St. Louis Cardinals – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-04-12T03:59:34Z WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Kwang Hyun Kim Pitching In Simulated Game Today]]> 2021-04-12T00:36:38Z 2021-04-12T00:36:42Z Kwang Hyun Kim is slated to toss a 90-pitch simulated game today, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told reporters (including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).  Kim tossed another simulated game earlier this week, so the left-hander may be just about on the verge of rejoining the Cards’ rotation during the team’s upcoming series against the Phillies from April 16-18.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Cardinals Place Tyler O’Neill On 10-Day Injured List]]> 2021-04-11T16:38:37Z 2021-04-11T16:15:46Z The Cardinals have placed outfielder Tyler O’Neill on the 10-day IL due to a right groin strain, the team announced.  Since righty Jake Woodford was optioned to the alternate training site after yesterday’s game, the two open roster spots were filled by outfielder Lane Thomas and right-hander Johan Oviedo.

O’Neill suffered the injury during an at-bat in yesterday’s 9-5 loss to the Brewers, coming out of the batter’s box moving slowly after hitting a grounder.  He was replaced in the field the next inning.  Manager Mike Shildt told reporters (including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) that O’Neill might only be out for the minimum 10 days, saying that the young outfielder received “Favorable news from an imaging standpoint….Probably a three to four day (situation) before he can get in there.  We didn’t want to play short for three or four days.”

The IL stint could possibly act as something of a reset for O’Neill, who has hit only .143/.172/.286 with a league-high 14 strikeouts over his first 29 plate appearances of the 2021 season.  Strikeouts have been a persistent issue during O’Neill’s four MLB seasons, and his overall production at the plate has trailed off considerably since a promising 2018 rookie season.  On the plus side, O’Neill won a Gold Glove for his defensive work as the Cardinals’ regular left fielder in 2020.

O’Neill joins Harrison Bader on the 10-day IL, leaving the Cards even more short-handed in the outfield.  A veteran of 52 Major League games, Thomas will join the mix along with Dylan Carlson, Justin Williams, Austin Dean, and utilityman Tommy Edman (when Edman isn’t at second base).  Minor league signing Matt Szczur is also on hand at the team’s alternate training site.

TC Zencka <![CDATA[Paul Goldschmidt Dealing With Lower Back Tightness]]> 2021-04-09T00:34:45Z 2021-04-09T00:34:11Z Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong departed the team’s game against the Cardinals on Thursday after re-aggravating his left oblique, manager Craig Counsell told Andrew Wagner of the Wisconsin State Journal and other reporters. It’s the same issue that kept Wong from playing Wednesday, and Counsell said (via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) there’s a “distinct possibility” that he’ll require a trip to the injured list. Wong, previously with St. Louis, joined the Brewers on a two-year, $18MM contract during the offseason. If he does have to miss time shortly into his Brewers tenure, it would be another blow to the middle infield depth of a team that traded Orlando Arcia to Atlanta earlier this week. The Brewers did add veteran Dee Strange-Gordon on a minor league contract Thursday, though Daniel Robertson – who replaced Wong when he exited – would be the favorite to handle most of the reps at the keystone.

  • Paul Goldschmidt was scratched from today’s Cardinals game because of lower back tightness, per’s Zachary Silver (via Twitter). The move was precautionary, so presumably the Cardinals don’t expect this to lead to an IL placement. Manager Mike Shildt said after the game that Goldschmidt’s day to day, and the Cardinals will know more about his status Friday, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News tweets.
Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Castellanos Suspended Two Games For Role In Reds/Cards Brawl]]> 2021-04-05T17:58:31Z 2021-04-05T17:57:02Z The incident developed after Cards pitcher Jake Woodford hit Castellanos with a pitch during a fourth-inning at-bat.  Castellanos wasn’t pleased by the HBP, and picked up the ball and held it in Woodford’s direction as he went to first base.  Later in the inning, Castellanos scored from third on a wild pitch, and celebrated the run by standing over Woodford (who was covering home plate) and flexing.  This led to the benches clearing, and a lot of shoving and heated words between the two NL Central rivals.

Outfielder Nick Castellanos was issued a two-game suspension for his part in Saturday’s brawl between the Reds and Cardinals, the league announced.  Castellanos was the only player suspended, and he is appealing his two-game ban.  Fines were issued to three players on each team — the Reds’ Castellanos, Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez, and the Cardinals’ Jordan Hicks, Yadier Molina, and Nolan Arenado.

TC Zencka <![CDATA[Cardinals May Need Another Bullpen Arm]]> 2021-04-05T14:55:34Z 2021-04-05T14:51:15Z
  • After the bullpen logged more innings than starters in their opening series against the Reds, the Cardinals may soon have to consider adding a ninth reliever to the roster, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jake Woodford made the opening day roster exactly for this possibility, and he soaked up 2 1/3 innings on Saturday afternoon. Seth Elledge and Kodi Whitley are two bullpen arms on the taxi squad that could be added to the roster if the Cardinals decide they need another arm for their series against the Marlins.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cardinals Claim Bernardo Flores Jr.]]> 2021-04-01T19:34:28Z 2021-04-01T19:28:45Z The Cardinals announced Thursday that they’ve claimed lefty Bernardo Flores Jr. off waivers from the White Sox. He’s been optioned to the Cards’ alternate training site. The waiver claim fills the Cardinals’ 40-man roster.

    Flores, 24, was Chicago’s seventh-round pick back in 2016 and made his big league debut this past season, tossing two innings and yielding a pair of runs. He’d have spent the 2020 season at the Triple-A level had there been a minor league season, but his top level aside from that brief two-inning cup of coffee in the big leagues has been Double-A. The southpaw has posted strong numbers in parts of two Double-A campaigns, working to a combined 3.04 ERA with an outstanding 4.6 percent walk rate and a 52 percent grounder rate — albeit with a below-average 18.8 percent strikeout rate.

    Flores will give the Cardinals some depth both in the rotation and the bullpen. He has a pair of minor league options remaining, so he can be shuttled between Triple-A (or the Cards’ alternate site) and the big leagues over the next two seasons if he sticks on the 40-man roster.

    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Tommy Edman To Be Cardinals Backup Centerfielder]]> 2021-03-29T14:35:20Z 2021-03-29T14:35:20Z
  • Tommy Edman will be the Cardinals’ backup centerfielder to start the season, per Jeff Jones of (via Twitter). Tyler O’Neill will line up after him. Harrison Bader’s injury has certainly thrown a bit of a wrench into the Cardinals defensive alignment. With Bader, St. Louis was preparing an otherworldly defensive unit: Paul Goldschmidt is a three-time Gold Glove winner at first; Yadier Molina is a nine-time winner and the consensus best defensive catcher of his generation; Paul DeJong has been frozen out of award season, but he’s been easily among the NL’s best defensive shortstops in recent seasons; ditto for Bader in center, while O’Neill posted 9 DRS in left last season; Nolan Arenado, of course, has never not won the Gold Glove. Not mentioned there, Carlson and Edman, who are, apparently, capable of shifting to centerfield at a moment’s notice. No matter who mans center, it seems, the Cards plan on catching the baseball.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 3/28/21]]> 2021-03-29T02:43:29Z 2021-03-29T02:35:45Z The latest minor moves around the league…


    • The A’s announced a pair of roster moves, optioning Vimael Machin and Seth Brown to Triple-A. That means Rule 5 selection Ka’ai Tom is likely to make the roster as a reserve outfielder, notes Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. Tom didn’t get a full spring because of an oblique injury, but he apparently showed enough for the A’s to keep him on the active roster. He’ll need to stay there for the entire season or else be returned to the Indians. Machin spent some of last season standing in for Matt Chapman at third before Jake Lamb arrived, but a relatively punchless .206/.296/.238 across 71 plate appearances likely returns the difficult-to-strikeout left-handed hitter to an emergency fill-in role. Brown, 28, contributed 0.7 fWAR in a highly-productive 26-game sample in 2019, but he logged only five plate appearances across seven games in 2020.

    Earlier Updates

    • The Rangers released Nick Vincent yesterday, but today they announced that he will stay with the organization on a minor league contract. We’ll see this pattern with a number of players between now and opening day. The 34-year-old Vincent has seen action in every season going back to 2012 when he debuted with the Padres. He has appeared in 405 games over his nine-year career with exactly matching 3.38 ERA/FIP marks while suiting up for the Pads, Mariners, Giants, Phillies, and Marlins.
    • 16-year-old Cuban outfielder Luis Mario Piño has agreed to sign with the Cardinals for $767K, per ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel (Twitter links). Pino had multiple offers both for this signing period and next, but he ultimately has decided to join the Cardinals’ 2021-22 class of international signees. The White Sox, A’s, and Red Sox were among the teams who were said to be interested in Pino.
    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Cardinals Finalize Opening Day Roster]]> 2021-03-28T21:44:08Z 2021-03-28T21:44:08Z The St. Louis Cardinals have set their roster for opening day, per’s Jeff Jones, Derrick S. Goold of the St.Louis Post-Dispatch and others (Twitter links). John Nogowski, Austin Dean, Edmundo Sosa, and Jake Woodford will be on the roster, while Lane Thomas and Kodi Whitley become two of the final cuts. Goold lists the final opening day roster here.

    Nogowski required a strong spring to make the roster, as the 28-year-old first baseman doesn’t bring a lot of utility to the roster. He did exactly that, however, slashing .379/.526/.586 in spring action. He’ll be the first right-handed bat off the bench. With Matt Carpenter on hand to serve as Paul Goldschmidt’s primary backup, it’s hard to imagine Nogowski seeing much action in the field.

    The Thomas demotion might have the most impact, as without him, the Cardinals don’t have a true centerfielder on the roster. The Cards are all-in on rookie Dylan Carlson as their man in the middle until Harrison Bader returns from injury. Justin Williams and Austin Dean will be among the players replacing Carlson in right. Tommy Edman, who won the starting second base job, could also see time in right while Carpenter or Edmundo Sosa step in at the keystone. Starting left fielder Tyler O’Neill, meanwhile, is most likely to backup Carlson in center.

    Woodford, 24, wins a spot in the bullpen on the strength of a 1.04 ERA this spring. Whitley, 26, heads to the minors to begin the season. Woodford can serve as a long man out of the pen, which may be important given the uncertainty in the back end of the rotation where Carlos Martinez, John Gant, and Daniel Ponce de Leon will take their turns until Miles Mikolas and/or Kwang Hyun Kim return. From the left side, Tyler Webb and Genesis Cabrera join Andrew Miller in the bullpen.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cardinals Granted Fourth Option On Justin Williams]]> 2021-03-24T19:55:05Z 2021-03-24T19:55:05Z The Cardinals have been granted a fourth minor league option on outfielder Justin Williams, as first reported by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). President of baseball ops John Mozeliak confirmed as much in an afternoon call with reporters.

    The extra minor league option might have dampened Williams’ chances of making the club more substantially under normal circumstances, but today’s Harrison Bader injury news puts Williams more squarely in the mix for a spot. With Bader sidelined anywhere from four to six weeks due to a forearm issue, Dylan Carlson will likely slide over to center field, giving the trio of Williams, Lane Thomas and Austin Dean a greater chance of making the roster.

    Williams, 25, was acquired along with Genesis Cabrera and Roel Ramirez in the trade that sent Tommy Pham to the Rays. He’s logged just seven MLB plate appearances but is a career .271/.333/.423 hitter in 581 Triple-A plate appearances and is batting .259/.333/.407 in 30 trips to the dish this spring. Williams’ numbers to this point in his career don’t show it, but scouting reports throughout his minor league tenure have pegged him for plus raw power and bat speed. That power has been curbed in large part by a penchant for hitting the ball on the ground; Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel wrote at FanGraphs in January 2020 that Williams had the second-best exit velocity in the Cardinals’ system and the lowest launch angle.

    Williams was one of several players awaiting ruling from an arbiter on whether he was out of options or had a fourth minor league option. The process, as is the case with most debates between MLB and the MLBPA, took longer than expected, but rulings have been filing in for the past day. The discrepancy stems from the truncated length of the 2020 season and how it should be treated with regard to fourth option eligibility.

    Typically, fourth options are granted to players who have exhausted all three of their minor league options before being healthy enough to play five “full” seasons of pro ball. The league defines “full” as 90-plus days on an active Major League or Minor League roster (not the injured list), but last year’s 60-game season lasted just 67 days, and there were no active roster/injured list distinctions at teams’ alternate training sites.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Harrison Bader Out Four To Six Weeks With Forearm Injury]]> 2021-03-24T19:42:18Z 2021-03-24T19:40:03Z 2:40pm: President of baseball operations John Mozeliak tells reporters that Bader will be down for four to six weeks (Twitter link via ESPN’s Marly Rivera).

    9:30am: Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader will begin the season on the injured list due to a “flare up” of a forearm injury that required a platelet-rich plasma injection, manager Mike Shildt announced to reporters Wednesday (Twitter link via Jeff Jones of the Belleville News). He’ll be sidelined for a “solid four weeks at minimum,” according to Shildt.

    The injury to Bader lends some clarity to the Cardinals’ outfield mix. Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson are locks at this point thanks to huge spring showings. Carlson can play center field early if needed or slide over to right field, where he’d been initially projected with a healthy Bader in play.

    Justin Williams, Lane Thomas and Austin Dean are likely vying for the remaining starting job, and it’s possible that all three could make the roster (two as reserves). Dean does have some experience at first base, giving him a bit more utility in a bench role. Williams, meanwhile, is still awaiting ruling on whether he has a minor league option remaining or not. If he does not, then he’d be all but assured an Opening Day roster spot, as he wouldn’t be able to be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers.

    Bader has become a polarizing figure among Cardinals fans due to his low batting average, but he’s among the game’s best defensive center fielders and has some power at the dish. Over the past three seasons, he’s posted a combined .234/.326/.401 batting line with 28 homers, 41 doubles and seven triples through 958 plate appearances — good for a 97 wRC+ (about three percent worse than league-average offense when weighted for home park and league). Some of Bader’s OBP is propped up by frequently batting eighth in front of the pitcher, however, and his 29.4 percent strikeout rate in that stretch is problematic for obvious reasons. Still, a player with his defensive aptitude and a solid .167 ISO (slugging minus batting average) needn’t be an offensive force to provide value.

    That said, the Cards will now get a longer look at several outfield candidates who have quite a bit of offensive upside themselves, so it’ll be interesting to see if any of them run with the opportunity and challenge the 26-year-old Bader for playing time upon his eventual return. That four-week timeline from Shildt would take Bader out through at least April 21, though the absence could very well be longer in the likely event that he needs a tune-up at the team’s alternate site/in Triple-A once his forearm discomfort has cleared up.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[John Nogowski Pushing For Roster Spot]]> 2021-03-22T23:29:32Z 2021-03-22T23:29:32Z
  • John Nogowski has made himself a surprising candidate for a roster spot in Jupiter with the Cardinals, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 28-year-old first baseman has an uphill climb ahead of him even after hitting .391/.533/.522 in 30 plate appearances this spring. Thanks to his limited defensive utility, however, there may not be an avenue for the Florida native to make the roster. The Cardinals would basically have to resolve themselves to keeping a roster spot solely for pinch-hitting duties. With Paul Goldschmidt set at first and Matt Carpenter also on the roster, Nogowski wouldn’t even necessarily be the first left-handed bat off the bench. Because of the injuries in the rotation, the Cardinals could choose to go with a four-man bench to help fill the innings, deepening the need for versatility from their bench bats. Also working against Nogowski is that he has two option years remaining, whereas Justin Williams, another left-handed bat, has none. If Carpenter, Williams, and backup catcher Andrew Knizner all make the roster, the Cardinals will still need someone capable of backing up Paul DeJong at shortstop. Tommy Edman would be the backup shortstop if another infielder is not added to the Opening Day roster.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Offseason In Review: St. Louis Cardinals]]> 2021-03-17T01:05:26Z 2021-03-17T01:05:26Z The Cardinals brought back a pair of familiar faces, and swung one of the winter’s biggest trades to add a new star to the lineup.

    Major League Signings

    Trades & Claims

    Notable Minor League Signings

    Notable Losses

    For the first two-plus months of the offseason, the entire NL Central seemed focused on trimming payroll rather than adding talent.  The Cardinals were no exception, as they chose to buy out Kolten Wong for $1MM rather than exercise their $12.5MM club option on the second baseman for 2021.

    The decision brought a swift end to Wong’s eight years in St. Louis, and it left the team without one of the sport’s top defensive players.  For a Cardinals team that relied on excellent run prevention (the Cards ranked first in Defensive Runs Saved, fourth in UZR/150, and fifth Outs Above Average) and pitching rather than a lackluster offense, losing Wong was no small matter.

    In hindsight, St. Louis fans might not have minded the long wait, as the Cardinals aggressively swung into action in late January and found a significant upgrade on Wong.  Nolan Arenado had long been speculated as a potential Cardinals trade target, and rumor became reality when the Cards landed the five-time All-Star in a complex deal that both required some reworking of Arenado’s contract, and left the Rockies fanbase irate.

    The Cardinals gave up a decent but expendable pitcher in Austin Gomber and four middle-to-lower tier prospects in exchange for not just Arenado, but $51MM from the Rockies to help cover Arenado’s salary in 2021 ($35MM, with $20MM of that money deferred) and a newly-added contract year in 2027 ($15MM).  Another opt-out opportunity was inserted into Arenado’s deal after the 2022 season to go along with his previously-existing opt-out following the 2021 season, so if Arenado chooses to walk away next winter, the Cards technically won’t have paid a cent of payroll for Arenado’s services.

    Since Arenado is owed $179MM through 2027, would he really consider using one of his opt-outs and leaving the bulk of that guaranteed money on the table?  If he turns in such spectacular numbers that the question is even debatable, the Cardinals would still probably consider the trade to have been worth the effort.  But, needless to say, the Cards are certainly counting on Arenado as a franchise cornerstone for the bulk of the next decade.

    There is some risk on the Cardinals’ end, as Arenado is coming off a subpar 2020 season that saw him hit only .253/.303/.434 over 201 plate appearances.  A shoulder injury did hamper Arenado for much of the year, however, and between the health issue, the small sample size, and perhaps the cloud of frustration that surrounded Arenado’s final days in Colorado, there is certainly reason to expect that he can rebound with a vintage season in 2021.

    With Arenado now locking down the hot corner, the St. Louis infield consists of Paul Goldschmidt at first base, Paul DeJong at shortstop, and Tommy Edman moving over to second base as Wong’s replacement.  Since the NL apparently won’t have the designated hitter slot available, Matt Carpenter will now look to win some plate appearances away from Edman at second base, but Carpenter may ultimately just be a very well-paid bench bat.  Despite Carpenter’s career track record, his lack of production over the last two seasons makes it hard to argue that he deserves more regular work on a team planning to contend.

    Dexter Fowler had only been slightly more productive than Carpenter over the 2019-20 seasons, and the Cards chose to part ways with Fowler by swapping him to the Angels for a player to be named later.  Since the Cardinals are covering almost all of Fowler’s remaining salary obligations, the trade wasn’t a salary dump.  It seemed as if the Cards just wanted to move on from a player who had been an inconsistent performer over his four years in St. Louis, and clear room for younger outfielders.

    The Cardinals are still putting a lot of faith in that young outfield mix, as they didn’t add any proven veteran names to the depth chart.  Apart from Harrison Bader’s big numbers against left-handed pitching, there wasn’t much offense to be found in the St. Louis outfield in 2020, but with some extenuating circumstances — star prospect Dylan Carlson was in his first MLB season, and Lane Thomas had a rough time recovering from COVID-19.

    Should any of this group or Tyler O’Neill struggle again, however, the Cardinals might consider a midseason addition to finally restore some consistent pop to the outfield.  Further down the depth chart, Justin Williams, Austin Dean, or a minor league signing like Matt Szczur could find an opening for playing time, and if the Cardinals wanted to get creative, the outfield could be Nolan Gorman’s path to a quicker Major League promotion.  The team was planning to test Gorman as an outfielder and second baseman, since third base (Gorman’s regular position) is now Arenado’s spot for the foreseeable future.

    While the Arenado trade was being finalized and approved by the league, the Cardinals also worked to complete two contracts for a pair of St. Louis icons.  Though other teams showed interest in both Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina (with Molina even hinting that he could retire if he didn’t get an acceptable contract offer), it always seemed somewhat inevitable that the two long-time teammates would be back for what could be their mutual final season under the Arch.

    There was obviously more than just nostalgia at work in bringing the duo back.  Molina hit only .262/.303/.359 in 156 PA but his defense was still strong, and Molina was also one of the many Cardinals sidelined by a COVID-19 diagnosis.  Molina has already outlasted multiple would-be successors in St. Louis, but for now, the plan is for Molina to act as a bridge for Andrew Knizner and (in a few years) prospect Ivan Herrera.

    Wainwright ended up being a pillar of stability in the rotation, leading the team with 65 2/3 innings and posting a 3.15 ERA, even if his Statcast numbers weren’t very flattering.  It may be a tall order to expect a similar performance in Wainwright’s age-39 season, yet the Cardinals may need all the help they can get considering how injury concerns have already surfaced in Spring Training; Miles Mikolas has been set back by shoulder troubles, while 2020 rookie sensation Kwang Hyun Kim has been bothered by a bad back.

    The Cardinals at least explored signing Jake Odorizzi, Taijuan Walker, or James Paxton, but instead, Wainwright ended up being the only major pitching acquisition for either the St. Louis rotation or bullpen.  There are enough notable relievers still on the market (or could join the market as Spring Training cuts commence) that the Cards could certainly still add at least one veteran prior to Opening Day, but just like with their outfield, the Cardinals are counting on a lot of youngsters to step up, and for experienced hurlers like Carlos Martinez and Jordan Hicks to return strong from injuries.

    Getting even one more proven arm would be very helpful for the team, but the question remains about exactly how much John Mozeliak’s front office has available to spend.  The Cardinals were reportedly looking for “cash-neutral” trades early in the offseason, and in a division where most other teams were looking to shed salaries, even standing pat payroll-wise gives St. Louis some advantage.

    Before salaries were prorated due to the shortened season, the Cards went into 2020 prepared to spend roughly $167.5MM on payroll.  According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Cardinals have less than $142MM committed for 2021, factoring in the Rockies’ coverage of Arenado’s entire salary.  That would seem to indicate that there’s probably some room for additional spending during the season, if Mozeliak and GM Michael Girsch need to make an upgrade at the trade deadline.

    There is a bit of a half-measures feel to the Cardinals offseason given their relatively small number of transactions, though a case can be made that the Cardinals already have enough to win the NL Central.  The team finished 30-28 last season despite a widespread coronavirus breakout in the clubhouse, so a healthier version of mostly that same roster plus Arenado looks pretty good on paper.  What worked over 60 games in 2020 may not work over 162 games, of course, so Mozeliak and Girsch could certainly have more adjustments to make.

    How would you grade the Cardinals’ offseason? (Link to poll for Trade Rumors iOS/Android app users)

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Should The Cardinals Start Alex Reyes?]]> 2021-03-15T03:54:50Z 2021-03-15T03:54:50Z
  • Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has already said that the team will use Alex Reyes out of the bullpen this season, but with Miles Mikolas and Kwang Hyun Kim both facing injury problems, Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders if the team should reverse course and install Reyes into the rotation.  While it makes sense that the Cards want to carefully manage Reyes’ workload given his own lengthy injury history, Frederickson argues that the most optimal usage of Reyes’ projected 80-100 innings would be to use him as a starter until the rotation gets healthy, and then shift him to the pen.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Latest On Cardinals' Rotation]]> 2021-03-14T20:00:52Z 2021-03-14T20:00:52Z
  • The recent injury to Kwang-hyun Kim gives Daniel Ponce de Leon a good shot to begin the season in the Cardinals’ rotation, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-DispatchMiles Mikolas’ own health woes had already opened up a spot, likely to be claimed by John Gant. Now, with Kim questionable to be ready for Opening Day after experiencing some back stiffness, there could be another job available behind Jack FlahertyAdam Wainwright and Carlos Martínez. The Cards will also continue to lengthen out Jake Woodford and Johan Oviedo, Goold notes. Ponce de Leon has more MLB starting experience than those two, seemingly giving him the clearest path to the job if Kim isn’t fully recovered by the first week of April.
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