We all sound like broken records by now. We’re probably beating a dead horse. But one thing is for sure. The Cardinals starting rotation is absolutely terrible right now, and that’s putting it nicely. Steven Matz really wasn’t bad on Friday. He kind of had some bad luck, especially with a missed call which would have given him a strikeout and gotten him a little bit deeper into the game. His line was ultimately soured when Drew VerHagen had a slip up, allowing a go-ahead double to A.J. Pollock.
The Cardinals lost 5-2 and continued their ugly trend of losing series openers. And while Matz wasn’t all that bad, he still failed to record a quality start. The Cardinals had just two entering the second game of the series with the Mariners last night, hence the point of this article.
Yes, it’s been well documented by now that the Cardinals rotation as it currently stands isn’t going to suffice if they plan on winning the Central again and making more noise in October. But perhaps the most important thing to note is this; the rotation isn’t going to fix itself.
I’m seeing a lot of people on Twitter suggesting that the Cardinals should take a chance on Madison Bumgarner. I couldn’t disagree more. While yes, Bumgarner brings great postseason experience and could benefit from a fresh start, as many pitchers have when joining the Cardinals, it would be nothing more than a patchwork move to fill a hole.
The Cardinals don’t have holes right now. The depth is there. It’s the quality of starting pitching that’s the problem. It’s too early to be thinking about trades. We’re only in April. But it isn’t too soon to shake things up. Will Adam Wainwright’s impending return help? It might. Then again, it might not. The fact that the Cardinals need an ace and should have added one over the winter is a tired subject, and we’re doing ourselves a disservice by continually harping on the subject.
But how much longer can they keep Matthew Liberatore down in Memphis with the way he’s pitching? We know Andre Pallante has been solid as a starter. Perhaps when he comes back, he’ll end up in the rotation. I don’t think Jake Woodford will be in the rotation much longer, but either way, if Matz, Jordan Montgomery, and Miles Mikolas continue to struggle, perhaps putting them in the bullpen and giving Pallante, Liberatore, Andrew Suarez, Michael McGreevy, or Cooper Hjerpe a chance could do the team some good.