St. Louis Cardinals: Spring Training Check-in, March 3
Pitchers have always been the pride of the St. Louis Cardinals and this year’s squad- despite losing the fireballer- should serve the team well in 2017.
The St. Louis Cardinals suffered a rough blow when phenom Alex Reyes fell prey to Tommy John surgery. Fear not, Cardinals Nation, as this season’s squad should fare well enough. That is if injury will stay far away from the team.
Let’s start with the rotation that will be front-loaded by the newly-extended Carlos Martinez. Martinez has appeared in three innings this spring and has surrendered one hit, one walk, and recorded one strikeout.
Next up, Adam Wainwright, who has rediscovered his curve ball (according to him). He has appeared in two innings and has surrendered three hits, three earned runs, two home runs, and has recorded three strikeouts. Cause for worry? Maybe not yet but something to watch for sure.
Next up, recently-returned Lance Lynn. Lynn has appeared in two innings and has surrendered four hits, one earned run, one walk, and has recorded zero Ks. Lynn was formidable when he was healthy so let us hope he returns to this form.
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Mike Leake– of whom I am not fond- has actually impressed me this spring. He has appeared in three innings and has surrendered zero hits and all while striking out three batters. Will 2017 be the season that Leake pulls it all together?
Then we add the true wildcard to the mix in the form of Michael Wacha. Wacha has appeared in two innings surrendering four hits, one walk, and recording two strike outs. Wacha is the slot-fill for the absent Reyes and we need him to be amazing, but will he?
Other notable (too many to actually cover) arms this spring have been:
- Chad Baker who has appeared in 2.2 innings having surrendered two hits, zero runs, and while recording one strikeout;
- Brett Cecil who has appeared in two innings having surrendered three hits, zero runs, and while recording three strikeouts;
- Mike Mayers who has appeared in three innings having surrendered one hit, zero runs, and while recording three strikeouts;
- Trevor Rosenthal who has appeared in two innings having surrendered one hit, zero runs, and while recording one strikeout;
- Jordan Schafer who has appeared in two innings having surrendered three hits, zero runs, and while recording four strikeouts;
- Luke Weaver who has appeared in 2.2 innings having surrendered two hits, one earned run, two walk, and while recording one strikeout;
- Sandy Alcantara who has appeared in 3.1 innings having surrendered eight hits, four earned runs, four walks, and while recording five strikeouts; and,
- Austin Gomber who has appeared in 3.1 innings having surrendered six hits, four earned runs, and while recording three strikeouts.
The bottom line is this: the rotation must be great this season. The pen arms are suitable and can well hold games but what we witnessed last season (cough, cough, Leake) when the rotation would suffer weak games, the Cardinals simply could not bring things back from the break.
That said, I believe that this year’s rotation has the promise of great things. I am not overly optimistic, however, as we have a great deal of unknowns. Will Waino be bueno? Will Leake patch the holes in his pitching mechanics? Will Lynn come back with a fury? Will Wacha be the solution we need.
Time will tell if these answers are positives or negatives.
What do you think? Are you excited for the season? Which names are you watching? Follow me on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!