Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good ole days?

After going with a very young and inexperienced bench/back end of the rotation for several weeks, the Cards have recently brought-in several veterens. Jeff Suppan is the latest addition to go along with Randy Winn and Aaron Miles. LaRussa has long-favored having a veteran-heavy team, so this isn't a big surprise for me, but it is also a questionable decision in my opinion. Here are my reasons:

1. There's a reason these players were available. All three are past their prime, and stuggled mightily this year. Granted, we aren't going to count on any of them (except perhaps Suppan) for major contributions, but I'm not sure they will be able to give us even a minor boost.

2. John Jay deserved to be there. He showed great power and even better defense in the limited time he had. Personally, I thought it was great to have a power left-handed bat off the bench. He also showed he had the best outfield arm of anyone on the team this year, making him a nice substitute for Rasmus late in games.

3. Versatility is over-rated. Both Winn and Miles are switch-hitters, which makes subtitutions and pinch-hitting easier for LaRussa. Well, if neither of them can really hit for either side, what good does that really do? I think having Jay, Stavinoha and Lopez (who is also a switch-hitter) as the primary guys off the bench was a lot more dangerous.

The Suppan pick-up bothers me the least. We need at least a stop-gap until Penny returns, and Walters/Hawkesworth have not shown anything good so far. Suppan almost has to be better than them. If he works out, he may end-up being the permanent fill-in for Lohse. No one seems to know when either Penny or Lohse will be back. Penny's injury was supposed to be minor, but he's been out a month now. Lohse seems likely to miss most, if not all, of the rest of season.

Anyway, the bottom line is that this is now an older team, but one LaRussa is probably more comfortable with. Most other teams in MLB are trying to get younger, so we'll see which approach is the wise one as the season wears on.


No comments: