Gant and the Cardinals avoided arbitration with a one-year, $1.3 million deal Friday, freelance baseball writer Robert Murray reports.
Gant converted fully to relief in 2019 and had an effective season. He finished with three saves and a 3.66 ERA in 66.1 innings, though his 12.6 percent walk rate is a potential cause for concern going forward, especially as his 22.3 percent strikeout rate isn't particularly impressive.
Gant is not on the roster for the National League Division Series against the Braves.
The versatile reliever recorded an 11-1 record with three saves this season but saw his ERA rise to 3.66 after several shaky outings in September. Gant was replaced by Daniel Ponce de Leon in the bullpen for the NLDS.
Gant (11-1) was credited with the victory in a win over the Cubs on Saturday, retiring the only batter he faced on two pitches to close out the eighth inning.
Gant quickly induced an inning-ending groundout from Nicholas Castellanos to keep the Cardinals' deficit at 8-7 entering the ninth. He subsequently became the pitcher of record courtesy of matching solo home runs from Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong, as well as Carlos Martinez's effective work in the home half of the final frame. Gant had allowed four earned runs over just one-third of an inning across his previous two appearances, so Saturday's brief outing was both encouraging and fruitful for his fantasy managers.
Gant (10-1) was charged with the loss in a defeat at the hands of the Brewers on Sunday, allowing three earned runs on three walks over one-third of an inning while recording one strikeout.
The right-hander's season-long undefeated run came to a close courtesy of a Ryan Braun home run off Junior Fernandez that plated the three batters Gant had put on via free passes. It was a rare 2019 stumble for the ultra-reliable reliever, who's seen multiple earned runs go on his ledger in two of his last four appearances.
Gant could be a candidate for the closer's role to open the 2020 season if Carlos Martinez is able to secure a spot in the starting rotation during spring training, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Jordan Hicks (elbow) isn't expected back until midseason at the earliest, and Martinez continues to voice his desire for a shot at re-entering the starting rotation next year despite his solid track record as a closer. Therefore, manager Mike Shildt could have a ninth-inning vacancy on his hands to open the 2020 campaign, and Gant, who's forged a perfect 10-0 mark and has recorded three saves in six opportunities this season, shapes up as a candidate for the job. With southpaw Andrew Miller also on hand, the possibility of a closing platoon looms if Martinez does return to starting. Giovanny Gallegos has forced his way into the conversation as well.
Gant (10-0) earned the win after delivering a scoreless ninth inning with one strikeout and two walks in Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Reds.
Gant was able to reach double-digits in the win column Saturday as the Cardinals rallied for two runs in the ninth to walk off the Reds. The 27-year-old is enjoying his first full season as a reliever with a 2.92 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 51:26 K:BB through 61.2 innings.
Gant (9-0) was credited with the victory in a win over the Brewers on Monday, firing 2.1 scoreless innings in which he allowed no hits, issued a walk and recorded three strikeouts.
Gant fired 22 of 35 pitches for strikes in another efficient outing, getting some valuable outs after starter Adam Wainwright couldn't finish the fourth inning. Gant bounced back nicely from a hiccup in his last appearance Friday against the Rockies, when he surrendered three runs over an inning. Monday's scoreless effort brought his ERA back under 3.00 (2.97) while also affording him his second win of August.
Gant (8-0) was credited with the win in a victory over the Pirates on Sunday, firing a scoreless eighth inning during which he allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout.
Gant's strong season continued in efficient fashion Sunday, with the right-hander needing just eight pitches, six of which found the strike zone, to notch his three outs. The scoreless effort was a particularly welcome sight, as Gant had allowed a run in each of his prior four appearances. The 27-year-old also has 14 holds and three saves to go along with his unblemished win-loss record.
Gant garnered his eighth hold in a win over the Pirates on Thursday, firing a perfect seventh inning in which he recorded two strikeouts.
The right-hander was exceedingly sharp Thursday, with Gant finding the strike zone on each of the scant eight pitches he needed to get his three outs. He's notched a hold in each of his last three appearances and despite occasional hiccups, his 2.55 ERA and 0.99 WHIP are both comfortably below his career 3.67 and 1.30 figures in those categories.
Gant ranks 13th among relievers in opponents' wOBA (min. 100 batters faced) through the first half of the season.
Gant slots in ahead of the likes of Aroldis Chapman and Ken Giles on this particular leaderboard, and directly behind Liam Hendriks and Emilio Pagan. The right-hander has boosted his K-rate by four percentage points to 23.5 percent, while lowering his HR/9 to 0.60 -- no easy task in today's environment. However, it does not appear as though he will see regular save chances so long as Carlos Martinez is healthy and active. Gant was struck on the leg by a line drive July 4 but ended up pitching three days later in the Cardinals' final game before the All-Star break.
Gant was pulled from Thursday's game against the Mariners after getting hit in the leg by a line drive, Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle reports.
Gant was struck by a ball off the bat of Mallex Smith and forced to leave the game, but he'd already pitched for an inning, so it's possible he was about to be lifted regardless of the injury. The severity of the issue is not yet clear.
Carlos Martinez, not Gant, is expected to take over "most of the closer duties" for the Cardinals, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Gant became a popular target last weekend after president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, when asked if he thought Gant would close in the absence of Jordan Hicks, responded, "Oh, I would think so, yeah. He's finished games for us in the past and we have a lot of confidence in him." However, it seems Mozeliak may have just been going along with the radio host's suggestion, or maybe manager Mike Shildt simply has a different preference. Gant has the slight K-BB% edge this season, but Martinez had success as the primary closer last September, going 5-for-5 in save chances during the final month of 2018.
Gant should fill the closer role in St. Louis for the foreseeable future after Jordan Hicks was diagnosed with a torn UCL, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports.
Gant appeared to be in line for a temporary role after Hicks was diagnosed with triceps tendinitis, but an MRI revealed a more serious injury Monday, likely ruling Hicks out for the season. Gant's 2.40 ERA looks like closer material, though his 24.2 percent strikeout rate is hardly dominant. Carlos Martinez and Andrew Miller loom as alternatives should Gant slip up.
General manager John Mozeliak said Sunday on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that Gant is likely to fill in at closer while Jordan Hicks nurses a triceps injury.
Hicks is currently receiving a couple days of rest due to right triceps tendinitis, but he'll be re-evaluated Sunday to determine his status for the upcoming week. Gant is 3-for-5 in save opportunities and has 10 holds with a 1.54 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 37:10 K:BB over 41 innings this season, so he would be a valuable fantasy asset should Hicks require a more significant absence.
Gant (7-0) fired a perfect 11th inning to earn the win over the Marlins on Wednesday, recording one strikeout.
Gant easily mowed down Austin Dean, Miguel Rojas and the pinch-hitting Jordan Yamamoto on just 10 pitches in the top of the 11th, and he became the pitcher of record when Paul Goldschmidt slugged a game-winning home run in the home half of the frame. The right-hander has now put together five scoreless innings across his last three appearances, following an atypical hiccup when he allowed three earned runs over two trips to the mound earlier in June.
Gant (6-0) fired three scoreless innings in a win over the Mets on Friday, allowing two hits and striking out one.
Gant was his typically efficient self, needing just 36 pitches to record nine outs. The right-hander notched first-pitch strikes on 11 of the 12 hitters he faced and helped afford the rest of his bullpen mates some downtime by mostly cruising through the final three frames. The scoreless effort was a nice departure from a brief two-appearance hiccup for Gant, who'd allowed a combined three earned runs to the Cubs and Marlins in his previous pair of outings.
Gant (5-0) fired 1.1 perfect innings in a win over the Reds on Thursday, recording one strikeout.
Gant continued his stellar season with another ultra-efficient outing, requiring a mere 12 pitches to record four outs. The veteran right-hander now has seven consecutive scoreless efforts, a stretch during which he's reinforced his value and versatility by racking up three holds, a save and a pair of victories overall.
Gant recorded two outs to get his third save of the season in a 2-1 win over the Cubs on Sunday.
It was an eventful ninth inning as Gant took over for Jordan Hicks with two runners on base. He promptly produced two quick outs to end the game. It's too early to suggest that the 26-year-old has earned a look as closer, and Hicks remains the favorite with Carlos Martinez also in the setup mix, but Gant is obviously earning more trust and could see more opportunities if he continues to produce. Gant has a 4-0 record with a 1.15 ERA in 27 appearances.
Gant allowed two earned runs on two hits over an inning in a loss to the Braves on Wednesday. He struck out two.
It was an unusual outing for the normally reliable reliever, who actually was exceedingly sharp while getting 17 of his 21 pitches into the strike zone. However, one of the two hits Gant allowed -- a two-run home run to Charlie Culberson -- was costly. Even with the pair of earned runs surrendered Wednesday, Gant's ERA (1.48) and WHIP (0.70) remain at career-best levels.
Gant earned his second save by retiring the lone batter he faced in a 5-2 win over the Reds on Sunday.
After Dominic Leone allowed two runs in the ninth inning, Gant promptly retired Derek Dietrich to nail down his second save of the season. Jordan Hicks was used in the eighth inning for one out but is not in any danger of losing his grip on the closer's role. Gant has a 0.96 ERA with a 17:7 K:BB through 18.2 innings this season.
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|2012||AFX-Savannah Sand Gnats||0||1||10.38||1||1||0||0||0||4.1||10||5||5||1||0||0||5|
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