Armchair General Manager: In season edition
With the Cardinals performing much better than expected, they have a very real shot at making it to the post season. In order to do this the team and GM John Mozeliak must make some very necessary moves. With 7 players currently on the DL (Wainwright out all year) and counting the Cardinals farm system may not be enough to help the Cardinals get by in 2011. So far we have seen Eduardo”The Sanchezinator” Sanchez, Tony Cruz, Matt Carpenter,Maikel Cleto, and Lance Lynn all make their MLB debut’s this year. Though Sanchez has performed very well confirming his spot on the roster the others have not lived up to their hype so far, and with the July 31st trade deadline creeping up on us, the GM John Mozeliak surly will be busy, lets take a look at some of the needs the team might want to improve on.
Left handed specialist:
Trever Miller and Brian Tallet have been absolutely horrible so far this season, the only good thing that has happened with them is when Tallet went on the DL the team called up Eduardo Sanchez. Tallet currently has a 7.20 ERA and Miller has walked 7 in 12 and a third innings. These so called “Specialists” have not done anything special and are taking playing time away from people who can make an impact on the team.
Who’s available: Brian Fuentes a guy who has been on the Cardinals radar in the past has not gotten off to a very good start in Oakland but after the firing of Manager Bobby Geren, Fuentes could stay put. Hideki Okajima of the Red Sox has spent most of 2011 in AAA and has said he wants to be traded, he could be an option but his numbers have gone down in the last few seasons and isn’t much of a threat anymore. At the deadline more and more lefties become available so expect to see the Cardinals be aggression here.
After Ryan Franklin finally showed TLR that he is no longer suited for the closer’s role, the Cardinals have bounced around from Mitchell Boggs, Eduardo Sanchez, and now Fernando Salas as the closer and may need to turn to a veteran closer to lead the Cardinals to the post season. Though the 25 year old Salas has only blown one save in 12 opportunities and has struck out 30 in 28 and two thirds innings, this kid could be the real deal.
Who’s available: Heath Bell is the first name that comes to mind, the Padres are not going to be in contention and with Bell lurking into free agency it would make sense for the Padres to trade him, though the Cardinals have already inquired on him so has the Texas Rangers who may have more prospects available to trade then the Cardinals do. Francisco Rodriguez of the Mets may be dealt because of financial issues, he broke the MLB single season save record in 2008. Matt Capps of the last place Twins could also be available once Joe Nathan can get back from the DL. The Royals Joakim Soria who has a lot of potential and talent has gotten off to a slow start so he could be dealt, but will the Cardinals be aggressive enough?
Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot may be one of the worst middle infield defenders in the history of the game, Theriot has already committed 11 errors and though Schumaker has not made an error he doesn’t belong at second and it shows when he plays. Also though Theriot has gotten off to a good start batting .301 with over 20 RBI’s, Schumaker’s pitiful .222 AVG and lack of run production may need to be addressed before July 31st.
Who’s available: Jose Reyes is the biggest name on the market and though I do dream of seeing Reyes playing in St. Louis the cost would be too high, and the Cardinals don’t want to pay it, especially if Reyes is just a one year rental considering he is a free agent after the season. Orlando Cabrera could be available if the Indians fall out of contention but he is aging and may not be much help to the Cardinals other than in the clubhouse. The Orioles J.J. Hardy could also be a possible target. Don’t get to excited about the Cardinals trading for a middle infielder because they love Skippy and Theriot no matter how much they suck.
With all of the injuries so far, and many more to come knowing our training staff the bench is going to be a key. Though, Descalso, Jay, and Craig have all done outstanding off of the bench the upsetting Tyler Greene, Mark Hamilton, and sadly Matt Carpenter combination has yet to do anything. The Cardinals may want to go after a super utility player or a big bat off of the bench.
Who’s available: This is the most broad of all trade categories and by the deadline and even after many bench players will become available. Some intriguing names that come to mind are Michael Young who has gotten off to a red hot start in Texas so he may stay put. Many other bats will be available as the year goes on, lets hope the Cardinals can piece together a championship team and maybe by doing so can keep Albert Pujols a Cardinal for the rest of his career.
My “Tradey” Sense:
Back in 2008, I once predicted Matt Holliday, Felipe Lopez, and Mark DeRosa would all become Cardinals. Later in that year Lopez was picked up by the club and in 2009 both DeRosa then Holliday were acquired by the club. Last year I predicted Westbrook would be acquired, he was. My predictions for this year are getting Heath Bell and a bench bat. I also predict in the near future that our future right fielder could be Hunter Pence, the Cardinal Killer in Houston. You heard it from me first.