This will come across as "dog bites man" commentary to anyone with eyes and a functional understanding of baseball, but I'm going to say it anyway:
It's time to send Jason Marquis back to Memphis.
I don't know if he can be retrained to keep the ball down or shown how to throw a different pitch that doesn't look like it's sitting on a tee to opposing hitters, but it's not up to Dave Duncan or Tony LaRussa to teach him in the middle of a pennant race.
Chris Carpenter's a legitimate Cy Young candidate. Mark Mulder has quietly won 15 games. Matt Morris is back on the winning track. Even Jeff Suppan has pitched well lately. Marquis has become the glaring hole in the starting rotation, and even though we don't need him in the playoffs, we need to put this division away and start planning for the postseason.
Promoting Anthony Reyes would be the logical decision for many reasons. First, he's got the best numbers among the starters in Memphis. Second, he looked pretty good during his sole big league outing, a win where he only gave up a couple of runs. Third, he's another lefty, which gives teams a different look.
By bringing up Reyes now for five or six starts, you season him for a postseason role in the bullpen, assuming he succeeds if they bring him up. It would benefit the Cardinals to have a left-handed middle reliever not named Flores or King.
Marquis, for whatever reason, cannot handle the pressure at this level at this time. If the Cardinals brain trust still feels he has potential, maybe he can find it again at Memphis. If he regains his touch there, he could still contribute out of the bullpen during the playoffs. Right now, he's a team liability—it puts further pressure on the offense when they know they'll have to come from behind when Marquis is on the mound.
Don't fret, Jason—the barbecue's terrific in Memphis. Get your head straight and come back strong in September.