Growing up fast: Young Cardinal bullpen racking up innings

Growing up fast: Young Cardinal bullpen racking up innings

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 8: Reliever Seth Maness #61 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium on August 8, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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by JJ Bailey / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on August 22, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 23 at 9:43 AM

(BaseballStL) – The Cardinals relievers need some relief. The young arms in the pen are getting their fair share of experience this season, logging more than 100 innings of work since the All Star break.

That’s just 33 games.

As the roster stands today, the average age of a Cardinal relief pitcher is 26 years old. If you remove Randy Choate’s stately 37 and Edward Mujica’s 29, the average age falls to 23.2.

If Martinez were to rejoin the club it would fall even further.

Strikeout sensation Trevor Rosenthal (23 years old) has logged the most out of the pen, at 59.1. He and Mujica are both in the top 20 in the NL in relief innings.

With September call-ups on the horizon, the Cards will likely look to bring relief in the form of fresh arms to absorb innings. 

"We always take that as an option," Matheny said. "The best cure is for our starters to go further."

Since the break, the most innings on the team have come from Seth Maness. In his 19 second half appearances, the rookie reliever has put up 18.1 innings of work.

He’s allowed only two runs in that stretch, and currently has a streak of 14 scoreless appearances. His groundball to flyball ratio remains north of 4.0.

While the young pitcher has endured a heavy workload, he says his arm feels good and he relishes the chances to throw.  

"I'm just thankful for the opportunity," he said. "I'm just loving every minute I get to be out on the field."

He should get plenty of that, as he’s currently on pace for about 77 innings in the second half. 

At least for the near future, the Cardinals don't have a ton of help on the horizon. With a four-game set with the Braves and contests with both the Reds and the Pirates, the Birds' pen will be tested to it's very limit before September 1. 

"We have to do whatever we can to survive," Matheny said. 

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