Cardinals Haiku Wednesday: Ah, Lance Lynn …

Most disliked Cardinal?
Look at social media …
Lance Lynn hate abounds.

LynnMost frustrating Card?
Yes, at times I do agree.
But worth such venom?

The one big inning —
Often too predictable,
Everyone just waits.

True on TV too.
Yesterday Danny Mac did.
His tone told it all.

Yep, third inning — ugh.
But it could have been much worse.
With bases loaded.

Eight strikeouts? Who cares?
The runs, the hits — that’s what counts.
That high ERA.

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Is It Really A Surprise Joe Kelly Will Be Starting?

Following yesterday’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that Joe Kelly will be the joining the starting rotation and Carlos Martinez will reprise last fall’s role as the eighth inning setup guy.

Joe-Kelly-2Are you really surprised at this announcement? Honestly?

I am not.

It is what I expected all along when a competition for the fifth starter slot was announced this spring, for the second consecutive year.

Because the “results” of this competition certainly seem based more on last year than anything that’s happened this spring. As you likely know, Martinez has been brilliant in March: 1.76 ERA in four starts and 15 1/3 innings pitched, nine strikeouts, eight hits allowed. Kelly has not quite had the same results, allowing 10 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings during his four starts including two yesterday after not allowing a hit for five innings.

Last year, however, was a different story. Kelly was 9-3 in 15 starts with a 2.28 ERA once he joined the rotation, compared to his 1-2 record and 3.68 ERA when he was in the bullpen. And while the overall numbers for Martinez — record of 1-2, ERA of 5.08 — are not necessarily impressive, we all remember just how great he was in September and October.

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Here’s an Idea: Trevor Rosenthal a Starter, Joe Kelly as Closer

Yes, Trevor Rosenthal already was anointed the closer for 2014. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak both made that very clear back in November, and Trevor was obviously very good as closer from late September throughout the postseason.

collage12414He’s very good, period. In his 98 big league innings, he’s struck out 133 while walking just 27 and giving up 29 earned runs. That 100 mph fastball makes Cardinals fans and national broadcasters gush, especially because it’s led to so many of those strikeouts.

We know too that he wants to be a starter instead of a reliever. He said it last fall, he said it again on Saturday at the Winter Warm-Up — jokingly, according to Derrick Goold’s tweet.

He was a starter in the minor leagues, exclusively so from midway through the 2010 season until he was called up to the Cardinals during 2012, and he was good. He started the Midwest League All-Star Game in 2011, threw a complete game that year and was even the starting (and winning) pitcher in the Quad Cities River Bandits Midwest League championship game that September.

His minor league numbers might not be quite as eye-popping — in 285 1/3 innings he struck out 293 and walked 98 while giving up 112 earned runs — but he made 48 starts and had a record of 22-14.

Yes, the rotation is already crowded. Yes, even the competition for the rotation coming up this spring is already crowded. But if it’s what he wants to do and what he’s more than capable of doing, why not give him a shot?

Oh, because then a closer will be needed? Simple answer there, and it has nothing to do with waiting on Jason Motte’s return: Joe Kelly.

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