The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly in the market for a starting pitchers. Names like Jake Odorizzi and James Paxton are under consideration. But what about Rick Porcello?
A team can never have enough pitching. Even after the re-signing of Adam Wainwright, it’s easy to see that the St. Louis Cardinals could still use another veteran arm.
The staff currently has Wainwright, ace Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, who is coming off a surgery that ended his 2020 season; and Kwang Hyun Kim, who had a good debut season with the Cardinals but is still finding his way. The fifth spot could include Carlos Martinez, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Alex Reyes or John Gant.
It is nice to see that the front office does see that this rotation could use some improvement. The team is reportedly in the mix for Jake Odorizzi, James Paxton or Taijuan Walker.
All three names are great but do have a hefty price tag attached to them. While the Cardinals are suddenly in the mood to make a run for it, we are all aware they occasionally like to dabble in the bargain bin.
One of those bargains may come in the form of veteran righty Rick Porcello.
Porcello, 32, has spent a little over 11 seasons in the major leagues. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2016 while with the Boston Red Sox. He had a down year in 2020 with the New York Mets, but his career numbers are consistently good.
After last season, it’s apparent the Cardinals need an innings eater. Porcello brings that to the table. For his career, Porcello has pitched 2,096.1 innings in 355 games. He has 1,561 Ks with an overall record of 150-125. He has a career 4.40 ERA and is considered a 19.9 WAR player.
For 2021, ZiPS has him projected as a 2 WAR pitcher. They believe he will start 27 games and throw 154 innings. He’s projected to have a 72.2 LOB%, a .308 BABIP and a .450 ERA.
According to MLBTradeRumors, the rumor mill for Porcello has been quiet. Now that Trevor Bauer has landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, maybe the pitching market will have some more movement.
Porcello is obviously a workhorse who will help eat some innings with good production. It would be interesting to see if John Mozeliak and the Cardinals would take a gamble for a couple of seasons at a low cost for Porcello.
Last season the Cardinals did not have anyone that could consistently go long into a game. Having a pitcher who can pitch deep into a game is important, and Porcello’s numbers suggest he is more than capable of doing this for a team.
The Cardinals do not want to have another season where they tax their relievers. There is nothing wrong with having lots of good pitching options. Here’s hoping the Cardinals might take a gamble on Porcello.