This news is about as surprising as Chris Carpenter getting the Game 1 assignment, but general manager John Mozeliak indicated that the Cardinals will stick with a 12-man pitching staff for the World Series.
On most teams 12 pitchers are overkill during the playoffs, when the rotation shortens and setup men and closers dominate the bullpen workload, but considering how short manager Tony La Russa’s hook has been with starters and how much he loves to play matchups with relievers it makes sense for St. Louis.
As for who’ll get the final couple spots in the eight-reliever bullpen, that remains to be seen after the Cardinals used Jake Westbrook as a long man in the NLDS only to replace him with Kyle McClellan in the NLCS.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”