Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Kelly, Jaime Garcia among those competing for spot in St. Louis Cardinals' rotation

Consider this your daily reminder about why the St. Louis Cardinals played in the 2013 World Series.

You remember Joe Kelly: he was the bespectacled, 25-year-old pitcher who started two games in the NLCS and one game in the World Series. He earned those assignments by going 10-5 during the 2013 season in 37 appearances (15 of them starts). His minuscule regular season ERA (2.69) combined with his experience in the post-season should lock him into the team’s rotation for the foreseeable future, right?

Not so fast.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that Kelly will be competing with a handful of guys for the final spot in the Cardinals’ rotation:

That leaves Joe Kelly, a starter in the World Series, to again fend for a spot in the rotation, this time against Jaime Garcia, a former rookie of the year candidate who is ready to return from shoulder surgery.

Carlos Martinez and Tyler Lyons also will come to spring as starters, though Martinez could see his zippy fastball earmarked for the eighth inning.

Garcia is only 27 years old and holds a career 39-25 record with a 3.45 ERA. The fact that he and Kelly will not both be in the rotation shows just how stacked the Cardinals are in that department. They might not have the glam of the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Washington Nationals entering this season, but you better believe they will be in the mix comes postseason time.

Tags: Jaime Garcia Joe Kelly St. Louis Cardinals

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