The St. Louis Cardinals have signed former Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma to a minor league contract following his release by the Cleveland Indians.
Aardsma, 32, was the Seattle Mariners in 2009 and 2010 and saved 69 games in that span with a 2.90 earned run average. But he had to have Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2011 season.
Since then, the 6-foot-3 righty has struggled. He's 2-2 with a 4.43 with the New York Mets and Yankees.
The signing of Aardsma seems to be a pretty good indicator of how uncomfortable the Redbirds are with their middle relief corps.
The last spot in the bullpen has been up for grabs with Jorge Rondon and Scott McGregor struggling and issuing too many walks. Injured starting pitcher Jaime Garcia could be a factor in the bullpen if the Cardinals choose to lessen the strain on his arm by limiting his innings.
But, even if Garcia fills the open bullpen hole, another could be in the works. Seth Maness, who was a lucky charm last season, has struggled terribly this spring. Maness had good numbers in 2013. But he benefitted mightily from luck, getting tons of double play ground balls that bailed him out of trouble.
If those balls found holes, things could have been very different. So I am not sold at this point on the St. Louis middle relievers.