Edward Mujica out as closer for Cardinals

Dustin Bradford

Mujica has blown two saves in four opportunities during September.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Edward Mujica will be relieved of his closer duties for "at least the next few days, possibly longer," reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com.

Mujica has been impressive since taking over the closer role for St. Louis earlier this season. The right-hander owns a 2.53 ERA with 37 saves in 41 appearances. Mujica, however, has struggled during September, allowing seven runs on 15 hits over 6 2/3 innings with two blown saves.

The reliever reviewed film with Cardinals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and found a mechanical flaw in his delivery, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mujica thinks the flaw in his delivery is due to fatigue, telling the reporter:

"My body feels like a little bit tired, and my release point is getting a little bit up. My thinking in my mind I've set it to get to the playoffs. One more month. Right now, I don't want to think about (fatigue). Let's finish it off, these nine games, and then if we make the playoffs think about the playoffs."

The Cardinals have a few options to close out games without Mujica. The team traded for former Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford at the end of August; he saved 105 games for Milwaukee from 2010-2012. Trevor Rosenthal has excelled as a set-up man this season, posting a 2.74 ERA with 103 strikeouts over 72 1/3 innings.

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