Javier Vazquez (0-1, 12.71 ERA) v. Joel Piniero (0-1, 4.50)

Vazquez was straight terrible in his last start, giving up eight hits, eight runs (all earned), walking three and allowing two home runs in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five…so that’s a positive…But one start is one start, and Vazquez was very good for the first few innings. Today should give everyone a much better idea of who Javier Vazquez is this time around.

You can check my scouting report on Vazquez here.

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Piniero had a career-year last season with the Cardinals, posting a 15-12 record with a 3.49 ERA. He’s always been a groundballer, but spurred on by Card pitching coach dave Duncan’s tutelage, he took that philosophy to the extreme, jumping from the 45 percent range to the 60 percent range. He got nearly three-quarters of ground balls in his first start of the year against Minnesota. Of course he also gave up a home run in that start. The thing to watch is whether Piniero’s groundball rate dips outside of St. Louis and away from Duncan and he goes from being a dependable mid-rotation starter to the back of the rotation guy he’s been.