T.J. McFarland

St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher T.J. McFarland throws during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(KMOV.com) — The Cardinals got off to a fast start to the off-season Monday, announcing they have brought back a key relief pitcher from last year's club.

The team announced that it has reached an agreement with veteran reliever T.J. McFarland on a contract for the 2022 season. The left-handed groundball specialist joined the St. Louis roster mid-season in 2021 as the Cardinals sought capable help to stabilize a struggling bullpen unit.

After signing with the Cardinals in early July, McFarland found success in St. Louis and saw his role increase to include more meaningful situations as the season evolved. McFarland posted a 2.56 ERA with a career-best 1.060 WHIP in 38.1 innings pitched. His 12 double plays for the season were the most among all Major League pitchers who pitched strictly in relief during the 2021 campaign—pretty impressive considering his season didn't start until July.

By season's end, McFarland had proven himself a bona fide weapon, and the team's attention turned toward locking him up as part of the 2022 bullpen.

With Andrew Miller departing in free agency, the 32-year-old McFarland will slide in alongside Genesis Cabrera next season as a key lefty for new Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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