The Pen

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)

-M.

2 Comments

Well, Matthew, looks like you called that one right — unfortunately. :-( Best wishes to Josh Kinney for a speedy (to the extent that’s possible with TJ surgery) and complete recovery.

Your options list worries me. Izzy and Springer haven’t been all that healthy themselves, and there are a lot of aging guys there. Springer’s what, 38, and Franklin’s 34? Seems to me like you can’t count on those guys to stay healthy for long. And there’s not much down on the farm (Dove? Cavazos?).

I wouldn’t be too surprised to see a trade from the surfeit of average outfielders (does John Rodriguez have his bags packed?) to pick up a replacement. Here’s one of those situations where it’s good to have someone as good as Trader Jock making the calls; he’s less prone to panicking and doing something dumb than many. Still, keep us posted, OK?

I’m not saying this would be a good idea Matt…just wondering if it would work for us or the A’s to trade for a starting pitcher and delegating Looper to set up man. Kotsay can’t play center and Johnson isn’t ideal at first; plus they don’t like to hurry their minor leaguers. I wouldn’t want to see Duncan go, but hey…he is a firstbaseman and Schumaker is probably ready to start as a centerfielder. Your thoughts?

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