Good morning! It’s time for another edition of Lazy Links from Cards ‘N Stuff. The Cardinals have gone 4-2 since last week’s Lazy Links post, and two LH’ed rookie starters from Memphis are due much of the credit. John Gast and Tyler Lyons, each turning in impressive starts in the midst of an early season derby for the NL Central division lead, have stepped in to fill the voids left by injured starters Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia. As a result, Cardinal Nation is blogging and tweeting about Redbird pitching again this week.
When the Cardinals organization was lauded by several national papers and baseball talent evaluators as having the best farm system in Major League Baseball, pitchers with names like John Gast and Tyler Lyons weren’t exactly considered “top of their class.” But after Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Seth Maness, and Carlos Martinez pitched their way out of Springfield and Memphis, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak was forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel to temporarily cover starts at the major league level. Now, what do the Cardinals do with Jake Westbrook’s DL stay extended and Garcia out for the season? Read about the four moves and changes the Cardinals could make to rescue a shaky pitching staff by clicking here (via Yahoo! Sports).
Before Fernando Salas was placed on the DL, many fans and media speculated that Joe Kelly would be optioned to Triple-A Memphis to prepare for a role in the big club’s starting rotation. The team went a different way, DL’ed Salas with unexpected – and mysterious – shoulder soreness…and then found out Jake Westbrook’s rehab was halted and, basically, scrapped. Now, the discussion is heating back up again. Corey Rudd lays out more than one reason why the Cardinals should demote Joe Kelly – for his benefit and the club’s. Read his arguments by clicking here (via Yahoo! Sports).
Of course, the reason the Cardinals are in this conundrum is because of the slew of injuries assaulting their pitching ranks. We’re not talking about a blister here or a pulled hamstring there…no, no. Our pitchers don’t get THOSE kinds of aches and pains. Instead, the Redbird arms – and one All-Star shortstop – have been plagued with long-term issues that end seasons, threaten careers, and create all kinds of rotation-bullpen-disabled-list-etc. whirlwinds. Read Bill Ivie’s report on the Cardinals’ struggles with long-term injuries in 2013 by clicking here (via Yahoo! Sports).
Hey…it’s not ALL doom and gloom. Down on the farm, the Memphis Redbirds are cranking out super-prospects by the bushel (I don’t really know what a “bushel” is, but it sounds like a lot). Kolten Wong, Oscar Taveras, Ryan Jackson, and Michael Wacha are all pushing for promotions sooner rather than later with strong performances in Triple-A. Ready my report on the Memphis Redbirds’ Fantastic Four, Marvel Comics style, by clicking here (via Yahoo! Sports).
And finally, just to bring this thing full circle, James Benoit unpacks Tyler Lyons and his stellar debut as a member of the Cardinals rotation over at Redbird Rants. He came out of nowhere, but by the end of the night, he had baseball media and front offices praising the Cardinals farm system for continuing to crank out quality player after quality player…and who cares if no one knew his name before that night?! Throw 7 innings of 1 run ball in your rookie debut for the best team in the National League, and they’ll learn it real quick. Read James’ breakdown of Lyons by clicking here (via Redbird Rants).