Lucky Seven, Beertown edition

1. The Cardinals have seven outfielders under club control next year: Edmonds, Duncan, Encarnacion, Taguchi, Schumaker, Ankiel, Ludwick. What do you do with that glut?

2. What upgrades can and should this team make between now and Aug. 31? Or should they stand pat?

3. Over the season’s final six weeks, how should playing time be apportioned at second base?

4. In what order will the Brewers, Cards and Cubs finish? How many wins will it take to win the division?

5. There’s college football two weeks from tonight. Who will play in the national title game?

6. What’s the best/coolest/most fun college town in America?

7. Best ice cream around?

-M, blogging fiend today.

20 Comments

1)Start Dunc in left, Edmonds in center and then decide your right fielder between Ankiel and Ludwick based on spring training performance. Put the guy who doesn´t win the spot, along with Taguchi and Shumaker on the bench. See what you can get for Encarnacion. Once Edmonds retires, though, I´d like to see Ankiel make the move to center and play either Ludwick or Shumaker in right.

2) Pitching, pitching and PITCHING. If we´re honestly going to be a contender, we need better pitchers than we have. Most of them are not playoff caliber. I know this won´t be easy due to most of the teams still in and not wanting to give that up. But we have to try and get something.

3) Miles should get the majority of playing time. The guy hits consistently and can´t ever seem to buy playing time. With Kennedy out, let Miles play. Use Ryan to spell the infielders now and again.

4)Since I believe the hottest team late always wins, right now I gotta say the Cardinals, then the Cubs, then the Brewers. But check back in a week.

Tiffany

http://redbirdfever.mlblogs.com/

1. Starting Outfield: Duncan LF, Edmonds CF, Ankiel RF.

Bench OF: Ludwick, Taguchi, and Schumaker

Trade Juan if possible. Let Spiezio go his own way (as much as I like him). Hopefully, start looking at what Rasmus can do so someone can take over for Jimmy after next year.

2. I say stand pat. The only thing we could pick up that we ‘might’ need is pitching…but the way our starters have been going, don’t fix what ain’t broke.

3. You know what…I wanted to say give Ryan 2 of 3, but in a pennant race, I want Miles starting the majority of the time. Give him at least 2 of 3 starts if not more (assuming he produces). He’s been clutch for us in the past. Put Ryan on a rotation around the infield, spelling Rolen, Eck, and Miles.

4. My heart disagrees with this, but I’m going with 1. Cubs, 2. Cardinals, and 3. Brewers. The Cards gotta’ play some tough teams (Braves, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Phillies, and the Brewers again). I go with 86 wins to take the division.

5. No idea – Between the Cardinals, grad school, parenthood, etc. – no time for College football.

6. No idea – certainly not my old school’s community.

7. Ice cream nothin’ – nothin’ beats a little Cruisin’ USA frozen custard in Nixa, MO.

Any pitcher we could get worth messin’ with our starting rotation’s groove right now would have to cost way too much…right?

1. The Cardinals have seven outfielders under club control next year: Edmonds, Duncan, Encarnacion, Taguchi, Schumaker, Ankiel, Ludwick. What do you do with that glut?
Try to make a deal for an impact hitter. I think all of them are expendable. My rankings of who to keep go as follows: Duncan, Ankiel, Encarnacion, Ludwick, Edmonds, Schumaker, Taguchi

2. What upgrades can and should this team make between now and Aug. 31? Or should they stand pat? At this very moment the entire team looks really good. But that’s just right now. No team can ever have enough pitching. So a pitcher couldn’t hurt.

3. Over the season’s final six weeks, how should playing time be apportioned at second base? Aaron Miles and Brendan Ryan platoon.

4. In what order will the Brewers, Cards and Cubs finish? How many wins will it take to win the division?

1. Cards – 82-80

2. Brewers – 79-83

3. Cubs – 78-84

5. There’s college football two weeks from tonight. Who will play in the national title game?

USC and Michigan

6. What’s the best/coolest/most fun college town in America?

I’m partial to Carbondale, Illinois. Go Salukis!

7. Best ice cream around?

All kinds.

1. None of these guys are players you build a team around. Don’t renew Edmonds. Put the rest up for trades this winter, take the best offer for a couple of them. Shumaker lacks the power needed, Ludwick is/will always be a .250 hitter, Gooch is close to 40 yrs old, Ankiel will not generate much interest, Duncan might bring some value if he breaks out of this August slump.

2. A solid power hitting third baseman. Rolen’s physical problems are far from over. With Carp and Mulder in the wings, the pitching can wait, unless the deal of the century comes along.

3. Give Ryan a lot of playing time and see if he can (1) handle the position (2) continue to hit major league pitching. We already know what Miles can do.

4. Too early to tell if this Cardinal pitching holds up. If it does, they have a great chance. Both Cubs and Brewers pitching is struggling.

5. Football? No time for minor sports.

6. I only attended 11, so can’t say. Had my best time at Univ of Texas, Austin. Attending seminars under the giant oak trees in the beirgartens across the street from the campus is still a fond memory.

7. Ice cream made me what I am today, 90 pound overweight! For the best, try Marble Slab Creamery or just about any place in Italy.

1) I say we deal Encarnacion to another team, even though I like him, I think Duncan and Ankiel beat him out for the job. Send Taguchi to Triple A or trade him, or do something, he’s been good, but I think we have to many outfielder. If Jim decides to retire sign a new centerfielder or give schumaker a shot and call j-rod up.

2) I say we go get one more bat and a starter or two.

3) Me personally, I think we start Ryan most of the time, if we’re going to make a push, he’s the guy to start at second, he can hit and oh yeah, he can play defense, something that isn’t really Miles strong spot.

4) I can’t honestly tell you the answer to this, there’s still 44 games left on the year.

7) Vanilla

1. The goal should be to have exactly 5 of these guys on the 40-man at the start of 2008, and trade the other two for the best available talent, notably pitching. It doesn’t really matter much which 5, except that Edmonds should be kept if he wants to stay — loyalty is built by letting a great old warrior go out on his own terms.
2. Dance with them what brung ya. The team should make no moves aimed at improving the major-league roster, although one of the outfielders could be traded to a desperate contender for good minor-league prospects if the right deal came along.

3. Assuming Kennedy is out for the duration, make sure that Ryan starts 2/3 of the games unless the load just gets to be too much for him. He looks good enough defensively that I’d be tempted to have him start mainly at short and move Eckstein across the bag, if all concerned are willing.

4. Cubs, Cards, Brewers. :-( I hope I’m wrong…

5. No idea, just PLEASE don’t let it be any of Notre Dame, Miami, Ohio State, Southern Cal…

6. Boulder, Colorado (home of U of CO), but I’m strongly biased toward campuses in the mountains, and I also don’t have any daughters for unruly jocks to … um … chat up. Cal-Santa Barbara is a fantastic campus and town, if you don’t need mountains on the horizon as I do. If you add top academics to the equation (as I think you should), Cornell, in Ithaca, NY.

7. Mint chocolate chip made by any of the good dairies.

1. Duncan/Ludwick in left, Edmonds/Taguchi in center, Schumaker/Ankiel in right. Get rid of Encarnacion – what a crybaby, and a horrible player in the clutch.

2. Pitching. Enough said.

3. Miles/Ryan. Alternate the two.

4. Cards, Cubs, Brewers for now. If not, Cubs, Cards, Brewers.

5. USC-LSU.

6. Ann Arbor. GO BLUE!

7. Vanilla with choc. syrup and sprinkles. :)

1. With Encarnacion gone, you put Ankiel in right, Maybe Edmonds or possibly Schumaker in center, and Dunc in left.
2. Get Mulder back on board.

3. Miles, but Ryan should try to get some time in.

4. Since I’m a Cards fan, I feel like I have to put them first. Then the Cubs, and Brewers third.

5. I’m don’t want to disapoint all the Arkansas fans that read this blog, so I’m going with D-Mac and the HOGS!

7. I hope nobody gets the wrong idea and thinks I’m an A-Rodist when I answer Cookies and Cream.

K.B.

1. The Cardinals have seven outfielders under club control next year: Edmonds, Duncan, Encarnacion, Taguchi, Schumaker, Ankiel, Ludwick. What do you do with that glut?

Keep all but Encarnacion. Platoon

Edmonds (if possible without bruising his ego) and Taguchi. I know Edmonds is past his prime but I think having his experience on the bench is vital to building a winner. Deal Encarnacion.

2. What upgrades can and should this team make between now and Aug. 31? Or should they stand pat?

Stay with what they’ve got unless a really good deal presents itself. They seem to be pretty good at getting productive play out of players that others have given up on so if someone like that is available go after them BUT DON’T GIVE UP ANY YOUNG TALENT TO GET THEM.

3. Over the season’s final six weeks, how should playing time be apportioned at second base?

Seems like the only real alternative is Miles/Ryan platooning. This seems like a win-win to me. I like what I’ve seen of Ryan and Miles has been productive at the plate this year. so the rookie gets experience and the veteran can keep contributing.

4. In what order will the Brewers, Cards and Cubs finish? How many wins will it take to win the division?

My heart says Cards, Brewers, & Cubs in that order. My head says Cubs, Cards, & Brewers. I think my heart will win if the pitching continues to be consistent because it seems to me we are getting more offense and better defense.

5. There’s college football two weeks from tonight. Who will play in the national title game?

Don’t have a clue.

6. What’s the best/coolest/most fun college town in America?

See answer to 5.

7. Best ice cream around?

Premium Select Caramel Caribou.

1) Starters – Duncan, Edmunds, Ankiel. That said, spot starts will be essential to keep Edmunds from wearing down. Keep Ludwick, and Scumaker. Taguchi is more of a question mark. If there’s room on the roster, start the season with him, but I’d put him on the bubble (provided Schu and Ludwick perform well). Encarnacion may have “productive” years left, but they need to be spent elsewhere, Matt’s compelling argument aside, I’ve seen enough.

2) I’m inclined to say we’re best off playing from a pat hand at this point. It’s hard to argue with the way the pitching staff has solidified (finally). In fact, I’m not sure that Mulder should be used beyond a little middle relief work to get some innings in. Team chemistry is a fragile thing. Right now, they’ve got it workin’. Why mess with that?

One caveat…if the wheels fall off the wagon in the next two weeks (not bloody likely, if current performance is any indication), then maybe Jocketty makes a move and begins to do some early holiday shopping.

3) 3/4 Ryan and 1/4 Miles. Ryan needs a legitimate trial by fire, and Miles is accustomed to stepping off the bench into either shortstop or second base. Ironically, as much as I empathize with Kennedy, his injury may turn out to be the break that Ryan needed to crack the line-up. If he can stay with it, he’ll be a starter next year — whether Eck is re-signed or not, there could be a spot for him in the infield.

4) As little as two weeks back, I would have said; Cubs, Brewers, then Cards. But, looking at the numbers, the Brewers are 15-26 since June 30. The Cards 23-18, and the Cubs 22-19. Nothing to write home about, in any case, but it’s tough to pick the Brewers. They looked beaten down – understandable, since they were :-)

The Brewers line-up is made up with predominantly young players – which was great until they watched their ace starter go down, and their Division lead erode to 2.5 games to the much more experienced defending champs who have until now, seemed alternately apathetic (some of the players) and apoplectic (Mr. LaRussa).

Long reply, short…try this one on: Cards 82-80, Cubs 81-81, Brewers 80-82

Why? The Cards won’t be denied, i.e., the fire doesn’t go out. The Cubs just don’t live up to the hype, and injuries to Ramirez and Soriano just won’t go away. The Brewers are a talented team of the FUTURE – it’s not their time yet.

5) USC and whoever draws the shortest straw. With 10 returning defensive starters, many who have played together for two years, returning QB, and more RB’s than the Cards have OF’s, they’re just this side of scary.

6) Back in the day, it was Chico State. These days, my money would be on San Diego State.

7) Straus Family Creamery organic ice cream — move over Häagen-Dazs

1. Platoon Jimmy and Ankiel in Center with Ankiel in right when Jimmy plays, assuming So does not return (I’d like him to, though… I’m a So fan through and through), trade Juan for anything (nothing against him, he just doesn’t fit in StL), Duncan in left. Not a fan of Schumaker or Ludwick, so let’em go elsewhere.

2. Stay where they are.

3. Miles/Ryan split 50/50. I like Ryan, love Miles.

4. In all honesty, 1. Brewers, 2. Cards, 3. Cubs. Completely Useless By September. Whee.

5. Hate college sports.

6. No idea.

7. I’m an ice cream expert. My three favorites: 1. Ted Drewes (three blocks from my apartment on Chippewa, 6400-ish block), 2. Serendipity (Big Bend and Murdoch at 44 West), 3. Mr. Wizard’s (Big Bend between Manchester and Clayton). Lemme know what you think, Dude.

Furthermore on #7… Ted Drewes: Orange concrete. Serendipity: Cookie Monster (cotton candy ice cream with cookie dough and oreo bits). Mr. Wizard’s: Vanilla yogurt with cheesecake and caramel… you know, just in case you can’t decide.

1.Duncan,lf;Edmonds,Ankiel cf;Ankiel,Juan rf; I am not the biggest fan of Juan but I think he needs more credit than he gets. Keep So on the bench, trade the rest.
2.Pitching if possible, if not stand pat.

3.Aaron Miles, Why doesnt he get more playing time?

4.Cardinals,Cubs,Brewers. 80 wins.

5.Texas,Michigan

6.University of Kansas

7.Hudsonville creamery chocolate.

1. Leave Edmonds in center if he sticks around. Keep Ankiel up and make him a starter in right unless edmonds is gone in which case move him over and put skip in right. Start Duncan in left. Do what you can to deal encarnacion for a starting pitcher or solid prospect for next season. leave taguchi in memphis and keep ludwick and schumaker as utility. Watch performance of John Rodriguez and Colby Rasmus.
2. Keep the good thing going this year for as long as it can, Piniero appears to have been a good addition and the rest of the starters have picked it up as well. Nice to finally see some run support from the offense as well, hope it continues especially for Reyes, but for now they keep it the same unless problems arise.

3. With Kennedy out it will be good to see Brendan Ryan step in for about half the starts, Miles deserves at least half and ryan can move all around the infield anyway, they ought to start preparing to potentially take over the starting shortstop role for next year as much as I like David Eckstein.

4. Right now it looks like the Brewers have faded to the point that they could almost take themselves out of this race. If that keeps up then it’ll be Cards, Cubs, Brewers. The Cubs haven’t looked bad but we all know that they won’t have a chance to win the division if anyone is close to them at the beginning of September.

5. Still too far off to see for sure, USC has a lot of guys back, LSU as well, Michigan is always tough as well as the big two out of the big 12. As a buckeye though I’m interested to see what kind of offense steps in for OSU with a large part of a solid defense coming back.

6. Love OSU, was also a huge fan of Univeristy of Wisconsin and that campus, Auburn is a great school with that down south feel.

7. It’s all about some Baskin Robbins and the 31 flavors, nothing like an original. Although any vanilla ice cream floating in a glass of Coke suits me just fine.

-Tim

I love Miles, but I think that, for whatever reason, he seems much more effective with spot starts than he does as an everyday, regular second baseman.

Matt – Do you really think Eckstein is going to be able to command too much money next year? If not, I would like to see him come back – too effective a lead-off hitter. In which case, I think Ryan could be a more effective everyday second baseman next year.

However, if Eck is too expensive in the offseason, I say we go for a fresh power bat on the infield and still put Ryan at second and possibly groom him for the lead-off spot.

1. Trade Encarnacion. Everyday: Dunc, Edmonds, Ankiel. Keep others for bench.
2.Stand pat. There is no pitching out there any better than what they already have.

3.Miles gets most starts, with Ryan spelling him, Eck, and Rolen as needed, with at least 2 starts a week somewhere.

4.Cards, Brewers, Cubs. 83 wins gets it.

6. Chapel Hill. Except when it’s 104 degrees.

7 Baskin Robins German Chocolate.

1. Edmonds, Ankiel, and Duncan. When Jimmy rests, play Ankiel. So is a winner, but Ankiel, at his age, is our future CF, I think. Keep Ludwick over the winter. Shue? Not much power. Juan should bring in something unless he is the possible late trade man. I think Jimmy will play only one more year.
Want to see him finish as a Cardinal.

2. Too late. NO one will discard a top-notch winner this late. Think Jock and Tony have already scouted the possibilities.

3. Rolen and Eck on the left side. Spell some. Miles and Ryan can platoon. Ryan will be a star before long.

4. Wow! We need some help, but need to fight for a split against Cubbies top two starters. Loop lost a heart-breaker. Reyes? Got to have better control for a complete game. Keeps showing promise.

Finish? Cards, Cubs, and Brewers. May be a playoff!

5. Southern Cal and Texas.

6. Kyle Field (A & M) and Jones Stadium (Texas Tech)

7. Oklahoma based Braum Chocolate-Pecan Yogurt.

1. M loved your stats on Encarnacion recently…hard to argue with the risp…. except… that is not my definition of clutch…. game is not always on the line with evry risp… when game is out of reach either way Juan comes through….. when we really need a hit or an
rbi…. Juan seems unable to get it done….. hope this is on topic…. cause this is my logic for trading Encarnacion, I would even bundle him with one of my favorite players…. yes I would let go of Eck and one other infielder/pitcher for one good starting pitcher if we could entice someone with that package. Edmonds is the one we have to keep his last year… he has to mentor Rasmus the middle of next season… I would also like to keep Duncan… the others are nearly interchangeable to me but prefer to keep in decending order… Ankiel, Shumacker, Ludwig, Taguchi, even Jrod.

2. Hardest kind of question to answer… even if I had all the information at my disposal that Walt does,,,, I would still probably get it wrong. Obviously we need more starting pitching… sometime … this year or next. Someday… maybe.. Carpenter, Wainwright, Mulder, and Reyes will all reach their postential. If so, they could be the best starting four since … a long time … forever?…. Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine… best three…. maybe for now….ok back on task.

3. If we have to trade Eck with Juan to get a quality arm then B Ryan moves to SS … Walt and Tony have proved 2nd is easiest to fill… they can find someone if not Aaron.

4. I live in cubs country now. Tough for a 3rd generation Cardinal fan. Grandpa cheered the first champs in ’26 with dad being nine at the time, ’31 and ’34 dad still at home on the dairy farm… ’42 & ’44 he was busy in the south pacific but still a fan… he started ’46 by marrying mom on Jan 1st….. ’64 was my first when I was 11, ’67 I was a freshman in HS… ’82 two years into my career and two sons… I can prove I predicted the WS victory on Jan 1st 2006…. the 2 doz roses I ordered for Mom & Dad’s 60th anniv was in the shape of a WS trophy with their wedding picture at the center… inspite of only 83 wins… they fulfilled the prophecy. Having said all that…. Cards may still squeak it out…. without Carpenter…. and with all the other injuries…. but my head can’t ignore the cubs… I will say this…. if the Cards don’t make the playoffs… I will pull for the Cubs to take it all….. kinda like pulling for your kid brother…. I have always felt they were like a little brother trying to live up to big brother StL… I still want our first back to back… but if not…. let the cubs win.

5. Oklahoma and Florida State… what do I know from football?

6. What could an old guy possibly know about this? My youngest son graduated from Midland Lutheran College in Fremont,NE perfectly beautiful quiet little town of about 20,000. Good place for him to study and found a gorgeous wife. Maybe a career and beautiful family is the coolest? They now have a son, my first grandchild, wearing the Cardinals rookie of the year onesie.

7. Just about any premium brand of Pralines and Cream…love the candied pecans and caramel.

M. sorry for the length… don’t mean to hijack…. these lucky sevens are the best… I enjoy reading all the input… even the long ones.

1. Encarnacion and Shumaker out, hopefully Edmonds stays in center, Duncan and Luddy start, Ankiel on the bench, will So still be playing?
2. Two weeks ago I would have had a different answer, but the chemistry is kicking in so leave the team alone.

3. Eck and Miles play majority of middle infield, Ryan spells them and Rolen.

4. Cubs/Cards or Cards/Cubs, about 83 wins.

5. I hope to see the Gators again, they have a young QB who will be exciting to watch.

6. Gainesville (home of the University of Florida) was good to me, gotta go with that.

7. From the store – Edy’s, otherwise, Fritz’s frozen custard.

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