At this point, I am just simply guessing on players that might pitch for the Cardinals this year. Now, I try to consume as much Cardinals baseball information as humanly possible, so it'd be a fairly educated guess. I could go on and on adding pitchers, but I ended up deciding on these 6 to add to the projections thus far: Austin Gomber (large top left corner), Luke Gregerson (small top right corner), Ryan Helsley (small below Gregerson), Genesis Cabrera (small bottom left corner), Brett Cecil (small above Cabrera), and Daniel Ponce De Leon (large bottom right corner).
All of them but Ryan Helsley are already on the 40-man roster and Helsley has been personally singled out by President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak, in the past as someone who could contribute in the pen sooner rather than later. Chasen Shreve was designated for assignment or I may have added him to this list of players. Tyler Webb probably should be added, but truthfully I just haven't gotten to inputting him yet. I will go ahead and get to him if he plays in STL this year. Another player I could see joining the club that's not in the collage above is Jake Woodford. I will also get to him if he makes the leap. There are three other guys listed as starting pitchers in AAA at Roster Resource: Connor Jones, Mike Hauschild, and Williams Perez. The relievers not previously written up or mentioned here that are listed at Roster Resource for AAA are Ryan Meisinger, Chris Beck, Tommy Layne, Hunter Cervenka, Andrew Morales, Derian Gonzalez, and Landon Beck. Out of those, I can see any of them getting the call if there is room on the 40-man to add them, but I could just as easily see AA pitchers Junior Fernandez, Seth Elledge, Will Latcham, Jacob Patterson, Casey Meisner, or Evan Kruczynski leapfrogging any of the AAA guys to the majors.
You see why I shortened this to simply the 6 above now, I hope.
Let's go ahead and look at the average relief pitcher in the majors of the last 5 years one more time, remembering that these numbers are per 60 innings pitched:
I would like for you to compare that line to the lines of the below 6 players, of whose projections I will lump together into one handy to read graph:
You'll notice that Ponce De Leon (PDL) and Gregerson on the only two projected with a lower WHIP than league average. Three of them (Helsley, PDL, and Gomber) have lower than league average ERA projections. Three of them (Helsley, Gomber, and Gregerson) have projected better than league average K:BB. Four of them (Helsely, PDL, Gomber, and Gregerson) have a better than league average FIP. Three of them have a better than league average BB/9 projection (Gomber, Gregerson, Cecil).
The standout one to me is how many strikeouts this group could get out of the pen, with all but one of them (Cecil) having a projection of a higher than league average K/9!
Do with those numbers what you will. My projections REALLY seem to like Daniel Ponce De Leone a lot and they make me really excited about seeing Ryan Helsley at some point in 2019 as well.
Here's to a great 2019!