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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6. What will Steven Matz's role with the club be upon his return?

I referenced earlier that I was high on Matz coming into the year. Not that he would be some top-end starter, but out of the guys in their rotation not named Sonny Gray, he may have the best stuff and could provide the Cardinals with high-quality outings throughout the year.

The lack of consistency from Matz remains an issue though, and that is if he is even on the field at all. The injuries have caused Matz to miss significant time each of his seasons in St. Louis, meaning the Cardinals cannot go into August and September with him as one of the five guys they are relying on.

Matz also has struggled to give you many innings. That's part of the game today, but when you mix in the very inconsistent performances and the lack of durability, it's another knock against him.

What should the Cardinals do when he returns soon from injury? Insert him into the rotation over Andre Pallante? Spend some time in the bullpen as a long-reliever and spot starter? Shift into more of a pure reliever role to give the Cardinals another excellent option from the left side?

To me, I think they need to allow him to start again if Pallante's fourth start does not go well, and then make him the clear and obvious candidate to move to the bullpen once they acquire another starter. Again, another injury to someone else in the rotation could happen, so with the lack of starting pitching depth they have right now, I don't see why it would make sense to move him to the bullpen full-time at this moment.

Once the Cardinals do acquire another starter though, Matz could operate out of the bullpen, or they could even shop him around and see if there is a club that really needs starting pitching and wants to take a shot at him. He has one year, $12 million owed to him next year, which is usually the bare minimum a starter gets on the open market these days anyway, so I think the Cardinals could potentially dump the remainder of that contract as long as they don't ask for anything of value in return.

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