The St. Louis Cardinals should take the risk on a 6-man rotation at the start of 2018, but maybe not too long into the season.
After examining the pros and cons listed on the previous slides, I find myself hoping that the St. Louis Cardinals start 2018 using the 6-man idea. I would love to see the Cardinals use Flaherty, Norris, and Lyons to fill the sixth slot.
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By using Flaherty, Norris, and Lyons to fill the sixth spot, the pen isn’t terribly compromised. The names currently under consideration for the pen- in relation to the pen being an issue of argument against the sixth man- will do well to begin the season in Memphis due to the youthfulness of their ages. Jordan Hicks is a perfect example of this.
Hicks will do well and will likely be the St. Louis Cardinals closer at some point in 2018 or by 2019 but for the current time, it would serve him better to start the season in Memphis and get greater exposure.
When Flaherty, Norris, or Lyons is not filling the sixth spot, they would naturally fit into bullpen strategies. The real negative to this, however, is the ebb and flow that regular starting carries in opposition to the daily regularity of bullpen pitching. I believe this will be easiest on Lyons and Norris who have both served the simultaneous rolls in the past.
As to the bench, I believe that decisions will be made to alleviate the loss of a larger backup bench. What do I mean by this? Spring Training often brings with it injuries and the removal of a cog such as Matt Carpenter (who is recovering already from back stiffness) would open a “regular” spot for Jose Martinez or Voit. My guess is that Garcia gets the backup bench spot by default.
So those are my thoughts. While the 6-man idea isn’t that great, I believe the negatives do not (at least initially) prelude the club from starting 2018 with this experiment. April is the best month to find the benefits or flaws in the experiment and makes changes as needed.