The Cardinals are facing big decisions regarding their starting rotation.
First off, Chris Carpenter is expected to meet with the Cardinals' brass to discuss his take on his recent outing in which he allowed 9 hits and 4 earned runs in 3.1 innings.
Manager Mike Matheny said he had a brief conversation with AAA manager Ron "Pop" Warner, but is waiting for Carpenter's assessment before forming any conclusions.
As Matheny puts it, " I trust his evaluation as much as anything. He's a pretty honest
evaluator of himself. I'm excited to talk to him and see exactly how he
It has been assumed that if Carpenter is deemed ready to go, he will replace Joe Kelly in the starting rotation. However, that depends on whether Carpenter feels he is ready and if the Cardinals feel he is ready as well.
Its possible that the Cardinals will have Carpenter make at least one more start in the minors before inserting him in the rotation, if at all.
Another decision the Cardinals need to address is what to do about Lance Lynn. After another start in which he struggled with both his stuff and his emotions, Matheny met with Lynn to discuss his approach and how to best harness those emotions.
Of course, keeping his emotions in check is just one of his problems, Lynn continues to struggle with his performance as well. Lynn has now lost 4 of his last 5 starts, allowing 4 or more runs in each of those losses.
After struggling in the middle of last season, Lynn appears to be going through the same issues this year. Last year, the Cardinals blamed Lynn's midseason struggles on his weight. However, this year they no longer have that excuse, after Lynn lost weight over the offseason.
If Lynn doesn't get straightened out soon, The Cardinals could demote him to the bullpen, like last year, until he gets things sorted out.
Finally, the Cardinals need to figure out what to do with Carlos Martinez. According to Jennifer Langosch, John Mozeliak has said that the Cards have 7-10 days before they have to get Martinez back into a starting rotation to keep him stretched out.
Whether that is at the major league or minor league level is the decision that faces the Cardinals. Its possible that if the Cards do not feel Carpenter is ready to move into the rotation, the team will turn to Martinez to replace Joe Kelly or if Lynn doesn't improve, Martinez could replace him in the rotation.
While the possibility of Martinez pitching in the big league rotation may excite Cardinals fans, the fact is the team would probably prefer to have a more experienced guy in the rotation.
In any case, the next week or so could see significant changes to the Cardinals rotation.