Craig's Corner: Cardinals Have Questions - The Missourian: Sports

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Craig's Corner: Cardinals Have Questions

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Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:00 am | Updated: 9:18 am, Wed Feb 13, 2013.

Pitchers and catchers for the St. Louis Cardinals reported to spring training in Jupiter, Fla., on Monday. The first workout took place Tuesday.

The first full squad workout is scheduled for Friday.

Like every other team in the Major League Baseball, the Cardinals have questions that need to be answered this spring.

Things haven’t started well for the home team with the loss of starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, who has apparent circulation problems that left his pitching hand in pain.

Carpenter, 37 years of age, held a press conference Monday in St. Louis at which time he refused to say that he was retiring.

While you can never count out a warrior like Carpenter, you have to think this might be the end of the road.

“Maybe I don’t ever want it to end,” Carpenter said in a story by the Associated Press. “I don’t think I’ll ever retire, to be honest with you. I’ll never say that word. There might always be hope. Maybe like when I’m 48 I can come back and pitch some more.”

I wouldn’t put that past him, but what are the Cardinals supposed to do for the next 11 years?

As spring training opens, the Cardinals have one ace, Adam Wainwright, and even his health has been somewhat dicey at times.

So who is the No. 2 pitcher on the staff?

Jaime Garcia has shoulder issues. Will he even be ready when the season begins?

While Jake Westbrook has been effective at times, will the 35-year-old be able to hold up during an entire season?

Wait until you see Lance Lynn. He dropped 40 pounds during the offseason. You’ll barely recognize him.

If Wainwright, Garcia, Westbrook and Lynn all are healthy, they are four of your five starting pitchers.

So who takes Carpenter’s spot in the rotation.

The good news is the Cardinals have a full arsenal of young, talented right-handed flame throwers.

The top three candidates appear to be Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal.

My pick, at least for now, is for Kelly to take the spot.

Kelly has a good amount of experience in the Cardinals rotation. He’s had some solid games. The moment won’t be too big for him.

Miller doesn’t have as much big league experience. Everyone wants to see him pitch, but it’s probably best for him, at least for now, to be a spot starter and work from the bullpen.

Rosenthal has electric stuff. He routinely hits triple digits on the radar gun. One day, he’s going to be a key pitcher in the Cardinals starting rotation.

This season, I would prefer to see Rosenthal in the bullpen. He was great in that role during last year’s postseason.

Just think of the Cardinals potential bullpen from the sixth inning on.

Manager Mike Matheny can go with Edward Mujica in the sixth inning, Rosenthal in the seventh, Mitchell Boggs in the eighth and Jason Motte in the ninth. And you still have Miller at your disposal.

For matchup situations, you can throw in southpaws Marc Rzepczynski, Randy Choate and maybe even Sam Freeman.

Game, set, match.

On paper, the Cardinals bullpen is the strength of the team.

For me, the biggest question as spring training begins is the starting rotation. Any injuries will force someone from the bullpen to the rotation.

Pitching is not the only question mark on this team.

Will Rafael Furcal be healthy enough to play shortstop? If not, I’m not sure Pete Kozma is an every day player.

And who in the world is going to play second base? Daniel Descalso? Matt Carpenter? Or maybe even Kolten Wong?

In the outfield, Carlos Beltran probably won’t be able to play a full season because injuries likely will arrive. Matt Holliday and Jon Jay need to stay healthy.

I’m anxious to see young gun Oscar Taveras, who many say is a future star.

There are plenty of questions concerning the Cardinals. Spring training will provide the answers.

/

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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