June 15, 2024

Feb 15, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Nick Robertson (29) pitches during workouts at spring training. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals took steps to bolster their pitching roster over the winter. However, one of their new additions, pitcher Nick Robertson, has been sidelined due to right elbow inflammation. In response, the Cardinals have brought up Andre Pallante from Triple-A.

Despite the concerning nature of elbow inflammation, Robertson appears relatively optimistic. He mentioned feeling tightness in his elbow during a pre-game warm-up, leading to his placement on the injured list starting from May 23. However, he reassured reporters that he anticipates a swift return, stating, “Everything looks good and nothing to be concerned about.”

St. Louis Cardinals Field Nick Roberston is listed as injured.

During the offseason, the Cardinals acquired Robertson from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill, as part of their efforts to strengthen their pitching corps. However, Robertson’s performance in the major leagues has been inconsistent, with a 4.38 ERA in eight games and 12 1/3 innings pitched. Despite this, he has shown promising attributes such as low walk and high chase rates, albeit in a small sample size. His minor league performance has been more solid, with a 2.84 ERA in six relief appearances spanning 6 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals’ pitching staff currently ranks below average in various metrics like WAR, ERA+, ERA, and strikeout percentage across Major League Baseball. While Robertson’s arrival was hoped to bolster the staff, his lack of experience means his impact is uncertain. Nonetheless, he presents an interesting prospect who could potentially make a mark in the majors.

Unfortunately, Robertson will now be sidelined due to injury, leaving the Cardinals still in search of solutions for their pitching struggles.

Andre Pallante

Replacing Robertson is Pallante, a right-handed pitcher who has alternated between starting and relieving roles lately. Initially part of the St. Louis bullpen this season, the 25-year-old struggled with a 6.30 ERA, leading to a demotion to Triple-A where the Cardinals opted to transition him into a starting role.

In his four outings (three as a starter) with Triple-A Memphis, Pallante has shown mixed performance. Despite a promising 2.20 ERA, he’s struggled with control, issuing 13 walks while striking out nine over 16 1/3 innings. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol mentioned that Pallante will primarily serve as a long reliever but could potentially start on Wednesday in lieu of the injured Steven Matz.

During the offseason, Pallante focused on improving his pitching arsenal, adding a new breaking pitch to his repertoire. The Cardinals aim to maximize his potential by utilizing him as a reliever, capitalizing on his newfound pitch along with his impressive high-90s fastball.

Although Pallante is yet to find consistent success and is grappling with command issues, the Cardinals remain hopeful. If he can overcome these challenges, he could signify a significant player development success story for the organization, something they’ve been seeking in recent years.

 

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