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Adam Wainwright’s rotation replacement likely Kyle McClellan

Mar 16, 2011, 5:17 PM EST

San Diego Padres v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

The competition to replace Adam Wainwright in the Cardinals’ rotation is still officially humming along, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes that Kyle McClellan has all but locked up the job after spending the past three seasons in the bullpen.

Tony La Russa was also full of praise for McClellan, but stopped well short of handing him the gig and added that “we don’t have to decide yet.”

McClellan has allowed just one run in 12 innings this spring and has a 3.23 ERA in 218 career innings, albeit all as a reliever. In fact, he hasn’t started a regular season game in the majors or minors since way back in 2007 at Single-A.

Replacing him in the bullpen will be tough, but Goold suggests that’s unlikely to play a big factor in whether or not McClellan gets the rotation spot because the Cardinals are (smartly) focusing on their starters first and then worrying about relievers.

  1. cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Gee wiz. A reliever getting a starting job maybe? Who’da thunk it. I wonder what his contract says about this and why La Russa is thinking about violating it?
    All humor aside, I see this kid as an excellent choice. He’s got the pitches and now he has some more experience. He’ll be good, I’m betting. And oh yes, he STILL reminds me of Roy Halladay. Let the games begin…

    • phlockar - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:33 PM

      A guy that’s been a reliever and hasn’t started since 2007 reminds you of arguably the best starting pitcher in the MLB?? LOL. You MUST be a Cardinals fan.

      • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:47 PM

        Actually my comment re Roy was for back a few weeks when I made the same comparison while saying that if McClellan wanted to better he should be more like Doc. Some poster, don’t remember who, ripped into me, not unlike your post (clearly I’m still hurt, sniff). At any rate they are similar in that he’s a big righty with a real good cutter a la Halladay whom I’ve seen a lot. Who should I compare him too? Some no talent ass clown or some guy who’s the best? I want the kid to do well, so I think he should model himself more along the lines of Halladay and its ONLY that I’m saying. Seems logical to me.

    • umrguy42 - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:37 PM

      Not sure what his contract has to do with it. Besides, going from relief (closing, in fact) to starter worked for Wainwright in the first place…

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