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The Cardinals' pitching problems are starting to show. They have some depth, but they must figure out some 40-man roster decisions. I assume the Cardinals will do the right thing and call up Jack Flaherty, but that decision hasn't been announced.
As of yesterday, Mike Matheny would only say that Leake was one of the options to start on Saturday. We should know more soon, perhaps as early as tonight at Busch Stadium.
They are still in the NL Central race and even the NL wild-card race, but they need to figure out what to do with the pitching as soon as possible. They must find a replacement for Leake.
That's a good question. I would assume one of the three outfielders you mentioned will be traded. I cannot imagine the Cardinals being willing to trade Matt Carpenter. I assume Carson Kelly is safe unless they can package him in for a major pitcher or bat.
We should know more today, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't return.
The Cardinals do add minor-league coaches to the staff in September, but I don't know that they would bring Clapp up.
I'm not there, so I could only speak from my outside view. I do know some fans and even players were disappointed the Astros didn't make a major addition at the trade deadline.
I have been adamant that this was a team that would win 84-86 games. That might be a stretch this season.
The Cardinals are still in the NL Central and NL wild-card race, but they need to fix the pitches now. If they are committed to trying to reach the playoffs this year, they must promote some of their top pitching prospects.
I fully expect this to be an active winter for the Cardinals. They must clean up the roster by getting rid of some of the outfield depth clutter and improve the team.
The bullpen has been the biggest disappointment for the Cardinals this year. A strong bullpen would have this team atop the NL Central division.
I wouldn't rule anything out. If they went after Sonny Gray, you have to believe they'll at least kick the tires on Verlander.
The Cardinals have a lot of work this winter, but it's premature to give up on them this season.
The hacking case has nothing to do with the Cardinals' lack of trade action.
I would assume that Bill DeWitt Jr. and John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch know they must make some drastic changes to this roster. They have no untouchables unless the players have no-trade clauses.
I hope to get out to the Blues soon.
The Cubs are in their window of contending for championships. They are committed to winning big league titles, not minor-league titles.
Bill DeWitt Jr. has said that he will have a payroll in the top third of baseball.
Wainwright seems optimistic about returning this season. Lance Lynn has been one of the Cardinals' top two starters this season. The Cardinals must at least try to negotiate with Lynn about returning.
I would predict a rotation with Carlos Martinez, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, Luke Weaver. Mike Leake would still be under contract, so you might want to save a spot for him. Ouch.