The rotation is pretty much set where it is. With a need for a starter to fill one slot left by Braden Looper the Cardinals appear look to patch the problem with a inside pitch.
The rotation as it is now is
- Adam Wainwright
- Kyle Lohse
- Todd Wellemeyer
- Joel Pinero, Mitchell Boggs, Kyle McClellan.
- Chris Carpenter
If you can see I set the rotation up as three solid starters and the rest probably won't go the whole season and make 30 starts. There are some rookies that can fill the void set by injury such as Mitchell Boggs, P.J. Walters, Mike Parisi, Clayton Mortensen.
The most probable starter to come up and earn a spot is Boggs who earned experience last year and will be coming in this year knowing what is expected of him. Mortensen who looks like he was rushed last year didn't adjust to the Triple-A hitting so will most likely have to earn his way on with a impressive spring training and a strong start in Memphis.
Chris Carpenter will be coming back to the rotation with apparently no limitation because of the Tommy john surgery. If Carpenter is healthy the whole team will perform better. The Cardinals though appear to be backing off adding another starter but one could help the rotation solidify its stamina.
Last year Wainwright was 11-3 which was the best win percentage for starters with 10 decisions now if only Wainwright made ten more starts last year the team would have had a better chance to win.
I definitely don't expect Kyle Lohse or Todd Wellemeyer to have another breakout season but you know how the old saying goes "you just need one oppurtunity to show what you can do and you'll go from there."
A side note, Braden Looper is still a free agent this off season and he is just the starter we would need to finish off our rotation. Looper had a much better year in his second year of starting and if that indicates anything he might improve again in 2009.
In conclusion the rotation looks to be set based on the economy and the lack of interest in our outfield depth. The Cardinals will go into spring training looking for the next "Kyle Lohse" and really just hope for another miracle to happen again.