Cardinals Notes: Thoughts on Jack Flaherty, pitching, Corey Dickerson
It’s uncertain when Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes will return. Nevertheless, Cardinals exec John Mozeliak is sticking with internal options.
The St. Louis Cardinals got bad news almost as soon as spring camp opened. Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes, due to injuries, won’t be ready for Opening Day. In fact, no one’s sure when they will be ready.
Flaherty’s shoulder tear is not new and could be minor, or it could be significant. Similar injuries to Mark Mulder and Mark Prior were career enders. But Trevor Hoffman recovered and continued his Hall of Fame career.
Reyes’ right shoulder is diagnosed as a frayed labrum and required a stem-cell injection. The Cardinals’ current timetable for his return is now late May or early June.
So, the master plan of a starting rotation of Flaherty, Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, Miles Mikolas, and Steven Matz, along with Reyes as the backup option, has already collapsed before our very eyes.
Now what’s the new plan?
The speculation started immediately, and many on social media focused on available free agents. or trade candidates. Even names such as free agents J.A. Happ and Wade LeBlanc, who the Cardinals called upon in 2021, were brought up as possibilities to return.
The Cardinals have been mentioned as interested in A’s starters, left hander Sean Manaea and right hander Frankie Montas. But it is believed the A’s asking price for leading prospects is too high for the Cardinals.
However, per Katie Woo of The Athletic, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, has apparently put an end to the speculation of a free agent signing or trade.
“Right now, I think it’s an internal issue,” Mozeliak said when asked when asked he will go forward with two significant arms out indefinitely. “I think that was part of the reason why we were aggressive and tried to sign guys that we felt could give us some protection for the rotation.”
Immediately, that would be the recently signed Drew VerHagen, Nick Wittgren and Aaron Brooks. Although some younger prospects such as John Woodford, Johan Oviedo and Matthew Liberatore who were not going to be in the plans for the rotation at the start of the season, Mozeliak says they would now be able to compete for a spot.
In other words, what you see now, is what you’re going to get to start the season.
I hate to hit the panic button on March 19, so I’ll try not to. If one – just one! – of the above options can step up and fill in adequately in the rotation until Flaherty is back, that’s great. Who knows, it could all work itself out.
I don’t want to count on another 17-game winning streak to get the Cardinals into the postseason. What I do want to see from this team, is an extended postseason run.
Now let’s move on to other news from Jupiter.