Five Second Half Concerns Necessary for the St. Louis Cardinals to Address

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Apr 24, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

1. Will the starting rotation’s dominance continue?

When three-time All Star Adam Wainwright suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, there were doubts looming the around the Cardinals’ rotation. But St. Louis’s starting pitchers have stepped up in Wainwright’s absence, living up to expectations with a Major League leading 59 quality starts.

Young starters Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha have impressed in growing roles, combining for 20 wins and 199 strikeouts collectively. John Lackey has also provided consistency on the mound, tossing at least 7 innings in seven of his last nine outings.

However, the rotation has been impeded by physical concerns recently in manners that don’t shape well for long-term success. Lance Lynn has worked deeper into pitch counts since returning from a forearm injury in June, while Wacha has shown signs of fatigue in high stake starts against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs this season. Unless Jaime Garcia is rushed back from his groin injury, the Cardinals may have to roll with less than ideal spot options in Tim Cooney and Tyler Lyons in the foreseeable future.