Frankie Montas transforms the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation
In baseball, the impact of one player on a roster is greatly diminished compared to other sports like the NBA or NFL. You can play a perfect game, but if the rest of your team is not producing, it is hard to win ball games. But when there is a glaring need, sometimes the addition of one name can make a catalytic change for a club.
Montas can be that guy for St. Louis in 2022 and 2023. At this moment, the rotation is barely holding itself together, relying heavily on Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas to provide top end outings each and every time they take the hill. Andre Pallante is doing a great job buying time for the club, but he is best suited as a reliever this year. Dakota Hudson may return soon from injury, but starters Steven Matz and Jack Flaherty are out for at least the foreseeable future.
Trading for Montas would give the Cardinals three legit top-end starters for the stretch run. There is so much pressure on Mikolas and Wainwright each outing to go deep into games, the lineup to mash to make up for bad pitching, and the bullpen to eat large amounts of innings to hold the club over. Adding Montas first takes a huge burden off so many players in the Cardinals clubhouse, and allows players to shift back into more comfortable roles.
Think about how much of an impact names like Jon Lester and J.A. Happ made on the Cardinals last season. Having guys in the roles you need them in goes a long way towards helping the production of a ball club.
Instead of acting as a No. 3 starter, Pallante could revert back to the bullpen, or truly operate as the back-end starter role he is more suited for at this early juncture of his career. When Hudson returns, he too can just go out and pitch, not worrying about playing above his capacity.
If and when Matz or Flaherty return, they do not immediately need to be the saviors of the rotation, but can easy back into play and help the club in whatever ways they can.
Come October, the Cardinals would then have a front line of Montas, Mikolas, and Wainwright to roll out in each series, meaning they can stack up with some of the best rotations in baseball and not just hope to survive, but truly compete with their pitching.