Dizzy Dean, Chris Carpenter, Slim Sallee, Matt Morris, and Lance Lynn
The ace of our squad is, of course, Dizzy Dean. A Hall of Famer and one of the greatest Cardinals of all-time, Dizzy Dean pitched seven years for the Cardinals in the early 1930s. He was a four-time All-Star and won the NL MVP in 1934, leading the Gashouse Gang to a World Series victory.
He led the league in strikeouts four times during his career and had a career ERA of 3.02. Dizzy Dean would make any all-time Cardinals team, so it’s a great benefit to us that he went by Dizzy and qualified for the alliteration group.
No slouch himself, Chris Carpenter is a weapon as our number two starter. The 2005 NL Cy Young winner, Carpenter was the ace of the Cardinals staff for almost ten years. Despite some late-career injuries, Carpenter ranks among the best Cardinal pitchers in history, ranking 12th all-time in WAR among pitchers.
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The dominant and sometimes ruthless attitude he took to the mound was inspiring– personally, I can’t think of Chris Carpenter without imagining him diving over first base in the first inning of Game 1 of the 2011 World Series. A fearless competitor and dominant postseason performer, Carp is a wonderful addition to our team.
The third spot in the rotation goes to an older player that many people might not have heard of. A major leaguer for fourteen seasons, Slim Sallee played for the Cardinals from 1908-1915. His 2.67 ERA ranks an incredible third all-time among Cardinal pitchers.
That number becomes even more impressive when you realize he also ranks eighth in innings pitched with over 1900 innings, and ninth in games started with 213 starts. While his only World Series title came after he left St. Louis, Sallee pitched his way into the Cardinal record books simply by dominating early MLB competition. He’s just too good to leave off our team. The only lefty in our alliterative rotation, Slim Sallee is a little-known but welcome part of the squad.
The man who passed the baton to Carp is our number four starter: Matt Morris. Finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1999, Morris quickly established himself as a premier starter for the Cardinals.
He finished third in Cy Young voting in 2001 and made two All-Star games while in St. Louis. Morris struggled with injuries, but while he was on the mound he was one of the best pitchers of the early 2000s. He is 24th all-time in WAR among Cardinals pitchers, despite only pitching six full seasons. Matt Morris is a great player to have as our number four starter.
Closing out our roster is our number five starter, Lance Lynn. The model of consistency, Lance Lynn is somehow the worst starter on this team. An All-Star in 2012, Lynn spent six years on the Cardinals.
In those six seasons, he never had an ERA over 4.0, he always won at least eleven games, and after joining the rotation, he only started less than 30 games one time (29 starts in 2012). With almost 1000 innings pitched as a Cardinal, Lance Lynn was a key component of each Cardinal team in the 2010s. As reliable as a starting pitcher gets, I’m thrilled that we get to close out our roster with Lance Lynn.