The injury to Josh Kinney is obviously bad news, first and foremost to Kinney himself, but also to the Cards and their bullpen. Kinney was a guy who could get a late-inning strikeout, and I don’t really see anybody else in the pen from the right side who can replicate that. Additionally, the bullpen was one area where this team appeared to have significant depth, and now that depth is compromised.
Still, from a pragmatic perspective, this means they no longer have to shoehorn six right-handers into five spots. Assuming the rotation holds up like it looks like — Carpenter, Wells, Wainwright, Reyes, Looper — then you now have five righties for at most five spots. Izzy, Springer, Hancock, Thompson and Franklin are all there. And there’s no way you’ll have more than five right-handers, since there will be at least two lefties on the roster.
That doesn’t even count a guy like Falkenborg, who has performed well since coming into the organization. Kelvin Jimenez looks like a very long shot to me even at this point.
Now if in a couple of weeks they’re down ANOTHER guy, then maybe it’s time to start being concerned — though that could just open things up to take three lefties. And the Cards no longer have such an excess of relievers that it would be easy to deal a couple for a starter.
Just some thoughts on the situation.
(currently playing on the iPod: Pearl Jam, live in NYC July 8 2003)