St. Louis Cardinals: Which Starting Pitcher Is Most Important?

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 10: Starter Carlos Martinez
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 10: Starter Carlos Martinez /
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MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 19: Miles Mikolas
MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 19: Miles Mikolas /

Can “The Lizard King” do more than bite lizard heads in 2017? Will this spell the solution to the St. Louis Cardinals’ success?

Speaking of miles in the tank, the questions surrounding Miles Mikolas are less about how many innings he can give the St. Louis Cardinals, and more about what kind of innings they’ll receive. Is “The Lizard King” the lemon he appeared to be during his first MLB tour, or has his Japanese tuneup made him a factor in the NL-Central race?

The front office thinks highly of him, but until we see him against big league hitters he’s the biggest question mark.

What if Mozeliak and Girsch and the Cardinals’ scouting department are the smart guys they’re expected to be? What if the Cards pulled a fast one on the rest of the league and spent a mere $15.5 million on a guy who will help them overcome Darvish and his $126 million in guaranteed money? What if Miles can go the distance?

Why Mikolas is the most important starting pitcher

Due to how much we don’t know — as fans, not scouts — about Mikolas, it’s easy to declare him to be the most important starter because of the extreme disparity in perceived potential outcomes. If he’s great, we’ll be contenders, right? But if he’s a horrible mistake, we know where to point our fingers and proclaim, “Why didn’t you resign Lynn or sign Arrieta?”

The biggest risk will get the most attention for how successful this offseason was for the Cards.

Yet, if Mikolas falters and Alex Reyes or Jack Flaherty prove they are worthy of “top prospect” status, will anyone really care? At this point, barring an injury to a young guy, Mikolas is simply a lottery ticket with an insurance policy.