St. Louis Cardinals: Questions For Each Pitcher On the Staff
By Nathan Grime
The St. Louis Cardinals are less than two weeks away from Opening Day. The starting rotation is set, and the bullpen is more or less in order. A few roles are still up in the air, but it appears the team will carry twelve pitchers on their roster once they head north of Spring Training.
This presents the question: who will those twelve pitchers be? For the sake of this article, I’m operating under the assumption that the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff will look like this at the end of Spring Training:
RH Carlos Martinez, RH Adam Wainwright, RH Michael Wacha, RH Lance Lynn, RH Mike Leake, RH Seung-Hwan Oh, LH Kevin Siegrist, LH Brett Cecil, RH Matt Bowman, RH Jonathan Broxton, RH Trevor Rosenthal, RH Miguel Socolovich
The starting rotation is set, as manager Mike Matheny confirmed Sunday:
Who gets the Opening Day nod is yet to be announced, but the five who will be starting games at the beginning of the season will be Martinez, Wainwright, Wacha, Lynn, and Leake.
In the bullpen, the only spot that seems to be up for grabs is the spot that Socolovich would be filling. Other contenders for his role are righties John Gant and Sam Tuivailala.
Socolovich has performed well in the bigs for St. Louis the previous two seasons, and is out of minor-league options. He’s allowed only two earned runs in eight spring training innings (through March 19). These factors should give him the edge to make the Opening Day roster.
With that in place, the pitchers on the staff still face some questions heading towards April. The Cardinals’ pitching led the team to 100 wins in 2015, but its mediocrity inhibited the team from returning to the postseason in 2016. This year, it could be the x-factor in St. Louis.
Let’s take a look at the different questions that surround each pitcher less than two weeks out from Opening Day: