Recently, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote that the St. Louis Cardinals were actually peeking in on Roy Oswalt, and noted he would love to pitch in St. Louis. I wrote a couple weeks back when Oswalt made it known that he would accept a one-year deal, that the Cardinals should run to the phone. The report was downplayed by St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joe Strauss in a tweet. Now, with the departure of Dave Duncan, it may force both sides to drop the notion of Oswalt becoming a Cardinal.
Oswalt could balk at the idea of pitching for the Cardinals, because Duncan will not be their pitching coach. One thing Oswalt is looking for is a way to revitalize his career. Who better than Duncan to assist Oswalt? Duncan would be able to help Oswalt become more fluid on the mound in an effort to reduce the strain on his back. If there is a pitching coach out there who would have been able to get Oswalt back on track it is Duncan.
Oswalt is not young, he’s 34, but this is not an age which brings the end of line for many pitchers. If he can find a place to pitch and if he is monitored properly he could put together a couple more productive seasons.
Nothing against Derek Lilliquist, but I am not sure that Oswalt will want to put his faith behind a rookie pitching coach. Lilliquist will have his hands full learning the complexities of being a coach first, before he would be able to aid Oswalt. Another thing to consider is that Adam Wainwright is going to need some extra attention this season since he is coming back from Tommy John surgery. This is not going to allow Lilliquist another project and Oswalt knows this.
We can look at this from the Cardinals point of view in the same fashion. They are not going to inundate their new pitching coach and manager with an unnecessary project in order to take on a pitcher with question marks. Not now. They are not in need of a pitcher. They go five deep and each member of the staff has had success in St. Louis. They have a top-flight pitcher in Shelby Miller on the horizon. So why go out and sign someone who will need extra attention?
In the end the Cards would have probably passed on Oswalt’s services anyway. And now, who knows if he even wants to pitch in St. Louis anymore?