Earlier this week there was extensive discussion about who should make Saturday’s start for the St. Louis Cardinals, with much of the debate focusing on Jack Flaherty or Austin Gomber. The team elected to recall Flaherty for the start, who left the game with a 2-1 lead and two runners on base in the 6th inning of yesterday’s 6-2 loss.
Now less than 24 hours later, the Cardinals have again called for a fresh arm from the minors, announcing the option of Flaherty back to Memphis (AAA) and the recall of Gomber.
“The way we look at starters in the minor leagues, they’re all candidates for the bullpen if the situation presents itself,” said General Manager Michael Girsch earlier this week. “There are times where, at some point in the season we’re going to have back-to-back extra innings games or something where we need innings and we would look at any of the starters down there as a guy who could come up and provide protection if we need him to.
“We think Austin’s long-term more of a starter, he has starter repertoire so we’re not in a hurry to transition him to the bullpen, but if need be, he’s certainly a candidate.”
The 24-year old left-hander is coming off a Memphis franchise record-tying performance, where he struck out 16 Iowa batters last Monday. Overall, he is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his four starts (25.2 IP) for the Redbirds. Gomber has struck out 27 and held opponents to a .228 batting average.
Set to become the fourth rookie to make his Major League debut with the Cardinals this season, Gomber will wear uniform number 68.
photo credit: Brian Stull/STLBaseballWeekly.com