August 5, 2021

Ryan Helsley Records a Save (FanGraphs)

For pitchers on the fringes of the major leagues, 2020 has been a strange year. The dense schedule means teams are cycling through bullpen pieces faster than ever in an attempt to keep fresh arms available. There are no minor league games for the players who aren’t on the active roster, merely alternate sites and live batting practice. It’s a strange, peripheral experience.

For Cardinals pitchers on the fringes of the major leagues, it’s been stranger still, because their schedule has been even more compressed. A string of double headers means pitchers who would normally be relief arms are making spot starts, which calls for more relievers to back them up. Twenty-one players have made relief appearances for St. Louis this year, all the way from Roel Ramirez up to Giovanny Gallegos.

Shuffling relievers means shuffling relief roles. That’s how Ryan Helsley, a hard-throwing righty who split time between Triple-A Memphis and St. Louis last year, ended up taking the mound for the Cardinals with a chance to record his first career save on Friday evening. Gallegos, the team’s nominal closer, is on the Injured List. Génesis Cabrera, the reliever who has thrown the most…

Read “Ryan Helsley Records a Save” at FanGraphs