[Ed. note: The United Cardinal Bloggers teamed up to do a progressive game-analysis blog back on May 2nd, and now we present some mid-season questions and answers about the health, well-being and future of the Cardinals. Each blogger submitted a question, and everyone took a stab at answering. Our question and subsequent responses follow; click the links at the end to view the other questions and answers.]
What is more important? Bullpen or lineup needs?
C70 At The Bat: As iffy as the bullpen as been, I'd probably say the lineup after the last few days. Theoretically, getting Wainwright back and Carpenter into the mix should help reduce the wear on the current bullpen. Getting a bat behind Pujols could make those bullpen outings a little less frequent as well.
Redbird Ramblings: I gotta say bullpen. if you are going to fix the lineup, then were is this "big bat" going to play on the field. the only spots that are open are 2nd base and ss. can you get kinsler or uggla? no? well, let's stick to the bullpen :) lefthanded relief is a must. Mo has to pull the trigger and swing for a LOOGY and maybe a lefty that can get both righthanders and lefties out. maybe garcia is the guy that can get both out, but you still need a LOOGY.
The Cardinal Virtue: At the beginning of the year I was pleading for protection for Pujols. What we have here is a legend in the making--if the Cards protect him, not only will he want to spend all his days in a Cardinal uniform, but he'll rack up the stats--and therefore more "W's." By and large, with Glaus, Ludwick, and Ankiel all flexing their slugging muscle (especially lately) I'd put that off till next year and bolster the bullpen. We blow way too many saves. I believe that Izzy is pretty much done--sad to say. I don't know what I'd give for Fuentes though...
Mike on the Cards: As the trade deadline is getting closer and closer, both areas are looking pretty weak. Since we're choosing one, the bullpen gets my vote. Recently the starting rotation has started to come back down to Earth, and it's really taxing the pen. They're all overworked. What may be somewhat underscored, however, is the fact that many of the relievers aren't slotted into any particular role right now. Even though that may change with move of Izzy back to closing, the bullpen still needs help, especially from the left side.
Bill Ja….err I mean Fungoes: Given that the Cardinals have the second-best GPA in the league (.265) and the third-highest RC/27 (5.23) and a bullpen that is third-worst in K/BB, second-worst in K/9 and second-lowest WPA (-2.17), I'll go out on a limb and say bullpen. ;)
Check out the other blogs for their questions and the UCB answers to each:
- CardinalsGM: What type of player or package of players would you be willing to accept in a trade that involved Colby Rasmus in the deal?
- Fungoes: What’s the most radical roster change (lineup, position, pitching role) that just may work?
- Redbird Ramblings: Who do you think will be in the Cardinals starting rotation come opening day 2009? Who should be in or at least get a chance to crack the rotation? Also, come next season, should Ankiel move to right field and give room for Colby to play center?
- C70 At The Bat: Which player or players is the most likely not to be a Cardinal come August?
- Bird Land: Should the Cardinals re-sign Kyle Lohse or save the money and wade into the coming free-agent pitching market for Ben Sheets, C. C. Sabathia, et. al.? How much would be too much to spend on a free-agent pitcher, and where can they find the best value for the contract?