Mozeliak: Cardinals comfortable without adding a starter
It wasn’t but a few weeks ago that Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak prioritized starting pitching as he looked for potential impact acquisitions to be made before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Now, that need is no longer so clearly at the top of his list.
While Mozeliak continues to scour the market for ways to improve his club, he does not do so feeling as if there is a necessity to add an outside piece into the rotation. Recent results, as well as the impending return of starter Jaime Garcia, dictate such a stance.
“Our starters have been great,” Mozeliak said on Saturday. “I think clearly it takes a little pressure off in terms of feeling like we have to do something. If you were to go after a starter, who are you really bouncing out? And how are you improving? That’s why I don’t think the urgency is quite there for rotational help as maybe it was, say, three or four weeks ago.”
Since the start of July, the Cardinals’ rotation has been strong. Starters have gone at least six innings in all 15 games, and the group has allowed more than two earned runs in a game only three times. Their cumulative July ERA is 2.49. Hitters have batted .241 against the rotation of five.
While Mozeliak would not specifically address rumors of the club’s interest in acquiring Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, Mozeliak did note that he would be hesitant to give up an elite-type prospect to a team within the division. At the moment, Chicago is asking for such in return for Dempster or fellow starter Matt Garza.
So could the Cardinals make additions elsewhere?
It’s unlikely much will be done to boost the offense, which currently leads the NL in batting average and runs scored. Offensive production at second base hasn’t been terrific, but the Cardinals also don’t want to acquire a player who would block middle infield prospect Kolten Wong from joining the big-league team, perhaps as early as 2013.
But given the greater saturation of relievers available on the market, and the Cardinals’ need to stabilize the bullpen, adding a reliever could end up being the easiest and most impactful route to go.
– Jenifer Langosch