If the season ended today, the St. Louis Cardinals hold a postseason spot and would play in the one game wildcard. With their season turnaround due in large part to great pitching, who would make the postseason roster and where would they go?
Okay, I know the season isn’t over today – in fact it’s far from it. But these are the types of things you know Mike Shildt and Mike Maddux (and everyone else attached to the St. Louis Cardinals) are already thinking about, aren’t they?
If the St. Louis Cardinals continue this impressive second half push and make it in; the pitching is going to get them there and be what determines how well they do in a postseason appearance.
The bullpen in the first half of the season was abysmal. Everyone knows that. Since the on-a-whim makeover, the bullpen has moved into the top 10 in baseball. Guys like Dakota Hudson, Daniel Poncedeleon, and Austin Gomber (switching between a bullpen role and a starter role), have become staples.
The St. Louis Cardinals though have a good problem. A problem nonetheless, but a good one. Carlos Martinez is back and we’ve been told he will serve out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. Does this include if we make it to the postseason?
It seems the only thing we know for sure if the season ended today, is that Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty would have two of the four starting spots. Then Norris and Hicks would be the 8th and 9th inning guys.
Obviously, September will help sort out the postseason roster, should the Cardinals make it in. If the team continues to play at this level and the pitching leads the way – there’s going to be some tough decisions.
I like an October starting rotation of Mikolas, Flaherty, Wacha, and Wainwright, should Wacha come back and pitch as well as he did before his injury. With Wainwright, I like the postseason experience he could bring. Albeit, he has to deserve the spot, as well.
Begrudgingly, Martinez will more than likely be in the bullpen. Though the combination of him, Hicks, and Norris to finish off a game doesn’t sound too shabby. Add in Poncedeleon, Gant, Gomber, Hudson, Shreve, and Weaver and you have your bullpen.
I’m getting ’14 and ’15 Kansas City Royals feels from all of this and I can’t say I hate it. Bullpen is power in the postseason.