Yes, it used to be in the very near past that one of the most reliable elements of the Redbirds was the rotation.
As Mark Saxon of BSPN.com types, that is no longer the case and this nasty change in the fortunes of the Cardinals began last year.
Then last year happened. The Cardinals’ ERA spiked from historically good (2.94) in 2015 to historically blah (4.08) in 2016 with no particular rhyme or reason. It was the most significant ERA spike in the majors last year. The only other teams to see their ERAs rise by more than one run were the Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates, per ESPN Stats & Info.
No one saw it coming, not with ace Adam Wainwright coming back, steady veteran Mike Leake added to the mix and the rest of the staff looking a lot like it had the previous year.
Well, pardon Joe as he is not trying to be a knob here, but if someone didn’t expect the starting pitching to relapse is being overly naive or had their heads in the sand.
Adam Wainwright was coming off an Achilles heel surgery. That’s not exactly like having an ingrown toenail carved out.
Then, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak let John Lackey walk away, a guy who had the most starts in 2015 and was second in the rotation in ERA. Mozeliak replaced this seasoned veteran with Mike Leake. Who exactly thought Leake would replicate Lackey’s production? C’mon.
Then Lance Lynn needed surgery which cost him the season.
Sorry, but anyone who did not expect the Cardinals rotation to take a step (or two) back simply isn’t paying attention or is scared to burn a cultivated source in the front office.