More on today's move
I was mildly surprised by the move today, only because I was told by someone usually very reliable that today would not be the day the Cardinals went back down to 12 pitchers. Though considering that Brad Thompson actually made the trip to Atlanta, it’s possible that the decision hadn’t been made when I talked to this person yesterday evening.
Thompson is going to start at Memphis. I don’t believe his future is as a starter, but TLR was cagey when I asked him whether to read any more into it than just giving Thompson innings to sort things out. I’ll say this: there aren’t a lot of (any?) good options at Memphis for a start or two if somebody were needed short term — Dennis Tankersley? Randy Leek? Travis Smith? John Webb? So if they can build Thompson up to starter’s duration, he would at least become a viable short-term option if somebody got hurt or they bumped somebody or something like that.
As for Chris Duncan, I think the most interesting part of this whole deal may be Duncan starting in left field today. TLR said Duncan will start again tomorrow, and the impression I got is that he’s going to get a good long look this time around. It makes sense. If you’re looking at second-tier bats, why not find out if Duncan is as good as any of those guys? Obviously he’s not as good as Bobby Abreu or Carl Crawford or Miguel Cabrera, but he might be as effective as some of the other names we’ve heard, guys like Luis Gonzalez.
So give him a nice extended stretch of at-bats and find out. John Rodriguez is struggling, and So Taguchi is a known quantity. Duncan will at least be a low-average, low-OBP decent-power guy, and he might be something better than that. So find out.
There may be more to come, by the way. Despite the assurance that Ponson is starting Thursday, I’m not entirely sure that won’t change in the next 72 hours, whether it be Jeff Weaver (who I do believe is at least in the discussion), Josh Hancock or whatever. I’ll put it this way: I’ll be very surprised if today’s transactions are the last ones before the All-Star break.
Currently playing on the iPod, during the rain delay: REM, Life’s Rich Pageant