Cardinals scratch Miles Mikolas from spring start. Reason for concern?

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Miles Mikolas #39 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 17, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 6-1. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Miles Mikolas #39 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 17, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 6-1. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals scratched Miles Mikolas from a spring training start. Is there reason for concern?

The St. Louis Cardinals entered spring training with questions surrounding their starting rotation. Immediately after their first game, those questions were magnified when pitcher Miles Mikolas was scratched from the second game as a precaution “for now.”

Mikolas is working his way back from surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right arm. The Cardinals are exercising extreme caution with Mikolas since it is so early in camp and want to ensure that he is 100 percent healthy for Opening Day. But the fact that manager Mike Shildt told reporters that emphasized “for now” when talking to reporters, including Zachary Silver of MLB.com, perhaps reveals some concern within the organization about Mikolas’ status.

For a team that needs starting pitching to begin with, the Cardinals can ill afford to lose Mikolas for any length of time in the regular season. The next few days should be telling on his status, and it would be ideal for the team if Mikolas was able to throw on the side or even in a simulated game, as he was scheduled to do on the Cardinals’ off day on Monday.

If the Cardinals lose Mikolas for any length of time, top free-agent starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi remains unsigned. He would be an upgrade over Mikolas in the rotation, providing another capable arm in a rotation that comes with question marks. Odorizzi, however, is said to be seeking a deal out of most teams comfort zones, which is a big reason why he remains unsigned on March 1.

Of course, we could be getting ahead of ourselves with Mikolas. There is no guarantee that he has had a setback in his recovery. He might be fine, and could pitch relatively soon. We have not received any updates since it was announced that he was scratched.

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But Shildt saying “for now” leaves room for those questions to linger until there are answers.

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