6 difficult roster decisions the St. Louis Cardinals must address ASAP

The St. Louis Cardinals need to make some decisions about their roster, and fast.
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages
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1. It's time to find a fifth starter

I understand that Steven Matz will be back soon and that Andre Pallante has had really nice starts in his three chances this year. I was really high on Matz coming into the season as a bounce-back candidate and I've been an advocate for Pallante to take the Cardinals' fifth rotation spot as of late, but neither can be relied on for the remainder of the season if this club wants to contend.

Honestly, the reason why goes beyond even just their own performances. The Cardinals are bound to experience another injury to the rotation at some point, and with how shaky things have been with one arm down, imagine if two or more of their starting pitchers hit the injured list at the same time.

Mozeliak has been clear that he has not seen enough from any of the Memphis starters to have confidence in any of them to take the ball for St. Louis in the near future. A lot could change over the next six weeks, but the Cardinals don't really have that kind of time available to them.

The lack of a true fifth option in their rotation hurts not only the club's ability to win when the fifth spot in the rotation takes the mound but also has an impact on the club on other days of the week as well. The bullpen is utilized often, especially their high-leverage arms, and while I am not in the camp that the Cardinals have overused them, it is fair to say the Cardinals can't really seem to win games without them. That's not a great recipe for long-term success.

I was intentional with the words I used here - the Cardinals need to find a fifth starter, but I'm very open to that guy being better than just a number five starter. Acquiring a Brad Keller type can help hold the club over, but names like Erick Feede would be even better. Frankly, I don't see the Cardinals entertaining a move for someone like Garrett Crochet or Justin Verlander at this year's deadline, as the Cardinals lack the farm system depth to pull off such a move without cratering their long-term outlook.

The Cardinals are in a winnable stretch of games that could put them in a firm driver's seat in the Wild Card race, but without a legit fifth starter, that becomes really difficult to pull off.