Beset by injuries, the Cardinals have had to turn to the farm system early and often this year.
Normally, when you're dealing with young and unproven players, the results are at best mixed. However, so far the Cardinals rookies have come through. The latest example being Tyler Lyons, who started for the Cardinals last night and hurled 7 innings while allowing only 1 run.
Although Matt Adams and Pete Kozma have helped the Cardinals offense, the biggest impact that the rookies have had is on the pitching staff. So far this season, the Cardinals have utilized 6 rookie pitchers, including 3 starters and 3 relievers.
The rookie starters, led by Shelby Miller and recently joined by John Gast and Tyler Lyons, have gone 8-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 74 K's across 75 innings.
The relievers, led by Trevor Rosenthal along with Carlos Martinez and Seth Maness, have posted a 2.83 ERA with 45 K's in 38 innings.
This gives the rookie pitchers an overall record of 11-3 and a 2.38 ERA in 113 innings.
Not too shabby.
Better still, the Cardinals have yet to utilize their top pitching prospect, Michael Wacha, thereby keeping his service clock from ticking.
Its nice to be able to tap into your farm system and get quality results and it is a big part of the reason the Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central with a 30-16 record.
The Cards rookies may still take some lumps this year, as teams get a book on them, and when that happens, we'll see who can adjust and who cannot. But, so far, I like what I have seen.