Cards To Wait Two Weeks Before Looking For Pitching

After losing Adam Wainwright for the season, it's been speculated that the Cardinals would go out on the free agent or trade market to acquire his replacement. GM John Mozeliak showed a much more patient approach last week, saying they'll first look in-house for a solution.'s Jon Heyman reports today (on Twitter) that reliever Kyle McClellan will get the first crack at the job, but if not one emerges within two weeks, the team will "consider outside options."

The 26-year-old McClellan has 202 career relief appearances to his credit but zero big league starts. His last start came in Single-A in 2007, and the last time he started on a regular basis was back in 2004, again in Single-A. McClellan was working under a starter's program in Spring Training before Wainwright's injury, and according to the PitchFX data at FanGraphs, he throws enough pitches for the role: sinker (33.0% of the time), fastball (25.9%), curve (22.3%), and slider (11.9%) while mixing in a changeup (6.1%). Cardinals fans, chime in in the comments if you've seen something different out of the right-hander.

I looked at some potential pitching options for the Cardinals last week, highlighted by free agents Kevin Millwood and Jeremy Bonderman.

57 Responses to Cards To Wait Two Weeks Before Looking For Pitching Leave a Reply

  1. Kyle Mcllelan has potential to be a starter. Stamina could possibly be an issue at first, but hes relatively young and seems to be a good enough athlete that he could adjust. If he demonstrates cabibility in his first few Spring Training appearances I say we give the job to him. That being said, he needs to become a more dave duncan esque pitcher. People around the game say that he tries to overpower people and Ive heard some players on other teams refer to him as “Nolan Ryan” because he thinks his stuff is a lot better than it is. But if im Johnny Mo Im not paying Scott Boras 2 Million for Kevin Milwood whos ERA, if im not mistaken, was close to or above five.

  2. damnitsderek 4 years ago

    Two weeks from now:

    “Cardinals sign Freddy Garcia/Bartolo Colon/Mark Prior after being released by Yankees.”

    • Actually, it’ll say “Cardinals wait it out. Sign nobody and finish 3rd in Division, but Mozeliak and LaRussa are optimistic that fans will understand.”

      • damnitsderek 4 years ago

        Replace “fans” with “Pujols” and I might agree with ya.

      • NL_East_Rivalry 4 years ago

        Wont Finish 3rd in Division two weeks later, but it makes sense as long as the fans don’t have to do too much ‘understanding’.

    • StanleyPujols 4 years ago

      I’ll take K-Mac over any of those guys or Millwood. I’m sure Tony/Dunc would also. In fact, I think most GM’s, managers, and pitching coaches would.

      I really don’t envision the cardinals making any moves. Carpenter, Garcia, Westbrook, Lohse, and K-Mac is still solid in the rotation. Bullpen will still be solid as well with Boggs, Motte, Salas, Batista, Miller, Tallett, and Franklin. Franklin is definately the weak link, but they can still promote Motte to closer and call up Sanchez if he falters.

      • BobMexico 4 years ago

        So a 36 year old pitcher, a young guy who was overworked last year, a has been, a never was, and an average middle reliever now qualifies as a solid rotation?

        • chaifetz10 4 years ago

          With Dave Duncan…definitely. He turned a group that included Marquis, Suppan, Woody Williams, and Matt Morris into a top rotation in 2004. Everyone except for Woody had 15 wins or more and Woody had 11.

        • FYI the Cards had the BEST starters ERA in the majors last year!!! By subtracting one doesn’t take all that away, one guy is only 20% of a rotation!!! Although it is a big hit, it doesn’t take away what those other guys are capable of doing!!! 2 years ago Carp should have won the CY, Garcia will be better this year, Westbrook is better than you are giving him credit for, Lohse can be good, and K-macs era and k rate were all better than Adam’s, he also was conditioning as a starter last offseason/spring training. And who are these has beens/never was? Maybe you should learn the game of baseball before sound like a fool!!! I bet you thought Dumpster was gonna suck as a starter for the cubs going by his previous seasons as a starter and then in the bullpen?

  3. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    is it going on sale then or something?

    • HerbertAnchovy 4 years ago

      Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Be There! Up to 50% starting pitching blowout sale! Prices so low it’s CRAZY! Kevin Millwood! Jeremy Bonderman!

    • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

      Thats exactly what I’m thinking. So tomorrow if a team calls them up about sending a starter to St. Louis, is Mozeliak just gonna put his fingers in his ears and say LALALALALA NOT LISTENING LALALALA

  4. Rabbitov 4 years ago

    Say what you want about the Cards, they have one of the best pitching coaches and systems in baseball. I think they could sign Ryan Leaf and make him a viable ML starter.

    • StanleyPujols 4 years ago

      best pitching coach? yes. Best system? probably not even close. Duncan and the cardinals minor league system have been at odds for years because they haven’t been teaching the same things in the minors that Duncan teaches with the big club. Supposedly, this is supposed to change, but we’ll see now that there is actually some talent down on the farm with Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, Tyrell Jenkins, and Seth Blair.

      Lance Lynn is in a make or break year. Adam Ottavino, Tyler Herron, Clayton Mortenson, Chris Lambert, Justin Pope, Blake Williams, Chance Caple, have all completely busted as 1st round picks since LaRussa/Duncan have been in place.

      • chaifetz10 4 years ago

        I think he was referring to the system not in terms of minor league prospects but more of the overall pitching system and how they do things in St. Louis. Duncan prepares more than any pitching coach…they gameplan and prepare more than any other pitching system.

        • Rabbitov 4 years ago

          Exactly, but I think both of you make excellent points. I was talking more on a major league development level, but even without the best farm system it certainly seems like they develop a lot of viable talent. They just simply get the best out of their players, and are very in tune with who should be playing and who shouldn’t.

      • damnitsderek 4 years ago

        Come on, be fair with your criticisms of those picks.

        Ottavino is still capable of becoming a productive Major Leaguer and calling him a bust is premature at this point. Same with Mortenson, although seeing as how he’s pitching in Colorado now, the odds of him getting together are quite minuscule.

        Caple and Williams both had their careers derailed by arm injuries and LaRussa and Duncan can’t be faulted for that.

        Herron was released for reasons other than performance.

        If you’re looking at a “bust” as a prospect who simply didn’t work out, then yeah, I’d agree with you. But more often than not, there are other circumstances beyond simply a player’s performance that leads to them not being successful.

        Lambert and Pope, however…

  5. timmytwoshoezzz 4 years ago

    you know you’re in trouble when it’s said that your choices are “highlighted” by Millwood and Bonderman.

  6. StanleyPujols 4 years ago

    Kyle McClellan would’ve won the 5th starter position last season had Jaime Garcia not emerged. He did absolutely nothing to lose it.

    I think this season will be difficult for Kyle, but ultimately he’ll prove himself worthy of the spot and give the Cardinals a cheaper alternative to Chris Carpenter’s $15 million option for 2012.

    Unfortunately, I think we’ve officially seen the last of the Waino/Carpenter tandem.

    • Redbirds16 4 years ago

      I think the market for Carp won’t be as strong as some people may think. He’s certainly a top of the rotation guy, but at this stage of his career he’s no Cliff Lee. I think he might take an extension at a hometown discount. But then again I’m wary that it always seems the Cards are looking for that hometown discount and that it doesn’t always happen…

      I’d pitch Carp a 3 year, $30 million extension. If he passes, then give him the buyout and be on your way. I do think there’s a good chance he takes it though.

  7. tmwells15 4 years ago

    If Duncan can make Braden Looper into a 5th starter, I trust he can make McClellan into at least that.

  8. mitch 4 years ago

    there are alot of Buehrle to Cardinals rumors but I don’t see a match without having to give up Miller or Cox or something of the like so not likely but a possible FA target later if they don’t pick-up Carp’s option. Probably gonna see Carp and Pujols both leave after the season but will get 4 draft picks out of it since barring MORE injuries both will be Type A FAs. Then you can start to build more around Rasmus, Waino, Cox, Miller, etc.

  9. baseballdude 4 years ago

    good choice wait 2 weeks and see if someone steps up.

  10. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    How about having one of the worst farms and they could then use him in a trade to acquire something else they need?

    It’s not happening anyway. I think Cards fans are overvalueing him. He’s a very good pitcher but not one worthy of Montero, let alone Montero plus others.

    • Redbirds16 4 years ago

      Depends how desperate the Yankees are for pitching, and how ‘out of it’ the Cards are. If the Cards are reasonably close, it’d take an overwhelming package to get Carp. If the Yanks are really desperate, they’ll pay. If the Cards aren’t close, they’ll be looking to trade everyone who has value that isn’t guaranteed to be with the team next year, minus Pujols. And if the Yanks’ rotation steps up big through the first half, they might not need Carp as much as people think…

    • I love how the worst farm in MLB had the BEST MILB winning percent!!! What could they do with a good farm?

  11. Cards_Fanboy 4 years ago

    I expect whoever takes the spot to pitch a sub 4.00 ERA. I think McClellan will do that. I think Ian Snell can do that. And I also think Millwood would do that if he moved to the Cardinals.
    As long as Lohse improves, the rotation should be pretty solid from top to bottom.

  12. George Yang 4 years ago

    Joe Blanton to the Cards.

    It pains me to say it though, because I’d much rather have Blanton as the number 5 on the phillies than Kyle Kendrick.

    • Joe and his ~15-17 million, whatever it is, won’t be coming to St.Louis unless the Phillies eat most of that money, and why would they unless they’re getting a good prospect in return, which they wont.

      Mark Buerlhe only want’s to pitch in St.Louis and can probably be had rather cheap. Better option.

  13. mattevilspawn 4 years ago

    Many Cards fans were lobbying for McClellan to take the SP5 spot last year before Jamie ran away with it. Not only does McClellan have a diverse repertoire of pitches that work in favor of a SP role, but his composure is also good. He keeps his emotions in check on the mound when things turn rough. That’s a skill Wainwright and Carpenter (really, many of the best MLB pitchers) have and it doesn’t show up clearly in Fangraphs/stats.

    So, yes. I’m on board with K-Mac taking the 5th SP spot. STL has plenty of RP depth on the farm to fill McClellan’s old role. Salas is an exciting candidate. And even if one of their younger options fail, they should be able to fill in the spot with another vet. Kiko Calero was rumoured to be an option a couple days ago. I’d be fine with that sign at a fair price.

  14. mattevilspawn 4 years ago

    I’ll also add that the Carp to the Yanks talk is starting to sound tired. Yes, we all know the Yankees have serious needs in the rotation. But to write off the 2011 Cardinals simply due to Wainwright is premature and a bit rich. Does the loss of Wainwright sting? Sure. Hurts like hell. But it doesn’t mean the Cardinals are instantly non-contenders. All teams must still play the games. The real outcome of the season is still to be determined and cannot accurately be forecast from paper. The 2007 Rays proved that. Hardly anyone expected the 2010 Reds or Padres to be as good as they were either.

    So, please hold those comments to at least June or July when STL is 6+ games out. If/when that happens, I’ll thoroughly enjoy the discussion. But right now it’s starting to sound like a weather guy in Winter predicting a severe drought for Summer.

    • Cards_Fanboy 4 years ago

      Yep, the NL Central can still be won by the Cards, Cubs, Brewers, or Reds (probably not the Pirates or Astros).

      No one knows what other injuries may occur on any of the teams, and which players will slump or have career years.

      • No way the Cubs are anywhere near contention. They can contend for 4th place.

        The thing that worries me about McClellan taking the spot is that he’ll probably be a 5 inning guy most of the time and tax an already weak bullpen.

        • Cards_Fanboy 4 years ago

          Yea I am pretty curious to see how many innings he’ll be able to go.

          I don’t much care for the Cubs so I hope you are right, but if Aramis Ramirez, Soto, Byrd, and Pena have good years they should be pretty good. Add Colvin in there and they could hit quite a few out of the ballpark.

          • Having to depend on guys like Marlon Byrd and Geo Soto to have great years is exactly why the Cubs won’t be contending. Look at the Bluejays for evidence that putting balls out of the park doesn’t lead to titles. And the Jays are much, much better team overall than the Cubs.

            The rotation is weak, the bullpen is weak, the bench is weak.

            The lineup is full of either oft-injured, underperforming slackers or largely unproven youngsters. Matt Garza will give up 40 homers in Wrigley and their closer is just as likely to walk the bases loaded as he is to strike out the side. Not to mention they gave up some great prospects for a 3rd starter.

            The Cubs aren’t going anywhere for a while.

  15. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    I think if I’m potentially choosing between signing Bonderman and Millwood to low risk deals I would go with Bonderman. If anybody could get anything out of him its probably Dave Duncan and it can’t hurt him going to the NL.

  16. bmoneyy20 4 years ago

    carpenter is really good when healthy, but when has that been. everyone except the pirates and astros can win this division.the cardinals are out of it by july they will just trade carpenter, problem is carp has been on the dl for a month and st louis only gets draft picks which they havent done well with.

  17. CardsFan4Ever 4 years ago

    If the Cards fall out of it, i really hope they attempt to trade Pujols. If the Cards r out of it, that means Pujols cant win obviously, so y wouldnt he accept a trade to a team that can win? I would love to c Pujols stay but i have no say in the matter. As for Carp, he will prolly b traded to if we fall out of it. But if he stays, his option will be declined, become a FA, and the Cards will replace him with St. Charles native Mark Buerhle who would prolly sign kinda cheap considering he has always wanted to pitch for the Cards. But ST has just started so im not saying the Cards are already out of it. People forget that all 30 teams play at least 162 games.

  18. John McFadin 4 years ago


  19. StanleyPujols 4 years ago

    Why does every story about the cardinals LOOKING FOR PITCHING end up with several suggestions that they trade Chris Carpenter?

    Do you people really think for a moment that the Cardinals are going to trade their ace while Pujols could be in his final season with the team?

    Do you people ever take off your pinstriped shades for even a minute to stop and look around to realize that every team in MLB is not sitting around trying to figure out how to help the Yankees win the World Series. Same goes for you, Boston fans.

    Believe it or not, other teams are actually trying to win. This includes the Cardinals. Can they re-sign Pujols? probably not. Are they going to pick up Carpenter’s option? probably not. Do you people not understand that this means that Cardinals management probably realizes that this is their best chance for a title for the next several years, even if they don’t have Wainwright?

  20. If the Yankees are offering Montero, Nova, Betances and Nunez and the Cards are out of contention, Mo better jump all over that!!! I don’t know the rankings for the Yanks farm but I know Montero is high and I think Betances is too!! Nunez is a player TRL would love and Nova could be a good #4 in the NL. As a Cards fan if we are out of contention I’d take that deal in a heartbeat, Yanks fans would you really give that much up for Carp?

  21. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    “Montero Nova Betances and Nunez for Carpenter. That would be reasonable”.


  22. StanleyPujols 4 years ago

    the other teams in their division are still the reds, brewers, cubs, pirates, and astros. Lets see here…cubs have been waiting 102 years for a title. Astros have never won one. Brewers have never won one. The Pirates haven’t won a title for 31 years and the reds haven’t won one in 20 years.

    Can’t say that I’m concerned about them as long as the Cardinals aren’t hit with anymore devastating injuries.

  23. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    I’d be concerned about the Reds. They were clearly the best team in the central last year and are loaded with young pitching. Dusty Baker is the biggest threat to their future success.
    The Red’s immediate future looks a whole lot brighter than the Cardinals at this point.

  24. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    In order to win a WS the Reds, Brewers and Cubs have to make it to the playoffs, beat the NL West or East rep and ultimately the AL rep in the WS.

    As a Cards fan, you really should be more worried about them simply beating the Cardinals which is totally plausable.

  25. Taskmaster75 4 years ago

    Tell me, where would Montero play if Pujols was signed? He’s certainly not replacing Molina, and with the Cardinals not having to worry about picking up Carpenter’s option if they deal him, they have some spare change to resign Pujols with. If the Cardinals are still vested in signing Pujols, I see no reason for them to acquire Montero.

  26. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    “As a Cards fan if we are out of contention I’d take that deal in a heartbeat, Yanks fans would you really give that much up for Carp”?

    “He!! no”


  27. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I think most ppl feel that Carp will be traded if the Cards are not contenders by July. Why?

    “Can they re-sign Pujols? probably not. Are they going to pick up Carpenter’s option? probably not”.

  28. Trade bait! I cant see the Yanks giving that much for Carp anyway!

  29. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    How about having one of the worst farms and they could then use him in a trade to acquire something else they need?

    It’s not happening anyway. I think Cards fans are overvalueing him. He’s a very good pitcher but not one worthy of Montero, let alone Montero plus others.

  30. 78, what do you think the Yanks would give up for Carp?

  31. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    It’s tough to say. I think it’s easier to say who they wouldn’t give up. Take Montero, Sanchez and Banuelos off the list. I know they wouldn’t want to give up Betances or Brackman either (they should both be ready by 2012) but I think it would be tough to get Carp w/ one of them being in the deal.

    Yanks have a ton of good prospects that are overshadowed that are good trade pieces too. Something like…

    Betances or Brackman + 2B David Adams or Corban Joseph + a lower level pitching prospect would work and would be just bareable for Cash to digest.

    Amazingly, I’ve read where Cards fans have questioned whether or not to pick up Carps option. Seems that would be a no brainer.

  32. Taskmaster75 4 years ago

    Then why wouldn’t they just deal to at team that actually has what they need….

  33. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I don’t think anyone has ever said or suggested that the Yanks were the only possible trade partners for Carp. That being said, Carps $15 mil salary and the Cards lack of top end prospects (with at least 2 years of minor lge play) is very thin limits the teams that can afford to acquire him via trade.

    However, if they were inclined to trade Carpenter and in some drug induced state ofmind Cashman offered Montero and the deal was accepted then the Cards have a great young player they can either keep in AAA until they see what happens with AP (turn Montero into a 1B if AP leaves) orsimply use him in a trade for something they need.

    ex: Montero, Lynn and prospects other than a Miller, Cox or Jenkins for another Fausto Carmona or someone similar. Just an example. They might need to tune it up but the point being that Montero should get you more than halfway there.

  34. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Not to be to much of a homer but…..Betances pitched 1 inning today and struckout Brown, Francisco and some other guy on 9 pitches today….all swinging strikes. Didn’t see the game live though. Not sure if they were all FB or not.

    Oddly though, Brown struck out 3x today as well……..all on 9 pitches, all swings and misses.

    But it’s too early to get to excited right?

  35. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Phillies and D. Brown were the opponets.

  36. FYI the cars wen 12-6 against the reds lastyear!!! The cards were the only team to have a winning record against winning teams and a losing record against losing teams!!! So to say the reds were clearly the better team is not 100% percent accurate. And they finished 5 games back not 8, but I don’t expect people to post facts, only their opinions as if they’re facts!!!

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