Cheap Seats

Cardinals desperate for a bullpen boost

The Cardinals desperately need a bullpen overhaul. And they especially need a second pitcher who is effective at retiring lefties.

But the question is: Where do they find that kind of help in the middle of a season?

With the new playoff format that includes a second wild card team, there aren't many teams that believe themselves to be out of the post-season hunt. The Redbirds front office put the team in a tight spot over the winter by adding questionable lefty J.C. Romero with no real plan B.

When Romero showed his decline over the past couple of years was no fluke, the Cardinals released him. They thought they would go with righty Kyle McClellan against lefty swingers because he's been pretty effective against them in the past. But he's on the shelf, presumably until August, so that's not an option.

Now the only bullpen lefty on the roster, Marc Rzepczynski, has been over-exposed and beaten around. His ERA has risen to 4.66.

If the Cardinals can find a lefty who is available, the price is going to be hight because of the timing and the demand. The Redbirds aren't likely to deal one of their prime prospects like Shelby Miller or Matt Adams for a short term fix. I don't have any idea what their clubs' motivation to deal them might be. But here are a couple of possible targets:

Minnesota is a miserable 18-32 and appears to be headed nowhere this season. The Twins have two lefties in their bullpen: Brian Duensing is 0-2 with a 3.20 ERA in 25 1/3 innings pitched. He's allowed 20 hits and seven walks while striking out 16. Glen Perkins is 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA. He's allowed 17 hits in 20 innings with 10 walks and 29 strikeouts.

The Mariners are 23-30 and have Charlie Furbursh who is a 2-1 record and a 3.57 ERA. He's allowed 10 hits and four walks in 17 2/3 inning while striking out 20.