Let the rumors and speculation begin as to what the St. Louis Cardinals will do now that ace Chris Carpenter is out for the season. To recap, Carp has missed most of the season due to a nerve condition in his right shoulder. This condition has bothered Carpernter for the past four years and has caused persistent weakness in his throwing arm. It has become progressively worse and surgery became a necessity. So after throwing 273 innings last year, Carpenter will be out until spring training next year.
I think the Cardinals have hoped for the best and prepared for the worst and as a result, are in pretty good shape to carry on without Carp. My reason for believing this; the Cardinals rotation has been pretty good this year. There has been some inconsistency, particularly in May, but, things have seemed to settle down and they are now putting together the innings for the quality starts they displayed in April. Here are the stats for the rotation thru Friday, July 6, 12:
Cardinal starters are 8th in the NL with a 3.74 collective ERA. Although they have been inconsistent at times, overall, they are doing ok. Especially when you consider they haven’t had Carpenter; Wainwright is coming off surgery from last year and Garcia has been out recently. Garcia is due to be back soon but, Joe Kelly has pitched admirably as a “fill-in” for Garcia.
So, I don’t see a scenario where the Cardinals make a move for another starter. There were rumors that they would go after Zach Greinke but, it appears they are not interested in what they would have to give up for Greinke and are more interested in a mid-rotation starter. Chicago Cub starter Matt Garza was another name coming up as an interest.
Call me crazy but, I think the Cards will look more to shore up the bullpen than get another starter. The bullpen has been pretty consistent lately but, I would love a consistent setup for Jason Motte and a reliable leftie reliever.
So, if the starting rotation can stay healthy and keep getting quality starts; it will directly impact the bullpen. But, if the Cardinals are going to get back to first and win the division, they will need to improve the bullpen if they are to repeat as World Champions.
Tell me what you think…comments…feedback. Let me hear from you. As always thanks for reading. Go Cards!