(5) - Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Jordan Montgomery, Steven Matz, and Adam Wainwright
No surprises in the rotation, as the same five-man group that was projected throughout the offseason looks to the Cardinals' Opening Day group at this point. There are some encouraging signs from returning ace Jack Flaherty, and major concerns at the moment about club legend Adam Wainwright.
Flaherty had his first Spring Training start delayed a few times, but once he got to step onto the mound, he looked great. While his fastball velocity was slightly down, his command and stuff were great overall, and he looked a lot like the pitcher the club is hoping he'll be this season. Should this trend continue for the rest of Spring Training, the club should feel pretty good about Flaherty as their number-one starter during this season.
The area of concern has to be surrounding Adam Wainwright, whose velocity has been down significantly in camp and he's taken a heavy beating in the five innings he's pitched thus far. While the panic level may not be a ten yet, Wainwright will need to show major improvements at the World Baseball Classic to help myself and others lose some of the anxiety we are feeling with him at the moment. No one thought he would be a front of the rotatoin stater this year, but so far, I have questions about if he can even be a quality number five starter.
Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz have looked great so far in camp, but Jordan Montgomery has struggled in his three innings of work. The rotation is still the biggest area of concern on this team and will be under a microscope for the rest of Spring Training.