May 23, 2012; St. Louis, MO. USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter (left) talks with starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
The St. Louis Cardinals are struggling just as the time comes for MLB trade rumors to explode. Will they make a change in their pitching staff?
The St. Louis Cardinals are officially in a tailspin—not necessarily terminal, but bad enough to leave them vulnerable to wild speculation on the pitching market just as MLB trade rumors season starts. So: Do the Cardinals need a pitcher? Or do they just need their own pitchers to stop being awful?
I'm still inclined to believe in the second option. The bullpen is stretched thin, and if the price is low I can see them adding a piece for it in the space where Victor Marte and Sam Freeman are now, but they still haven't bothered to bring back unnecessarily optioned ex-closer Fernando Salas, so there's a little slack left to pull first.
As for the rotation, the Cardinals' moves there will depend on whether Jaime Garcia is healthy and whether Chris Carpenter, their still-injured ace, is truly ready to come back after the All-Star Break. Losing out on Roy Oswalt just as the rotation showed its weakness might not have been ideal, but I think it would take even more struggling than this for the Cardinals to make a move to change its composition permanently.