St. Louis Cardinals: A 2019 starting pitching preview
I see John Gant as being the first man up if someone goes down with an injury in the rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals. Gant doesn’t do anything particularly flashy but is effective none the less. Gant’s key is doing nothing poorly. Though he was really quite effective as a starter last year, Gant will more than likely start the year in the bullpen. In 19 starts, Gant posted a 3.61 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 97.1 innings.
These are about the numbers I feel like Gant will pitch to in his career. He is a dependable pitcher, but not dominant. A great back end of the rotation pitcher. For 2019, Gant’s name will be thrown around a good amount when an injury pops up. He won’t make any headlines, but I feel much more comfortable with him in our system.
Daniel Ponce De Leon
I am a huge Daniel Ponce De Leon fan. I think he has been underrated for a very long time and deserves a crack at a rotation opening. Ponce doesn’t do anything at an elite level but is better than average in every facet. In 2018 he had a low WHIP (under 1.25), sub 3.00 ERA, and a K per inning. Give the guy a chance. 2019 should hold bullpen time and a few starts for Ponce. I really think he will earn his fair share of work, even if it’s long relief.
Austin Gomber is a typical lefthander in that he has a decent fastball and a good breaking ball. He pitched well in high leverage relief spots in 2018, but wasn’t bad as a starter either. He had a 4.26 ERA in 11 starts, going 5-2 in those starts.
Gomber is a prospect I’ve had my eye on for a while and he would provide a nice left handed compliment to what is a righty-dominated starting rotation. Gomber will get a good amount of matchup-induced spot starts in 2019 against lefty-heavy teams like the Dodgers. He will also spend a good amount of time working out of the pen or staying stretched out in AAA Memphis.