2 Cardinals who need more reps, 1 player who doesn't

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Zack Thompson no longer needs reps as a starter for the Cardinals

Thompson earned the opportunity in Spring Training to fill in as a starter in the absence of Sonny Gray, who suffered a right hamstring injury. He has spent several weeks healing and rehabilitating to be ready. While he's ready to go now, John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, wants him to have a start with AAA Memphis before giving him the green light to pitch for St. Louis.

Meanwhile, Thompson has had two starts with the Cardinals and is now 0-2 on the season. He's pitched for 10.1 innings, giving up 11 hits and eight runs, including four home runs. He's walked six batters while striking out nine.

Thompson's next start is slated for April 9 against the Phillies. This is the date Gray is supposed to pitch for Memphis. While Gray will be asked to complete the minor league assignment, the Cardinals should consider a starter other than Thompson. That could be Matthew Liberatore, Andre Pallante, or one of the arms gearing up in Memphis.

Thompson should be moved to a relief role as either a long or situational relief option.

Thompson has developed his forkball this season. It has been his putaway pitch. The pitch has averaged 83.7 mph, with 34.4 inches of vertical drop. It would be awesome to see him perfect this pitch and make it a weapon for the Cardinals out of the bullpen.