The Cardinals were dealt a combination of rolling punches on Sunday when the team sent 40% of its starting rotation to the disabled list on one afternoon, yet for a sole reason. Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia will both begin stints out of action on Monday due to shoulder complications, and the team faces an uncertain run of time with a depleted edition of its lone source of dependable contribution this year.
Now that St. Louis Cardinals management has decided which pitcher it wants to begin the season in the fifth and final spot in the starting rotation, its focus can shift to a similar dilemma that exists for the last spot in the bullpen.
The St. Louis Cardinals came to spring training with very few roster decisions to make. Most of those decisions have been reached in the last few days.
The only major “competition” that they had taking place in camp this year came to an end Sunday, when Joe Kelly was the fifth starter and Carlos Martinez was sent back to the bullpen. And no better outcome could be hoped for in the immediate picture.
Jason Motte tore a ligament in his right elbow during spring training in 2013 and had Tommy John surgery to fix it, but that operation requires about a full year of rehab before a pitcher can return to the mound in a Major League Baseball game.