St. Louis Cardinals: Questions For Each Pitcher On the Staff
The St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff has the potential to be a strength of the team this season. To get there, each pitcher has something to prove.
Martinez and Oh must demonstrate that their participation in the World Baseball Classic did not hinder their readiness for the St. Louis Cardinals major league season.
There shouldn’t be any concern with Martinez or Oh. Both got adequate work in the Classic and are back with St. Louis for two more weeks of Spring Training. They’ll be ready to go.
Wainwright and Rosenthal need to show that 2016 was a fluke and that they can again be counted on to be dominant pitchers.
Neither has been dominant so far this spring. Wainwright probably isn’t as good as he once was, but he once was really, really good. If he improves from last season, he still has the potential to be an above-average starter.
Rosenthal, on the other hand, could excel in a new role. Again, it comes down to his ability to control and command his pitches. If he does that, he could again be a weapon in the St. Louis bullpen.
Siegrist and Cecil will begin the season as the set-up men for Oh. Their performance will either keep them in that role or send Matheny searching for other options.
These two lefties have had successful major-league careers so far, and both are good options as set-up men. They bring stability to the back end of the bullpen.
Bowman and Socolovich will get the chance to prove their worth over the course of an entire major-league season after performing well in limited action in recent years.
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Both have been good so far this spring, which is encouraging to those who might expect a decline from either pitcher. We’ll have to wait and see how they perform in the regular season.
Leake and Broxton will look to improve upon their 2016 results and contribute more than just innings to the staff.
Though these two pitchers have the potential to be better than they were last season, the ceiling might not be very much higher. Still, and improvement would be beneficial for the Cardinals.
Lynn and Wacha are coming off of injuries that kept them out for either part or all of the 2016 season. They’ve been above average starting pitchers in the past and will look to return to that status this year.
Lynn exudes confidence in his ability to return from Tommy-John which is encouraging. Wacha is also confident that his shoulder is 100% healthy, but in the past his injuries have cropped up mid-season. That will be something to watch closely as the season progresses.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ starting rotation certainly has the potential to be one of the better rotations in the National League. The bullpen has arms that are flexible in multi-inning or late-inning roles. It will be interesting to see how Matheny mixes and matches his relief options.
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Opening Day is right around the corner. The Cardinals’ pitching staff will be perhaps the biggest factor in the team’s success this season. These questions and more will begin to be answered in just a few short weeks.