Leading off the starting rotation is the new $3.9 million dollar arbitration winner Jack Flaherty followed by Miles Mikolas. I am hoping that Mikolas returns to this 2018 form following a disappointed 2019 season and a 2020 season wiped out by injury. Based on last years performance, I see Wainwright as the number three starter and lefty Kwang Hyun Kim as number four.
Now the question the Cardinals will need to answer is where do they put Carlos Martinez. Is he capable of being a starting pitcher or would he be best served in the bullpen? Martinez wants to be a starter, and the Cardinals do view him as a capable starter. Martinez’s last year was hard to gauge due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Cardinals clubhouse.
When locked in, he’s an All-Star starter. When he’s rattled, it’s a roller coaster.
Right now, I have Genesis Cabrera, Junior Fernandez, Kodi Whitley and Seth Elledge starting the season off in Memphis. In his recent prospect evaluations, Keith Law of the Athletic spoke highly of Fernandez, touting his fastball that can hit 97 MPH as well as his changeup. He was one of the many Cardinal players who were affected by COVID-19.
I was impressed with what I saw from both Whitley and Elledge last year, but I believe the Cardinals will want both pitchers to continue working down in Memphis.
Now onto the position players.