The St. Louis Cardinals have mostly been tied to bullpen help in this, the last desperate month of MLB trade rumors, but with Chris Carpenter out for the season I've been hoping for a while, now, that the Cardinals assist their bullpen through an alternative route: Trading for a solid starting pitcher and moving rookie starter Joe Kelly, a college closer, into the bullpen for the rest of the season. That's been my hobbyhorse for about a month now, and I've finally found a hobbyhorse starting pitcher on which to piggyback it: Bartolo Colon, last year's inexplicable Yankees comeback and this year's inexplicable Oakland Athletics trade target.â†µ
Colon is basically the same pitcher now as he was in his awkward, overrated peak: Not as many strikeouts or walks as you'd think, with a touch of gopherballitis. He's not especially durable, but he is especially average, especially signed through this year, and especially unlikely to cost much in the way of prospects.
That makes him a great fit for a Cardinals team that needs, in a very real sense, innings to throw, like sandbags, in front of the gaping maw of the replacement level.â†µ