Let’s round up our 25-man roster, yes I know is is Mid-December, and see where we are at this moment. IF the roster changes then we have another blog post idea. What players will play in what positions next season?
1B- primarily this belongs to Lance Berkman. Who has the back-up duties? Well, some want the big man Adams to come up and get some time. That is exactly the point, he needs a bit more seasoning, unless he is so impressive in Spring Training they can’t help it, he will go to Memphis to start the season.
Do you see a time the Cardinals may ask Matt Holliday to play a few games there? Yadi will get a few innings I suppose.
2B- Every word points to Daniel Descalso getting the nod to start the majority of game. Who spells him at that spot? Likely Tyler Greene will fill-in but I suspect Skip Schumaker will see considerably less time at second under Matheny than he did with LaRussa.
SS- Rafael Furcal was just signed for $7M a year to play this spot so it is his. Tyler Greene gets the back-up spot and on a limited basis Descalso could get a few innings of work.
3B- World Series MVP David Freese has laid claim on this spot. Now will we see him yanked late in the games for defensive purposes? Some. Not as many. Who is going to play there? Same as mentioned above. Descalso mainly, but he can’t play them all nor do we want him to. Possibly another player is to be signed and it could be the return of Nick Punto to cover all 2 infield spots.
C- Yadier Molina will be behind the plate and it will be different to him with his buddy at first. The roster currently has Bryan Anderson and Tony Cruz on the 40-man and they may be the back-up. Matheny likes Anderson, I am told so that is a possible.
LF- Matt Holliday will be there 140 games or more.
CF- John Jay is the logical choice but the media says Carlos Beltran is being talked about to be signed. Could change things for Jay.
RF- Allen Craig/Skip Schumaker – I think Skip was re-signed to platoon for Craig as the lefty bat in the outfield. Craig might get a few minutes at second base but I feel Mike Matheny will not diddle much in the unknown.
BACKUP OF- Adron Chambers, Shane Robinson and Lance Berkman fill in the outfield
Starting Pitchers- Wainwright, Carpenter, Garcia, Lohse, Westbrook... look for spot starts by Lance Lynn, Kyle McClellan and Mitchell Boggs….
Relief Pitchers- This team probably needs one more lefty and the talk is JC Romero, I am bit apprehensive about that one.
lefty is Rzcepcynski and the only one currently on the roster is Freeman
Righties- Lynn, Salas, Motte, McClellan, Boggs, and maybe Dickson
The players listed in BOLD are the one I am putting on the 25-man roster. Currently I have 24 players on that list.
What are your thoughts on the roster?
I am not trying to be harsh but look at his numbers. They are simply awful. If it wasn’t for the propensity of Tony LaRussa to covet veterans he would be a goner. If this was Fernando Salas with those numbers he would be back in AAA or released. So now is where you throw the loyalty card at me.
Baseball can not survive long on loyalty if the workers are not performing adequately. We can’t afford to have more save blown and wish we had them back later in the year. With the impending roster moves that remove Tallet and Augenstein off the disabled list this is the best time to make the Franklin move.
He has wavered about retiring so let’s just make it for him. Time to use those power arms out of the bullpen and give ip all we got with some youngsters. If the club doesn’t keep Salas and Sanchez with the club when the two pitchers come off the DL then they are not doing what is really best for the baseball side of the game.
It is thank you for your contributions in the past, Ryan Franklin, but it is time for you to retire or take your arm somewhere else.
That’s my opinion, What is yours?
Earlier in the week I presented my ideas as to who would be the infielders for Opening Day. My friend, Jerry, has given his opinion that I was probably wrong in keeping Descalso over Greene. Possibly. Greene can likely handled several positions better than Descalso and he is probably the only one that we want at shortstop when spelling Theriot. I might concede that point. Also, I may have kept one more infielder than they will actually bring north for the opener. For me to explain that, let’s look at the outfielders.
This is probably very easy to do.
Holliday- starting in LF
Berkman- RF and spots at 1B
Jay- part platoon in RF and CF
Craig- OF and our other infielder. Allen Craig has experience and will be working out at 3B in spring Training,
Maybe neither Greene nor Descalso make the Opening Day Roster. Craig is the new all purpose player.
25 players- Roster
NEXT: Tomorrow is Fantasy Friday and I will give you the Top 14 position players at each position. I gave mine to MLBBlogBuzz to use with others. I will start tomorrow with FIRST BASE and SECOND BASE.
Some assumptions. I know they get you in trouble. But I am used to that.
- Cardinals will carry 13 pitchers out of Spring Training
- They will have 2 catchers on the roster
- There will be 5 infielders selected from the 40 man roster
- Also five outfielders come from that list
- Spring Training brings surprises and injuries and trades.
- I am not right very often (ok, that is not an assumption but a fact)
Let’s look at the infielders that are currently on the 40 man roster.
Ok, I am keeping Pujols at first base. His back-up will likely be Lance Berkman.
I am getting rid of Cox, Kozma and Hamilton and say they need more time in the Minor Leagues.
Now we have six players for four spots. Theriot, Freese and Schumaker are in from previous years. Just sayin’ don’t shoot me over that.
Now it is Descalaso, Greene and Punto vying for the final spot.
Now I am adding here the fact that TLR may take six infielders due to the fact that Schumaker can play an outfield spot.
So we have two spots open. We need a lefthander so that makes it Daniel Descalso or Nick Punto. Punto is a switch hitter so he is in.
Descalso or Greene? Greene or Descalso? Of course Spiring Training is huge for these guys.
I believe, I know it is unbelievable that Tony may accept a youngster, but he goes with Descalso over Greene.
That is the way I see it.
Next time is the outfield.
Did I nail it?
During the winter doldrums I dream about watching baseball. St Louis Cardinals style, of course. So then I decided to put together what I feel would be the line-up card for opening day. How to construct a batting order popped into my head. What would I like to see at every spot in the order? I went back in Cardinals History and looked at some of the more successful teams and how they were put together. Here goes with the CardinalsGM lineup card.
Lead-off batters should be quicker than snot, be able to take a walk and be a slash hitter. This translates into a good on base percentage for the #1 hitter. I won’t be able to distinguish for all the batting spots but I believe in the modern era of baseball Lou Brock was the Cardinal that did this best. Looking at our currently available players for this I don’t see any real good lead-off hitters. It appears to me that Ryan Theriot is a better selection here than Skip Schumaker due to Theriot’s ability to steal bases more consistently.
Who bats after the lead-off might be a part that is most overlooked in my opinion. Now we need a player that can bunt the runner over, conduct a successful hit and run play and take a few pitches in the count to get the lead-off a chance to steal a base or two. Ted Sizemore complimented Lou Brock as well an any I can remember. Here is where our new right fielder will pay dividends. Lance Berkman has a reputation as a good eye that takes tons of walks coupled with a very good on-base-percentage.
Batting in the 3 hole is a player that has some power and can particularly be an extra base machine. Plenty of doubles would be preferred in this spot. A RBI spot needs an automatic RBI guy. I am not looking for just shear power in this spot. The Cardinals have plenty of them in their illustrious history. I would prefer to see Matt Holliday bat in this spot but Albert Pujols will be entrenched here as long as LaRussa is the manager. Remember, Tony has won a few more games than I have.
The clean-up hitter. Everyone’s bread and butter guy. Pure raw power is what I want in this spot of the order. He can be a gap hitter, too. I want someone here that cleans the bases. What he should also possess the the ability to hit a sacrifice fly to plate the runner for a run. I am putting Pujols in this spot but we will see Holliday bat 4th most of the time.
What do I see as a 5th place hitter? After all, I just cleared the bases with my clean-up guy. I want similar attributes as the 3rd hitter but I would like to see a bit more speed here to begin the process over of getting on base. Possibly more of the gap type hitter than power would prevail here. This means I put Colby Rasmus as the 5th spot hitter. 15-25 homers and 10-20 stolen bases is what I hope to get.
We go back to contact hitter at the sixth spot but with a touch of power. Somebody than can hit the ball hard and move runners along. Some managers like their second best home run hitters here but I don’t buy into that. Here I place David Freese to bat sixth if he is ready at the start of the season.
This is not a nice thing to say but the 7th place hitter is just a line-up filler. What every you have left on the field you put them here and hope for some success. Yadi Molina gets this duty in my line-up.
I give the 8th place hitter a bit more of a role in the order. This player must have some patience to take a walk or the ability to get hit by a pitch. Something to try to get on ahead of the pitcher to get him out of the way in the line-up. Skip Schumaker bats 8th for me in this batting order.
9th place hitter is the pitcher, not at the 8th spot.
So let’s recap on how to construct a batting order.
Your thoughts are always appreciated!
Don’t care. Doesn’t matter.Never work. Too radical. Probably won’t happen. Those are words we hear every time someone has a plan for baseball realignment. I wouldn’t want 2010 to end without me presenting some form of realignment to you.
What frosts me now is that all divisions are not equal. They don’t have the same number of teams in them. How is that fair and equitable? Doesn’t the NL Central have six teams (no Pirates jokes allowed here) in its division? Look at the American League West and you find four teams in it. Something fishy about that.
The word radical is always thrown into the mix on discussions about realignment. Traditionalists jump up and down and wave their fist at you and then remind you of the old days of plain ol’ 2 league days. They want no changes. In Selig-land, where the mighty commissioner rules, he doesn’t seem to say much about it.
Let’s take a look at the plan I like. The plan is not new and I did not invent it, however, I am tweaking it for my own purposes.
We go with the eight-team format. In this day and age of travel being costly, this is one way of helping offset some of the cost. My revised plan allows for more geographic rivalries which allows for fans of the other team to travel to see them against their counterparts (think Cubs-White Sox and Cardinals-Royals) as they play each other more often. The eight-team format has proven that a 154 game schedule can work and would be easy to implement.
East League: New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians.
Central League: Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers and Indianapolis 500′s.
South League: Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals,Cincinnati Reds, New Orleans Hurricanes.
West League: Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners.
What I have done is made them almost geographical, added two teams for easy scheduling and easy playoff distribution, lessened travel costs and I will dump the DH (that is the problem, losing jobs) to make this work.
Baseball realignment ideas are always radical.
Here goes in no particular order: I start at the Rookie League in Johnson City with Ryan Copeland. He is a graduate of Illinois State University where his career numbers for 4 years had him walking 46 and striking out 251 batters. He carried that success to the professional side. At 5’11” 185 lbs, he throws from the left side. Lefties are at a premium. He ended with a perfect 7-0 record in 13 games where he started 6 of them. Ryan tossed 53.1 innings, gave up 39 hits, 11 ER’s, 3 HR’s and opponents hit .202 against him. To top that, he walked 7 batters and struck out 48. This is a tremendous ratio. For these numbers, I make Ryan Copeland one of the Cardinal Prospects for 2011!
Next up is pitcher Kevin Thomas. Born in 1986 he is 6’3” 215 lbs and throws right. At Palm Beach he had some great numbers. His record was 10-2 in 107 innings where he started 14 games. His ERA was 2.27 and he gave up 93 hits and opponents hit .238 against him. His 38 walks to 94 strikeouts are numbers that deserved accolades. For these numbers, Kevin Thomas is one of the Cardinal Prospects for 2011!
Alex Castellanos was also at Palm Beach this year. He is a right fielder with some consistency. He is 5’11” 180 lbs and throws and bats right. Alex was in 129 games, hit 13 homers, 7 triples along with 35 doubles. He drove in 57 RBI’s and had 19 stolen bases with a .481 SLG. What he needs to work on it appears is he struck out 112 times. For this consistant season, Alex Castellanos is one of the Cardinal Prospects for 2011!
How can you improve on a 10-0 record? Daniel Calhoun pitched at the Quad Cities this year and remained perfect. At 6’3” and 220 lbs, this lefthander had some impressive stats. He started 6 games and pitched 96 innings with a 3.75 ERA. He gave up 9 HR’s and opponents hit .283 against him. Get this…. 19 walks and 83 strikeouts makes this jaw dropping. For this, Daniel Calhoun is one of the Cardinal Prospecst for 2011!
Matthew Adams is a first baseman. What must it be like to see Albert Pujols in line ahead of you? Adams played for the Quad City Bandits with some very good numbers. He is 6’3” 230 lbs and throws right and bats left. He hit .310 in 121 games with 22 homers and 41 doubles with 88 RBI’s. He ended with a .541 ALG. For these numbers, Matthew Adams is one of the Cardinal Prospects for 2011!
Blake King was a right handed thrower this season for the Springfield Cardinals. At 6’1” 195 lbs the throws right and had a 4-3 record in 68 innings. He posted a 2.91 ERA, giving up 40 hitsm 23 runs and 5 homers. His ratio was 48 walks to 84 strikeouts and opponents hit .173 against him. Blake King is one of the Cardinal Prospects for 2011!
Next up is Matt Carpenter a third baseman. Between Palm Beach and Springfield he contributed with 13 homers, 5 triples and 31 doubles. A .316 batting average with 69 RBI’s in 133 games. He only had 8 errors in that time. Carpenter is 6’3” 200 lbs and bats left and throws right. For this season line, Matt Carpenter is one of the Cardinal Prospects for 2011 !
Lastly, I end with a Memphis Redbird player. We have catcher Steven Hill. He hit .271 with 24 homers, 1 triple and 28 doubles. In 102 games, he drove in 92 RBI’s. This right handed hitter, Steven Hill is one of the Cardinal Prospects for 2011 !
Several other players are worthy, I am sure. I will give a short list of others to be considered: Of course on everyones list is Shelby Miller and then Daniel Delscalso, Lance Lynn, Nick Addition and Phillip Cerreto. I could have included many of the players that yo-yo’ed back and forth to the Cardinals but chose not to include them. They are Cardinal Prospects for 2011!
Feel free to get my attention and show me the errors of my ways in this post with your thoughts and comments. Let me know who you think are top Cardinals Prospects for 2011.
A very similar column was written a few months ago but I revisited and revised it to make it current.
No matter what over-demanding Tony Rasmus tells us, Colby Rasmus is not a slap hitter. Dad is a cheap shot artist to the nth degree. He is constantly digging at the Cardinals administration, front office and management when ever he doesn’t like something…. and that is quite often. As others put it, he is always just looking for attention.
It was reported by Colby’s dad that the Cardinals were asking his son to go to left more, hit more singles, steal a few more bases and abandon the power approach this off-season. He indicated Colby might bat lead-off and it was his job to just hit .300 and get on base in front of the Big 3 of Berkman, Pujols and Holliday.
Colby Rasmus is not a slap hitter and the hoax has been uncovered. The Cardinals brass have not been trying to change the hitting approach of the young outfielder. Colby will be asked to continue to do what he has done all his career, and that is extra base hits 25 home runs with an all around approach to hitting.
Colby has the ability, in spite of his dad, to hit 25-35 home runs, drive in 80-100 runs and steal 20 bases for next year. The hoax was just a cruel attempt to jab at Tony LaRussa and the job that he does.
Lastly, Colby can do this as a cost effective player of the St Louis Cardinals. With the motivation of the newest contract of Jay Bruce, Rasmus may be looking at that kind of money in his next negotiations. But will it be with the Cardinals? I bet is if he listens to his dad he will be gone to some team that plays close to his Southern roots.
Colby Rasmus is not a slap hitter. Remember that!
p.s. – In other news we added a couple more Cardinals history articles to the archive. Check them out when you have some time.
Is that what the Cardinals are attempting to do? Planning for life without Albert? Part of me believes that is the current philosophy of the Front Office. Let’s examine.
Berkman singing is for one year but he is insurance of we cut AP loose.
Now they have been linked to kicking the tires of Michael Young. Whoa, this is $16M per year we are talking about. We snagged him and the current total salary is rooftop like. How can we do that and keep Albert Pujols? We can’t.
So they look at Young for what other reason? Somebody explain how and why the Cardinals would do that.
Let’s face it that Young, Holliday and Berkman could be formidable if needed.
disclaimer- I am not advocating cutting strings with Albert Pujols but I am wondering if they are working on Plan B, or is it Plan C, maybe D…who knows.
btw: “The Big Sweat” Dennys Reyes signs w/Phillies
That is what happened this week with the acquisitions of Ryan Theriot and Lance Berkman. I am not saying they are bad, I am saying they were not as good as the players they are replacing. But mainly I want to talk about Berkman.
$8M for one year does intrigue me. If he can sniff anywhere near his good seasons we will be happy. Bill James Online projects a .275 batting average with 22 home runs. Most fans will take that. On the flip side, how many games may he potentially play a part in losing in the outfield? Sounds like Holliday goes to right and Berkman to left.
Where would you bat him? I like 2nd or 4th but doubt he gets the clean-up spot. With his ability to take walks he would be a good fit for the 2nd spot. Does this mean Colby Rasmus will lead-off? They are reporting the Cardinals are encouraging Colby to be more of a slap hitter and go to left field more and hit less home runs.
Should be interesting to say the least if the Big Puma can be a Cardinal with little effort. Wouldn’t it be great if he turned into Larry Walker?
Overall, I am ok with this move.
Now for a second baseman? (even though Mozeliak said we have our line-up intact)