Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hochman: Cards Confident in Starters with Addition of Mikolas

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hochman: Cards Confident in Starters with Addition of Mikolas

Article excerpt

Last season, the National League Central was stirred up by a surprising import.

Could happen again this season.

The Brewers were in it for much of the season, thanks to Eric Thames, an American who rediscovered his game in Korea and then returned home for homers.

Now, the Cards have Miles Mikolas, who was about as well known around the division last year as Thames was in 2015.

Like many, the initial reaction to the signing was: Oh?

But the Cards think this guy can make an impact like another international pitching import did: Seung Hwan Oh.

We wondered who the Cardinals would get as that couple-year bridge, that starting pitcher who can gobble up innings for some seasons before the young arms are refined. It's Miles Mikolas.

John Mozeliak said Wednesday night that he sees this guy not just as a "fifth starter," but maybe even better than that.

"I think so, yeah we feel that he profiles as someone that could have an impact on your rotation," Mozeliak said from Ballpark Village, where he also spoke to KMOX (1120 AM) for a live offseason show. "And I think a lot of people were probably unsure because he didn't pitch here. As a fan, your calibration of what that means is probably a little foggy. But we feel pretty confident in how we look at that. We thought he was a great fit. We were pretty excited about getting Miles."

So no other new starter? No Tampa Bay Ray?

"I would think we're covered from a starter standpoint," Mo said. "I think now the focus turns more to the bullpen. And I'd also say, when you look at potential guys who can eat innings, (there's) someone like a John Gant. To me, he pitched very well last year but really didn't get much of an opportunity, and certainly as we start thinking about Jupiter and entering there, I hope he gets a serious consideration, or at least, some bullpen role."

One thing Mozeliak touched on was that Mikolas himself wanted a shorter deal, to get to free agency as fast as possible, after, potentially, re-proving himself in the bigs. The Cards were prepared to make a longer commitment to him that's how much they trusted his stuff. So they all agreed to two years. …

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