Cardinals: St. Louis considering Wade LeBlanc in rotation
As the St. Louis Cardinals remove John Gant from the rotation, they are considering Wade LeBlanc to fill his spot.
With the St. Louis Cardinals removing John Gant from the rotation, there has to be a replacement for his spot lined up. The team has openly said that the solutions will, at least for now, come internally, with the trade market being an option at a later date when prices come down.
One internal option is left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc, who was recently signed to a major-league contract and has impressed early out of the bullpen, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
When the Cardinals signed LeBlanc, this was always a possibility. The 36-year-old has appeared in 250 career games, making 121 starts, and owns a 4.58 career ERA while producing a 652/268 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He is coming off a bad appearance against the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he gave up three runs in 2.1 innings, though he did not allow a run in his first three outings (4.1 innings) while striking out four and walking one.
Let’s be real. LeBlanc is not the most enticing option and does not present the same upside as, say, top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore. But what LeBlanc does provide is a veteran option who can stop the bleeding for the Cardinals, whose rotation has been in tatters ever since Jack Flaherty went down with an oblique injury.
Besides, the Cardinals have made it clear that they will not rush Liberatore from Triple-A. There is an increased possibility that they call up someone from the minors to replace Carlos Martinez, who seems destined to be the next starter removed from the rotation.
Right now, LeBlanc is the guy they hope can provide some sense of stability to a rotation that has completely cratered in recent weeks. Will he be enough? The Cardinals sure hope so, but at this stage of his career, the answer is probably not.