Winter isn't over.
We'll wait until Opening Day to bury the season. But Day 1 of pitchers and catchers reporting is a landmark date. One where we can finally start rinsing out the taste of that NLCS our of our mouths.
With the recent (sort-of) retirement of #2 Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals begin their 2013 story with a dearth of locked in starters and a plethora of pitchers looking to define their label. Let's see where we stand on Day 1:
1 - Adam Wainwright
2 - Jake Westbrook
3 - Jamie Garcia
4 - Lance Lynn
5 - Joe Kelly
6 - Shelby Miller
7 - Trevor Rosenthal
Now that's Day 1. This is going to change for sure before we get to April. And spots 3-7 are still in question. Jamie Garcia has been cagy about his health. Lance Lynn was an All-Star in 2012 and also got benched for under performance. He has trimmed down and should be a starter.
The 5th spot is tricky.
As camp starts, Joe Kelly has the upper hand, just because he was a pretty valuable fireman for the Cardinals as a long-reliever and a starter when Lance Lynn busted. Manager Mike Matheny will reward Kelly with giving him the opportunity to loose his spot in the rotation.
Problem is, both Miller and Rosenthal are more talented arms than Kelly. They have the tools to be quality starters in 2013 for the Cardinals.... but will they do enough to prove it before the team sets the rotation?
The main focus of Spring Training 2013 is going to be Oscar Taveras.
And it should be.
But the race for the rotation is going to be heated. And starting later today, 4 guys will be playing for 2 spots.
Welcome back, baseball.