Chris Carpenter out for the season, now time to make moves
With the very unsettling, yet not too surprising news that Chris Carpenter will miss the entire season due to a season ending surgery, it is time to look ahead at the season. John Mozeliak and his crew better start getting busy, the rotation has been so-so all season and the bullpen has been horrid. With the July 31st non waiver trade deadline looming, the Cardinals need to sit and think about if they want to go for it all again. They currently reside at 42-38 only 2.5 games behind the first place Brewers and one game behind the second place Pirates. The Cardinals still have the potential of being a playoff team and with guys like Berkman, Garcia, and McClellan possibly close to returning, the Cardinals are in a good position to win. But they still need a few things, so here is my take on what John Mozeliak needs to do before the end of July.
1. Help the bullpen please!
The bullpen has been nothing short of AWFUL this season. Jason Motte has been very mediocre as the teams closer despite the nice number of 17 saves, he has blown 4 saves and has lost three games. But Motte is not the problem let us take a brief look at some of the stats of the Cardinals relievers.
Rzepczynski- 1-3, 5.86 ERA, 18 K’s, 9 BB’s, 6 homers allowed, 11.1 h/9, 2.0 HR/9, 5.9 SO/9.
Boggs- 1-1, 2.02 ERA, 27 K’s, 9 BB’s, 2 homers allowed, 7.3 h/9, 0.5 h/9, 6.8 SO/9
Marte- 2-1, 3.82 ERA, 31 K’s, 12 BB’s, 3 homers allowed, 9.7 h/9, 0.8 HR/9, 7.9 SO/9.
Salas- 0-3, 6.04 ERA, 27 K’s, 15 BB’s, 11.4 h/9, 0.7 HR/9, 9.6 SO/9.
As you can see the bullpen has not been very good, our most reliable guys have been Victor Marte and Mitchell Boggs. The recent additions of Maikel Cleto and Barret Browning should help a little, especially due to the lack of success from Sam Freeman and Eduardo Sanchez. There are a few options out on the free agent market including recently released Bobby Jenks who was the former closer of the Chicago White Sox as well as former Astro Brad Lidge. Another possible option is the recently DFA’d Brain Fuentes. Those along with many others could be possible fits for the Cardinals much ailing bullpen.
2. Get a starter:
With the news that Carpenter will miss the season the Cardinals really need to focus on acquiring a starter. The rotation has been very hit or miss this year with most success coming from Kyle Lohse and Lance Lynn. With the injuries to Carp and Jaime Garcia as well as the not so hot performances of Jake Westbrook and Adam Wainwright the Cardinals need to turn their attention to getting a starter. A few names that come to mind are Zack Greinke of the Brewers, Cole Hamels of the Phillies, Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster of the Cubs, and possibly Francisco Liriano of the Twins. Now it might take a lot to acquire a starter but I think it is very necessary. Some guys that could be on the trade block are Allen Craig, Matt Adams, Tyler Greene(if anyone wants him), and who knows what other prospects.
3. Get and stay healthy
All season the Cardinals have dealt with the injury bug. Whether it was Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter, Kyle McClellan, Chris Carpenter, Jon Jay, Allen Craig, etc. the Cardinals have not been able to stay healthy. But now with Jay, Carpenter, and Skippy back the Cardinals are nearing being back to normal with the exception of Chris Carpenter. If the Cardinals can manage to stay healthy the team should be just fine.
It is a tough loss knowing that Chris Carpenter will be gone the entire season and possibly the rest of his career. He is truly the most dominant Cardinals pitcher probably since Bob Gibson as evidence to his great post season last year. However the Cardinals cannot sit and weep, they have a whole half of the season left and they have to go get something done. John Mozeliak needs to put down the scarf catalog and start making some phone calls. The Cardinals still have potential of being one of the greatest Cardinals teams in history, just a few fixes and staying healthy could bring the Cardinals to their twelfth World Championship.