St. Louis Cardinals: Luke Weaver on the justified hot seat
The St. Louis Cardinals may have a very good thing to hit them soon: the decision to keep Weaver in the starting rotation or not.
The St. Louis Cardinals are likely to need to make yet another decision in the very near future. This decision will center on the return of Alex Reyes who is slated to pitch in his final rehab start on Thursday night in Memphis.
When Reyes returns- and he should immediately find himself slated firmly in the starting rotation- this will likely spell the end of the John Gant era in St. Louis. Gant hasn’t been bad but he also hasn’t been a starter.
Gant, in his time wearing the St. Louis Cardinals’ uniform, has appeared in 17 innings across two starts. In his five games in St. Louis this season, Gant has recorded a 4.67 ERA while striking out 18 and surrendering 9 earned runs.
For a look at Reyes’ rehab starts, jump over to my cavalry piece by clicking here below.
Related Story: The St. Louis Cardinals Cavalry
Fast-forward to the days following Reyes’ start on Thursday. The St. Louis Cardinals will undoubtedly replace Gant with Reyes. This move will fill the spot vacated by Adam Wainwright. With Waino on the 60-day DL now, this should be a long-term fix.
This move will make the rotation as follows: Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, Miles Mikolas, Luke Weaver, and Jack Flaherty. But remember that this rotation is missing Wainwright AND Carlos Martinez.
Martinez isn’t long removed and should be faster to return than Wainwright. When he does return, the Cardinals will be left holding the shepherd’s cane (these were historically used in the theatres of vaudeville to remove pitiful acts from the stage). Who should go at this juncture?
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If it were up to me, it makes the most sense for Weaver to become a long-relief insurance pitcher. In fact, I would not be opposed to the St. Louis Cardinals sending Weaver to Memphis for a short stint. Likewise, I would not be surprised if Weaver were to appear with one of the famous Cardinals’ phantom injuries that would allow him some “rest” on the DL.
This would make the Cardinals’ rotation: Martinez, Reyes, Wacha, Mikolas, Flaherty. D@mn! Right?
This would hand the St. Louis Cardinals respective ERAs of 1.62, 0.00 (this is Reyes’ rehab ERA), 3.08, 2.24, and 2.31. That is beyond formidable. Put the other teams on notice when this happens.
Add to all of this the idea that Weaver would be sitting in the wings ready to protect anyone who might falter. This means that a 3.88 (2017 ERA) – 4.37 (2018 ERA) pitcher would be waiting to step up and fill a spot when needed.
Then think of the value that the St. Louis Cardinals will have to be able to barter with as the trade deadline approaches. Best guess is that Weaver could well be packaged with other prospects to land someone of the ilk of Manny Machado…
One final quick note, Weaver allowed three runs in his start tonight (Tuesday night) against the Kansas City Royals. While this might have befallen any of the other names on the lists above (especially Wainwright), it is happening to Weaver which- to me- means that he is the odd man out.
The St. Louis Cardinals have a very good problem ahead of them and one that will make them the envy of the entire MLB.
Are you ready for the return of Reyes? I know I am and I am definitely planning on attending Reyes’ rehab start on Thursday. Thanks for reading!