Closing Time: Jack Flaherty might be on the way

Redbird in a rush. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Cardinals still think they’re in the playoff chase, no matter that they’re 4.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central. So it’s possible top pitching prospect Jack Flaherty could be on the way.

Flaherty is a 21-year-old righty on the fast track. He was the 34th overall pick in the 2014 draft. He’s yet to have a hiccup in the minors (2.75 ERA, 1.18 WHIP) and this year he’s been especially impressive. Note the 1.42 ERA in 10 dominant Double-A starts, and a 2.69 run through 14 Triple-A appearances. He’s striking out about one batter per inning this year.

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So he’s young, but maybe he’s ready. The Cardinals need to take some chances. Mike Leake has been batting practice for the last couple of months; perhaps Flaherty could get a look in Leake’s stead, a line the St. Louis Post Dispatch is taking.

Prospect hounds have started to click in; Flaherty’s ownership jumped from one percent to eight percent in the last 24 hours. Do what you need to do.

• I’m surprised the ownership tags are modest on CC Sabathia, who can be grabbed in two-thirds of Yahoo leagues. His 3.99 ERA and 1.28 WHIP are good enough for streaming purposes, especially when the opponent is digestible. And with every win critical, I’ll be proactive looking for spots to dial him up

Seattle doesn’t scare me on Friday’s card. Sabathia should also be helped by New York’s offense (second in runs) and lights-out bullpen (fourth in relief ERA).

• The Red Sox are a threatening draw for a lot of pitchers, but Trevor Bauer hasn’t ducked the assignment. He’s beaten them twice this month, including a Thursday stare down of Chris Sale. Bauer’s now scooped six wins in his last eight turns.

The walks and strikeouts tell an appealing story — 52 punchouts against 14 walks. He’s dropped his ERA a full run over that period. Next week’s start at Yankee Stadium could be a borderline fantasy call, but Bauer could have an easy stroll through Comerica Park in the ensuring turn. If you need another reason to trust Bauer, note he received the coveted Salfino Recommendation this week.