But as everyone knows, he might not be the answer we deserve.
Getting John Gant to trend on Twitter should have been the first clue. The Cardinals with their almost always faithful fan base (see Carpenter, Matt) do many things well including constant attempts at keeping social media more happy. I left nearly every account behind more years ago than I care to look up after too many weekends like the one we just experienced.
There was just too much negative to go around, and that wasn’t something I had the time or patience for while also enduring the St. Louis chapter that was Matheny. Now fast-forward to 2021 and what seemingly was a set rotation with Adam back at the top paired with Jack. The middle of the five arms most likely would be a lefty for a nice change of pace plus Miles and Martinez in some order.
One would debate that Carlos had yet to lock up anything, but his contract as well as a positive Winter gave him the easier path to filling Hudson’s vacancy at least headed into March. Ah, yes, Spring Training certainly brought some clarity but not nearly in the way anyone associated with the Cards wanted.
Losing Dakota for the season was an issue even before Waino signed on the dotted line. Mikolas and Kim landing on the disabled list hurt in other ways, mainly given the depth that was in place was to keep a buffer around the rookies as well as the C-Mart puzzle. Kim should be closer to a return but in what form is to be determined and something to watch as the Birds on the Bat finally travel home.
In response to having to replace a pair of starters, the front office did exactly nothing which was to be expected. There wasn’t going to be any last-minute additions especially as the external options were less than appealing once Jake Odorizzi landed his multi-year deal with Houston. Yes, it is easy to look at this approach by St. Louis as a failure but honestly, it played right into the hand that Mr. Good at Baseball wanted.
Gant gets his opportunity to make another first impression tonight in Miami, even if MLB forgets who he plays for yet again. 2018 was entirely an afterthought when it came to looking at the rotation for this season, but as fate would have it – our potential savior got his wish! The previous starting numbers will not blow you away and no, his pitches won’t either. What Gant does that helps his defense most certainly will be a welcome addition for however long he and Ponce keep battling to hold on to a spot in the starting five so to speak.
A fellow Georgia native like Waino, Gant has seen the mastery that involves limiting the damage to stay in games. He had success while starting a few campaigns ago but not the length that saved the bullpen. That may not be a major factor after the condensed 2020 schedule, but it would help Gant’s chances of putting the pen behind him for as long as possible. Pitching to contact isn’t nearly as sexy as strikeouts but let others lead the league in that category.
For once the stars are aligned with team and player on the same page with no looking back! The Cardinals would love nothing more than to have the man with the best hair in baseball stay in the rotation for many months or years to come. Having Ponce and Gant wage their own mini-contest to fend off those coming back from injury only helps the entire roster while squarely putting the pressure on Martinez to answer back.
I can’t speak for anyone else but personally would rather have games like last night as opposed to the little league type atmosphere to the start of the season. Starting pitching was always going to be the question entering a year filled with unknown for St. Louis as well as every other team in baseball. Settling on a preferred rotation seemed foolish at best, so now is the time to find out who wants it more. And my money is on the guy voted most likely to be overlooked but maybe not for much longer.