The St. Louis Cardinals jumped out to a 28-16 record through roughly the first quarter of the regular season, and while that is the best record in the National League, the team still has noticeable room for improvement.
The roster started to round into form nicely in early May as the hitters such as centerfielder Jon Jay and third baseman David Freese improved their swings, and the bullpen stabilized to provide reinforcements late in the game for a starting rotation that was by far the most dominant in all of Major League Baseball.
But then right-handed starter Jake Westbrook went on the disabled list May 12 with a sore elbow, and left-handed starter Jaime Garcia’s probably ended Friday when he left the game with left shoulder pain and is likely headed for surgery.
The Cardinals called up left-handed pitcher John Gast to fill Westbrook’s spot, and Gast has done well with wins in each of his first two starts. Gast has a 4.76 earned-run average, but that’s largely because he ran into...