After another poor outing last Thursday, Cardinals GM Mozeliak and Manager Mike Matheny did not mince words about the importance of Wednesday's start for Lance Lynn. Mozeliak indicated that Lynn's next start could be his last to prove he belongs in the rotation, while Matheny echoed Mo's words, emphasizing the importance of getting Lynn sorted out.
If Lynn can return to the form that produced a 7-1 record with a 2.91 ERA through the end of May, it would greatly improve the Cardinals chances for a long postseason run. However, his recent stretch of 4 straight losses while giving up at least 4 runs in each game has not inspired confidence.
But, if the Cardinals are forced to replace Lynn in the rotation, who do they replace him with?
Jake Westbrook has been pretty brutal of late, giving up 5 runs (3 earned) in 1.1 innings his last time out, making a 12-1 lead nearly vanish and forcing the Cardinals to use an ailing Edward Mujica to close out a game that should not have required a closer.
Carlos Martinez has the stuff and the upside to be an front of the rotation starter, but has been used primarily out of the pen in the majors and was roughed up in his only start for the team. It also appears that the team does not have confidence in him.
Tyler Lyons started his Cardinals career with back-to-back 7-inning, one-run performances, but has given up at least 4 runs in each of his last 6 starts.
Personally, I would like to see Lynn get things straightened out, as he gives us the best chance to win when he's "on". However, if he cannot figure it out, I would like to see Martinez be given a chance to really show what he can do. However, its more likely that the team (i.e. Matheny) will go either with the veteran, Westbrook, or take another chance with Lyons, as Martinez seems to be far down on the depth chart in their eyes.
Neither Westbrook or Lyons seems very appealing to me, which is why I have my fingers crossed for a good performance from Lynn tomorrow night.