It’s the rotation…
I believe the rotation will be the key to this team in 2022. Going into the season, I had concerns about the depth of starting pitchers, especially with Jack Flaherty out until further notice. Those concerns still remain.
It seemed absurd to me the Cardinals would go into the season counting on all three Flaherty, Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson to fully return from injury. Additionally, it seemed risky at best the Cardinals were counting on 40-year-old Adam Wainwright to put together another stellar season. However, I did like the Steven Matz signing, for what it was suppose to do, which is to provide innings in the middle of the rotation.
That being said, it’s clearly unfair to throw this rotation under the bus this early. Even though Mikolas and Matz had rocky first outings, their second starts were much better. Waino has had one good start and one rocky start, but no reason yet to think he won’t be effective in 2022.
The plan to eventually move Jordan Hicks to the rotation by gradually building up his innings, seems sound. Finally, It’s too early to worry about Dakota Hudson’s start of the season, or when Flaherty returns.
In other words, in spite of the concerns, let’s give this rotation some time to flush everything out. Remember it was a short Spring Training, and the pitching just need more time to work out some issues.