As was feared earlier this week, St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Miles Mikolas will officially miss time after his health was in question last week.
We’ve been tracking this unfortunate situation for the St. Louis Cardinals pretty closely since Miles Mikolas was officially in question with forearm soreness this past weekend and now, we have a brief solution.
What started as soreness was not helped by any of Mike Schildt’s comments earlier this week, and on Tuesday morning we got the official report that Miles Mikolas would be getting a PRP injection and would miss about 3-4 weeks before he would even start throwing again.
My first thought to this was, “well here we go again” and for good reason. It seems the Cardinals are gaining a track record of underestimating injuries. Last year, Carlos Martinez‘s injury was downplayed before he ended up missing time, Jordan Hicks was the same story.
As far as when Mikolas could return, that is now a tough question. If Mikolas doesn’t start throwing until four weeks from now, that puts his start at about the third week of March. The Cardinals will still be playing in Jupiter then, but I wouldn’t expect he’d make it into a game before the team heads north.
From there, Mikolas would remain at extended spring training, basically restarting his throwing program. According to Jeff Jones, the Cardinals may be looking much later than a month or two for a return from Mikolas.
So there we go. This is nothing official, but a guess of right around Memorial Day for a return makes sense. What that means then is that one of the young pitchers on the Cardinals roster will get an extended look as a member of the starting rotation.
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In the wake of Mikolas’ health situation being up in the air, I wrote about the best candidates for the job should Mikolas miss time. Now, that article is a reality, but the breakdown is the same.
The first arm that is going to get a look will be Kwang-Hyun Kim. He was signed over the offseason as a career starter and expressed his want to be a starter in the offseason. He has the most experience starting of any of the possible players, but the biggest question mark is because that experience obviously came overseas.
Beyond Kim, the options I listed were Daniel Ponce de Leon, John Gant, Alex Reyes, Ryan Helsley, Austin Gomber. They all will get looks this spring but the top options (unless someone overperforms) will be Kim, Ponce, and Gomber.
This is why Mo signed Kim, to add depth to the rotation, and it’s good he did because it’s immediately being tested. This bumps the rotation down a bit in terms of expected performance and now the rest of the pitchers in the rotation have a lot more pressure to not only perform but also stay healthy.
The biggest worry should be that after an offseason of rest, Mikolas is already having this issue. PRP could help, but the underlying issue may still come back later on.
This isn’t the end of the world because the injury to Mikolas isn’t for the whole year (for now), but it does put that strain on the rotation. Mikolas will certainly be missed but having him active and healthy for the final five months of the season is definitely more important. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery.