2 recently acquired starters are having early success in the Cardinals' system

Right-hander Adam Kloffenstein was acquired by the Cardinals on July 30 as part of the trade that sent Jordan Hicks to Toronto. In two starts with the Memphis, he's looked fantastic.
Kloffenstein pitching with Team USA's 18U squad
Kloffenstein pitching with Team USA's 18U squad / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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2) Drew Rom

If the Kloffenstein sample was small, the Rom sample was even smaller. The lefty, taken by Baltimore in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, has made just one start with the club, but it was glorious. In his debut after coming to St. Louis as part of the trade that shipped Jack Flaherty to Baltimore, Rom went five innings, allowed one earned run, and racked up TEN strikeouts. It was one of the most dominant debuts a Cardinal prospect has made this season. Rom, like Kloffenstein, has generally maintained strong strikeout rates. It's very encouraging to see that aspect of his game translate immediately.

Unlike Kloffenstein, Rom has previously pitched in AAA, and the results have not been pretty. He'd pitched to a 5.34 ERA in 86 innings (18 starts) this season with Baltimore's AAA affiliate. Rom has had strong individual performances, so perhaps this is one of those. It could also be a sign of better days to come. Only time will tell, and his next start will be a great chance to evaluate further.


Rom's arsenal, delivery, and production have drawn him comps to J.A. Happ, who Cardinals fans became acquainted with during his brief tenure with the team in 2021. Comps are a touchy subject for many, and predicting that any minor leaguer will enjoy a fruitful 15-year career is risky business. But, his early success should be celebrated! And if he can become anything like the pitcher that Happ was, he would be an absolute steal for the Cardinals. If Rom keeps up this early success, he may play his way into a promotion, especially considering his status as a member of the 40-man roster.