Jack Flaherty completed his second rehab start and his first start in Memphis on Friday night. Read below to see the condition of Flaherty and how he is nearing a return to St. Louis.
The last time Jack Flaherty pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals was October 3 of last season against the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals lost the game 3-2 in eight innings. He pitched one inning with two strikeouts and no hits allowed.
After receiving offseason treatment for his shoulder injury, Flaherty has yet to see the field for the Cardinals this season. Flaherty is currently on a rehab assignment, attempting to work his way back and rejoin the club.
In his most recent start with the Memphis Redbirds on Friday night, Flaherty threw 59 pitches in four innings, only allowing one hit, a solo home run, while striking out six. That is a great sign for the St. Louis club and Flaherty.
Flaherty on 🔥🔥
4.0 IP / 6 Ks / 0 BB / 1 H / 1 R pic.twitter.com/3wUohCt5Ql
— Memphis Redbirds (@memphisredbirds) June 11, 2022
Flaherty will likely make another start or two before returning to St. Louis. If the former star can return to the form that the team has once seen, it will be welcomed with large, open arms. The Cardinals need help in the pitching department and need it badly.
Starting pitching depth is key to success
The starting rotation for the Cardinals is at a very odd stage right now. Dakota Hudson has pitched really well in his last two starts. Miles Mikolas was very good as well in his last start against the Tampa Bay Rays and Adam Wainwright is starting to come to form in June.
Even while the key three starters have pitched well, the fourth and fifth spots for the club have caused a lot of issues. We have seen starts from Matthew Liberatore, Packy Naughton, Johan Oviedo and Andre Pallante. The Cardinals have almost gone with an “opener” role for the final two starters in the rotation.
The starts from Naughton and Oviedo have been well below average and oftentimes do not lead to winning results. Pallante earned the win in his second start on Friday for St. Louis over the Cincinnati Reds. While it may not be the long-term option, Pallante has provided a big performance when the team needed it the most.
If Flaherty can return to St. Louis and give the team six or more innings in each start, that will only make this team better and more difficult to beat. The return of Flaherty could move Pallante back to the bullpen and be a long-relief pitcher and a great arm in relief.
Many will view the return of Flaherty like a trade for St. Louis but do not take them out of any talks and considerations when it comes to the trade deadline. Look for the Cardinals to make a push for bullpen help or another arm in the starting rotation like Madison Bumgarner or Frankie Montas.
First place Cardinals
After the win over the Reds on Friday night, the Cardinals moved into first place in the NL Central Division by a half-game over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Coming into the night, the NL Central had a 17-game losing streak but that was snapped with the Cardinals victory. It has been a struggle as of late for the Brewers as they have lost their last seven games. The Cardinals have not been able to take advantage of the skid by Milwaukee until this evening.
The Brewers already lost Freddy Peralta for most of the season and now it looks that Brandon Woodruff could be headed to the injured list for a while. Woodruff has been experiencing symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome. He has been feeling numbness and a cold feeling in his middle three fingers.
Luckily for St. Louis, the next six games are against the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. If Milwaukee continues to struggle, the Cardinals could build the lead in the NL Central before heading to the All-Star break.