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Is this team in trouble?

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Is this team in trouble?

Postby teddy ballgame » Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:26 am

I'm not just talking about this year, although that is part of it. They have been playing like crap lately, and can't get on a roll even when they win.

The pitching is in trouble. Marquis has been extremely lucky if he is still winning with that ERA. Carpenter is the only guy they have who they can really expect a good outing out of, and he got shelled vs. Chicago.

Next year and in the future it looks like they will have a good rotation with Reyes and Wainwright, but as for now it's pretty shaky. Even if they have some good pitchers getting MLB ready, Edmonds and Rolen will be a year older. You have Eckstein and Pujols who can still be counted on. Molina is great on defense, and then it leaves about 3 positions for utility players. That's quite a bit if you ask me. 1 utility guy having to start is sometimes bad, but 3?

I'm posting this because I am a Cardinals fan, but it's hard to follow them as in depth as the Red Sox, living out of their market and all. So can someone tell me what the feeling is in St. Louis and what other possible MLB ready prospects they have in their system?

Also, I read some stuff the other day about how the fans are calling for the owners head or something? Is he turning into a cheapskate who just wants to make money out of it now? :-[
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:40 am

teddy ballgame wrote:
I'm posting this because I am a Cardinals fan, but it's hard to follow them as in depth as the Red Sox, living out of their market and all. So can someone tell me what the feeling is in St. Louis and what other possible MLB ready prospects they have in their system?


if you are having trouble following the cards you may want to make vivaelbirdos.com part of your daily reading. thats my favorite cards blog. lots of good stuff there.

this year seems like 2003 all over again. the team looks kind of lost and the deadline moves that year (dejean, hitchcock) were too little, too late. they ran at a pretty high level in 2004 and 2005 and seem kind of burned out this year. the pitching staff, aside from carp, all seemed to go in a slump/return to earth at the same time. i think that kind of brings down morale, wears out the pen, that kind of stuff. in years past it seemed like the slumps were spread out better.

last offseason walt said the priority was pitching and a young outfielder. i expect the same this offseason. i dont know how he will get it done. the cards will probably be outbid on the free agents and guys like jason bay dont get traded very often (although i am aware bay was actually traded several times).

you are basically seeing the major league ready prospects right now -- reyes, wainwright, and duncan. you saw skip schumaker earlier. he is ready to be the left handed taguchi (late inning defensive specialist who may hit for a decent average but has no power). i dont think they have any potential impact prospects for 2007. most of the talent in the system is from the 2005 and 2006 drafts so it is still a few years off.

in terms of being major league ready the top position player is recent draftee and cuban defectee amaury marti who is somewhere between 27 and 32 years old. he is currently in AA. said to be very strong and a good fielder. he should be in st. louis next year, possibly a september callup this year. i have no idea what to expect from him--backup or potential starter? he is definitely a mystery man.

the most major league ready pitcher is probably chris narveson. he is a lefty in AAA. he was traded to colorado for larry walker, made a stop in boston's system, and then returned to the cardinals. putting up good numbers but not exactly a blue chip prospect. most people dont give him a chance to make an impact next year. probably a bottom of the rotation type starter for 2008. if reyes and wainwright are in the rotation in 2007 i dont know if it would be wise to throw in someone like narveson as well. the royals might do it, but a team hoping to win the world series would probably not want to take that chance. i guess that makes him trade bait. he is left handed, afterall.

guys like falkenborg and kinney could help in the pen now, but arent really considered prospects.

former top prospect blake hawksworth is now healthy (finally) and looking solid in AA. he also probably wont be ready until 2008. could be a middle of the rotation type starter or perhaps solid bullpen arm.

chris perez might move up fast. he was a college closer drafted in 2006. he is still in A ball and i wouldnt expect to see him until late 2007 at the earliest. the cards hope they can fasttrack him since he will be staying in the bullpen. potential set up man or if all goes right a closer.

the top prospect is toolsy outfielder colby rasmus. drafted out of high school and currently in high A. he will take time but could eventually take over in CF. he should make top 100 lists next year, probably even top 50. i've seen him quite high in midseason rankings but that was before a little slump when he was promoted to high A.

jaime garcia is probably the best pitching prospect. pitched for the world team in the futures game. tore up A, but leveled off upon promotion to high A. young kid, still a few years away but lots to like about him. not ace material, but a solid #3 starter.

the other pitching prospect i like is 2006 draftee adam ottavino. again, not likely to see him in 2007. probably mid 2008 at the earliest.

there are a couple other interesting prospects but since they are recent draftees i will just save that list for another time. the important thing to note is that the 2005 and 2006 drafts seem to have a lot more talent than prior drafts.

you can check out these lists if you are bored:

http://minorleagueball.com/story/2006/7/3/20565/56191

http://vivaelbirdos.com/story/2006/7/24/225213/791


Also, I read some stuff the other day about how the fans are calling for the owners head or something? Is he turning into a cheapskate who just wants to make money out of it now? :-[


its hard to call them cheap when they have a 90 something million payroll, but a lot of the moves kind of give that impression (bigbie, encarnacion, ponson, sosa, miles). the philosophy seemed to be get a new stadium and a new radio deal so payroll could increase. that didnt happen. payroll is more or less the same. of course, it could be argued that the payroll was increased in advance of getting the new stadium. i dont really know since i dont see the books, but the common perception about town is the owners are pocketing cash instead of spending it on the team. big surprise there. investors kind of like to see return on investment. of course its possible the free agent market last year was pretty lousy and walt figured it was wisest to save money for later. i hope thats the case. i think i've heard walt say they had money to spend but didnt see any good investments out there.
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Postby teddy ballgame » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:04 pm

Wow, thanks for the long response. ;-D And for the links. I'll have to read that blog. I bought Gameday Audio so I could listen to the games when I can but other than that and highlights on SC it's hard to follow.

Sounds like they are in a good position for pitching in the future, but I'm still worried about the offense. Granted the NL is far different from the AL so that may be why it looks troublesome to me.

Hopefully as you said they were just saving money for this coming offseason, because I definately think they need to make another big signing to put them over the top. If they can do something in the playoffs again this year then I think one more guy could be enough.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:12 pm

This offseason is going to be a really telling one cause the Cards are losing Mulder, Suppan and Marquis to FA. Carp, Reyes and Wainright are set to make up 3/5 of the rotation in 07. So the biggest need IMO is a #2 starter and those don't come cheap. Plus they don't really have the strength in the minor to deal for anyone. Last year they didn't spend and I was OK with that cause I didn't see anything all that great available outside of Giles and he wasn't leaving SD. This year there are some really interesting options available.
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Postby teddy ballgame » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:36 pm

And unfortunately #2 pitchers have been the most overpaid players in free agency the last few years.

Clement - 9M
Burnett - 11M
Pavano - 10M

:-P

Is there any chance of a guy like Zito getting signed? He's not necessarily an ace on a lot of teams and could be a great lefty option for #2.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:48 pm

teddy ballgame wrote:And unfortunately #2 pitchers have been the most overpaid players in free agency the last few years.

Clement - 9M
Burnett - 11M
Pavano - 10M

:-P

Is there any chance of a guy like Zito getting signed? He's not necessarily an ace on a lot of teams and could be a great lefty option for #2.
I don't think you'll see Zito in STL.
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Postby j_d_mcnugent » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:54 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:This offseason is going to be a really telling one cause the Cards are losing Mulder, Suppan and Marquis to FA. Carp, Reyes and Wainright are set to make up 3/5 of the rotation in 07. So the biggest need IMO is a #2 starter and those don't come cheap.
...
Last year they didn't spend and I was OK with that cause I didn't see anything all that great available outside of Giles and he wasn't leaving SD. This year there are some really interesting options available.


yeah that sounds about right. the haren/mulder trade really screwed things up. mulder was supposed to be the number two , and he was supposed to fall in love with stl and be willing to sign for a discount. didnt work out that way. now they are in the same position again--need to put up some cash for a pitcher or put up some premium prospects.

if they dont spend some dough this offseason then we know the owners just want to run out a decent team and pocket as much cash as possible, not that there is anything wrong with that.



Plus they don't really have the strength in the minor to deal for anyone.


i think they have enough for a deal while excluding reyes/wainwright, but it would really kill the system again. rasmus could be a center piece. hancock is a solid cheap reliever. there are assorted interesting pieces like bryan anderson, mark mccormack, jaime garcia, narveson, hawksworth, pomeranz, and lambert. and there is duncan if the organization is willing to deal him. since most of it is still low in the system it will take quite a few prospects to get something big done.

the key though, is getting back another youngish player. they cant afford to deal a bunch of young guys for someone that would be gone or be super expensive in two years. they need to get a young 'core' player in return.

i forgot to add brad thompson earlier. too much experience to be a prospect but is currently starting in AAA. could figure into the rotation plans in 2007 if reyes continues to struggle with his conversation from flyball pitcher to groundball pitcher. could also end up back in the pen.



zito is a boras client so i'm inclined to say no...probably outside of the cards spending limit. when the mets and yanks are interested he is basically outside of most team's spending limit. the cards arent exactly scared of boras though. they have drafted several of his players and not had long drawn out negotiations.

schmidt is definitely interesting but he doesnt really fit the profile. he is a fly ball pitcher and the cardinals preach ground balls. personally i think he would be a great change of pace. when a team faces the cardinals they know they are going to see a steady diet of sinking stuff. i dont know if duncan would agree though. that they are tinkering with reyes makes me wonder if it would be worth going after a similar type pitcher in schmidt. would duncan leave him alone because he is a vet or would they try to get him to throw grounders?
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:02 pm

He's going to be really expensive but I would love to see Schmidt come to St. Louis. I'm just afraid the rotation will be Carp, Reyes, Wainright and 2 retreads.
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Postby gfantasy » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:51 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:He's going to be really expensive but I would love to see Schmidt come to St. Louis. I'm just afraid the rotation will be Carp, Reyes, Wainright and 2 retreads.


I can see Schmidt as a Card
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