I’m a little behind on the news here, so I imagine that you’ve probably heard about this already, but the St. Louis Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright for the season.  It’s going to be difficult to replace a guy who has 39 wins in the last two seasons, finished 2nd & 3rd in the NL Cy Young voting and was in the Top 10 in nearly every statistical category in 2010.  The simple truth is that they aren’t going to replace him.  Even if every person on that staff pitches out of his mind this season, they are going to pale in comparison.  So, with that said, how does the pitching staff shape up after losing Waino for the year?

Chris Carpenter will be Chris Carpenter.  On any other team, he is the undisputed ace.  On the Cardinals, alongside Wainwright, he is a Cy Young worthy 1-2 punch, and he can easily be either 1 or 2 in that combination.

Jaime Garcia had a fantastic rookie year.  If you ask me, if he had finished stronger, he would have been the Rookie of the Year without a doubt.  As it was, he was fantastic for 3/4 of a season and decent for the last 1/4 of the season.

Jake Westbrook was a great pickup.  He went under the radar, but really pitched well.  He only went 4-4 in 12 starts with the team, but if we look behind the record, we see a guy who posted a 3.48 ERA, allowed only 70 hits in 75 innings, and struck out twice as many as he walked.  A full season with that kind of production is easily going to yield at least 15 wins.

Kyle Lohse… well, at least the Cardinals have three solid pitchers.  Battling injuries for the last few season has really put a damper on the view that many Cardinal fans have of the pitcher.  Hopefully, this will be a bounce-back season.

All in all, as a Cardinal fan, I still think it’s going to be a great season.  If I hear that the Cardinals have signed Suppan or Wellemeyer to fill that fifth slot, then I might change my mind, but, right now anyway, I still feel like it’s going to be a great year.