Opening day is approaching, and with all the question marks in the Cards’ lineup, there is one thing that seems to be for certain. It’s the starting rotation. For the first time in a long while, the birds have their designated rotation intact, and healthy. The results so far this spring, have most of Cardinal Nation excited about the first pitch on Monday April 6th.
Spear-headed by the efforts of staff ace Chris Carpenter, all 5 starters have had successful springs. Carp has been unhittable with 19 IP, and has yet to give up an earned run. Adam Wainwright has had the shakiest spring by far, yet he still has a 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Kyle Lohse has been outstanding putting up 11 strikeouts, and giving up only two walks. Joel Pineiro seems to have put aside his differences with Oquendo stemming from the World Baseball Classic, and has been phenomenal this spring. His microscopic ERA of 1.29 has surprised many. Rounding out the rotation is the Todd Wellemeyer. Wellemeyer, cracked the Card’s rotation last year and ended up with nearly 200 IP and 13 wins as the bird’s fifth starter.
The real key here is Carpenter. If the 6’6″ former Cy Young Award Winner can return to form after coming off of multiple surgeries, the rotation could be one of the best in the National League. When healthy Carpenter and Wainwright are as good a 1-2 punch that there is.
This kind of consistency is what it is going to take for the Cardinal’s to hang with the likes of the Cubs and the other elite teams in the National League. As there may be questions in the outfield, infield, and bullpen, the starting rotation is the glue that can hold this team together. With Pujols and crew ready to put up some runs, it seems evident that the starters will give the team an opportunity to be in every game.