The St. Louis Cardinals have found success over the last few seasons with a strong pitching staff. The rotation, while successful, has been a source of injury concern. The team has seemed confident that the starting pitchers are healthy for the 2015 season. Their rumored interest in top-tier starters may suggest otherwise.

Most of the rumors caught attention when Ken Rosenthal mentioned the Cardinals as a potential landing spot for James Shields on MLB Network’s Hot Stove. The comment was made during a prediction segment of the show and was not based on any inside information, according to Rosenthal.

Now, Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi have shared thoughts, via, that the Cardinals are looking to upgrade their rotation. The names the writing duo are connecting to St. Louis in this piece are David Price, Cole Hamels and Max Scherzer. Rosenthal and Morosi also point out that this interest sheds light on the team’s concern with its current staff.

As of right now, the Cardinals would look to open the season with a starting rotation of Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Carlos Martinez with Marco Gonzalez providing some competition to Martinez for the final spot. Looking at that rotation, it is easy to see why the team shouldn’t need to add a pitcher.

However, Wainwright underwent minor surgery following the Redbirds’ elimination from the 2014 postseason, as reported by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Wacha pitched limited innings and continues to deal with a stress reaction in his throwing arm, an ailment that is extremely rare and comes with no guarantees of health. Lynn has avoided injury but has battled with bouts of inconsistency over his career. Martinez and Gonzalez are unproven commodities.

But interest in Price, Hamels and Scherzer does not suggest that the Cardinals are hoping to round out their staff. Those names belong at the top of the rotation and would suggest that there is concern with the trio of Wainwright, Lynn and Wacha. More specifically, it raises concern that Wainwright may not be recovering from his surgery as well as expected or that Wacha is not comfortable with his ailment.

It is all speculation. General manager John Mozeliak, while surprisingly candid on some subjects, tends to play his cards very close to his vest. Seldom does word leak out of the St. Louis offices about trades, negotiations or even injury updates until the team is ready to release the information.

The fact of the matter remains: It appears that the Cardinals are interested in some of the best starting pitchers available. Why they are interested in that market is currently a mystery.

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