President of baseball operations John Mozeliak has said many he’s comfortable with the Cardinals current position but would St. Louis be willing to change their mind for a guy like Dallas Keuchel? The St. Louis Cardinals have made two big additions this offseason with the trade for Paul Goldschmidt and the signing of Andrew Miller.
Why The Cardinals Should and Shouldn’t Sign Dallas Keuchel
Should: Starting Rotation Injuries
Carlos Martinez has dealt with injury throughout his career and last year was no different. He only started 18 games last season with 15 games being out of the bullpen. Martinez had two separate injuries that landed him on the DL. One was a shoulder strain and the other was an oblique strain that kept him out for a while. This season, the Cardinals believed that Martinez would be healthy and able to start in the rotation.
His 2019 isn’t starting out so great, as the team announced that he will be shut down for a couple weeks for precautionary reasons. Martinez’ arm strength isn’t where it needs to be right now. This is a concern given that he has had a whole offseason to fix the problem.
Another question heading into the season is Wacha. He has been a question in terms of health almost his whole career. Last season he only appeared in 15 games for the club and failed to reach 100 innings pitched. He has been hurt long term almost every season of his career. There’s no concern right now but the past has demonstrated that Wacha could get hurt again. For that reason alone, his spot in the rotation could be filled by Keuchel in case of injury.
Wainwright is a huge question heading into the season but it’s not because of injury. Yes, he has had injury problems and had an injury last year but that’s not the biggest reason for concern. The biggest reason for concern is that he is getting up there in age and everyone is wondering how much longer he can be an effective big leaguer. Along with the injuries, his mechanics and pitches have been going downhill. He signed a one year deal to stay with the Cardinals and isn’t a lock to be in the rotation this year. If he does make the rotation and is the best option you have, Keuchel would be happy to fill that spot.
Shouldn’t: Young and depth pitching
The Cardinals had a few injuries to the rotation last year but they were prepared for it. They either brought guys up from the minors or already had rotation fillers in the majors. St. Louis has a lot of pitching depth whether it’s in the minor or the major leagues. Last year there were guys rotating in and out of spots whether it was John Gant, Austin Gomber, Daniel Ponce de Leon. This group did exceptionally well filling in.
Gant started 19 games for the Cardinals as he went 7-6 with a 3.47 earned run average — not bad for a guy who has only started nine games before this past season. Gomber went 6-2 with a 4.44 earned run average in 11 games started. His win/loss record was exceptional for a young starter who has never pitched in the majors before. Ponce de Leon started 4 games and went 0-2 but had an exceptional earned run average of 2.73.
There are also other guys looking to make an impression for the starting rotation like Alex Reyes (#1 prospect) and Dakota Hudson. Why go pay a guy when you have cheap, young pitching that can do the job for you.
Keuchel is a known name around baseball for multiple reasons. He was a member of Houston Astros for seven years and in that time, collected a ton hardware. Keuchel has won the Cy Young in 2015, been to two all-star games, won 4 Gold Gloves, and is a World Series champion. He hasn’t been THAT guy for the past couple years but he has the experience that the Cardinals need. He still has the stuff to compete and can be a number three or four guy in St. Louis’ rotation. Keuchel would certainly be an upgrade to the current rotation and brings in championship pedigree.
Even if the starters are healthy this season, you could make a strong case that Keuchel is better than both Wacha and Wainwright. Maybe Dallas Keuchel to the Cardinals is a dream but it could certainly become a reality.
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