Thoughts on the Cardinals Through 57

The St. Louis Cardinals are 57 games into the 2016 season. So let’s discuss how they have done thus far.

  • They are 10.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs and in third place, behind the Pittsburgh Pirates. We knew the Cubs were going to be good this season. And they are. The Cardinals have a series this weekend against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Our birds could gain some ground.

    Welcome back, Jhonny!
  • Kolten Wong optioned to Memphis. He’s been slumping and just not playing well. This is something we’ve become used to with Kolten. He’s gone through spats like this before where he will seemingly try too hard and his whole game stinks. He’ll get benched or sent to Memphis to work things out. I, for one, hoped the Cardinals extending Wong to a  5 year/$25.5 million deal would give him the assurance that the team trusts him and wants him to succeed at second base with them. Ease some of his anxiety. Thankfully, the team is in a decent position to allow Wong time to work through it all and get his confidence back at the plate. It will be great to have the player we know he can be out on the field.
  • This team isn’t what anyone expected! That’s baseball. And it’s awesome. The team is going to be taking an interesting turn in the next few days with Jhonny Peralta returning to the team … to play third base.
  • This opportunity happened with the amazingness that has been rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz. Holy crap is that kid amazing! Before this week, Jedd Gyorko, Greg Garcia and Wong have had chances at second. With Peralta back, Matt Carpenter is going to get a chance at second. He’s had some success there before!
  • And then, first base. Matt Adams has put together a nice little run that shows fans should have never really counted him out. He seems to just need some time to heal and get some reps at the position. He’s become one of the best hitters on the team. And then Brandon Moss. Who knew he’d be such an important part of this team. He leads the team in home runs, most of which come from pinch hitting appearances.  Matt Holliday has also gotten some time in at first base as the team has so many options in the outfield now.
  • Speaking of the outfield. Stephen Piscotty has become my favorite member of the team. He provides outstanding coverage in the outfield, a great arm and he’s pretty good with the bat. He flat out hustles. Love it. Randal Grichuk has been streaky this season … going through massive slumps at the plate and then coming along with a nice jolt of power every few days. He needs to get more consistent. And it seems to be something he’s working on. Jeremy Hazelbaker seemed to be the find of the offseason in April providing depth in the field and off the bench. He’s dipped a little bit and wouldn’t be surprised if we see him sent to Memphis soon to get some work in and allow Tommy Pham the opportunity to come back and make a difference.
  • Matt Holliday has been pretty awesome for an old guy this season! He’s done some great work in the outfield, has been a surprise option at first base and he’s been clutch with timely hits (Booming homers too!). For years, this fan base has given the team loads of crap for his 7 yrs/$120M deal. The team has an option for 2017 and they need to strongly consider using it.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Cardinals Through 57”

St. Louis Cardinals Offseason … So Far

Well. I certainly meant to write more here over the last few weeks. Silly life and work!

That said, I do have a few thoughts on what has been going on thus far for the St. Louis Cardinals.

* I’m perfectly OK with the Cards being second in the stakes to get David Price. Sure, he is good. But the price tag, if you will, and commitment was huge for someone with a lack of amazing play in the playoffs. Pitching in the playoffs, and pitching well in the playoffs, is very important. Look back on the last couple of seasons for the Cardinals. Pitching. It’s important, y’all.

* Jason Heyward hasn’t been re-signed. Jason Heyward needs to be re-signed. As soon as possible. Continue reading “St. Louis Cardinals Offseason … So Far”

Why, Oh Why Jaime Garcia

The St. Louis Cardinals are set to bring back lefty pitcher Jaime Garcia in 2016 by picking up a $11.5 million dollar option Monday.

This makes me cringe. So much.

Garcia has been with the Cardinals since 2008. This probably surprises you a little. Am I right?

Yes, the promising pitcher has had his fair share of injuries and mental setbacks.

In 2015, Jaime surprised the team, and the fan base, by stepping up when the team needed him most. He went 10-6 with a 2.43 ERA, racking up 97 strikeouts. After years of inconsistency, Jaime was consistent and was pretty much the go-to guy behind Carlos Martinez.

And then we hit October and an important start in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs.

After a year of awesome, Garcia reverted back to the Jaime we know.

Suffering from an apparent tummy-ache, Garcia failed to tell Cardinals manager Mike Matheny of his illness until a couple of hours before his important start.

If you aren’t feeling well, you need to do what’s best for the team. Give your manager enough time to get another starter – maybe Lance Lynn or Carlos Villanueva – time to prepare.

But. No. Jaime didn’t do that … and you know what happened? THIS! This happened:

 

 

 

 

 

 

He pretty much forgot how to baseball.

Jaime only pitched two innings and the team lost 4-1 at home to the Cubs.  The team just seemed to lose momentum for the rest of the series and that was that for a promising 2015 season.

Disappointment.

So. Knowing this. It’s just surprising to see Jaime come back.

I believe in second chances. But this will be Jaime’s tenth, you guys.

If the Cardinals do bring him back and aren’t using this option pick-up as trade bait, I hope the option includes an honesty clause.

If Jaime has a hangnail and can’t throw a curve. Tell Mike. If Jaime has a stubbed toe? Tell Mike. Need some more Sprite for an anxious stomach, ahead of a big start? TELL MIKE!

If Jaime does pitch next season for the Cardinals, I hope we see more of the Jaime we got during the regular season. Good Jaime. Otherwise, it may be time to give Jaime a change of scenery to get rid of those mental hang ups.