NEWSFLASH - The Cardinals Bullpen is in dissarray. Guess what, a better answer to the current situation is EASY. I am a qualitative first quantitative second kind of guy, but to make others happy and to drive home the point I'll reverse that trend for this fanpost... Quantitative analysis is as follows:
Now lets talk roles.....
Closer - If you were beamed in from another planet you would say it's got to be Russ Springer. We know, due to age, he needs to be taken care of in a way that requires he not be the closer. There is no doubt Kyle McClellan is the man here. For reference Wainright's ERA out of the bullpen in '06 was 3.12 and he had a 3.31 FIP. Yes, wainright was a marginally better option out of the pen in '06 but the difference is not as great as the brain trust in STL believes when they start talking about moving Mr. Wainright to the pen now (e.g. the difference between Wainright and McClellan is a hell of alot smaller than the difference between Wainright and Boggs/Looper/Piniero). SAVE US TIME MAKE MCCLELLAN THE CLOSER. He is not only our best option at closer this year he will likely be our best option as closer for the next several years. Lets see if we need to go out on the FA market now....
7th/8th Setup - Option 1 is Springer, Option 2 is Franklin, Option 3 is Izzy.
Wild Card - Motte should be in the bigs. Look at his FIP. He is mowing hitters down in the minors. It is unbelievable that Flores is back up with what Motte and Worrell are doing in AAA. We need to give these two a shot and we need to give them a shot now....
LOOGY - Despite what happened with Delgado last night I am still of the belief that Villone is an effective loogy. I DO NOT want to overpay for the likes of Fuentes and Mahay. Lets get the other Burnett (Sean). He could be had on the cheap, is under team control for four more years and could develop into more than a LOOGY. Any second tier prospect would do......
So in summary our bullpen would be:
Closer - McClellan
8th Inning - Option 1 Springer, Option 2 Franklin
7th Inning/ROOGY - Option 1 Izzy, Option 2 Motte
LOOGYS - Option 1 Burnett, Option 2 Villone
Long dude - Doesn't matter, Thompson, Jimenez, Parisi are all decent options
The answer is easy isn't it? I know LaRussa might fuss but this needs to be settled.....