The Cardinals have been fairly quiet since their Dec. 14 trade for Marcell Ozuna. While the Ozuna addition surely moves the needle when it comes to the Cardinals' chances of making the postseason in 2018, needs remain. Mostly, the focus has been on third base. While you can certainly argue that a known quantity in the infield is called for, I'd argue the rotation presents more of a need. Here's why that's the case ... 1. The Cardinals have lost a lot of starts from last season. In keeping with ancient tradition and the rulebook, the Cardinals played 162 games in 2017. Lance Lynn and Mike Leake combined to start 59 of those 162 games, or 36.4 percent of them. Lynn is of course one of the many free agents currently seeking employment, and Leake was traded to the Mariners on Aug. 30 of last year. Assuming Lynn doesn't wind up back in St. Louis (likely a safe assumption), those 59 starts aren't coming back. 2. It's not certain how much Adam Wainwright has left. As things stand now, the stalwart Wainwright will be part of the St. Louis rotation to start the season. While he's had an outstanding career and will probably one day have his No. 50 retired by the Cards, he may be done. Wainwright's coming off a 2017 season in which he pitched to a 5.11 ERA in 123 1/3 innings while also putting up his worst K/BB ratio in a decade. Even if there were some bad luck baked into those numbers, Wainwright going into his age-36 season is hardly a sure bet to bounce back. 3. Michael Wacha's stamina and durability remain concerns. In some ways, Wacha's 2017 was a success. He logged a qualifying number of innings for just the second time in his career, and he enjoyed a nice velocity rebound. On the downside, just three times out of 30 starts in 2017 did he pitch into the seventh inning. As a partial consequence, he logged a quality start just half the time he took the mound. Wacha has a fairly grim history when it comes to his shoulder, and health and durability are not to be assumed going forward. Even if he takes his regular turns, Wacha's usually going to tax the bullpen to some extent.
Six reasons why the Cardinals should add more starting pitching
CBS Sports | Jan 28