Another day, another question surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for the Cardinals to magically acquire a front-line starter today or get a mulligan on giving up guys like Sandy Alcantara or Zac Gallen. For now, though, they need to explore the immediate upgrades that are available to try and get themselves in a better position by the trade deadline.
Looking around the baseball landscape, you'll be hard-pressed to find teams ready to trade any of their starting pitching options. Pretty much every contender will be looking to upgrade their staff this July, so teams are going to hold onto their arms and hope they are approached with bidding wars when the deadline is here.
One interesting name was just designated for an assignment this weekend, Zach Plesac of the Cleveland Guardians, and could be an intriguing option for St. Louis.
Should the St. Louis Cardinals bring in Zach Plesac?
Let's set the record straight, there are no realistic options for the Cardinals to acquire right now that come without warts. Again, no team is going to be trading away valuable pitching right now, so if you want to upgrade your staff or bring in other options, it is going to take finding a diamond in the rough. Plesac could be that guy for them.
The 28-year-old posted a 7.59 ERA in 21.1 innings of work for the Guardians this year, and his 1.97 WHIP and 5.9 K/9, but his 4.50 FIP indicates that he's going to have some positive regression here soon.
During his first two seasons in 2019 and 2020, Plesac posted a 3.32 ERA in 171 innings of work. It wasn't that long ago that the Guardians were receiving trade interest all around baseball when it came to Plesac, so there have been plenty of interest parties. Even in a down year in 2022, Plesac posted a 4.31 ERA over 131.2 innings of work, which would be the 3rd best ERA among their starters this year.
Are the Cardinals a good fit for Plesac? I think it depends on how you look at it. Plesac is a low-cost option that could potentially fill a huge need for the Cardinals, so there is very little risk in bringing him in and seeing what happens. But I also understand that the Cardinals already have six starters on their roster, and there is no clear way to insert him into their rotation.
Should the Cardinals explore this? I think it would be foolish not to at least consider how he could fit into the club. Would I be mad if they passed on him? No, but it may be the only chance at another rotation option until July.