Saturday, February 16, 2013
In-house replacement for Carpenter?
By Jason Catania
Just before the start of spring training, the St. Louis Cardinals learned Chris Carpenter, will miss the 2013 season due to a nerve injury. The club, though, has a bevy of in-house options primed to replace the former Cy Young winner.
While the immediate reaction to the Carpenter news brought speculation that free agent Kyle Lohse, who won 16 games for the Cardinals last season, could be brought back, GM John Mozeliak indicated he thinks one of his club's young arms could do the job -- at a fraction of the price that Lohse and agent Scott Boras have been holding out for this winter.
Carpenter’s absence leaves Adam Wainwright as the No. 1 starter followed by Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and Lance Lynn. Garcia, however, has shoulder issues and could miss the start of the season, so St. Louis may, in fact, need two options to fill out the back of the rotation.
Young right-handers Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly appear to be top candidates. Both Miller and Rosenthal rank among ESPN Insider Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects:
Keith LawMiller: No. 21 among Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects
"His fastball will reach 97 mph, but he'll sit as a starter in the low- to mid-90s; his hard curveball is his out pitch in the upper 70s to low 80s, while his changeup continues to improve and will flash above-average. Miller's first/second-half splits from Triple-A tell the story of his mechanical issues; after the break, he walked just seven with 70 punchouts and gave up seven of his 24 homers. He's always going to be a little fly-ball prone because of the lack of life on his fastball, but he has the easy delivery to allow him to command it and the out-pitch breaking ball to miss bats."