Not only have the starters been showing their flair as of late, even the various role players our bench has to offer is proving they are always dangerous options in waiting from the bench. Today Allen Craig had his coming out party after receiving the starting nod in right. He ended up having the games only HR and went 3 for 4 overall with 3 RBIs.
Ryan Theriot is also becoming a very attractive opportunist that is providing what St. Louis has been in need of for quite sometime, a great overall shortstop. We know Theriot has been a good defensive option in the league but this season he is beginning to become quite the offensive beast and lead off man. He had another 3 for 5 day and is now batting .323 on the season.
Most importantly, Kyle McClellan had quite the start yet again. He pitched 7 full innings giving up 6 hits and only one earned run. It’s always a terrific thing when your number 5 starter in the rotation starts 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA, hell, all teams should be so lucky to see their staff ace start so strong.
The Cardinals pitching staff is starting to have a problem….a very good one. Kyle McClellan has stepped in as the 5th starter from his long reliever role in the bullpen and is absolutely going off, proving he is more than worthy of a spot. So this season, we have four tremendous starters, Wainwright is out for the year, and last we have Jake Westbrook. Westbrook was great in Cleveland but he is starting to look like a pure AL pitcher.
Jake has struggled quite a bit since he became a Cardinal, but we resigned him anyway. He received a 2 year, $16.5 million deal this past offseason with a mutual option for 2013. At the end of the season the Cardinals could be in a tough position, one where the smartest option might be to go and grant Jake his outright release. This would however free up that much needed cap space to try and close the deal for Albert (When the season ends, remember when I warned you. This might be the make or break point in a new Pujols contract).