Thursday, April 16, 2009

On a roll & the Carp debate

First of fall, before I get all negative on everyone, the team is off a fantastic start. The offense has been pretty good despite TRL continuing to shuffle the line-up on almost a daily basis (seriously, I like all four of the outfielders, but Ludwick should be playing everyday. His numbers are great against righties as well as lefties. Let Rasmus rotate with Duncan and Ankiel only). The bullpen has had a couple of bumps in the road, but overall looks improved. Motte seems to have settled down. Perez is back is the bigs where he belongs and Thompson is down in the minors where he also belongs. McClellen and Franklin have been rocks. Reyes is light years better from the left side than anyone we had last year, and Miller is an upgrade as well. I truly believe Kinney will be a go-to guy eventually, though I guess he may be sent down temporarily so Walters can start tomorrow. Lohse, despite a lot of offseaon worries, has been even better than last year. Wainwright is a little shakey so far, but he is 2-0 and will only get better. Wellenmeyer rebounded from a tough first start, and I like the aggressiveness I see from Pineiro, even though his second start wasn't great. About the only real downside I see right now has been a few too many errors, but so far they haven't hurt too much. Even then, the stats are a bit off because the Cards play a packed schedule at the start and their the errors aren't terrible because they've had to field more chances than anyone in baseball so far. Ok, now for the bad. As we all feared, Carp didn't even last two starts and is now likely to miss two months with an oblique strain. So, two big questions: 1. how will Walters, Boggs or any other young guy hold-up over that time? 2. Even when Carp comes back, can we really count on him? Unfortunately, I'm not too optimistic on either of these counts. Our most promising young starter was Garcia, and he is out for the year, so I don't think we will get much in that spot in the rotation from here on out. The good news is that if Wellenmeyer has turned things around, the other four guys are solid, the bullpen looks better, and the offense is probably among the best in the NL. Carp, it seems, is just one of those guys that has all the talent, but just can't stay healthy. I guess the small silver lining is that it is not his arm this time, but it seems it will always be something. He was injured most of his time in Toronto, had a couple of good years with the Cards, and now is back to being always on the DL. The Cards are about 10 mil in payroll less compared to last year right now, so could they make a move to replace Carp? Doubtful. They have a big financial commitment to Carp, and they, like everyone else not in New York in baseball, are waiting to see how much the down economy will affect them. Hopefully one of the young guys will step-up, because the other pieces are there.



Cardinal John said...

Wainwright, shaky? 1.59 WHIP is high for him...but that's tempered by a +1 SO per inning. His ERA rose a bit due to one bad pitch to Fukudome. Watching his performances I'd say he's doing quite well...although I'll admit I expect more.

Pastor Swish said...

I agree with your point about Ludwick, he definitely needs to be playing every day, but don't be too eager to get Duncan out of the lineup. He has a hit in all 10 games that he has started so far this season (.389 BA). Ankiel, on the other hand, has more K's than hits so far (8/6), and half of his hits were in one game.