Not done yet, but…

Cards are expecting to put Mulder on the DL tomorrow before the game starts. Jaime Garcia is the likely player to be called up, and they believe it’s do-able in time for the early start tomorrow.

Really a shame for Mulder, who has been through so much. What everyone said — and I echo it — is that most of all it’s unfortunate for the guy himself. I wish him luck in trying to get right.

-M.

78 Comments

Wow…Jamie Garcia…I’m excited to see what he can do, but I’m a little concerned…no, no…strike that…I’m a LOT concerned about his recent numbers in Memphis. He’s allowed 34 earned runs in his last 10 starts…His last start, he allowed 6 ERs in 4.1 innings pitched…He’s allowed 4 runs in one game, 5 runs in another, and 6 runs in two games each…and he’s only made it past 5 innings 4 times…all in the last 10 AAA starts.

What am I missing here, Matt? Garcia sounds like an outstanding future pitcher, but he also sounds like he desperately needs the polish time in AAA.

FYI – Been havin’ tons of fun while you were away…we don’t hijack threads anymore…we hijacked the ENTIRE BLOG!!!

Why Garcia?? Why not Boggs?? Outside of one really bad start he showed he definitely has the talent to compete at this level. I would love to see him back up here and then when and IF (the way things have been going lately) Wainright and Carpenter come back we can send Boggs back down.
By the way..Good Luck Mulder…You have worked your butt off it’s too bad that darn shoulder just won’t cooperate!

If we keep leaving 18 guys on base in a game it isnt going to matter much who pitches. They aren’t getting the run support needed to win games. I trust TLR as much as any manager out there, but I dont get pinch hitting Mather last night with the bases loaded when he is batting .231(before last night) and you got Molina who was batting .304… Maybe Molina’s pinch hitting numbers aren’t good… At any rate we still need to get more run support for our pitchers.

Unfortunate for Mulder’s case… he will probably have to retire. But Garcia? He’s 4-4 with an ERA over 4. Looks like the already tired ‘pen is going to be working a lot in that game.

I’ll echo the question of using Mather as the pinch hitter in that situation. With the RHP and TLR’s obsessive use of the righty-lefty matchup, why not use Chris Duncan who has been rather solid as of late, especially in pinch hitting situations?

Good luck to Mulder. We were all pulling for you man.

And I have to agree with those above this comment: Why not Boggs? He has been proven and has shown he is a solid pitcher, especially with work from Dunc.

Too bad for Mulder. I wish him well. I sometimes wonder about teams acquiring pitchers with a long history of pitching over 200 innings in a season. Are they about worn out? Are their best years behind them? Why not take young arms and keep them 4-5 years, unload and start over again? Look at all the once durable pitchers on the DL. Heck, even Jeff Suppan is on the DL. Sorry to get sidetracked on this blog, but it’s kind of on the same line of thought.
How many rookies have the Cards now used this year including Garcia?

10 is all I can think of at this minute… Joe Mather, Nick Stavinoha, Rico Washington, Mitchell Boggs, Mike Parisi, Kyle McClellan, Brian Barton, Mark Worrell, Chris Perez and Jaime Garcia. On the Boggs note… I think that they probably sent him down to regain his confidence… they didnt want him to have two bad outings in a row and make him scared to pitch in the majors… Maybe… who knows…

I think Tony felt Boggs was living on the edge and getting away with some things that would be exposed soon if he didn’t fix them…after his bad start, TLR probably figured the exposure was beginning and they don’t have the games to give away to wait to see if a rookie can figure it out.

Our biggest need is a lefty reliever and a big bat, right? So here is a trade idea that I think would be great for all involved: Chris Duncan, Joe Mather, and Anthony Reyes (and possibly another pitcher to be named later) for Matt Holliday and Brian Fuentes. This would give the Rockies a couple of solid, young options to replace Holliday and the option to even use Duncan at first with the aging Todd Helton, while providing a decent bat that could provide some pop for the Rockies in the years to come, as well as a young pitcher that might do very well in a change of scenery and has good upswing (his fastball he tries to blow past batters might be even better in Colorado), while it gives the Cards that protection bat for Pujols and the lefty reliever we need. And even if Holliday is just a rental, we would still have Schumaker, Ankiel, Ludwick, Barton, and Rasmus waiting in AAA. I present it here, because I would love to hear some thoughts on this, even if that thought is that my reasoning is flawed or completely ridiculous.

Any thoughts?

Dude…if Duncan and Reyes have little value to us and we still don’t know what we have in Mather at this level, what makes you think the Rockies see ANY value in Duncan, Reyes, and/or Mather??? 0 + 0 + 0 still = 0 no matter how many 0′s you throw in there.

You have to think in terms of value for value…the Rockies don’t HAVE to deal with us…they have 30 teams they can deal with in some form or fashion…and they don’t HAVE to get rid of Holliday or Fuentes…they aren’t trying to unload anybody…ANY trade has to make them better as THEY see it or it won’t work.

Think more along these lines…ANY deal for Holliday with us is going to have to START with names like Garcia, Rasmus, Anaderson, Motte, Perez, etc. At this point, guys like Duncan and Reyes are add-ons at best.

Those have been the two players I have been looking at myself. Honestly I think it would take a much better package to do it though. I think if we wanted both of them they would ask for Ankiel, Ludwick or Rasmus. If we could just give Dunc, Mather, and Reyes up I would jump for joy but unfortunately I think they would ask for more then that…. At least if I was a GM I know I would….only time will tell!

If I was the Rockies owner, and my GM made that deal, I would be checking his email for a recently emailed resume to the St. Louis Cardinals organization. :)

FYI – nosteroids…I’m not jumpin’ on ya’…I totally understand your reasoning…but it just isn’t enough. The Rockies may use those guys to make their team better, but they are not trying to just unload them.

Fair enough and this is why I wanted to see more opinions here, because it seemed like too obvious of a solution to have not already happened. Put yourself in the Rockies’ GM’s shoes though and I am curious, what would it take that the Cardinals would be willing to deal to make a deal like that work and would it be worth it for the Cardinals to make a deal like that?

Cards have got to do something now. If they don’t, we can kiss our playoff hopes goodbye.

Where is Miles at? Is he hurt? He is batting .314 why isnt he playing…

agreed. Cards need a bat and a LH reliever. Scoring two runs a game just won’t cut it.
But what kind of bat? A power bat or an on base machine?
Look at Cards BAs. How many guys are hitting over .300?
Pujols, Miles and ? Not sure.
Looks like a lot of .260 hitters or there abouts. No one good enough to protect Pujols.
Mahols from KC might be an interesting pickup for the pen.

This is for all of you people out there who said the Cards should wait for the pitchers to come off the DL before making any trades for pitchers now. I hope you all were watching the game last nite and saw what happened to Mulder. The same thing could happen to Carpenter, Clement and even Wainright. I pray that it doestn’t, but it is so difficult to come back after the kind of surgeries that they have had. That is why I say make the trades now if there are any to be had and also get a right handed hitter or two if possible, because a little league pitcher could beat the Cardinals, if he was left handed. If you diagree with me now, tell me why. I’d like to hear your logic. I hope young Garcia is successful and I think he will be.

In the Phils series Cards only scored a total of 4 runs. Hard to win any games with that type of run scoring. The pitching only gave up 8 runs in 27 inninngs. That is an ERA of under 3.0 That is good. The starters have been pretty good most of the time. The pen is the problem. I think Cards pen lead the NL in blown saves and losses.
They must have 8 or 9 blown saves. Cut that in half and the Cards would be in first place.
Need a good lefty in the pen and a bat. Just not sure if the bat should be a HR guy or a B.Avg guy. But I’m not sure the Cards have enough to trade for both without mortgaging the future.

I agree with you…but I will also point out that a large problem with our pen is the fact that our starters don’t go deep enough into games…our pen is overused and therefore weakened.

A good starter or two would really improve the pen.

Okay, I can see the Cardinals acquiring Fuentes, he’d help this bullpen out, but I don’t understand acquiring Holliday. To me, it makes no sense, if you get Holliday, one of the three guys is going to lose playing time: Schumaker, Ankiel, or Ludwick. With the way those guys are hitting, why in the heck would you want to reduce their playing time. I would like to get a bat, you’re darn straight I would, but I don’t want an outfield bat. I would like to get a bat in the middle infield, as to who, I don’t know yet, I’d like to get Uggla, but I don’t see that happening. Anyways, if any of you have an idea for a middle infield bat, please let me know, it doesn’t have to be a big name, just someone who can hit the ball and drive in runs. And someone brought up that most of our players are batting below .300 and said that’s bad, I believe that you are absolutely incorrect, batting average for the most part doesn’t matter, obp and slugging are far more important than average. And I hope Mulder can fix whatever it is that’s wrong with him, even if it means building up arm strength by switching to the bullpen, whenever he’s about to come off the dl again.

I definitely agree with you! They don’t stand a chance to make the playoffs if they don’t make some moves to give them more right handed hitting. The Phillies series proved that. They could be competitive with a few aquisitions, but I’m not sure if their GM is going to do anything and if he doesn’t it’s a damn shame!

With Mulder saying that he will retire rather than go under the knife again, if he does hang up the cleets would the Cards have to pay the remaining of his salary or could we use it to maybe go after another big bat to protect Albert? I did see that Mo stated he had no interest in Barry Bonds me myself For league minimum to finish the year I would snag him in a heart beat STL is a great baseball town and very understanding when they take players with a shady past. I think there is a conspiracy towards bonds and that it will only take one team to say heck with it and give him a one year deal and he will be back again.

We have to pay all of Mulder’s salary for this year, plus something like 1.5 million to buy out his contract next year. Bonds would be a terrible signing for several reasons:
1: we have a surplus of outfielders anyway, which would take at bats away from them
2: He would hurt team chemistry,
3: The media circus following him would cause too much distractions for the rest of the team.

i keep hearing on radio and tv that we can’t bet our future for this moment right here. last i looked Holliday is not a fourty year old man. if a deal can be made with a contract as well matt holliday can be the future and your guy right now. as for the other players and lacking playing time, they would have no reason to get playing time because matt is batting .344 with 14 homers. put him in a lineup with albert, ludwick/ankiel, glaus and watch everyones numbers go up. i would happily give rasmus, reyes, ludwick/ankiel and even one more if need be. holliday in our lineup would mean albert gets pitched to alot more often. needs to be done whatever the cost.

Manor…you can’t put Holliday in a lineup with ludwick and ankeil if you trade them away…plus they are 2 solid players who both have more home runs this year than Holliday. Holliday is a Scott Boras client, meaning he will want in the neighborhood of 20 million a year, which the Cardinals do not have the money to do and still have quality players around. I would rather get a good lefty reliever and keep our future, than trade them all away for one guy in a person we don’t need filled

notice the ( / ) between the names. either or. what those two guys don’t have is more rbi, ave., on base %, proven skills. what would we all think if next year ankiel blows out his knee ( which has already happend) then we have no commodity. what if ludwick exposes his weak spot and can’t adjust, what if rasmus doesn’t pan out. then what? make the trade when you know what you have. money? the cards spent 20 million for one season of mulder and 2 1/2 of carpenter. where is spivey? clement? the cards are a dumping ground. holliday would be the best money they’ve spent in years.

I know everyone is bashing Bonds but….
1. He is a proven bat. Who would u rather have up to bat to pinch hit… Mather or Bonds hmmmm.
2. He is a guy that the player deep down respect (ask Albert what he thinks of him).
3.He would be Dirt cheap to sign. We have blown alot more money on other guys that arent in our Organization i.e. Speizio.
4. He is a guy that can handle the media bad mostly but the STL media is easy on the players.
As far as the roids thing goes he isnt taking them now! All you people that bash him needs to look at Left field into Big Mac land! We as Cardinals need to quit being so judgmental with 2 starters on our roster that was linked to the HGH.

Okay, this is annoying the heck out of me, I keep trying to tell people, but they’re to arrogant or ignorant to listen. So, I’ll put it in all caps, that way you can actually open your eyes and read it. WE DO NOT NEED AN OUTFIELD BAT, WE ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH TALENT IN THE OUTFIELD AS IS, WE NEED AN INFIELD BAT. People say that Rasmus might not pan out, okay, that’s great, he MIGHT NOT, but then again there’s always that possibility that he MIGHT pan out. So you trade Rasmus, he goes elsewhere and proves that he can hit, becomes one of the better hitters in the league, then you look stupid for trading him on a might. Just imagine if we get an infield bat, at the moment, I don’t know who, but say it’s someone like Uggla, like I’ve suggested before, even though it probably won’t be, just imagine this batting order: LF-Schumaker, CF-Rasmus, 1B-Pujols, 2B-Uggla, CF-Ankiel, 3B-Glaus, C-Molina, Pitcher, SS-Brendan Ryan.

No one here is too arrogant or ignorant to notice that an infield bat is ideal, but where exactly are we going to find an infielder available with a big bat? I know the Marlins always seem to be looking to sell their stars, but they sell them right before they are able to demand a lot of money and for a lot of prospects. Uggla is a few years away from being arbitration eligible, so I can guarantee you, he isn’t being traded until close to then. And even if we traded for him in a few year, we would have to sell the farm for him. So, who else does that leave? Brian Roberts is the only middle infield big bat that has any possibility of becoming available close to the trade deadline. And even if we do, what do we do with Kennedy? We owe him 3.5 million a year for the rest of this year and next. Are we going to trade him? No one will want that salary for the performance he has shown, so we would be eating most of his salary anyway on top of the large salary a large middle infield bat would claim.
Everyone is suggesting an outfield bat because that is what is most likely to become available and even though our outfield has been really solid, a big outfield bat will only continue to improve it and give more protection for Pujols. And dealing for an outfielder, we can deal a couple of solid young outfielders, where we are certainly the deepest, and still have plenty of depth at that position while still bolstering our team.

Garcia pitched a couple of respectable innings last night. Not overpowering, but didn’t get rattled as I feared he might. Of course, most of the youngsters who have come up in relief roles looked pretty good the first time out. Time to keep the old fingers crossed in expectation that the opposition doesn’t discover any basic weaknesses in him. I was surprised at his velocity. Had not seen him pitch before and had just assumed he was just another hard thrower.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me Uggla is going to be eligible for big money THIS year…which is why it was significant that the Marlins said Ramirez was the only long-term, big contract they would discuss this season…everyone is expecting them to get stuck with a big paycheck to Uggla this year and so they expect them to trade him at some point. During the season or after the season seems to be the question…if he gets dealt, that is…very confusing in Florida this time of year.

We don’t need an outfield bat, nor do I want one, if we go an get an outfield bat, someone is losing their job and getting less playing time, I want an outfield of Schumaker, Rasmus, and Ankiel next year, not anyone else. And we don’t have to go after a big name middle infield bat, all we have to do is go after one that can drive in runs, they don’t have to be one that smack 30 HR’s a year, they just have to know how to drive in runs. And we wouldn’t have to give up our entire farm system to get Uggla, we could get rid of players that will probably never see everyday playing time in the majors: Stavinoha, Mather, Hoffpauir (he’s good, but there’s plenty better out there), etc. Heck, we can even trade Duncan. And we can cut Kennedy, or make him a back up player, same with Izturis, and then give Brendan Ryan everyday playing time at second or shot, whichever spot isn’t taken up by getting the infield bat.

um…okay, dude…think about what you’re saying, now…

Uggla for guys who “will probably never see everyday playing time in the majors.” Seriously? It doesn’t work that way, man…we are NOT the only team the Marlins have to deal with…they WILL find a better deal or not make one at all.

You have to go value for value. You have to think of a deal that is mutually beneficial. If deals were as easy as trading guys who will probably never be everyday starters, everyone would be a GM.

If players have little or no value to us, how do you convince another team that they have significant value to them?

And…cutting Kennedy is not an option with his contract status…makes no sense.

There isn’t a thing in the world, to me, that would justify signing Barry Bonds in St.Louis. As has been said, several times, A.) We don’t need an outfielder who would take time away from our current group of OFs, and 2.) Barry Bonds is still a virus to baseball. He’s never been a likeable guy. You can totally take steroids out of the equation, and I still would want nothing to do with Barry Bonds. He’s a selfish person, he’s a media circus, he’s old, he has bad knees, he hasn’t played in almost a year, and I don’t think he would be cheap at all. I think he’d laugh at a small contract and say, hey I’m Barry Bonds. You gotta pay me if you want me on your team. Even if he played for FREE I wouldn’t want him.
My personal hope is that he just fades away like McGwire did. Stay out of the spotlight, and go quietly into the good night. Barry, you had your moments in the sun, but it wasn’t enough for you. 3 or 4 league MVPs weren’t enough for him. Multiple batting titles weren’t enough for him. Being one of the best of all time wasn’t enough for him. Having perhaps the most priveleged baseball life ever wasn’t enough for him. He had to have the HR record, and was willing to do anything to get it. At least McGwire bowed out before he broke a record while likely playing with an unfair advantage. Cause he could have easily broken that record by going back to the AL and DHing. He chose not to out of respect for the game (and perhaps some guilt). He still has some dignity in my eyes, because of that.

Um….I agree with everything you said slforre…and I love McGwire…but don’t forget that if (assuming he did) he took steroids, he didn’t bow out before breaking Roger Maris’ single season record…actually, he seemed pretty happy to do that…even accepted a ’62 corvette convertible for it…

Dude I’m saying they won’t see everyday playing time in the Cardinals organization, not that they’ll never see everyday playing time anywhere, just not in the Cardinals organization, sorry I didn’t clear it up.

I think that Mather and Stavinoha are players that some day, if given everyday playing time could be 20 + HR hitters, but I don’t see it happening with the Cardinals, because they already have OFers who are great hitters in the majors: Schumaker and Ankiel. And Rasmus will get that other spot either sometime this year, or next year. And Hoffpauir could probably be a very good leadoff hitter to many ball clubs, but with Schumaker being the great hitter he’s been this year, Hoffpauir probably won’t get that chance for the Cardinals. I’m saying trade the guys who probably won’t get everyday playing time in Saint Louis.

But he DID bow out before passing even number 5 on the all-time list. Some credit is due for that in my estimation. And of course I remember the single season record and the ‘Vette. I also remember that all of that saved baseball from the work stoppage of ’94. I’m not convinced at all that Selig didn’t encourage and even push for that to save is own hide.

And to the point of the original post, I hope Mark Mulder can find a way to come back and contribute to this organization. I hope beyond hope that he can find a comfortable new arm slot, and become an effective relief pitcher in St.Louis. I hope that he can find that happiness and joy that he once found in the game of baseball. If he can find a role that makes him feel comfortable and happy, and playing ball again then all of his work would be worth it. Keep up the good fight Mark. MANY of us would do anything to be in your position…just a chance to play ball for a living. I can only imagine how hard it is for Mark, but I hope he finds his happiness in baseball again.

Crazy…Ah, I gotcha’…and, I think I can somewhat agree with that…but Stavinoha is not going to be very valuable going to a national league team because he is not a very good outfielder (from what I’ve heard…could be wrong)…Mather is unproven at this level, and so is Hoffpauir…Uggla is a proven superstar in a position that is difficult to find power hitters in…but, I’ll give you that it could be a possibility depending on how much value the Marlins place on those guys.

As far as McGwire, I think he retired when he did for 2 reasons…1. The Cards were ready to move on to feature Pujols and pressure was placed on him…not at first base, but in general and move on from McGwire at first AND 2. McGwire saw the writing on the wall…he knew what was coming with the steroids discussion and he got out before being in a situation where MLB could force him to take a test or make an example out of him, etc.

One final note on McGwire…go back and watch video of his last playoff appearance…season on the line, runners on base, chance for the Cardinals to come back (was it against the Braves?), McGwire looks all excited because he’s coming to the plate (even though he’s had a down year and hasn’t been hitting well)…And then La Russa called him back and pinch hit for him…you could see the look on his face was like “What the hell?” …I think it was that moment right then that made him realize it might be over…when the season is on the line and he got pinch hit for….

On Mulder…yeah, really hope he can figure it out and come back…with SOMEONE…he’s worked so hard…

Lets also remember that Mac had a ton of knee troubles in 2001, and that series against the DBacks I think showed him the writing on the wall that maybe he can’t do this anymore.

hehe…okay, maybe…I’ll give you it is just as likely (his knees)…

But when someone says to me “McGwire retired because of his knees,” it makes me laugh…sorry…it just does.

Meh, I don’t really care who we get in the middle infield, it could be a temporary one year replacement, as long as it’s someone, then we can check free agency to get a bat, or make a trade after this year, I just want someone who can drive in rbi’s, it doesn’t have to be a power bat who hits a lot of homers.

Ankiel left Saturday night’s game with a foot/ankle injury. Any details available??

Kevin, are you SURE McGwire’s decision had ANYTHING to do with Pujols? From what I remember noboday thought Pujols was gonna this good this fast. And it was an injury to Bobby Bonilla that gave him the roster spot. Wasn’t that a couple years after Mac retired?

Cards – yikes on blowing that lead… but it looks like thanks to MR. Glaus you’ll take away a win. At 11-10, lets see what the Buccos can do…
http://theburghblues.mlblogs.com/

And don’t forget that Tino Martinez signed here after Mac retired. They weren’t projecting AP to play first base, at least not in the short future.

Bissinger’s book tells the story of how McGwire “convinced” TLR to keep AP in 2001. They overlapped that year.

Back to the topic at hand: would Mulder with a bad shoulder have fared any worse than the bullpen did today? Blecchhh.

Can it be any more obvious that the Cardinals need bullpen help first and foremost? When the guys you have in the bullpen cannot hold a 6-run lead in the 8th inning, or a 1 run lead in the 10th, you better believe you are in trouble. Quality relievers are hard to come by, but I would gladly give up a good bat for a good relief pitcher. It is all about the pitching in baseball. I have to laugh when I read people comment that the Cardinals need another right handed big bat in the line-up. They need at least 3 dependable relief pitchers. Right now they have none. A hard fought lead can evaporate in an instant with sloppy relief pitching. A mediocre bullpen would have us in first place. With the one we have we are headed for last.

Completely off-topic: went to LA, loved Dodger’s Stadium, loved In-N-Out Burger (note: Fatburger was immensely better, imo), Pinkberry was also delicious, and the Dude’s book was a great read. Highly recommended, and helped me tolerate a two hour holdover in Denver without much grumbling. Definitely try Fatburger in LA, guys. Soooo delicious. Definitely a fun business trip.

I completely agree with timphd. Everyone who has been talking about obtaining an OF or even an IF, which might be a more defensible position, bat seems to agree that the current OF group is pretty productive. But, as was painfully demonstrated last night, the bullpen IS DEFINITELY NOT productive. I don’t know the exact numbers, but they have to be near the worst bullpen in baseball. If they can’t hold a 6 run lead against the Pirates they are in bad shape. And that wasn’t an isolated incident. They walk WAY too many hitters and those base runners frequently end up scoring the tying or winning runs against the Cards. I don’t see how they can be a contender with this pen. Forget Holliday and for heaven’s sake don’t even consider a decrepit, arrogant, self-centered, aging, expensive, non-team player like Bonds. Mozeliak should focus on getting several TOP notch relievers. Unfortunately, I don’t have any idea who is available and at what cost but hopefully Mozeliak does.

Amen to all of that about the bullpen. Kev you mentioned that the pen is weaker due to starters not going very deep in games. Where would I find stats on that? Cause I think, while that adds to it, the bottom line is that LaRussa doesn’t use the ‘pen right. He has never been good at managing a pitching staff, and that is definitely a huge part of it. Where was Russ Springer last night? Did he get used early? I missed some of that collassal collapse, because I was at work. I don’t know. Those guys are so up and down.

Springer was used to get out of the 7th inning and preserve a lead while we had it.

And then taken out after getting one out?

I see on the box score that Springer got two outs in the 7th. Why take him out at that point? Was he erratic? Did he just not have it or what? He threw 16 pitches to get those 2 outs, and then was removed after the inning for Franklin. Why? Just to get other guys some work before the break? I think that’s idiotic if that’s the case. They’re going to be off 3 days, not 3 weeks.

Thing with Springer is that he’s only got so many innings left in his arm, and you don’t want him to be all run out by the break. Franklin hadn’t had any work since the win in Philly, which was Tuesday so he needed some action.

slforre and heymatto…

I’m not saying it was just Albert that was a reason for McGwire retiring…and I know we signed Tino…

I remember McGwire retiring by fax and saying something to the effect of wanting to basically get out of the way so the Cardinals could move on…it was in light of the fact that Pujols had basically replaced him as the Cards’ feature bat and the Cards wanted to move on and go with somebody like Tino (a bust, but they didn’t know that at the time…).

I’m saying I think the Cards pressured him a bit when they found out what they had in Pujols and with Edmonds hitting like he was and McGwire clearly heading in the wrong direction, they were ready to move on at first base. Couple that with the idea that I think McGwire saw the steroids discussion coming, and I think McGwire retired due to pressure from multiple angles.

To those saying we don’t need a bat…I’m inclined to agree…BUT don’t forget that this Pirates team has the worst ERA in baseball…that tends to make one’s offense look better than it is…

I think we need a Lefty in the pen (not convinced Flores can do it) and a veteran righty to anchor it. THEN…I think we need to go after a middle infielder that can consistently produce runs…however he does it…

Regarding the Bonds debate, I’m not sure if anybody mentioned it or not, but he is also a big defensive liability in the OF. No range, no arm. At best he could DH in the AL.

Okay…in the interest of accuracy:

“After a considerable discussion with those close to me, I have decided not to sign the extension, as I am unable to perform at a level equal to the salary the organization would be paying me,” McGwire said in a statement. “I believe I owe it to the Cardinals and the fans of St. Louis to step aside, so a talented free agent can be brought in as the final piece of what I expect can be a World Championship-caliber team.”

hmmm…i still think there was pressure involved…and McGwire’s own desire to avoid a steroid scandal he knew was on the way. Again…I love the guy…

I see what you mean about McGwire now. And that’s a good point about the offense in Pittsburgh and the Bucs staff ERA, but I think the bullpen is still the most immediate need. I’m just not sure we NEED a bat right now. What I think we need is for Adam Kennedy to step up, and Aaron Miles has been excellent this year offensively. Once we get to where we don’t have to score 6 or 8 runs a game to win, I think this offense will suffice and maybe even thrive. With confidence in your pitching staff, the hitters can feel more relaxed and confident at the plate. Then if Kennedy doesn’t step up, you think about a move for another infield bat. I’m assuming Mo is keen on the whole post trade-deadline moves. Jocketty pulled off a few good ones.

What do you think was Walt’s best post deadline move? The two in my mind are Woody Williams for Ray Lankford and Larry Walker for Narveson and 2 others.

Kevin…you nailed it on the myriad of reasons that McGwire decided to retire. Also your point is well-taken on the Buc’s staff ERA. My point is simply that our offense can be “good enough” to take us to the playoffs if we have an adequate bullpen to support our starting pitching. Which is a better formula for success over a long season, 1). great offense, poor bullpen or 2). good offense, good bullpen?

I believe the good bullpen is absolutely essential. In this age where a starter rarely even makes it to the 8th inning and is credited with a “quality” start if he makes it through 6 with 3 or less earned runs, you will typically need at least 2 relievers to nail down a win even with a “quality” start. If either of those guys has a bad night in a close game, you just put another one into the “L” column. Or, as we have seen lately, when 2 or 3 relievers have a bad night on the same night a sure “W” turns into a painful “L”. When you keep running guys out there that are just as likely to fail as they are likely to succeed (in some cases more likely to fail than succeed) your odds of winning are not good.

I also agree with your assessment of the middle infield situation. Slforre…pointed out the weak link here (Adam Kennedy). Rally killer extraordinairre. If he hadn’t hit that home run in Boston, his season would basically be a bust. He’s got lots of singles with 2 out and nobody on. Put a man on in front of him and you’ve got yourself a double play if you are the opposing pitcher.

Would love to see a move to upgrade the bullpen followed by middle infield upgrade. Don’t really expect either though because the turnstiles are still clicking and the Pujols jerseys are still selling without them.

Guys Adam Kennedy is .280 with 1 HR… Ceasar is batting .050 points less (.236)… I am not saying I want to get rid of Izturis, but I would rather have an OK bat and a good bat than a non existent bat and a Good bat.

P.S. his OBP is .326 and Izturis is .310…

I actually don’t have that much of a problem with Izturis and Kennedy…it’s not like we expected Izzy to be an impact bat…we got him for defense…and Kennedy is figuring it out here and there…especially impressive considering he’s not used to spot starting…

My point regarding the middle infield is basically that IF we get an impact bat, it shouldn’t be in the outfield…only the middle infield really has room for SIGNIFICANT upgrade…

It looks like Pujols has been selected to start the All-Star game as the DH, batting fourth, from reports I heard on ESPN Radio.

Any news on Mulder’s MRI results? I’m guessing they probably aren’t good.

Kevinreyn, its nice to be able to say that this year… being that is the only place to have significant ofensive increase possibilities. Unlike previous years when we could say that about the guy behind the plate. Congrats Yadi… I’ve long thought of him as the best defensive catcher in the game, and now he is bringing around his offense. Anyway yeah I agree. Another high avg. bat would be great. If we dont get a high average bat, but go after pitching we will have a double increase in pitching in about a month, so I think we need to go after the bat to help our struggling bullpen now, and in a month the bullpen should be able to come back around with the arrival, hopefully of Carp and Wain…

So most of us agree that we don’t want another outfielder. That excludes Matt Holiday, among others, so take a look at the free agent market and see who looks like a fit in the middle infield…IF Adam Kennedy doesn’t have a much better second half.

Jack Wilson could be available, or Renteria. Anyone think they’d be an option (of course moving all platoons to second base)

Ok I dont see any infielder that the Cards would want out there honestly. I dont see any big bat there that will have the defensive tools also cause I dont see the Astros trading Tejada to us or the Mets trading Reyes so the outfield is the only spot to get a decent bat. I guess i must have ruffled some feathers with the Bonds thing so I wont include him even though he is a better bat and outfielder than Duncan. As an club we are saturated with outfielders so we need to trade a few how do we know that Ludwick isnt going to be a one year superstar honestly he hasnt shown anything before this year and heck he played for the Indians before and couldnt make the starting lineup I would consider shopping him around along with Skip, and Mather then throw in Reyes for good measure because he is just someone that dont wanna be here.
Oh and by the way the people that were talking about the Mac and AP with Tino position thing Albert would still be in the outfield to this day if his arm wasnt toast from being abused so badly!

Ludwick is very cheap (400k) so we can afford to see if he is a 1 year phenom or not. The OF isn’t where we need improvement, especially with Rasmus and Mather and Schumaker all continuing to improve. We need rotation, bullpen and middle infield help.

Personally, I don’t want to see the Cardinals make any trades. I like the team they’ve got in place right now. Why? They’re young and scrappy and set up for next year for sure! Yes, they’re in the second place to the Cubs, but geez guys aren’t you guys used to “LaRussa Ball” yet? That guy doesn’t keep the same lineup day in and day out because he’s checking out options unlike the Cubs and Brewers. You watch, the Brewers and Cubs will start to die off at the end of August and who will win the division? Our beloved 8 time National Champion Cardinals, that’s who!

Mark my words, Zambrano, the 18.5 million dollar pitcher, will start self destructing here after the All-Star week and WON’T get more than 5 wins. Dempster, not proven starter and will run out of gas after the All-Star week. Marmol and Wood are already running out of gas and have been figured out as well.

So, in closing why should the Cardinals give up their youth? They’ve given away Calero and Haren for Mulder, see the problem that I see by giving up their youth?

I see where your going Scott but the problem is we cant wait until next year we arn’t the Cubs we need to get a vetran that is proven, the outfield are all unproven players for long term ludwick, ankiel and shumaker are playing well now but I would love to see a deal for a proven player that isnt washed up so that we can build for next year.

More than anything the Cardinals need bullpen help. Izzy isn’t reliable anymore and the rest are overworked. St. Lou might need a miracle to keep from imploding.

I realize it’s only been three days since the All-star break, but see what I’m saying? The bats are starting to come around. Glaus is a second half of the season player and everybody should expect him to be strong for the rest of the year. Hopefully, Mulder will be able to come back. If Carpenter is as sharp as what they’re saying in the news posts that’ll just help out just that much more. I just don’t understand Wainwright’s injury, if it’s a sprain then why does it take two months to heal? Also, anyone heard anything about Clement, what’s going on with his rehab?
Dmarcus, I hear you on proven players, but realize the Cardinals will not give up on Ankiel, they’ve spent a lot of money developing him from pitcher to outfielder. Schumaker and Ankiel I do think they are the real deal and will be reliable players, but Ludwick I question. He had a lot of clutch homers last year, don’t get me wrong, but a .260 BA and a lot of K’s. This year he’s batting .294 with 22 HR’s and has already surpassed last year’s K total. I don’t know how to take that. If LaRussa can keep him from swinging for the fences every at bad and teach him some patience like Pujols has this year, he’ll be awesome!!!
Trust me guys I’m tired of hearing about the Cubs!!! I live in central Illinois where it’s like a 50/50 split of Cub/Cardinal fans and it’s time for them to go down!!!! After this year we shouldn’t have to worry about them for a while because they only have like 5 players signed for next year worth like $80 million. Did the Yankees or the Red Sox take over the Cubs? Can you say money problems??
Here’s a funny one…
Milwaukee gives up 4 good prospects for 1 Sabathia that will probably be around them for just this half season, that cracks me up!!!
Houston, this team is the only one that troubles me. For one they’re a second half of the season team. They play the Cardinals tough. Oswalt always comes around in the second half of the season. Also, their lineup is pretty stout!
Pirates and Reds, well, let’s not go there tonight.
In closing, next year the Cardinals will go out and get a new closer because like danthielemann states Izzy isn’t reliable anymore plus he’s a free agent at end of the year also, I think he’ll announce his retirement at the end of the year anyway.

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