The Cardinals' extension of
left-hander Jaime Garcia, 22-11 the last two years, for four more seasons and
possibly six more, doesn't really affect next year's rotation because they had
Garcia under control anyway.
But if options are not
picked up on right-handers Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter, Garcia would be
the ace of the staff at age 25.
Chances are good that
Wainwright, who won 39 games in 2009-10 will be retained, even if Carpenter is
Otherwise, the Cardinals'
rotation might look much the same as this year's with veteran right-handers Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook both under contract for next year at $11.875 million
and $8.5 million, respectively, and right-hander Kyle McClellan eligible for
arbitration but under control.
Before this season or
even this month ends, however, the Cardinals might look to add a starting
pitcher because Westbrook and McClellan notably have been unreliable
Westbrook, 33, has failed
to make it past six innings in five of his last seven starts and has a bloated
5.34 earned run average to go with a deceiving 7-4 record.
McClellan, who started
quickly at 6-1, has lost five decisions in a row and seems to be victimized by
one bad inning in each game. He would be the most likely to go the bullpen if
another starter arrives because he was successful for the last three seasons as
Left-handed hitters have
not proven to be a problem for McClellan historically and the Cardinals
certainly need relievers to get left-handed batters out other than veteran
Trever Miller, who still is a reasonably good specialist but no more than
The Cardinals are
starting their fourth and final three-city trip Friday night at Cincinnati. This one is
required because of the setup and teardown for the U2 concert this Sunday at
Busch Stadium. For the final 70 games, the schedule seems to favor the Cardinals
because they do not have to play any game west of the Central time zone. To be
seen most often are the Pittsburgh Pirates, against whom the Cardinals have 13
games remaining, nine of them in Pittsburgh.
If you're looking far
ahead, the most intriguing home stand of the season and tied for the longest,
comes from Sept. 2-11 when the Cardinals play three games each against
Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Atlanta, all contenders.
It will be interesting to
see how manager Tony La Russa employs his center fielders in the second half.
Colby Rasmus, the incumbent, has been slumping for two months but probably is
the better overall player than Jon Jay, who has proven to be a valuable reserve
and, so far, a better hitter than Rasmus. Although Rasmus is a valuable chip, it
is unlikely he would be traded until at least after the
RHP Eduardo Sanchez, who
has been on an injury rehabilitation option (right shoulder irritation) might
join the Cardinals in Cincinnati. OF/INF Allen Craig (broken right
kneecap) is about ready for an assignment.
BY THE NUMBERS: 35 -
Number of home games and also road games remaining for the
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We just
felt that he would be important to invest in."
- General manager John Mozeliak,
on signing LHP Jaime Garcia to a four-year extension even before he reached his
first year of arbitration.
LHP Brian Tallet
(strained right intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive
to July 4. He was injured while sneezing.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild
right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13.
He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July
OF Allen Craig (broken
right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He hopes
to go on a rehab assignment shortly after the All-Star
RHP Adam Wainwright
(Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25.
He will miss the entire 2011 season.
July 15: Cardinals (Jake Westbrook, 7-4, 5.34 ERA) at
Reds (Johnny Cueto, 5-3, 1.96 ERA) 6:10
P.M. CDT (FOX Sports
Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia sheds light on why he decided to extend his stay with the club.