1. Packy Naughton was a lifesaver midseason but will not fit in postseason needs
With pitching woes early in the season, Naughton was brought in as a way to stop the bleeding of the St. Louis bullpen. With three spot starts for the Cardinals and 24 games, Naughton filled a big need and gained an 0-2 record with one save, three holds, and one blown save.
Naughton gave up 16 earned runs in his outings, including three home runs. That gave him a 4.85 ERA.
The Cardinals seem to have it together with their bullpen, relying on Andre Pallante, Chris Stratton, and Zack Thompson for multiple innings. Jordan Hicks, Giovanny Gallegos, and Ryan Helsley have performed well in high-leverage situations in later innings.
With Steven Matz expected to return to St. Louis as another multiple innings guy out of the bullpen and their improved reliance on starting pitchers Adam Wainwright, Jordan Montgomery, Miles Mikolas and Jose Quintana, it doesn’t seem Naughton will have a spot in the postseason.
As he was used in spot situations when others were down, it’s expected that Naughton will not be needed. It is an assurance to Cardinals fans that their team is on the right track and not in need of a stop-gap arm out of the bullpen. After last season, this is welcome news for St. Louis.