MLB: St. Louis Cardinals Need Some Relief

John LewisSenior Writer IJuly 9, 2008

As the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are adding marquee names like CC Sabathia and Rich Harden, the St. Louis Cardinals are sitting back waiting for their marquee names to return.

Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder are all set to make their return to the rotation in the next month. Mulder is set to pitch tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies.  So the debut of Carpenter, return of Wainwright and return to form of Mulder is the equivalent to landing a big trade before the deadline.

However for the Redbirds, it's not that easy because of the lack of relief pitching, mainly closers, that have troubled them all season.  It started with Jason Isringhausen who is 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA in 30 games.

Ryan Franklin was then assigned to replace Isringhausen and has done a solid job with a 3-2 record, 12 saves and a 3.12 ERA. 

But where do the Cardinals go from here?

The one answer is Brian Fuentes of the Colorado Rockies.  He could definitely fit in well at the back end of the bullpen and provide needed relief pitching as well as become the closer.

He's saved 95 games over the last three-and-a-half seasons and has a respectable ERA even though he pitches in Colorado.  He has playoff experience and is a must if the Cards expect to see postseason action.

Obtaining a relief pitcher or closer is more important now more than ever because Milwaukee is standing only a half game behind them and the Marlins and Mets are closing the gap.

Right now the Rays appear to be the frontrunner in the Fuentes sweepstakes, with the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox and Angels among the other clubs interested. 

I say pull the trigger St. Louis, that is if you want to see the post season.