Cardinals Pushing Into Contention, Could Pursue Pair Of Hurlers To Bolster Rotation

St. Louis might turn themselves into buyers at the deadline
Jul 30, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak talks with the media after the Cardinals traded relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (not pictured) starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (not pictured) and relief pitcher Chris Stratton (not pictured) at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 30, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak talks with the media after the Cardinals traded relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (not pictured) starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (not pictured) and relief pitcher Chris Stratton (not pictured) at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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The St. Louis Cardinals slow start left them needing a miracle to even consider becoming true contenders by the July 30 Major League Baseball trade deadline.

Well, the Cardinals have won 10 of their last 12 games, vaulting them to third place in the National League Central at 25-26. That record is far from impressive but it's good enough to place them one game back of second place in the division and only a 1/2 game back in the lackluster NL Wild Card race.

If they can climb above .500 in the coming days there is a real chance the Cardinals bulk up at the deadline instead of selling off key pieces of the roster.

In that scenario, it would be wise to bolster up the rotation as Miles Mikolas has struggled mightily (3-5, 5.64 ERA) this season and the No. 5 starters: Matthew Liberatore and Zack Thompson have been struggling in Steven Matz' absence (not that he was much better).

Oddly, if the Cardinals were to bolster their rotation for a potential playoff run, they'd be wise to look toward a pair of hurlers on the worst pitching staff in baseball -- the Colorado Rockies arsenal.

"Austin Gomber (2.76 ERA, 8th in the NL) and Cal Quantrill (3.59, 24th) have done their jobs, each of them ranking in the top 20 in innings pitched," MLB.com's Mark Feinsand wrote Saturday.

"Both the 30-year-old Gomber (one of the key pieces in the February 2021 Nolan Arenado trade) and 29-year-old Quantrill (acquired from the Guardians last November) are under control through 2025, giving the (Colorado) Rockies controllable pitching to potentially shop prior to this summer’s trade deadline."

St. Louis could use a youth movement in their rotation and a player in the 29-30 age range would look prepubescent compared to the current leaders of the staff.

Since the Cardinals would be fringe contenders at best and clearly at least a year or two away from peak strength, it would make sense to target starters signed through 2025 instead of trading valuable prospects for a couple months of help.

Regardless, St. Louis is in the process of changing their narrative if they can stay hot for a just a while longer.

More MLB: Multiple Reports Link Cardinals, Orioles For Trade Involving All-Star Hurler


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Scott Neville

SCOTT NEVILLE

Scott Neville covers the St. Louis Cardinals for FanNation's "Inside The Cardinals" on Sports Illustrated. Before starting "Inside The Cardinals", Neville attended Merrimack College, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media with a minor in Marketing. Neville spent all four years with Merrimack's radio station WMCK, where he grew as a radio/podcast host and producer. His propensity for being in front of a microphone eventually expanded to film, where he produced multiple short films alongside his then-roommate and current co-worker Stephen Mottram. On a journey that began as a way to receive easy credits via film classes, he received a call from "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" star Charlie Day. Day advised him to make a feature-length film, which he completed his senior year. While writing the film, Neville completed an internship for United Way as part of their NFL Partnership Program. Neville ran the blog for a team of interns and hosted an internet show called "United Way's NFL Partnership Series" where he interviewed NFL alumni. After college Neville wrote for SB Nation's "Over The Monster," a Red Sox sister site of the flagship brand. His work would eventually lead him to a job as a content producer with NESN, where he would cover all sports. After developing as a writer with the top regional network in the world, he was given the opportunity to join FanNation and the Sports Illustrated Media Group as the publisher of "Inside The Red Sox."  After a few months as the top Major League Baseball site in the program, Neville sought expansion and pitched "Inside The Cardinals," one of the newest additions to FanNation and the Sports Illustrated Media Group. The successful launch and quick rise of "Inside The Cardinals" led to Neville joining the Baseball Essential ownership group, a national baseball site under SIMG. Follow him on Twitter: @ScottNeville46 Email: nevilles@merrimack.edu