Zack Thompson deserves a spot in Cardinals' rotation over Kyle Gibson, Steven Matz

If the Cardinals aren't going to add another pitcher, they need to at least make use of the depth they have and give Zack Thompson a chance to crack the rotation.

St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

Yes, it's still only spring training. But we're getting late in the spring schedule. Opening Day is next week.

Two of the Cardinals projected five starters, Kyle Gibson and Steven Matz have not performed well this spring. Matz was a little better on Wednesday against the Nationals, as he went four innings. But he still gave up three runs.

Gibson on the other hand has been downright horrendous, allowing at least four earned runs in each of his three starts this spring. Keep in mind the Cardinals signed him to eat innings and gave him $12 million.

Meanwhile, one of the Cardinals' younger arms, Zack Thompson, has performed extremely well this spring. He owns a 2.81 ERA in his five starts this spring. The Cardinals may be stretching him out just so they can have a sixth starter available in their seven-game road trip, but what if the Cardinals kept him in the rotation permanently?

Zack Thompson deserves a rotation spot over Gibson, Matz

In my opinion, it would make sense if the Cardinals take one of Matz or Gibson out of the rotation and put them in the bullpen instead after the first few games.

Thompson went four innings on Thursday against the Astros and allowed just two runs and is truly earning more opportunities.

Matz and Gibson on the other hand, have not. And at this point, it's unlikely the Cardinals add another starter like Jordan Montgomery, as much as they need to. But if they're not going to do that, Thompson deserves a chance.

Thompson has pitched incredibly well this spring and is still only 26 years old, meaning he's still got plenty of upside. Matz and Gibson aren't showing any promise at all and clearly have not earned their spots in the rotation.

If performance truly does matter, then the smart thing to do would be to let Thompson stay in the rotation, even if Sonny Gray is healthy. Results are important, and letting Gibson and Matz for that matter remain in the rotation would be setting up for failure, similarly to 2023.

The Cardinals can't afford to fall into that trap again. Now, it's time to let guys who have earned their jobs take them and run with them. Thompson has earned his spot and deserves a chance to start.