How should Cardinals approach additions to starting rotation after improvements?

With start improvements for starters, how should the Cardinals approach adding arms?
Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals - Game Two
Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals - Game Two / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak promised another starting pitcher who could help eat some innings down the stretch. After two successful outings from pitchers, the Cardinals thought would be stop gaps; how should the Cardinals approach adding a starter or two as the trade deadline approaches?

In the second game of a doubleheader Wednesday, Matthew Liberatore had his most successful outing to date. It took 85 pitches to get him through six innings of work against the Braves. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out eight batters. He also impressed with 14 swing-and-miss pitches.

Hopefully, this will serve as a confidence boost for Liberatore to continue down the path to being strictly a starter for the Cardinals.

It took Andre Pallante 95 pitches to get through 5.1 innings of work in the Rickwood Field game last week. He gave up seven hits, five earned runs, and a home run while striking out five batters. Pallante also had five swing-and-miss pitches against the Giants.

On Friday, he threw 88 pitches in 5.1 innings of work. Pallante and the bullpen shut out the Reds. He gave up four hits and three walks while striking out five batters. With six games started, he now has a record of 4-3.

Pallante has developed a knuckle curve that has become his put-away pitch. He combines this with a four-seam fastball for success against left-handed hitters. He successfully uses his sinker primarily against right-handed bats. The more he develops and gains confidence, Pallante should be a good back-of-the-rotation option for the Cardinals.

With these young arms and the promise of talented pitchers in the minor league system, the question remains how Mozeliak and the Cardinals will approach the trade deadline?

The Cardinals are in second place in the NL Central, as well as in the second position of the NL Wild Card. The Cardinals are in a significantly better position than in all of 2023 and should consider making that move for another veteran arm to help with innings down the stretch to avoid taxing the bullpen.

One option would be to trade from the abundance of outfield talent to acquire pitching once Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman can heal and return from the injured list. If the Cardinals decide to bring back Jordan Walker to the Cardinals from a significant AAA stint, the team will have a lot of outfielders and not enough positions. While many of the younger outfielders are considered utility options and can play anywhere on the field, they could also be flipped into options to trade for that veteran pitching need.

Another option for the Cardinals is to trade for one of the plethora of starting pitchers who will be free agents after this season. Several arms are available on this route, and the Cardinals may not have to give up a significant amount of talent, but they could end up attracting that pitcher to a more extended stay with St. Louis.

The Cardinals should be active this trade deadline. They do not want to give up this golden opportunity at success with such a talented mix of players who have been through some tough times as a team.

The Cardinals have many options available, and it will be fun to see what management can turn to make a run at the playoffs.

manual