What each Cardinal pitcher has to prove during the final stretch

Every Cardinal still has something to play for, even though the team is on the brink of elimination. Today, we'll break down what each member of the pitching staff must prove over the final weeks of the season!
Thompson faces off against the Cincinnati Reds
Thompson faces off against the Cincinnati Reds / Aaron Doster/GettyImages
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Drew VerHagen

Drew VerHagen has had a really weird season. He's been much better than he was in 2022, but he hasn't been incredible either. VerHagen doesn't do any one thing particularly well. He generates a solid amount of strikeouts but also walks more batters than he ought to. On top of that, he doesn't allow a ton of homers, but he seems to allow them at the least opportune moment. He also currently has a 4.02 ERA, which puts him roughly 8% better than the league average. Somehow, he wasn't traded at the deadline. He's inexpensive and fairly effective, two things plenty of contending teams should have been lining up for.

Many Cardinals fans didn't like the initial VerHagen signing. That may influence the front office, especially if they're on the fence about bringing him back. VerHagen has shown signs of competence at many points this season. Besides Wainwright, VerHagen was the only player on an expiring contract who was not dealt following the game.

Though the Cardinals will not be aggressively pursuing VerHagen, a reunion remains possible. Between now and the season finale, VerHagen must prove that he belongs on a big league roster, even if that isn't the roster of the St. Louis Cardinals.