 7, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Tyler Lyons got the call up two in the ninth; after giving up two leadoff singles, he struck out two and got a flyout to earn his second save of the year. It’s been a pretty mediocre season for Seung Hwan Oh, and Lyons held batters to a 1-for-32 average in August, so you might have expected the lefty to get a closing shot sooner. With the Cardinals in the thick of the wild card race, he may wind up as the most important reliever down the stretch.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Lyons | Brebbia.
* = closer-by-committee

September 1, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — The sad season continues for former setup man Kevin Siegrist. He was designated for assignment Thursday. He pitched to a 4.98 ERA over 39 appearances this year after being one of the top setup men in the game over the previous two campaigns. Meanwhile, Seung Hwan Oh picked up the save Thursday night, giving him the team’s two saves in Trevor Rosenthal’s absence. One more save and we’ll make that asterisk absent, too.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Lyons | Brebbia.
* = closer-by-committee

August 24, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal will have Tommy John surgery next week, which mean he will not only miss the rest of this season but much of next season as well. So far, nobody has emerged as a clear candidate to take over as closer in St. Louis. Seung Hwan Oh did himself no favors on Wednesday, allowing a single and a triple to the only two batters he faced in a low-leverage eighth inning during the Cardinals’ win.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Lyons | Brebbia.
* = closer-by-committee

August 19, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — St. Louis wanted to rest their top relievers last night, and Matt Bowman was primed to get a vulture save, but when the Pirates came storming back to load the bases, Mike Matheny turned to a very tired Seung Hwan Oh to get the last two outs of the ninth. We thought Tyler Lyons would get the vulture save chance, but Matheny seemed set on trying to rest both him and Oh. The committee got the job done last night, so look for it to continue with Tyler Lyons and John Brebbia carrying the late innings today. In other news, Trevor Rosenthal is seeking a second opinion on his elbow, which could require surgery.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Lyons | Brebbia.
* = closer-by-committee

August 18, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — If Thursday’s game is any indication, Seung Hwan Oh is the most likely guy to grab saves in St. Louis with closer Trevor Rosenthal on the shelf. Oh was warming in the bullpen with the Cards up 7-5, but entered the 9th with an 11-5 lead, so there was no save chance to be he had. With the increased cushion, Oh allowed two runs before shutting the door. Lefty Tyler Lyons pitched the eighth inning ahead of Oh, and should get any save chances when Oh needs a breather. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are holding their breath as they brace for news about Rosenthal’s elbow. An MRI is scheduled for Friday.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Lyons | Brebbia.
* = closer-by-committee

August 17, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal has been placed on the 10-day DL with right elbow irritation.  As we mentioned earlier in the daily update, we expect a committee of Seung Hwan Oh and lefty Tyler Lyons while Rosenthal is out, but we will continue to monitor to see if manager Mike Matheny offers any clarity on the situation.

Updated hierarchy: *Oh | Lyons | Brebbia.
* = closer-by-committee

August 17, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal didn’t look right in a brief outing on Wednesday night, and was pulled from the game after yielding a homer and a walk. His velocity was down and he reported “tightness” in his throwing arm; the Cards are concerned that it’s a return of the shoulder trouble from spring training. He’ll be checked out on Thursday and, if he’s hurt, we expect saves to come out of a committee of Seung Hwan Oh (1 ER, 13 K over last 12 appearances) and lefty Tyler Lyons (18 K in 14 straight scoreless appearances), with Zach Duke and John Brebbia on the next tier.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Oh | Lyons.

August 12, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — The Vulture Save Watch told you that the Cardinals’ bullpen was stretched thin, and that was on full display last night. Holding onto a one-run lead with two outs in the seventh, Mike Matheny turned to Zach Duke to get Freddie Freeman out. He did, then stuck around for the eighth, leaving the ninth to Matt Bowman, who converted his second save of the year. Bowman is not usually part of the late-inning mix, but Seung Hwan Oh and Trevor Rosenthal needed rest, and Duke had already been used in the highest-leverage spot.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Oh | Duke.

August 10, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Brett Cecil has been used mostly in long relief lately, but Zach Duke is keeping the seventh inning in the two first names family. On the field at Busch, a stray cat inspired Yadier Molina to hit a grand slam off Peter Moylan — the first homer attributable to an animal since Mr. Ed took Sandy Koufax deep in 1963.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Oh | Duke.

July 31, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal bagged his sixth save of the season last night, and has been an absolute hoss lately. In his last 11.2 innings: 4 hits, 1 BB, 1 ER, 19 Ks. Between those numbers, and the fact that he’s gotten the last two save chances, we’ll kick his asterisk. Welcome back to the 9th, Trevor.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Oh | Cecil.

July 28, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal is drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Washington Nationals. Rosenthal would slide into Washington’s reworked bullpen and could be in line for save chances there if he’s moved.

Hierarchy remains: *Rosenthal | Cecil | Oh.
* = closer-by-committee

July 21, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals bullpen blew another game Thursday, with Brett Cecil giving up the lead in the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal losing the game in the ninth after he somehow forgot to cover first base. His teammate Matt Carpenter wasn’t happy. There’s no indication the mental lapse will lead to a job change, as he’s still at the top of a messy committee.

Hierarchy remains: *Rosenthal | Cecil | Oh.
* = closer-by-committee

July 18, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Undaunted by Brett Cecil’s blown save on Sunday, the Cardinals sent him back out for the 9th inning again on Monday. This time, the lefty converted. Look for him to continue to get opportunities when the matchups make sense.

Updated hierarchy: *Rosenthal | Cecil | Oh.
* = closer-by-committee

July 17, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals took their new closer-by-committee for a spin, giving Brett Cecil a chance at the 9th inning. Three batters later, the score was tied; three more, and the Cardinals had lost. Trevor Rosenthal, who pitched a clean 8th, would be the next reliever in line for a shot, but he pitched in all three games over the weekend and won’t be available today.

Updated hierarchy: *Rosenthal | Oh | Cecil.
* = closer-by-committee

July 15, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Seung Hwan Oh came on in a tied ninth and gave up a three-run homer for his fifth loss of the year. This season, The Final Boss is less of a Mike Tyson and more of a Birdo.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Cecil.

July 9, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Seung Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his eighteenth save of the season.  After giving way to Trevor Rosenthal for a few save opportunities, Oh has received the last two save chances and converted both.  Rosenthal had his chance, but it looks like Oh has asserted himself as the closer again so we will drop the committee asterisk.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Cecil.

July 7, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Meet the new Final Boss, same as the old Final Boss. After Brett Cecil collected five outs, Seung Hwan Oh entered for his third straight appearance to pick up his first save since June 21. Trevor Rosenthal, who has allowed runs in four of his last six appearances, did not get the call even though he hasn’t pitched since July 4. With Oh presumably tired, Rosenthal should get the Friday save chance, if applicable. Perhaps that was Mike Matheny’s plan all along. Stay tuned.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Rosenthal | Cecil.
* = closer-by-committee

July 2, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — The Cardinals used five relievers out of the bullpen on Saturday night and all of them were perfect except for one.  Of course the one reliever who was not perfect was the man they sent out for the ninth inning to close out a two run lead.  Trevor Rosenthal got his second straight save chance and certainly would have moved to the top of the committee if he could have converted it.  Instead, he gave up a run and loaded the bases before being pulled with two outs.  Matt Bowman came on and struck out the only batter he faced to pick up his first career save.  Seung Hwan Oh struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth inning, and might get another chance in the ninth since Rosenthal has given up runs in four of his last five appearances.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Rosenthal | Cecil.
* = closer-by-committee

June 29, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — After Seung Hwan Oh’s third blown save on Tuesday, Mike Matheny left the door open for a change in the ninth inning. Tonight, Brett Cecil (resurgent, but still leading the league in relief meltdowns) shut down the heart of the Arizona lineup in the eighth, and it was Trevor Rosenthal who got the call to protect a two-run lead. Rosenthal was about as bad as he could be without losing the lead, scattering a single, two walks, and two wild pitches, but managing to strand the tying run on third. He got the save, but it’s hard to imagine the outing filled Matheny with confidence going forward, especially since Oh was warming for much of the inning. This looks like a committee — an ugly committee.

Updated hierarchy: *Oh | Rosenthal | Cecil.
* = closer-by-committee

June 14, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — Another day, another three-inning save, this one the first in the career of lefty Tyler Lyons. Free Premium for the first person to email us a screenshot of Lyons delivering that save to your fantasy team.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Bowman.

June 10, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — As pointed out to us last night by an enthusiastic Cardinals fan (15 exclamation points!!) suspiciously named Matt, Kevin Siegrist has indeed been eclipsed in the Cardinals bullpen by Matt Bowman, who struck out the side in the seventh last night for his 12th hold. Did Bowman himself take the time to harangue us with four postgame paragraphs about our “glaring mistake”? Does he have the tech savvy to spoof a Chicago IP address from the Cardinals’ locker room? Let’s just go with probably yes.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Rosenthal | Bowman.

May 15, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – After picking up a 7th inning hold last Wednesday, Kevin Siegrist closed out a 5-0 win for the Cardinals. The control issues that were plaguing him early this year are gone, as he’s now gone 10 straight appearances (11 Ks, 1 BB) without allowing a run. Welcome back to the hierarchy, Kevin.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Rosenthal | Siegrist.

May 9, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Usually we have something to say about somebody, somewhere, in one of MLB’s 30 bullpens. But the only thing that happened Monday that struck us as out of the ordinary was a save for journeyman Miguel Socolovich, whose baseball career spans the minor league systems of six different MLB teams, as well as the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of NPB. Socolovich, a native of Venezuela, pitched the final three innings of the Cardinals blowout victory to earn his first career save. If you had Socolovich active in your lineup yesterday, send us a screenshot. The first person who does wins Closer Monkey Premium for a year; any subsequent winners will win a free day of email sponsorship.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Bowman.

May 8, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Kevin Siegrist picked up the save in the 14th inning on Sunday. Almost every other Cardinals reliever had already pitched to that point, but it was still a nice outing for the embattled lefty, who has now gone seven straight appearances without allowing a run. Perhaps even more significant is that he has walked only one hitter in that span, after opening the year with 10 BBs in 6.1 IPs. Siegrist was an elite set-up man last year, and if he’s worked out his issues, he could return to that status in short order.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Bowman.

May 3, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Seung Hwan Oh got the night off following a 25-pitch struggle on Monday, paving the way for Trevor Rosenthal to nab his third save of the season.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Bowman.

April 28, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Seung Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless ninth inning with the score tied in the first game of a doubleheader, so in the nightcap with Oh unavailable, Trevor Rosenthal got his second vulture save. Rosenthal has really pitched well this year (2.84 ERA, 13 K’s, 2 SV in 7 G) and may have the inside track to the closer gig if Oh falters.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Bowman.

April 23, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Bowman picked up his 5th hold of the season on Saturday, pitching a scoreless 7th. Until Kevin Siegrist can get the kinks ironed out (10 BBs in 6.1 IPs so far), Bowman will continue to get late inning looks.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Rosenthal | Bowman.

April 20, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — As foretold by the Vulture Save Watch Wednesday morning, Seung Hwan Oh got the day off and Trevor Rosenthal earned his first save since his demotion last June. Rosenthal is throwing harder than ever, with a fastball averaging 98.8 MPH this season. If Oh continues to have problems, Rosenthal (who is only 26) could recapture the closer role.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Rosenthal | Siegrist.

April 18, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Finally, in their 13th game of the season, Seung Hwan Oh notched his first save for the Cardinals. But he struggled in doing so, giving back half of the Cardinals’ two-run lead before and letting the tying run reach second before inducing a hard groundout from John Jaso to end it. Oh hasn’t been his normal self to start the season (5.2 IPs, 6 ER, 2 Ks, 1 BB, 2 HRs), with his K totals being especially alarming after he struck out 103 hitters in 79.2 IPs last season. Would-be set-up man Kevin Siegrist has also struggled, having walked 8(!) in just 4.1 innings thus far. Instead, it’s been Trevor Rosenthal who has been solid since returning from an early-season injury — the former closer got the 8th inning hold ahead of Oh last night. If The Final Boss continues to struggle, Rosenthal may get a chance to return to the spotlight.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Rosenthal | Siegrist.

April 11, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals – Former Cards closer Trevor Rosenthal was activated off the DL yesterday and immediately saw action in a lopsided contest in Washington. He promptly struck out the side on 14 pitches. Given his resume, we expect Rosenthal to get late-inning opportunities going forward.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Siegrist | Rosenthal.

March 1, 2017
St. Louis Cardinals — “Final Boss” Seung Hwan Oh has made the closing role his own, taking the job and running with it after he deposed the ineffective and injured Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal is young and still has lights-out stuff, but may get a shot in the rotation. If he does, it will leave Kevin Siegrist competing with newcomer Brett Cecil for the setup role. Siegrist has been a reliable source of holds, and will probably take the eighth inning out of the gate — but he has also struggled with shoulder tightness early this spring. Cecil signed a four-year deal, so the Cardinals see him as a valuable asset going forward. Jonathan Broxton is also in the mix, but will have to regain his form before truly becoming a factor.

Starting 2017 hierarchy: Oh | Siegrist | Cecil.
Holds candidates: Siegrist, Cecil, Broxton, Matt Bowman.

September 30, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals – Battling a sore groin and pitching in his second straight night, Seung Hwan Oh gave up the tying run to the Reds to blow the save. But like any good “Final Boss,” Oh won anyway after the Cardinals “scored” in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals desperately needed the win, as they are now 1 game back of the second Wild Card spot with just the season’s final weekend to go. It’s hard to believe Oh will be available Friday given the injury, meaning Kevin Siegrist could be worth a speculative add for a potential sneaky save this weekend.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

September 29, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Seung Hwan Oh left last night’s game as a precaution to avoid further injury to his balky groin. Consider him day-to-day, with Kevin Siegrist ready to fill in if needed.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

September 20, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Reminder: vulture saves win fantasy championships! As we predicted yesterday, Kevin Siegrist snagged his third save of the season, filling in for an unavailable Seung Hwan Oh.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

September 14, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Seung Hwan Oh has been battling a groin problem and was unavailable on Tuesday, paving the way for Kevin Siegrist to collect a save. Oh should be back on Wednesday, but if he isn’t then Siegrist should see the 9th once again.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

September 13, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal, who has been injured since July 24, is nearing his return to the Cards’ bullpen. He has reportedly been reaching 100 mph on the radar gun during bullpen sessions, so we would expect him to at least make a case for regaining the closer role for the home stretch. However, current closer Seung Hwan Oh has pitched phenomenally in Rosenthal’s absence.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

September 9, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Former closer Trevor Rosenthal (forearm) and injured starter Michael Wacha are expected to rejoin the Cardinals bullpen next week for the playoff push. Rosenthal has thrown two bullpen sessions recently, while Wacha threw one Wednesday and felt no pain. It was the first time Wacha threw on the side since being shut down with a shoulder injury Aug. 9.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

August 31, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Kevin Siegrist got the eighth and Seung Hwan Oh pitched the ninth in a tie game, and when the Cardinals took the lead in the top of the 10th, Mike Matheny opted to not run Oh out for another inning. Instead, he turned to Matt Bowman, who proceeded to record just one out. Lefty specialist Zach Duke then came in to get the final two outs and record the save.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

August 30, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Alex Reyes’s return to the rotation over the weekend has left a hole in the seventh inning for the Cardinals. Matt Bowman has been filling in there, but when he and Kevin Siegrist gave up a combined four runs last night, it was the recently promoted Miguel Socolovich who stopped the bleeding and set St. Louis up for a comeback win. It was an impressive outing for Socolovich, but not enough to crack the hierarchy yet.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Siegrist | Bowman.

August 20, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Seung Hwan Oh pitched two scoreless innings in a tie game, so when the Cardinals took the lead in the eleventh, it fell to 21-year-old rookie Alex Reyes to close the game out. He worked around a single and a walk to lock up his first career save. Reyes is one of the best starting pitching prospects in baseball, and the Cardinals have a history of using prospects as relievers early in their careers (see Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez). Mike Matheny trusts the youngster and, with Reyes living up to the hype so far (0.00 ERA, 9 K, 7 IP), we will slot him into the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Siegrist | Reyes.

August 3, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — When Seung Hwan Oh pulled a six-pitch Houdini in the eighth (escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam with no runs allowed), Mike Matheny decided to let Oh bat with the bases loaded in the St. Louis half of the ninth. After the inevitable strikeout in what was evidently his third professional plate appearance, Oh came back out for the save chance and gave up two singles and a walk-off dinger. Although Oh wasn’t in the mood to talk afterward, his job is safe.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Siegrist | Broxton.

July 16, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Kevin Siegrist was activated from the DL (mono) and pitched an inning in a Cardinals loss on Friday. When healthy, Siegrist was one of the Cardinals most trusted relievers, so he immediately jumps back into the hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Siegrist | Broxton.

July 9, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — The Cardinals’ injury woes continued last night, as Trevor Rosenthal entered a tie game in the ninth inning, only to leave with a strained hamstring and the loss. Rosenthal is considered day-to-day at this point; while he’s out, look for Matt Bowman to pick up a few additional opportunities.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Broxton | Bowman.

July 8, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal pitched in the eighth inning of a 5-1 win over the Pirates, recording two outs in a clean outing. It’s a good sign for the demoted closer, but we’ll wait to slide him up in our hierarchy until we see more evidence that Mike Matheny is trusting him again.

Hierarchy remains: Oh | Broxton | Rosenthal.

July 4, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals – Seung Hwan Oh picked up his second save in as many days on Sunday, and has been the clear choice for the Cardinals following Trevor Rosenthal’s demotion, despite Mike Matheny’s reluctance to name him the primary closer. The Cardinals are still hoping that Rosenthal can return to the role soon, but until then, Oh will get the fast majority of chances.

Updated hierarchy: Oh | Broxton | Rosenthal.

July 3, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Seung Hwan Oh pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to record his first career save.  Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless eighth inning ahead of Oh.  Another clean save from Oh could drop the committee talk and leave him as the primary closer.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Broxton | Rosenthal.
* = closer-by-committee

July 2, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — In an attempt to challenge everyone’s spelling abilities, Kevin Siegrist was put on the disabled list with mononucleosis, and AAA closer Sam Tuivailala, a converted reliever and future closer prospect, was recalled to take his place. With Siegrist sidelined, Mike Matheny identified Jonathan Broxton, Trevor Rosenthal, and Seung Hwan Oh as the “three great options” still available in relief for St. Louis.

Updated hierarchy: *Oh | Broxton | Rosenthal.
* = closer-by-committee

June 27, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — It wasn’t a save situation, but with the Cardinals ahead over the final three innings on Tuesday, Jonathan Broxton, Kevin Siegrist and Seung Hwan Oh came out in that order to finish the game. It’s still a committee, especially with none of the three pitchers having recorded a save since Trevor Rosenthal’s demotion, but all indications so far are that Oh will be the ninth-inning guy for the Cardinals.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Siegrist | Broxton.
* = closer-by-committee

June 27, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals – We got our first look at the post-Rosenthal Cardinals bullpen last night, and it was Kevin Siegrist who was first out of the gate, inheriting a sticky spot in the 6th inning. Seung Hwan Oh was not used, as the Cardinals padded their lead and went on to win by 5, but he clearly would have been the guy last night if there had been a save situation. Early indications continue to be that Oh is at the top of the committee.

Hierarchy remains: *Oh | Siegrist | Broxton.
* = closer-by-committee

June 26, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Mike Matheny confirmed yesterday that Trevor Rosenthal will no longer be the team’s closer.  He also said that he would use a three-pitcher committee instead of naming one closer.  We still like Seung Hwan Oh the best but Matheny said that he would rotate through Oh, Siegrist and Broxton based on availability and matches.

Updated hierarchy: *Oh | Siegrist | Broxton.
* – closer-by-committee

June 25, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — As we warned you this morning, struggling Trevor Rosenthal was removed from the closer role. Mike Matheny wouldn’t commit to just one option going forward, we have to believe that Seung Hwan Oh has the best chance to grab the job, finally taking his role as the “Final Boss” across platforms to MLB.

Updated hierarchy: *Oh | Siegrist | Broxton.
* – closer-by-committee

June 25, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal was handed a 1 run lead in the 9th inning, and took the loss after giving up 3 runs without recording an out. This ballooned his ERA to 5.63 on the year, and an absurd 14.14 in June. Rosenthal’s struggles this year have been blamed on a lack of work, and this is only his 3rd blown save on the year, but the fire under his seat is red hot, with at least some speculation that he is already finished as the closer. Mike Matheny has been committed to Rosenthal through his struggles this year, but gave a pretty reserved non-answer when asked about his role going forward, saying he needs to “figure it out.” Seung Hwan Oh pitched the 8th ahead of Rosenthal, and Kevin Siegrist was seen warming up before the walkoff homer by Adam Lind. Oh has been excellent recently, giving up only 1 run in his last 14 outings, and based on his recent use and his righthandedness we think he might have a slight edge over Siegrist if a closer change happens. But Siegrist is certainly no slouch and has gotten his share of 8th inning opportunities this year as well, so a committee could be in order. Regardless, this may be the last chance you have to grab them before Matheny makes a change official.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Oh | Siegrist.

June 19, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal entered the game yesterday to try and protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning, and he left with the bases loaded and no outs.  Kevin Siegrist relieved Rosenthal and allowed two of those inherited runners to score.  Rosenthal didn’t technically receive a blown save yesterday since he left with the Cardinals still in the lead, but he was credited with the loss.  Rosenthal has given up runs in three of his past four appearances, and has given up seven baserunners while only recording one out in his last two outings.  Siegrist and Seung Hwan Oh have been pitching well so there has to be questions as to whether Rosenthal will continue to get the call in the ninth.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Oh.

June 4, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal had an outing to forget, walking all three batters he faced in a non-save situation. Mike Matheny backed his closer after the game, saying that Rosenthal hasn’t gotten enough work to stay sharp. Rosenthal, one of the best closers in the game last year, is 8-for-9 in save chances this year, but he has also walked 16 batters in only 17 innings. With Kevin Siegrist and Seung-Hwan “Final Boss” Oh having great seasons, there have been at least a few calls for Rosenthal to lose his job until he regains his command.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Oh.

May 23, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals – Expect to see a few more vulture save opportunities for Kevin Siegrist and Seung Hwan Oh in the future, as the Cardinals will reportedly start pitching Trevor Rosenthal more frequently to ensure he stays sharp. This means he might not always be as available when save chances arise, but the Cardinals, concerned about his sporadic work thus far, think that’s a risk worth taking.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Oh.

May 13, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals — With the Cardinals up five in the ninth on Thursday, the Angels didn’t give up, getting three runs off Seth Maness to make things interesting. In came Trevor Rosenthal, who walked the bases loaded (14 pitches; only 2 strikes!) before getting pulled for Kevin Siegrist, who finished the game for his first save. Over his last three appearances, Rosenthal has walked as many men as he’s retired. It’s unusual to see a closer with an identical ERA and WHIP (1.64); if Rosenthal’s control issues linger, manager Mike Matheny may have to start mixing in Siegrist more often.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Oh.

May 5, 2016
St. Louis CardinalsThe Final Boss, Seung Hwan Oh, lowered his ERA to 1.72 in the 8th inning of Wednesday’s game. He also sports an 11.2 K/9 as while limiting opponents to a .148 batting average. These numbers, and the fact that Jonathan Broxton has been used while his team is trailing in recent days, suggests that Oh has stepped ahead of Broxton on the hierarchy. Oh earned his nickname from his time as a dominant closer in Japan, so a lack of closing experience shouldn’t hold him back. However, with Trevor Rosenthal locked into the 9th inning, it may take an injury for Oh to see consistent save opportunities.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Oh.

March 2, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal leads the always strong Cardinals bullpen again in 2016. With 48 saves last year, he is as locked in as anybody, but he does have an unusually strong set of relievers behind him. Top set up option Kevin Siegrist filled in at times as the closer and was dominant, while former closers Jonathan Broxton and Jordan Walden bring the always discussed “closing experience” to the table as well. Seth Maness has been a workhorse, and a sleeper in holds leagues, and if that wasn’t enough, the Cardinals picked up international free agent Seung Hwan Oh, who saved 41 games pitching in Japan last year. Oh has been talked about as a competitor for the set up job, and does boast a great nickname (“Final Boss.”) but with the other options in the crowded Cardinals bullpen, he will likely have to earn his way to the late innings. Jordan Walden is coming back from a shoulder injury that cost him the end of the 2015 season, but looks to be ready to start the season.

Starting 2016 hierarchy: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Broxton.
2016 Holds Candidates: Siegrist, Broxton, Maness, Oh, Walden.

September 23, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal had pitched in back-to-back games, leading to Steve Cishek grabbing his fourth save of the season on Tuesday. Mike Matheny was encouraged by Cishek’s outing, and he may play a role in the late innings if Matheny rests some arms in a crowded bullpen, like he had to tonight with both Rosenthal and Jonathan Broxton needing a night off.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Broxton. 

August 31, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal, apparently the poster child for the wussification of America, was still out on paternity leave on Sunday, so Kevin Siegrist got the save in his place. Rosenthal is set to rejoin the team today after taking THREE WHOLE DAYS to be with his family after the birth of his child. WHAT A WUSS.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Broxton. 

August 27, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal will be placed on the paternity list Friday to attend to the birth of his second daughter. With the All-Star closer unavailable for the series against the Giants, the Cardinals will likely turn to Kevin Siegrist for any save opportunities. Don’t count out Jonathan Broxton either, who has five straight scoreless appearances and “closing experience” to his credit.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Broxton.

August 8, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — For the second time this year, Carlos Villanueva grabbed a three-inning save for the Cards.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Broxton.

August 7, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Normally, managers tend to avoid using relief pitchers with ERAs north of 5.00. But they also tend to use pitchers with that invaluable “closing experience,” no matter how well (or poorly) they’re pitching. Jonathan Broxton fits into both categories, and he’s been used in high-leverage situations since he joined the first-place Cardinals before the trade deadline. Broxton picked up his first hold with St. Louis on Thursday, entering the game with a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning. Earlier this week, he pitched in the seventh and eighth of two separate tie games, a sign that he has quickly earned the trust of manager Mike Matheny.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Broxton.

July 31, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — The Cardinals emerged victorious over the Rocks Thursday — no thanks to Seth Maness, who allowed the tying run in the sixth, or Kevin Siegrist, who allowed two runs in the eighth to put Colorado ahead before Axford coughed it up in the ninth. The newly acquired Steve Cishek pitched a clean seventh, and deserves a spot in the Cardinals hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Cishek.

July 26, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Randy Choate recorded the last two outs of a 1-0 Cardinals win on Saturday to pick up his 1st save of the season.  Seth Maness started the 9th, but the lefty-specialist Choate was brought on to face a couple of lefties to finish the game.  Kevin Siegrist recorded a 25 pitch save on Friday so he was likely unavailable yesterday, and manager Mike Matheny gave regular closer Trevor Rosenthal a second night off in a row, after he was convinced to pitch him a third consecutive day on Thursday.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

July 25, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Yet another save delivered to those who heed the Vulture Save Watch, courtesy of Kevin Siegrist. In other news, the Cardinals acquired Steve Cishek from the Marlins. Although Cishek has improved since his return to the majors in June (0.71 ERA, 11 K in 13 appearances), we think his ceiling is the Seth Maness level, solidly behind Trevor Rosenthal, Siegrist, and Jordan Walden, once the latter returns (as early as next week) from his biceps injury.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

July 6, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal had pitched in three straight, so Kevin Siegrist filled in on Sunday, earning his fourth save. The Vulture Save Watch snags another one.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

June 28, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Carlos Villanueva pitched the last three innings of a 7-run Cardinals win last night to pick up the save.  Villanueva has pitched pretty well for the Cardinals so far this season, but he is still used mostly for multiple innings and won’t see much time in the later innings of close games.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

June 19, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Trevor Rosenthal said after Wednesday night’s game that he feels he’s ready to return to closing, and on Thursday night, it appeared that was going to be the case. In a 1-0 game in the eighth inning, manager Mike Matheny sent Kevin Siegrist — who picked up a couple saves when Rosenthal was hurt — to the mound, while Rosenthal warmed up in the bullpen. Siegrist allowed the game-tying home run, though, so he earned the blown save and Rosenthal never got into the game. The Cardinals eventually lost when Kennys Vargas hacked a walkoff HR off Carlos Villanueva.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

June 17, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals – Trevor Rosenthal was held out once again because of tightness in his pitching arm, meaning Kevin Siegrist grabbed another save. Rosenthal remains day-to-day and said after the game that he’s feeling better, while manager Mike Matheny said that a DL stint is not part of the plan. That’s good news for the Best Hackers In Baseball, because Rosenthal leads the National League in saves.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

June 16, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals – Up one run in the 9th, Kevin Siegrist slammed the door for the Cards, picking up his second save of the year. After the game, Mike Matheny told reporters that closer Trevor Rosenthal has been experiencing “tightness” in his throwing arm. While Rosenthal has not been placed on the DL and remains the closer in St. Louis, owners desperate for saves may want to pick up Siegrist, who has been phenomenal this year.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

May 27, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — As predicted in Tuesday’s Vulture Save Watch, Seth Maness picked up his third save of the season while Trevor Rosenthal and Kevin Siegrist each received a day off.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

May 17, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Kevin Siegrist pitched a scoreless 8th in a tie game yesterday to lower his ERA to just a touch over 1.00.  Seth Maness, on the other hand, gave up 4 runs in his appearance on Friday to raise his ERA to over 5.00.  Siegrist has been consistently pitching in the 7th and or 8th inning, and could close for the Cardinals when Rosenthal is unavailable.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Siegrist | Maness.

May 8, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Jordan Walden will be out for 6 to 10 weeks with an injury to his pitching shoulder. Kevin Siegrist slides into the Cardinal hierarchy.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Maness | Siegrist.

April 26, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Seth Maness recorded his first save of the season last night, as Trevor Rosenthal and Jordan Walden were given the night off.  Maness had three saves last season, and could continue to see save chances when the Cardinals’ closer and set-up man are unavailable.  Mitch Harris also made his major league debut yesterday for the Cardinals’ bullpen.  Harris spent five years in the Navy, where he would throw with the cook who was from the Dominican Republic.  Harris won’t factor into the Cardinals’ late inning bullpen plans, but that doesn’t mean the Monkey won’t be rooting for him.

Updated hierarchy: Rosenthal | Walden | Maness.

April 18, 2015
St. Louis Cardinals — Kevin Siegrist got a save for pitching the final two innings of a 5-1 win on Friday. Nothing more to see here.

Hierarchy remains: Rosenthal | Walden | Belisle.

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.