Each pitcher on the St. Louis Cardinals seem to have a role attached to them.
There’s Carlos Martinez, who is now in position to be the new ace of the rotation. There’s Adam Wainwright, who will now be taking on more of a John Lackey-esque role, being the reliable veteran. Then there’s pitchers like Luke Weaver and Alex Reyes, who are the young stars of the future.
That is, until Reyes got hurt. The 22-year old will most likely be out for the season after injuring his arm.
The negative is that a young star like Reyes being out (once again) for an extended period of time affects the Cardinals rotation. But there is a bright spot in this cloud of darkness.
It’s that Weaver now has the chance to shine, and stand alone among his contemporaries.
Last year, the now 23-year old Weaver struggled with St. Louis, going 1-4 with a 5.70 ERA in eight starts (nine games total). He struck out 45 while allowing 23 earned runs. Meanwhile, Reyes went 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 52 strikeouts. Both struggled with consist command, but they both also showed high potential at times as well.
Many predicted these two would be a formidable duo for the Cardinals, who dropped from the best pitching staff in baseball in 2015 to one of the worst in 2016, with an overall team ERA of over 4.00.
The 27th overall pick in 2014, Weaver’s fastball is one of his best pitches. He dealt with nagging injuries throughout the beginning of 2016, but bounced back as the season progressed. Weaver’s fastball velocity hovers around 93-94 mph, going as high as 98 mph. His best secondary pitch is a change-up, and currently has improved on his cutter pitch.
For the first time in quite a while, the Cardinals are truly a team having to chase their way to first instead of defending their place in first. Time will tell how ready the Cardinals really are heading into the 2017 season, but as for the young Weaver, if there was ever a time to make an impact, it’s now.
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