Potential Pitching Options For The Cardinals

The Cardinals are expected to receive some bad news pretty soon, as it appears as though right-hander Adam Wainwright will miss the 2011 season with Tommy John surgery. Manager Tony LaRussa told Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they "have to overcome this," though St. Louis still has a formidable front of the rotation featuring Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, and Jake Westbrook.

Reliever Kyle McClellan is already working under a starter's program this spring according to Goold, so he could be first in line for the vacated rotation spot. The team could also turn to Brian Tallet, Miguel Batista, Ian Snell, P.J. Walters, or Lance Lynn if needed. What about external options? Let's take a look…

  • Kevin Millwood – The 36-year-old free agent is said to be "waiting for the right widespread panic," and Wainwright's injury would certainly qualify. Millwood was rumored to be seeking $4-5MM, and recently declined a minor league offer from the Yankees. 
  • Joe Blanton – It's long been speculated that the Phillies would try to unload the $17MM owed to Blanton over the next two years, though St. Louis' payroll is said to be "leaking." Philadelphia would likely have to eat a significant portion of Blanton's contract to facilitate a trade, defeating the point of moving him.
  • Jeremy Bonderman – Still just 28, Bonderman has been connected to the Indians recently but is still without a job for 2011.
  • Chad Durbin – At least one team (the Red Sox) have interest in him as a starter, but he'd have more of an opportunity with the Cardinals. Durbin has 75 big league starts to his credit, but none since 2007. He could also provide bullpen depth if McClellan moves into the rotation.
  • Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia – both right-handers are with the Yankees on minor league contracts that allow them to become free agents if they don't make the team out of Spring Training.

There's no way to replace a pitcher of Wainwright's caliber, so the Cardinals will have to hope that whoever takes his place in the rotation simply provides quality innings while the rest of the team takes their game up a notch.

77 Responses to Potential Pitching Options For The Cardinals Leave a Reply

  1. GoCubs10 4 years ago

    well with one of their aces out i see the cubs winning the division and signing puljous at the end of the season

    • Wow, you’re an idiot then… Yes, this is a huge blow to St. Louis. However, Chicago has no chance to win the NL Central. St. Louis will still finish strong and if they don’t win it, which I think they still can, Milwaukee will or Cincinnati will win it…

    • That seems like a stretch. It will be impossible to replace wainwright’s stellar performance, but they still have options for replace him.

      And even IF you think the cards aren’t the favorite in the division anymore because of this, then I would think the brew crew would be ahead of the cubs in that line

      • Jason Klinger 4 years ago

        Indeed. Before the injury to Wainwright, the Cubs are third, behind St. Louis and Milwaukee. After the injury to Wainwright…the Cubs are third, behind Milwaukee and St. Louis.

        • cookmeister 4 years ago

          you have the cubs ahead of the reds?

          • Jason Klinger 4 years ago

            I do indeed. I don’t trust the starting pitching to hold up like it did in 2010. Lots of young arms there and a backslide wouldn’t surprise me.

          • nictonjr 4 years ago

            How far do you see Jaime Garcia ‘backsliding’?? He threw 125 more innings than 2009…

          • Matt Talken 4 years ago

            I think predicting a sub 3.00 ERA for him next season might be a bit much, but he showed himself to be a very solid lefty pitcher and I think any value he gives up in ERA, he could pick up in innings pitched if he stays healthy, going deeper into games.

          • Matt Talken 4 years ago

            I’m not buying it. I don’t think they’ve got the offense. Perhaps it’s just that everyone had a down year last year and not that they’re in decline, but Soriano and Ramirez just aren’t the same players they used to be, and I’d be shocked to see Soriano take a huge step back to his old form. There’s no D. Lee anymore, and I’m not 100% sold on what Soto can give you, considering in 3 years, he’s 1 great season (2008), 1 poor season (2009) and 1 season that was good, but where he only played 105 games. Admittedly, 105 games for a catcher isn’t terrible, but if he’s your best or 2nd best hitter and he only plays 65% of the season, with Koyie Hill taking his place the other 35% of the time, I just don’t see it.

            I think this is ultimately good news for both Cincinnati and Milwaukee, but I still think Chicago’s best bet is that one Cincy, Milwaukee and St. Louis slides enough for Chicago to finish 3rd.

          • redsreignbegins 4 years ago

            I’m guessing your one of those non-baseball fans that give expert opinions with vague/false/ignorant reasoning. The Reds pitching was below average in the NL last year-fact. Pitchers on average increase performance with age into their prime years (27-31)-Fact. 4 out of the 5 projected Reds starters will be one year closer to their prime years (27-31)-Fact. Alot of people don’t understand that the Reds pitching was very mediocre last year. So the statement ” I dont trust the reds pitching to hold up like it did in 2010″ is just plain stupid reasoning. Say the offense won’t be as good, but every computerized projection has the reds pitching as significantly improved. Whether or not the offense can be repeated is a more logical question.

          • daveineg 4 years ago

            The middle of the Cub batting order is feeble compared to the Reds, Brewers and Cardinals. Relying on the volatile Zambrano to be productive over a full season is a pipe dream. It’s now Brewers, Reds, Cardinals, Cubs in that order.

        • redsreignbegins 4 years ago

          Thats probably about right, considering the Reds easily won the division as one the youngest teams in MLB and they lost just about everyone. I see a decline in Bruce, Stubbs, Wood, Chapman, Volquez, Cueto, Bailey, Votto, Leake, Arrendondo, etc. They are all past their prime. No way any of them improve and it’s not like any of them were good to begin with.

          CUBS FANS ARE DELIRIOUS. YOU ARE NOT IN THE DISCUSSION WHATSOEVER. Brewers, Cards, or Reds will win and 2nd could easily be wildcard.

          • daveineg 4 years ago

            It’s really down to the Brewers and Reds, and I give the edge to the Brewers because the top of their rotation is a little more impressive than what the Reds have. Losing Wainwright and his 230 innings will have a ripple effect on the Cardinals staff. They are still good enough to beat out the Cubs who are relying on Ramirez, Soriano and Pena to be their run producers. That group just isn’t in the class of the guys the Brewers, Reds and Cards have.

          • cards4lfedrew 4 years ago

            Cards might have lost Waino for the year, which sucks bad cause he probably would have won the Cy Young this year, but we have a guy named Dave Duncan that has worked magic in the past. We have several potential in house (i cant even use the word replacement here cause you cant replace Waino) and several options outside of our club as you can read in the above articles. I think the Brew crew will NOT live up to their espectations. Reds, tuff to say, Walt has been known for putting winning ball clubs together and he did it again in Cinci….1st Reds/Cards 2nd Reds/Cards 3rd Brew 4th Cubs…CUBS SUCK

  2. Are the braves still trying to move kawakami? I’d imagine he’d be cheaper than blanton and only for 1 yr.

    I really like wainwright and hope he recovers quickly (whether resting or through tj)

  3. jnolan33177 4 years ago

    Please take Blanton from us!!! Vance Worley can give us 5.00 era probably better. And 5 innings. Thats Blantons M.O. 5 inns, 3 runs 5.00 era and runs allowed in the 1st.

    • nm344 4 years ago

      You dont speak for phillies fans. And you certainly don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Agreed. He must not watch Blanton pitch ever because he is normally good for 7 innings and 3 runs. He has a few bad outings that balloon his ERA. Trade Kendrick and keep Worley for long relief and spot starts. He looked great last year in the few chances he got with the big club.

  4. briantalletsmoustache 4 years ago

    Dear St. Louis Cardinals,

    Brian Tallet would be a poor choice for a starter. Just sayin’.

    Heart always,
    Blue Jays fans

  5. Man this sucks i dont even like the Cardinals. I loved his Curve ball he was one of my faveorite pitchers in all of baseball. All of those pitchers put together cant match what Wainwright does. Is it just me or does this guy kinda remind you of Brandon Webb?

    PS all of those who keep talking about fantasy baseball please stfu, go outside get a girlfriend do something with your lives..

    • danimal0630 4 years ago

      I play fantasy baseball and have a girlfriend, and friends, and a job, and a weekly sports talk radio show, and the list goes on and on, so stfu with your absurd stereotypes

      • your right man theres nothing wrong with fantasy baseball i was just talking about those who dont even care that this is his career and they are just thinking about there 20 dollars or whatever they spent on him

      • How do i edit my comment? My computer is not letting me but if i could i would take that last part out

      • redsreignbegins 4 years ago

        bet she looks like dog meat though…

      • redsreignbegins 4 years ago

        talking to mommy through a walkie talkie about your mlb2k defeat doesnt count as a “radio show” you nerd…

      • redsreignbegins 4 years ago

        bet she looks like dog meat

    • briantalletsmoustache 4 years ago

      You’re commenting on MLBTR on a Wednesday afternoon; pot, have I introduced you to kettle?

  6. dc21892 4 years ago

    No one ever wants to see a pitcher go down with this injury, but it happens. Hopefully the Cardinals can patch it together and make it through the season with Garcia/Carpenter having good years. Also, Jake Westbrook needs to be as solid as he was when he came over last July.

  7. GoCubs10 4 years ago

    well the it will be a race between the cubs and the brew crew but i see the cubs in the playoffs

    • Why is everyone forgeting about the Reds?

    • blh2010 4 years ago

      you are delusional it is going to be between the Reds and Brewers but don’t count the Cardinals out just yet we still have a very good offense and in baseball anything is possible. Pujols is going to sign with the Cardinals.

      • kittycatman 4 years ago

        so even without wainwright you still have cards ahead of the cubs? very good offense doubtful. more like very good middle of the lineup. 3-4 maybe 5 depending on which rasmus is there. i’m not trying to be a jerk, but carpenter is getting older. he will still be good and garcia will continue to be good i would say, but outside of that nothing really scary. the rotation doesnt match up and the lineups are question marks for both(outside of your big dogs). the reds were an aberration, everyone from jonny gomes to miguel cairo to ramon hernandez had career years, all in the same year.

        • wth are you talking about?? If anything the Reds should get better! Cueto will get better. Volquez is coming back Chapman might close with that 105mph fastball and Wood and Leake have a year of exp as starters and hopefully this could be Homer Baileys break out year (crossing my fingers) I expect the Reds to run away with the central this year after wainwright got hurt. I see the Brewers stumbling out of the gate and trading Greinkie and Fielder before the asb. and the cubs in LAST

          • kittycatman 4 years ago

            After that response I can’t even take you seriously anymore…

    • redsreignbegins 4 years ago

      I see that you have fan delirium. Reds, Brew, and Cards will fight it out while Cubs battle Hou and Pit. That Cubs team is horrible. How do you even compare with the three above?

  8. rathman53 4 years ago

    Colby Rasmus for Gio Gonzalez?

    • Jason Klinger 4 years ago

      If I had a dime for every time someone suggested trading Rasmus for (fill in need of the day), I’d be sipping margaritas by the ocean right now.

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        My best guess is he was throwing some sarcasm out there because he’s not a Cards fan. My guess is as good as yours, though. It’s tough to tell over the internet.

  9. ZoinksScoob 4 years ago

    Cards may decide to stay in-house to start the season, then see what develops on the trade front. Same for Yankees. Prime candidate to be traded during the season: Erik Bedard. M’s will be out of the race by June 1 at the latest, Bedard is signed to a very reasonable contract with incentive clauses, so they can get a bidding war started between St. Louis and New York. M’s may appeal more to the Cards because with Punto down, Freese will be pushed harder and he could break down, meaning Chone Figgins could become a target as well. M’s would love to dump both players and free up payroll, and could ask for a package built around Shelby Miller and Zach Cox.

  10. We’ve got this dynamite lefty with a knack for pitching, dedication to winning and potential to be a star. We’re willing to eat some contract, especially if you take a talented, veteran second baseman with good hands with him.

    A Mets fan

    • Hey, that sounds grea….wait a minute!!

    • Ferrariman 4 years ago

      we will gladly take Santana, a talented lefty with a knack for pitching and a dedication for winning and a star. Hell, your even eating his contract AND giving us Jose Reyes (who should be a 2ndbaseman)!?! Sign me up.

  11. TriplePlayed 4 years ago

    kenshin kawakami

    • Stl_Great 4 years ago

      Where do you want your year supply of Gatorade sent to?

  12. TartanElk 4 years ago

    Bonderman is probably the best option for the Cardinals if they decide to go that route. He’s pretty much the same pitcher as Millwood. He’ll eat innings and can put up passable numbers, and probably a little better ones in the NL. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s MUCH younger than all the other options, only 2 years younger than Blanton. What helps the most, however, is that he would by far be the cheapest option.

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      Bonderman has a tough time staying healthy. He’s had a history or shoulder injuries and has only pitched 252 2/3 innings the last 3 years combined because of it. To say he’ll eat innings is just foolish.

      • TartanElk 4 years ago

        Fair enough, but would you really want to pay 2-3 times as much for someone who may offer you exactly the same thing?

        I do have to say though, ’08 and ’09 are the only years he didn’t pitch at least 150 innings. In 8 seasons, he’s only pitched LESS than 28 games twice. So quite honestly, those look like aberrations rather than any kind of indicator. His 170-ish IP last season are more in line with his career average, as well as his 30 games pitched.

        • dc21892 4 years ago

          Pitchers with should problems fall off quickly, though. If he can come back, great, if not grab Millwood. Millwood wants a major league contract. I don’t think it’s as much about the money as it is about the ability to pitch in the majors still.

          • TartanElk 4 years ago

            I agree with that, but, if Millwood was asking for around $6 million before the Wainright problem happened, why would he lower his price for a team that desperately needed his help? He’d have them by the metaphorical balls.

          • dc21892 4 years ago

            Well, that 6M most likely came down. Now, with the Cardinals possibly in need, his price would most likely go back up around there. So, overall, I guess you’re right about Bonderman (innings wise we won’t know until we know how healthy he is).

  13. Ferrariman 4 years ago

    the best option for them is to use Lynn. What is the point of picking up some scrap heap to post a 4.85 era when you can have one of your own farm hands do that and maybe surprise you or at the very least get experience.

    • nhsox 4 years ago

      Bonderman has talent and could probably be had on the cheap. You’re probably more familiar with the Cardinals farm system than I am, but what if their prospects would be better served fine tuning their game in AAA? Millwood might have enough in the tank to be an effective starter in the NL Central too.

      If Dave Duncan is as good of a pitching coach as advertised, either of these guys should be solid options. Just look at how Pinerio’s career got turned around. If I were Bonderman, I’d like to get in on that, even if it might mean a discount contract. Millwood would probably cost more to get him motivated to get out of bed in the morning. He’s 36 and has already made a lot of money in his career (think Renteria refusing to play for $1 million).

  14. Pujols for Zito! Make it happen Sabes!

    • brstreet9 4 years ago

      That’s funny right there, I don’t care who ya are.

      • nhsox 4 years ago

        If only Boras were a user on this site to post why he thinks that Mr. Patane was making a legitimate claim.

  15. Redhawk 4 years ago

    Don’t panic would be the key. Don’t over pay for Millwood. I’m sure there are a few starting veteran pitchers out there on Minor league contracts/invites that will be cut, as well, as a few younger guys that will be out of options.

  16. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    Brian Tallet: The game changer.

  17. Bob 4 years ago

    Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton (Phillies eat 5 million) for Colby Rasmus.

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      Sure, trade a solid switch hitting centerfielder for another straight left handed bat!

  18. grouchonyy 4 years ago

    The Cardinals may decide not to throw good money after bad. They can decide to trade Carpenter for prospects and use the money saved to resign Pujols. Then, in 2011 make a real run at the division.

    • Redbirds16 4 years ago

      I don’t think the loss of Wainwright is enough to throw in the towel. It makes it a real challenge for sure, he’s a big piece of a championship puzzle, but the Cards can still be competitive if they can find someone to give 160+ innings of 4.50 ERA. This of course puts more weight on Carp, Garcia, Westbrooke, and Lohse, but if the 4 of them pitch like they can, the Cards will still have a strong rotation. Of course if Westbrooke struggles, Carp gets injured, Garcia suffers the sophmore slump and Lohse continues his trend of health problems and ineffectiveness, then yes, the Cards will be out of it and out of it quickly. But that doomsday scenario could be said about almost any team.

      I mean, it will take a lot and be challenging, but that’s LaRussa’s style. He’s always thrived on motivating his players with an ‘us against the world’ philosophy. When his team is favored, things don’t seem to work out. But when his team is the underdog (the farther the gap the better) the team seems to thrive. This is fuel to the fire.

      If I’m anyone in the Cards organization, I view this as a challenge, not a defeat.

      Personally, if Millwood won’t come on a minor league invite with a major league option around $4.5 million if he makes the club, I’d want to see Lance Lynn step up big into the role with Miguel Bautista being the swingman in the bullpen and Snell really taking heed of Duncan and being the 6th guy.

  19. This looks like a job for AA.

    Jays pitching depth + Cards needs = Rasmus to Jays?

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      They’d have to be getting a lot in return to give up Rasmus.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

        If there was a potential match, it left when the Jays traded Marcum.

    • Redbirds16 4 years ago

      Can’t rob Peter to give to Paul.

  20. $1742854 4 years ago

    Kyle Lohse. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

  21. Have they blamed Johnny Cueto yet?

    • Stl_Great 4 years ago

      The only thing Cueto is blamed for is ending Jason LaRue’s career.

      • redsreignbegins 4 years ago

        Career is a strong word.

        • I see the Card fans are still blaming him for LaRue.

          • 4551232220476 4 years ago

            For LaRue? absolutely….it is a fact! Cueto definitely failed in that moment. any person not placing blame on the kicking and flailing cueto, and making light of it in the process…………loser

  22. kimofromkauai 4 years ago

    Does anyone know if the Wainwright contract is insured? That may determine who (if anyone) the Cards add to take his spot.

  23. redsreignbegins 4 years ago

    and giving mommy the play by play on your mlb2k live game through a walkie-talkie doesn’t count as a “sports talk radio show, you king of nerds…

  24. budman3 4 years ago

    Wonder if they would be interested in Andy Sonnanstine and would move him for Fernando Salas or are ready to give up on Alan Craig yet for him? Reliable starter making minimum money. Duncan can work with anyone, no?

  25. tonyjar0502 4 years ago

    Did you think of any of the Twins surplus of pitchers? Ala Baker, Blackburn, or Slowey? Or you could even give up whatever farm you have for Liriano… I’d be unhappy if we traded Liriano though.

  26. All Pitchers contracts are insured. Insurance kicks in after the player in question misses a certain % of the season. That % dictates how much of Waino’s contact is paid through insurance. With this injury, the Brewers by far have the most talent in the top of they’re rotation. Nobody in the Central can match Grienke,Gallardo,and Marcum. NOBODY!! Milwaukee wins the Central and has the best chance to make something happen in the playoffs because they arguably have the best 1,2 punch in the Majors!

  27. DJGreen47 4 years ago

    You, sir, have a creative name. I like it.

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