Fire away, chat people. Much to talk about. At least the pitching has been mostly good lately.
There's no reason not to platoon in right field and at third base right now, with Bader and Gyorko getting starts as they did in the last series. Carpenter has two hits against lefthanded pitching all year and Fowler one. But I would play both against righthanded pitching at least through the next home stand. In Minnesota, the Cardinals can have nine hitters, with Martinez presumably, at DH and Carpenter at first against two righthanded pitchers, including Lance Lynn, who has had trouble throwing strikes this year after a late start to his season.
You have to look at this from the perspective of the other side, too. Baltimore, in Machado's case, can afford to wait as long as possible until July 31 to get the most it can for its player. Teams will be more desperate then. Baltimore needs young pitching. It doesn't care a bit about how many young outfielders the Cardinals have. But until you get Reyes back and Martinez active, you can't be shipping off all your pitching talent just yet.
In case you missed it, Flaherty already has been tabbed as the starter for Tuesday night's game. Reyes should be here by the end of the month. Wainwright almost surely will go on the disabled list and remain there for quite some time, so there is no reason to bash him because he isn't going to be pitching for a while. The key to all this is what it has always been _ a healthy and productive Carlos Martinez.
The Cardinals looked at Moustakas and decided they didn't want him on a multi-year deal or perhaps even a one-year deal. They were satisfied with their trifecta of J.Martinez, Carpenter and Gyorko at first and third. When Carpenter hits under .150, that doesn't look as appetizing although Martinez has been as effective a hitter as Moustakas and Gyorko hasa been productive in limited duty. Moustakas is not as good a defender as Gyorko at third, by the way..
That's a comparison, I guess, and you could put Chris Carpenter in there, too, although he was constantly battling injuries. It happens. Waino will be heard from enough but I don't think he will appear in the rotation for quite some time, if ever, this season.
If you look at the team averages in baseball, especially the National League, you'll see about every team going through this, with the possible exception of Atlanta, which has some young players on whom there isn't much of a book yet. Everybody wants to hit a home run and strikeouts aren't necessarily frowned on that much. There have been a half dozen teams with as low or lower a team average then the Cardinals in the National League.
The elephant in the room, per the Cardinals' offensive ineffective offense lately, is that there is absolutely no offense from the catchers since Molina was hurt. Pena has two scratch singles and Kelly one in this 10-day span. That said, Wong will have to pick it up. I, for one, an anxious to see how he is hitting ninth with the DH tomorrow night, no longer batting in front of the pitcher. I would like to see him ninth against NL teams, too, where you might have your two fastest players back-to-back on the bases in Wong and Pham but Mike Matheny never has done that.
The best solution for now is to put Wainwright on the DL, where he could remain for weeks or months, in theory. There is no need to release him. If unable to pitch, he can still be an influence on the young pitchers and the team, in general. No reason to be heavy-handed here. The DL is an easy answer.
I thought Wainwright should have come out after he issued his sixth walk to load the bases.
Let's not go crazy here, folks. These are two big league players who aren't hitting. Mike Matheny already has indicated he could platoon at both right field and third base. Failing that, these could be bench players. But nothing to be gained by sending them to the minors. And, no, they wouldn't go, not because of their egos but because of the collective bargaining agreement.
Boy, two-game losing streaks make me want to panic. The Cardinals have fallen out of first place for the first time in more than a week and everyone seems to have forgotten the sweep of the mighty Cubs. The Cardinals aren't hitting. There isn't much you can do about that other than play some different guys and Bader and Gyorko are those guys. Perhaps O'Neill soon. And, no, Wainwright isn't in the rotation any more. And, yes, Carpenter and Fowler will be getting more chances. They are not .150 hitters. The key is, 'Are they .250 hitters?' which isn't good enough either.
Wong apparently did not address his approach after the last out. An unusual approach, to be sure, unless he was looking for a pitch ne never got.
I haven't seen much to recommend Carson Kelly as a big-league hitter capable of getting regular time. We'll have about three more weeks to gain more information but he has contributed nothing at bat so far.
If Carpenter and Co., still are struggling, it won't take the Cardinals until July to try an alternative plan. But you have to be careful about giving away the farm (in young pitchers) for a player in Machado who you probably are not going to have next year, especially until you see how Martinez is going to respond and how ready Reyes is for heavy duty.
I can't think of anyone whom the shifts have affected more. I would like to see him hit the ball the other way, though, He tried to become that power hitter he thought the team needed and he has lost his all-fields approach in the process.
Bowman, with all his options left, always has been a candidate to spend time in Memphis. Strangely, he seems less effective the more rest he has after working at an 80-appearance rate the last two years.
I feel rather certain Flaherty is here for at least two starts and if they go well, he has a chance to be here the rest of the season. Unusually, despite some good games, he still is seeking his big-league win.
I'm not a big believer in WAR. WINS is what I look to see. For the most part, the Cardinals have done that _ with little or no offense.
Teams have been offered a window to negotiate with such players in the past, but there almost is no way Machado is not going the free-agent route.