Rotation Ramblings: What a Rotation Should Look Like and How to Get There

Have you ever woken up with one strong thought in your mind? And even though you try to look busy and focus your mind on something else, that lingering thought remains? Well, that happened to me today. I was thinking about consistency. I remembered the 2005 St. Louis Cardinals rotation. I remembered how I could always tell who was pitching the next day, without looking at the probables. I guess that's what a rotation is all about, huh? Go from No. 1 to No. 5 and then back to No. 1. Not this shuffling and improvising of starters we have been accustomed to seeing. We had it all. We had excellent guys, good guys and OK guys who could get the job done. Heck, we even had a Silver Slugger amongst them. They placed the team in a position to win on a consistent basis.

Now this year we have had 3 consistent pitchers. Carpenter, Waino and Jaime. And, we could have a fourth in Westbrook. Now, re-signing Westbrook has got to be a priority. He is the type of pitcher that excels under the tutelage of Dave Duncan. Re-signing him would make 4 starters for 2011.

Yet, we need a 5th one. Penny has been down all year and presents a risky option that doesn't fit with the whole consistency thing I was mulling over my cereal this morning. IMO, Lohse will, again, simply not fit this model of consistency. The guy has been dealing with injuries and is serving up meatballs faster than a cheap Italian restaurant. He is no better solution for our 5th starter hole than what Suppan or Hawksworth has been this year. I say we move him to a long reliever/mop up guy and look for some outside help, if possible.

Someone just regular. Ordinary. A guy with brown hair. A guy that likes pizza and always orders Coke in McDonald's. A guy with two kids and an SUV. A guy with a fastball, a change-up, a curveball and a slider, but nothing too flashy. Someone that wears jeans and a polo shirt on Sundays. Someone that had good grades in school, but not great. Perhaps he ran for Class President but never won. A guy that likes the James Bond movies and Casablanca, but has only seen them twice. A guy named Tim. Or Dave. Or John.

... Or Kevin.

Kevin Correia should be a free agent this season, provided the Padres don't re-sign him. He started 33 games last year and is on pace to start 30 this year. He had a 3.91 ERA last year and is currently sporting a 4.63 ERA. His FIP? About the same. 3.81 last year and 4.64 this year. He has had 20 games where he has thrown more than 100 pitches in his last two seasons. And the interesting thing? He has a 1.69 GO/FO ratio for this year. Something certainly appealing to Dave. He is currently on a 3.6 million dollar contract due to expire and you have to wonder if San Diego will re-sign him with their reduced payroll. If not... I say we go get him.

... Perhaps his name could be Noah.

With only 26 years, this one might be a tougher fish to catch. Something tells me San Fran will not hesitate in re-signing him. However, he does sport a 1.30 GO/FO ratio that is similar to what Pineiro had when he first came to the Lou. He is cheap at 1.365 million dollars, a figure that should go up, but not astronomically. He has quite a high FIP (4.89) but it fits a No. 5 slot. Again, if San Fran doesn't pick him up, I say we look alive and get him.

Looking at the upcoming FA class, I can say this two guys would the best options. Javier Vasquez might be too expensive, The D-train has de-railed, Bedard has a mutual option that might be picked up, Kuroda is expensive, Lilly is expensive, Padilla is old and has a 0.83 GO/AO ratio...

Anyways, these might be dreams of a better and actual, rotating rotation for next year and this is all assuming that these guys actually hit the market and the Cardinals forget all about Kyle Lohse as an 11 million dollar fifth starter. It's a dream about 5 guys that can go all year and put our team in a position to win ballgames virtually every time. Of bringing 2005 to today...