The St. Louis Cardinals' rotation was sporting the lowest ERA in the majors entering play yesterday. Couple that with the fact that they have more starting candidates than they do rotation spots, and St. Louis doesn't appear to be a team in need of starting pitching help. However, considering the club could be depending on multiple young arms down the stretch, Bernie Miklasz of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders if the Cardinals should pursue Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee.
At this point, the Cardinals' starting rotation consists of Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller, Jake Westbrook and Tyler Lyons. Westbrook and Lyons have question marks surrounding their spots, as Westbrook has battled elbow issues and Lyons is a rookie that has been erratic recently.
Beyond their current starting five, the Cardinals can look to Joe Kelly, Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha for additional rotation support. Miklasz notes that all three are capable of being major-league starters right now.
This would seem to put the Cardinals in a position where they actually don't need to focus on adding starting pitching this summer. However, it's believed that management will treat Miller, Lyons, Wacha and Martinez with kid gloves down the stretch, not wanting to load innings on to their young arms. Couple that with the uncertainty surrounding Westbrook's elbow and the fact that you can never have too much starting pitching, and the Cardinals could develop into starting-pitching buyers this summer.
Lee has a no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to roughly two-thirds of the teams in the majors. The Cardinals are believed to be on the southpaw's list of approved destinations, according to Miklasz, but that has yet to be confirmed.
While Lee hasn't demanded a trade, he has said that he wants to win (who doesn't?). This is something that he may not be able to do in Philadelphia, leading to speculation that he could be dealt.
Miklasz lays out the pros and cons of such a trade taking place between the Phillies and Cardinals, and he ultimately comes to the conclusion that general manager John Mozeliak won't be willing to add Lee. Do you think the Cardinals should look to add a starter this summer, or should St. Louis stand pat with what they have?
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