There's a perfect storm scenario for the Cardinals this year. Established starting pitchers go down with injuries forcing the Cardinals to lean heavily on prospects. Simultaneously, Rafael Furcal's elbow finally explodes in totality and the clock strikes midnight turning Pete Kozma back to a pumpkin. With the Cardinals reliant on their rotational prospects, a trade for a legitimate shortstop becomes impossible and the Cardinals limp through the season with some combination of Ronny Cedeno at shortstop.

With about half a dozen fail safes built in to prevent the scenario above (from Michael Wacha to Ryan Jackson to the overlooked Carlos Martinez), it's certainly not time to panic yet but the first few dominoes have fallen. Chris Carpenter is done for the season having been officially moved to the 60-day DL and Furcal's elbow has inched closer to catastrophe requiring a cortisone shot this past week.

If the Cardinals decide to revisit the idea of a trade, guys like Elvis Andrus and JJ Hardy seem like the most likely targets. Both the Rangers and Orioles have top prospects ready to take over at shortstop and room for pitching on their rosters. The signing of Ronny Cedeno, however, has to be read as a signal that the Cardinals are ready to forge ahead without any kind of external replacement in the event of an injury to Furcal.