Cardinals Defeat Closer In Arbitration

Safe to say that his first experience with arbitration wasn't a pleasant one, in more ways than one. St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley has lost his battle at the arbitration table with the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Helsley will earn $2.15M which the Cardinals' proposed, instead of the $3M he had asked for.

The 28-year-old had a breakthrough season in St. Louis; he began sharing the closing duties with Giovanny Gallegos in May, and Helsley ran away with it in September, posting saves in six consecutive appearances.

He didn't allow his first earned run until May 30th, and maintained an ERA below 1.00 until the end of August. He finished the season with a spectacular line of a 9-1 record, 19 saves, a 1.25 ERA, a 0.74 WHIP, and a sizzling 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings. He was also in the 100th percentile in fastball velocity. When you average 99.6 on your fastball, and can ride it up to 103 MPH, that's some serious heat.

Hard to do better than all that, and yet Helsley somehow still lost his arbitration case. Go figure.

Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports