The St. Louis Cardinals have had amazing success so far this season with a ragtag bunch of starters that are playing surprisingly well.
That group just got more "ragtag".
Earlier this week, starter Joel Piñero was put on the 15-day DL with a groin strain, becoming the eighth Cardinals pitcher on disabled list. Rookie Mike Parisi will get his first big-league start this weekend against Pittsburgh.
The Redbirds literally have a pitching staff on the DL that might be better than most in the MLB. Chris Carpenter would be the staff ace, followed in the rotation by Mark Mulder, Matt Clement, Piñero, and Brad Thompson.
Even the bullpen on the DL is talented. Jason Isringhausen has closed almost 300 games during his career. Also, Tyler Johnson and Josh Kinney are both proven relievers.
The point of this information is that the Cardinals have had an amazing lack of luck in the last two seasons. The only pitcher that the rival Chicago Cubs have on the DL is Chad Fox, who has been terrible this season anyway.
Much more so than the health struggles of Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, or Ben Sheets, the Cardinals woes have been of a much larger scale, leading me to truly applaud the job done by Dave Duncan.
Pay attention Redbirds fans, and appreciate what you have right now before it's gone. The La Russa regime will be over soon, and Duncan will undoubtedly be gone with it.
Duncan has transformed hurlers like Kyle Lohse and Todd Wellemeyer into solid starters this season, not to mention countless other projects in years past. When he's gone, there's no telling how the Cardinals will deal with these types of issues.
One thing's for sure. I'm proud of the way these Birds have handled these problems. Our luck can only improve.