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Wait, did MO get it right?


John Mozeliak by Dillip Vishwanant- Getty Images

Two months into the season and after a rocky start, the Cardinals are 2 games under 500 and in a virtual tie for second place in the National League Central. (as of June 4th)


Sonny Gray by Abbie Parrvia AP Kyle Godson by David Berdingvia Getty Images Lance Lynn vis Ap.web

PoBO John Mozeliak and the Front Office counted on a revamped pitching staff to correct last season's woes. With only Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz for a base to his rotation, Mo went in search of arms. He found Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Sonny Gray. Fans had questions about the first two given age concerns, (Lynn 37, and Gibson 36). Plus Lynn's stats last season were not that good with a High ERA(5.73) and an HR total of 44.

Gibson also had his detractors despite being a 15-game-winner for the Orioles last season. His hit total of 198 in 192 innings was worrisome as was his ERA of 4.73.

Some questioned giving Sonny Gray a 3-year deal with a 4th option year at age 34.

I have to admit I looked at the rotation and had questions myself. However, what the Cardinals did, was assemble guys who could get deep into games. They already had Miles Mikolas who has pitched 200 innings the last two years in-a-row.

In 2023 Cardiansl Starters averaged 5.23 innings per start. So far this year they are at 5.31 innings per start which isn't much but when you factor in the 5th starter being a fluid spot no Sonny Gray at the start of the season and Matz on the IL right now it is understandable.

Last year the leader in innings per game was Jordan Montgomery at 5.76 followed by MIkolas at 5.74, and Jack Flaherty was next with 5.45. So far this year, Kyle Gibson leads the way with 5.85 followed by Gray with 5.7, then Mikolas with 5.41 So about the same. The difference comes from Lance Lynn vs Adam Wainwright. Lynn is going 5.08 Innings vs Waino's 4.08. the 5th slot is almost a wash is where the issue is Steven Matz did average 5.2 innings per game last year this year it is 4.5. Then you figure that the guys who filled in when he and others were hurt last season were 4.6 Innings per game in 48 starts vs this season 4.1 in 7 starts.

The fact of the matter is that with the 3 new starters clocking in at over 5.5 innings per game vs 5.3 for the guys who replaced Monty, Flaherty, Waino, and Hudson 5.3, so there has been an improvement. It is this improvement that has been a help to the bullpen. Which I will talk about next.


Not only did the Cardinals add to the Rotation but they also revamped the bullpen, two guy inparticular have made a big difference

Ryan Fernandez

Fernandez was a Rule 5 pickup at the winter meetings which I think many Cardinal fans considered not much of a move at all. His stats were not very impressive. Fernandez pitched in the Boston minor league system In the lower tiers he sported an ERA under 3 in A ball but in AA and AAA it ballooned to over 4. He was doing the one thing that Mo and the front office were looking for striking out batters. He averaged double-digit Ks per 9 and over a 3/1 Ks vs BB. So far this year in ST Louis he has a 2.73 ERA with 29 Ks in 26 innings vs eight walks.




Andrew Kitteridge

Andrew Kitteridge by Rich Story via Gett Images

They traded Richie Palacios for Andrew Kittridge. Some fans did see a positive here but also saw a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. Kittridge had some promising years at Tampa Bay making the ALL-Star team in 2021 and ending the year with a 1.88 ERA, a WHIP of 0.977 striking out 77 batters in 71 innings while walking only 15. He had Tommy John Surgery in 2022 missing the first half of last season but managed to pitch 14 games totalling 11 2/3 innings. Striking out 10 while only walking two. as of June 4th for St Louis, he has a 2.88 ERA, he has 26Ks to 6BB, 16 holds, and opponents are only hitting .229 against him.

One other name where the jury might still be out this season so far is Nick Robertson

St Louis Traded Tyler O'Neill for Robertson was having a decent season he did have an ERA over 4 but had a 14Ks vs 2 BB in 12 innings of work until going out with tendonitis in his elbow. He is due back so we shall see how he does.

You couple that with Ryan Helsely having the year he (2.42 ERA 19 saves as of June 4th) is and JoJo Romero seemingly picking up where he left off. John King has continued to be a solid bullpen arm a 1.50 ERA Opponets are hitting .197 against him he has 13 Ks to 2BB in 18 innings (as of June 4)the combination of Kittridge, Romero, and Helsley in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings has been very steady. Mathew Liberatore who had been doing well in relief was called on to fill in for Matz and has now been sent back to the pen. Andre Pallente has been temporarily moved to the rotation and has had mixed results.


So to be fair Mo said he would get 3 starters and help the bullpen. I for one didn't believe him and was not expecting much. Initially, I had concerns with Lynn in particular, I liked the Gibson and Gray signings. there were questions surrounding Fernandez and Kittredge. I would like to see what Middleton could have done and I think Robertson will do well when he returns. So I have to say MO got it right picking up arms.


What about what we picked up last year? Where are they at?

Tekoah Roby (rated #4 in the Cardinal farm system) was the piece that seemed to be a widely approved of move by most fans.. He is right now in AA Springfield He had a good second half when he came over via the Jordan Montgomery trade. This season has been a struggle.

Adam Kloffenstein (#16) is also struggling at AAA Memphis.

Sem Robberse (Rated #12)who came to St Louis in the Jordan Hicks deal has turned a pretty good season at Memphis so far.

Drew Rom(#28) is on the 60-day IL.


If anything it is like last season the inconsistent offense that has hurt the pitching. That can be attributed to the front office being complacent. But that is for another article. If I have to check the box right now I have to say yes Mo got it right


The Cardinals may be active buyers at the deadline but I think it will be mostly for bats and role players. I don't see many if any major pitching moves unless they can get a slam dunk deal or add some depth.


That's all for now, I will see you again soon. Until then check out my podcast Talking Sports on the Bleachers it will be back starting June 20.

Check the Talking Sports on the Bleachers Facebook page or hit me up on Twitter/X @tsotgcs or by email at tsotb.gcs@gmail.com

 

So long for now and have a great sports day


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