As a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals it almost seems certain. We enter Spring Training and one of the team’s starting pitchers has an injury that will take him out of the rotation for the next season.
Think about it. In 2011, it was Adam Wainwright. In 2012, Chris Carpenter. In 2013, Jaime Garcia. In 2014, we were without Waino again. In 2016, it was Lance Lynn. Plus. Throughout that time there were periods without Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Marco Gonzales, Mike Leake … and more!
That’s really frustrating.
When it was announced pitcher Alex Reyes was going to have Tommy John surgery, Reyes admitted to feeling the pain for a few weeks. He said that he was feeling it during his off-season program. It makes you wonder what the plans Pitching Coach Derek Lilliquist and the strength and conditioning/training folks are giving these guys in the off-season.
First off, I’m more than a little surprised that GM John Mozeliak didn’t act a little quicker to get his top pitching prospect checked out. This is a guy you’re planning the rotation around in future seasons. Maybe treat him like it. Maybe surround him with a coach that has the team and the players best interest at heart. It just seems absurd that every single season, the pitching staff has some sort of issue. Then again, I’m not a bit Derek Lilliquist fan as pitching coach. I’d be content with Chris Carpenter taking the reins. It would bring so much fire to the staff. Not to mention, a Cy Young winners perspective. But. Until that happens…
What will the Cardinals do? Who will join Carlos, Adam, Lance and Leake in the rotation?
Obvious choice? Michael Wacha. After several inconsistent starts … since 2014, Manager Mike decided to give the young arm a much needed break. There, the team found there is a shoulder issue that needed to be monitored. After one bullpen session this spring, Manager Mike says Wacha looks better than he has in sometime. That makes me nervous. What do you mean Mike!
Long shot? Luke Weaver. He looked impressive in his spot starts for the birds last summer. I think he seriously could use some more grooming in Memphis before rejoining the big club.
Even Longer Shot? Trevor Rosenthal. I’m sure you just rolled your eyes. Right? I know I did! This guy couldn’t give a solid ninth inning last season without a panic attack. It was so bad, Seung-Hwan Oh took over the close role. And thank goodness, he did. Knowing this, what on earth gives the impression this guy could become a starter? Why on earth more should he be given the shot. With Marco Gonzales or Tyler Lyons as possibilities, I don’t see why it would be a possibility.
… It just seems ridiculous. Therefore, he’s probably who Matheny will go with.
Finally, there is the possibility of signing one of the remaining free agents. That list includes Jake Peavy, Doug Fister, Colby Lewis or Jered Weaver. Then there is the possibility of trading for someone like White Sox lefty Jose Quintana. A guy with some pitching experience would be nice for this staff. So. Don’t count on any of these happening!
Yes, friends, I’m really skeptical of what this will bring to our beloved Birds on the Bat. Grab your popcorn, it’s going to be interesting!