The St. Louis Cardinals have yet to play a single spring training game, but Jack Flaherty has already been tabbed as Opening Day starter.
While the St. Louis Cardinals are still three days away from playing their first game of the spring, they are already making decisions for a month down the line.
First among these decisions is naming Jack Flaherty the Opening Day starter for both spring and the regular season.
Was there any other choice?
Discussions around Flaherty have caused a stir lately among Cardinals fans as the team took the young righty to an arbitration hearing that he ultimately won. This caused some to worry that Flaherty (three seasons before eligible) might as well be gone in free agency. Thankfully, he refuted this right away, making it clear it was the system, not the Cardinals, that he blamed.
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2021 is an important year for Flaherty as the righty is looking to prove that 2020 was a fluke. All signs point to it, but until Flaherty gets on the field and proves it, there will always be the question.
Normally, the Cardinals would wait a little bit longer to name an Opening Day starter. However, it is apparent manager Mike Shildt felt no need to wait to name his ace the starter for the first game of the season.
Behind Flaherty, the rotation will likely feature Miles Mikolas, Kwang Hyun Kim, Adam Wainwright, and then whoever wins the fifth spot. Outside of the 39-year-old Wainwright, nobody else really made sense.
As far as starting the first spring game, Flaherty will probably be limited to 1-2 innings, but it’ll be great to see him get the spring started for the team.
Jack Flaherty may only be 25, but he’s the best the Cardinals have. He was an easy choice to start on Opening Day. When you know, you know.