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Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Arthur Rhodes: Cards have pen edge

By Jeff Caplan

ST. LOUIS -- Arthur Rhodes pitched half-a-season for the Texas Rangers. When they waived him to make room for two bullpen acquisitions -- Mike Adams and Koji Uehara -- at the deadline, he thought a last World Series chance might be gone, too.

But, here he is anyway, playing a key role as one of two left-handed relievers for the St. Louis Cardinals. That fact, two lefties out of the pen, Rhodes said, gives St. Louis the edge over a hard-throwing Texas pen that won all four ALCS games.

"Both bullpens are great. Both bullpens go out there and throw strikes and get guys out," Rhodes said. "But, we have two left-handers in our bullpen, I think they got one, Darren Oliver, right? So, I think we've got the advantage of the bullpens. We've got some right-handers in our bullpen that throw hard and they got some, too."

Actually, the Rangers have two lefties, too. Rhodes forgot about another late addition, Mike Gonzalez, who has entered three games specifically to face left-handed hitters. So maybe that evens things up.

At any rate, Rhodes has been solid with a scoreless and hitless 1 2/3 innings in five appearances. He's part of a bullpen that has been nearly totally overhauled during the season and has allowed Rhodes, who turns 42 next week, to move from one World Series team to another.

Rhodes and Marc Rzepczynski, another in-season acquisition from Toronto, give the Cards a 1-2 southpaw punch out of the pen, a weapon that could come in handy in late-game situations against Josh Hamilton.

"I was happy with what my role was over there, but teams are going to do what they have to do," Rhodes said. "I was one of the guys they let go, but you've got to pick your head up and St. Louis picked me up and look where I'm at now."