You may have heard of bullpen by committee or closer by committee but that is not the situation in St. Louis Cardinals bullpen. Closer Jason Motte has had to begin the season on the disabled list and that has affected everything about the pen and the way Mike Matheny operates it. This was on display in the opening day game after Adam Wainwright came out of the game. Let’s examine some ways that the Cardinals might be able to fix this temporary problem.
The Cardinals have one of those structured bullpens where they have a guy for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. With Motte out, Mitchell Boggs has stepped into the closer role and probably will do just fine there. The problem will be what roles are filled by which pitchers behind Boggs until Motte returns. It might take a little time to adjust things but Matheny will figure something out. Until then however, he could use some help.
His starters need to go deeper into games. I don’t mean they need to go eight or nine every time out but the farther into the game the starters can go, the shorter the bridge that has to get to Boggs as temporary closer. Beginning in game two, they need to focus on longer starts in St. Louis. If that means leaving a guy in longer than normal, so be it. There needs to be a temporary structure there but until that happens, the starters’ job will be to take a few extra hits for the team.