Going back to the end of 2020, the Cardinal starting rotation had more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. Coming out of 2020, The list of starters kept shrinking
*Dakota Hudson had TJ surgery
*Miles Mikolas had flexor tendon issues
*Carlos Martinez had a procedure done on his shoulder
*Adam Wainwright became a Free Agent
All that was left from the 2020 staff was Jack Flaherty and Kwan Hyun Kim. Internally The Cardinals thought they had options such as Ponce de Leone, John Gant, Austin Gomber, Jake Woodford, and Genesis Cabrera, Who could be stretched and used as starters.
Several names on the FA market could have provided a much-needed addition to an MLB arms race. Names like; Trevor Bauer, Jake Odorizzi, James Paxton, Jose Quintana. Now whether or not those names ever seriously crossed GM Mike Grisch's desk or John Mozeliak's desk, we will probably never know.
The fact is they opted not to pursue pitching and focus on a bat instead of picking up Nolan Arenado. Filling an offensive need to partner with Goldschmidt. While this WAS welcome news, it did cost us a potential rotation arm in Austin Gomber.
The news was that Martinez and Mikolas would both be ready by Spring, and they were able to bring back Adam Wainwright. (Did anyone think they wouldn't do it?).
Entering Spring Training, the rotation seemed intact Flaherty, Mikolas, Martinez, Wainwright, and Kim.
We are now in June:
*Mikolas has only pitched 4 innings and on the IL for the second time until August.