St. Louis Cardinals: What do Pitchers on the Mend Mean for Current Staff?

Michael MedearisCorrespondent IApril 16, 2008

The Cardinals pitching staff has been more than the fans, coaching staff, front office, and the team its self could ask for.  Entering today they were first in the National League in ERA at 3.12, tied for the fewest runs allowed at 47, tied for the fewest runs per game at 3.36, and the bull pen who has an ERA of 2.74. With the rotation and the bull pen doing so well and the Cardinals having 3 starters and 2 relievers still on the disabled list what is going to happen. 

Well the decisions are going to have to come sooner than later.  Joel Peniero cam back last Sunday against the Giants sending Kelvin Jimenez back to Triple-A and taking Brad Thompson out of the starting rotation and putting him into the bullpen.

Next up is Russ Springer who had discomfort in his elbow and was placed on the 15-day disabled list and could return as early as Sunday.  Which forces another move in the pen.  Most likely this move will be Kyle McClellan, the St. Louis native, who has showed some pretty good stuff early on in his career, but with him being the youngest and the one with out a tenure in the major leagues it will most likely be him that gets the demotion to triple-A Memphis.

But soon enough there will be many more moves.

Mark Mulder is the next starter set to return if all goes well, Mulder pitched at single  A palm beach on Tuesday going 5 innings and throwing 60 pitches allowing 2 runs, one earned. His next assignment is set for Sunday in Springfield for the double A squad.  If all goes well he will make the transition to triple -A and may be back by early may.  This will force another move.  Its uncertain at this point who it will be or what they will do.  Todd Wellemyer is the likely candidate to get the boot from the starting rotation and head to the bullpen, but as far as the person to be sent out of the bullpen, that is up in the air.  It is unlikely that the Cardinals would send down a position player to keep the pitchers, especially with Gluas and Pujols getting extra days off this year.  So the decission has to be made. 

After Mulder and Springer get back, the cardinals will still have to make way for Tyler Johnson, Chris Carpenter, and Matt Clement. Which will mean 3 more spots in the bullpen will be changed as well as two in the starting rotation. 

The cardinals look as if they could have an interesting trade proposal for a team that is in need of pitching come time for the trade deadline, whether that is what they do is yet to be seen.  But regardless what is going to happen this young cardinals team is off and running and the team is getting more than they could ask for out of their starting staff, which could lead to a good relief to the ailing staff working on comingbac and not pressure them to rush it. 

Only time will tell, so sit back and enjoy the season and watch the moves that first year GM John Mozeliak makes, which looks like will happen sooner, rather than later.