Jose Quintana will secure the fourth spot
The most interesting battle to watch as the season draws to a close will be who performs better out of Jose Quintana and Jack Flaherty to take the fourth spot in the playoff rotation. While it could come down to the wire, I think Quintana will eke out the rotation spot ahead of Flaherty.
Flaherty was out for most of the season and pitched ineffectively in most of the games he started. Quintana hasn’t set the world on fire in his time with the Cardinals, but he has pitched respectably in the majority of his outings. Flaherty’s next few starts will go a long way toward determining whether he can unseat Quintana in the rotation and relegate him to the bullpen.
Flaherty could be a weapon out of the bullpen with his velocity, and it would be a bit risky to depend on him in the rotatin when he hasn’t pitched much in 2022. While Quintana might not be a stud on the mound, he should serve as an innings eater at the very least.
If Oliver Marmol keeps Albert Pujols in the lineup, uses Zack Thompson effectively, and starts Jose Quintana over Jack Flaherty, the Cardinals have a chance to make a deep postseason run.