Starting pitcher John Lackey, the St. Louis Cardinals' top acquisition at the trade deadline, will be skipped the next time through the rotation, the team announced before its game Sunday.
The front office apparently thinks some extra rest might help Lackey who over his last three starts has given up 22 hits and 13 runs in 14 1/3 innings. I suppose it couldn't hurt. But it stinks that the Cardinals can't count on the guy that they gave up two very valuable players to get. (Yeah, I know Allen Craig is hurt. But I am still convinced he'll hit again once he gets healthy. And how much could the Redbirds use Joe Kelly's versatile arm right about now?)
I'm starting to wonder if Lackey -- like the Cardinals' other trade acquisition Justin Masterson -- is damaged goods. He's logged 183 2/3 innings this year, a decent but certainly not abusive amount of work. With Boston he was 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA. But since arriving in St. Louis, Lackey is 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA
For the Cardinals, the problem isn't figuring out who the team will start in the post season. It's finding five reliable starters to get their to the playoffs. The club had to skip Michael Wacha Sunday because of a complications in his rehab from a shoulder injury. and now Lackey is a question mark. Those are tough obstacles to overcome, especially after Masterson washed, Kelly was traded and Jamie Garcia was lost earlier in the year.