Miles Mikolas undergoing season-ending surgery is crushing blow to Cardinals rotation

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 11: Miles Mikolas #39 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 11: Miles Mikolas #39 of the St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Miles Mikolas’ 2020 season is over before it began.

If the St. Louis Cardinals were to once again replicate their magical run to the NLCS in the shortened 2020 season, pitcher Miles Mikolas needed to revert back to the All-Star form he showed in 2018. Unfortunately, the Cardinals won’t get a chance to see how he pitches due to a bum elbow ending his season before he even pitched an inning.

Mikolas, per Mark Saxon, will undergo surgery on a tendon in his right elbow that will force him to miss the entire 2020 season. Young right-hander Jake Woodford has been recalled from the alternate testing site to replace him.

The Cardinals were counting on a bounce-back year from Miles Mikolas.

Mikolas’ return to the MLB has been a tale of two extremes. After leading the NL in wins with 18 in 2018, the same year, he was named an All-Star and finished sixth in the Cy Young race, Mikolas led the NL in losses in 2019 with 14. His ERA also ballooned from 2.83 to 4.16.

The Cardinals have a solid top of the rotation, as Jack Flaherty remains one of the best young pitchers in the sport, but they will likely have to scrounge together a handful of minor leaguers in order to adequately replace Mikolas’ production. For a team in such a competitive division featuring three other playoff contenders, any little misstep or piece of bad luck could end up being a killer, and this certainly qualifies.

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The Cardinals are already a bit thin on pitching, as stud closer Jordan Hicks also opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus. Stars like Flaherty and Paul Goldschmidt need to really start getting in the zone and dominating if the Cardinals want any hope of taking the NL Central without Mikolas in the rotation.