Carpenter might sit more often than he had been because Munoz and Edman have to play some. But Carpenter still is the regular player. He is being paid a lot of money to be a regular and, if he is healthy, he is a regular. That doesn't mean you have to play him against every lefthander, though.
You are correct. If most of the regulars, save Ozuna, perform the way they did the first four months, there will be no playoffs. But what it they all improve, even just a little? And they pick up one more starting pitcher?. I think the FO would like that club. I don't want to see them trade away any top prospects but if you want a middle- or top-of-the-rotation guy, somebody will have to go.
He's not going to make his career norm, with just two months to go. But he can be better. And there are some other options that have developed along the way in Edman and Munoz, who already was here. Carpenter still can help. The Cardinals don't have to have him carry them. Goldschmidt is the guy they had in mind for that. And maybe those days are coming, too. But we will have to see that.
Ravelo was having a big year in Class AAA and is not an offensively-challenged player. He had only one of the 11 strikeouts against DeSclafani, so there are others who were challenged, too.
You make a good point about Puig's big bat. But his personality may be too big. I see nothing wrong with O'Neill right now. We don't know exactly how long it will take Ozuna to get up to speed but I think they'll be OK in the outfield. They probably are one starting pitcher shy and I would rather see their modest trade resources packaged in that direction.
The next starter they might acquire doesn't have to be better than all the starters, but he's got to close to a top-tier guy. Flaherty has pitched great lately although with no wins to his credit. Mikolas has been better. Hudson has been fine. And Wainwright good more often than not. But, having said that, they need someone who has done something in the heat of a pennant race or even in the postseason.
That certainly would be a trifecta ticket that you couldn't cash. The future for Carpenter is the murkiest because he is the oldest. Goldschmidt surely is better than this. But they need Ozuna, who is only 28 and just reaching his prime perhaps while the others have passed it. They're winning now but they could use that force in the middle of the lineup.
I don't think I need any scouts to tell me that Carpenter hasn't been very good this year or that he hasn't swung the bat well consistently. Heck, you or anybody else can see that. But, if is healthy, he can still contribute. I'm not hitching the wagon just to him but he is better than he has been. .
Shildt will run them all out there but O'Neill will be in right field mostly every day if he continues to shine. J. Martinez will be a key man off the bench. Fowler will start in center and Bader will finish up. If O'Neill falters, then he is in the mix with the other three for two spots on a daily basis.
We'll look at this one more time and then we can move on. Carpenter doesn't have to play every day. There are other options. But when he is healthy, presumably, he plays this weekend or next week. He does not, however, have a lifetime pass. He will need to produce to play.
If you'll note, the teams with the best regular-season records often do not get to _ or win _ the World Series. I cite the 2006 and 2011 Cardinals as examples. They weren't the best in the regular season either time. But they were the best in October. I do agree, however, that they may not have _ as we look at it now _ the No. 1 and No. 2 starters to match up with some of the other clubs. As you'll also note, though, more postseason games lately have been won by the bullpens than the rotations, and the Cardinals are among the best for depth in that area.
I see them bringing in another starting pitcher. I do not see them bringing in a position player of note unless they think Ozuna will be out much longer. They will not be inactive but they aren't in shake-up mode either. At least, not yet.
It seems that some of the fellows already have been following that strategy. There is room for that kind of philosophy _ of swinging "to do damage," as they say. Sometimes, though, when you have a good bullpen, you need to pick up runs as they are available, such as stealing four bases in one inning and just putting the ball in play yesterday, leading to two runs.
I've heard nothing about Goldschmidt having any vision problems but I would think it might be on the list to at least check on, because he doesn't seem to see the ball well sometimes.
I have little doubt that the Cardinals at least will extend a qualifying offer. They need him back. And certainly, they don't want to lose him without compensation but he is just the type of player you want _ 28 years old _ with power, RBI ability and, actually, except for one memorable pratfall, a good outfielder.
Mo will acquire the best pitcher available. This isn't a trade deadline flush with players that will turn teams around. I really can't say what's ailing Goldy but I would drop him down to fifth or sixth in the lineup. That appeared to work for DeJong.
I'm sure the Giants are scratching their heads now. Two weeks ago they were in big-time selling mode and they've got Bumgarner and some good relievers _ Smith, Dyson, Watson _ who could help teams. The Giants now must decide if those fellows can help them more. A litmus test is the three games they have with Chicago in San Francisco beginning tonight. If they can win a couple of those or all three, they are suddenly buyers.