How desperate are the Cardinals to add a starting pitcher?
Of the starting five pitchers the Redbirds expected to field when spring training started, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia have been lost for the season. John Gast, called on to serve as a replacement followed suit. And now Jake Westbrook appears to have flamed out.
So does it pique Cardinals GM John Mozeliak's interest even a little bit to learn that Edinson Volquez has been designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres?
Volquez certainly has two strikes against him. He was a central figure in the Birds' feud with the Cincinnati Reds before he was sent to southern California. And he's had an absolutely terrible year. But, if he wasn't doing to poorly, there would be nothing to discuss because he wouldn't potentially be available.
He's got a 6.01 ERA hurling half his games in the best pitcher's park in the National League. But Volquez is only 29 years old and he's coming off a decent 2012 season in which he was 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA with 160 hits allowed in 182 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals don't have the magic of former mechanics guru and pitching coach Dave Duncan in the organization anymore. But maybe a change of scenery would do Volquez some good.
And, let's face it, the Redbirds don't have many options when it comes to adding an experienced major league pitcher to the mix. There just aren't many guys of any quality who are going to sneak through waivers.
If the bad blood between the Cardinals and Volquez is an issue, let's not forget that Will Clark punched beloved St. Louis shortstop Ozzie Smith and was able to fit in with the Redbirds for a mutually-beneficial cup of coffee at the end of his career. Besides, if Volquez is less than decent, the Birds could quickly wash their hands of the former Cincinnati hurler and move on. It doesn't have to be a permanent move if they don't want it to be one.