John Mozeliak has mentioned on several occasions that this years starting pitching performance is generally enough to keep a team in playoff contention. The 2017 starters have been great in the first fifty games of the season. Pitching that covers up major issues with the offense and terrible baserunning. But, we may be witnessing a staff performing closer to the 2016 totals.
In the last couple of weeks, we have seen a possible regression from Micheal Wacha. The shoulder issues will always come to mind as we reach June and Wacha has lost his early season effectiveness. Adams Wainwrights performance last night seems to be closer to the normal pitcher than what we have seen over the previous three starts.
Will less effective starters force Mozeliaks hand?
The Cardinals organization will do almost anything to avoid making a “panic move.” Mozeliak will make that abundantly clear when speaking about club improvements. Improving on two years of regressing offense isn’t something I consider to be a river boat gamble.
Less effective starting pitching will only magnify the offensive shortcomings. That could be a great scenario for everyone that sees the need for a middle of the order run producer. To stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, Mozeliak will have to make a major move.
Starting pitching reinforcements are close
Several names in Memphis and possibly Springfield could be ready to plug a hole in the rotation. Luke Weaver seems to be the logical choice to replace Wacha in the rotation. Weaver performed well at times in St.louis last year and seems to have proven himself in Memphis. Marco Gonzalez has revived his career with great performances since returning from Tommy John surgery. Jack Flaherty is taking the same path as Weaver. Performing well in the Arizona Fall League and continuing that into the season has put him close to a big league promotion.
If the team can keep their head above water, there will be bats available to improve the offense. Incremental moves can be expected in the bullpen. The pitching staff in whole can be improved in-house. Lesser starting pitching will start to show more cracks, and hopefully lead to a major upgrade.
Hope is not lost.
Thank you for reading,