ST. LOUIS, MO – The St. Louis Cardinals are on the verge of solidifying their bullpen by signing free-agent right-hander Keynan Middleton. The deal is pending a physical but has been confirmed by a league source. Middleton, who pitched for the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees in 2023, showed promise with a 3.38 ERA over 50 2/3 innings and an impressive 11.4 strikeout-per-nine-inning rate last season.
President of baseball operations John Mozeliak has prioritized reworking the bullpen and has been actively seeking additions to strengthen the team’s relief pitchers. Middleton’s high strikeout rate and whiff percentage make him a valuable asset to the Cardinals, aligning with their goal of enhancing their bullpen’s swing and miss capability.
In addition to his pitching prowess, Middleton brings experience in different relief roles, making him a versatile addition to the Cardinals’ bullpen. With pitchers and catchers scheduled to report on Feb. 14, Middleton is expected to be the final addition to the Cardinals’ bullpen, joining Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos in high leverage opportunities.
The structure of the Cardinals’ bullpen will prioritize utilizing Helsley as the closer and Gallegos as the set-up man, with Middleton expected to join them in high leverage situations. Left-hander JoJo Romero and other pitchers will also play crucial roles in covering middle and later innings, offering the team a well-rounded and adaptable bullpen for the upcoming season.
Middleton’s addition brings depth and experience to the Cardinals’ bullpen, reinforcing their commitment to building a competitive pitching lineup. With the upcoming season on the horizon, the Cardinals are poised to maximize Middleton’s skills and contribute to their success on the field.