Cardinals seen as a threat to win NL Central


Tonight at a Cincinnati Reds Caravan stop in Louisville, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the crowd that he sees the St. Louis Cardinals as the threat to win the NL Central.
Jun 13, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Cincinnati Reds general manager and president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Image Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
In one of the last questions asked during the question and answer session, a fan asked Jocketty who he saw as the biggest threat to the Cincinnati Reds to win the National League Central. To me, Jocketty’s response was not surprising at all. After all, this is a St. Louis Cardinals team that is expected to have Chris Carpenter pitching with 100% health and an Adam Wainwright that is now two years removed from Tommy John surgery as we enter the 2013 season.

The Cardinals are expected to field a strong pitching rotation this season. The pitchers that do not make the rotation are more than likely to end up as the long relief guy coming out of the bullpen. After Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Jake Westbrook, I don’t know as to who those two pitchers will be. Lance Lynn is a candidate but he would need to have a strong spring following a weak second half of the 2011 season.

The three top candidates for the other two slots of the rotation appear to be Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller, and Trevor Rosenthal. This is one of those cases in which fans would like to a see a six-man pitching rotation. While I doubt such a rotation will happen, one of these three will be the odd one out.

I would like to think that Lynn ends up coming out of the pen this season as he did in 2011. With the way Miller ended the season in St. Louis and how well he performed on the last day of the regular season against Cincinnati, I would like to think he starts the season in a Cardinals uniform and not a Memphis Redbirds uniform.