The St. Louis Cardinals are a team deep in pitching… Well, that depth could soon be put to the test.
Jake Westbrook is hurt and there is no word yet on the severity of the injury or how long he will be out of action…
Jaime Garcia allowed 4 ER over 3.0 IP against the San Diego Padres and has now allowed 4+ ER in three of his five starts since returning to the rotation. All three of those starts came on the road, but if he can’t start away from home what good is he? Sure, the Cardinals could alter the rotation, but that could necessitate a spot starter or two..
That is two potential holes in the rotation while the Cardinals battle for a playoff spot. Let’s take a look at the team’s options could be and try to determine who we would consider using and who should be ignored:
The talk is that he is close to returning to the Major League team. The problem is, with less than three weeks left in the season can we really put much faith in him? Obviously there are situations where I would consider it, but for most fantasy owners there is a significant risk involved in rolling the dice. Just look at Garcia’s struggles as an example, and he hasn’t missed the entire season to date. Yes he has ability, but it is hard to recommend putting blind faith in Carpenter initially in 2012. If it comes down to that, you are in a very risky proposition, though we all know there is plenty of upside.
Conclusion - I certainly wouldn’t use him for his first start, but he’s worth stashing for the final week
An All-Star in 2012, Lynn’s struggles have been well documented. I’d feel a lot more confident in recommending him if he had been performing well in a relief role but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case. In six appearances out of the bullpen he has gone 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA and 1.86 WHIP (since the All-Star Break he has a 5.40 ERA and 1.63 WHIP overall). It is hard to trust a pitcher who has been struggling like this, no matter what the role.
Conclusion - The recent struggles have made him too risky for fantasy owners
He is arguably the hottest pitcher of the group… Actually, there is no argument. Prior to joining the Major League bullpen Miller had been lights out at Triple-A. In his final 10 starts (59.1 innings) he went 7-2 with a 2.88 ERA, 70 K and 7 BB. Yes, there were significant early season struggles but he was considered one of the top pitching prospects in the game prior to 2012 and showed why at the end of the season. It certainly appears like he has corrected any issues and has 7 K vs. 2 BB in 5.0 innings of relief for the Cardinals. Is it hard to trust a rookie with your fantasy title on the line? Absolutely, but depending on the match-up his talent and success in the bullpen is way too much to ignore. If the Cardinals do go to Miller, he would be a highly recommended option in all formats.
Conclusion - Definitely worth stashing and could be a highly recommended play if he gets an opportunity
He pitched well between Double & Triple-A, with a 2.97 ERA, 104 K and 42 BB over 109.0 innings prior to joining the Cardinals bullpen. He has continued to pitch well in the Majors as well, with a 3.55 ERA, 13 K and 5 BB over 12.2 IP. While he may not have the upside of Miller, he has always shown that he has the ability to strikeout over a batter per inning whether as a starter or reliever. It’s possible that he figured it out this season, but I would consider him a little bit of a riskier proposition.
Conclusion - Could be worth using for the strikeouts, but his career numbers do give us cause for concern; this will be a match-up/team need based decision