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Cardinals Need to Make Moves

Fri, 30 May 2014 11:46:35 CDT

The Cardinals dropped the series opener to the Giants on Thursday evening; a game that should have been a well-played victory for the birds. Instead of celebrating the win, St. Louis was stuck sulking in defeat. Their bullpen blew yet another lead in a one-run game, this time, courtesy of Carlos Martinez.

Before I begin, let it be known that Iím a huge fan of Carlos Martinez. I was rooting for him to make the Opening Day rotation out of Spring Training (when he outperformed every one of the Cardinals current pitchers). I think we can all agree, however, that he doesnít look right, and his confidence is starting to dwindle (much like his command). It might be time to consider a demotion, especially since Mike Matheny and John Mozeliak believed it was necessary to demote Kolten Wong earlier this season due to struggles in the Major Leagues.

Not only would I demote Martinez, but I would stretch him out to get ready to join the rotation at some point this season. Carlos is a fantastic prospect with so much upside, but he needs to be given a chance at a starting spot. I donít think itís crazy to believe that another one of the current starters is going to hit the disabled list or need some time off at some point. Jamie Garcia has practically lived on the DL the last two years. Michael Wacha and Shelby Miller are young and could use a break every now and then; and who knows what to expect from Lance Lynn every start. It would be beneficial to send Martinez down to Memphis and call up another arm for the bullpen. David Aardsma, who decided not to opt out of his contract a few weeks ago, has been stellar in AAA. He also has experience closing games out in the big leagues.

Whatís the worst that could happen?

The change of pace Aardsma offers from Jason Motte and Trevor Rosenthal could pay off.

Even after demoting Martinez, I wouldnít stop with the moves. Due to the Cardinalsí medical staffís inability to correctly diagnose injuries, Iím going to assume that Kevin Siegrist is finished for the 2014 season. Itís an extreme conclusion to jump to, but itís not out of reason. One thing Siegrist was very good at was effectively pitching to right-handed hitters. While Sam Freeman and Randy Choate are both good lefties to have in the bullpen, they have proven to be strictly lefty specialists. The next move I would make would be promoting left-handed starter Tim Cooney. Cooney has pitched pretty well at Memphis so far this season, but hasnít set the world on fire. The Cardinals have done historically well at calling up future starters and assigning them to their Major League bullpen. I say give Cooney a try. See if he can be effective against Major League hitters from both sides of the plate out of the bullpen. Of course the Cards would probably have to send Sam Freeman down again, but such is the nature of the business.

Whatís the worst that could happen?

Cooney could end up being what Seth Maness was last season.

The final move I would make would be calling up Oscar Taveras. I realize that every sportswriter in the greater St. Louis area has written at least one article encouraging the Cards to promote their top prospect, and Iím no different. Matt Adams is hurt. He has missed two starts now and has said he struggles putting weight on his leg. UmÖthatís a little problem. Whatís the point of having a player on the roster that can barely put weight on his leg? A trip to the DL might be necessary. Shane Robinson and Jon Jay are not the answer to fill Adamsís spot in the lineup. Plus, with interleague coming up, at-bats are going to be available. I say promote Taveras and immediately insert him in right field. Everyone knows Craig is versatile enough to play first. If Adams really is struggling to stand, go ahead and put him on the DL. I have a feeling his days in St. Louis are numbered anyway, but thatís for another day.

Taveras is ready. Get him to St. Louis now! He doesnít need to develop anymore.

Whatís the worst that could happen?

We could find out that the Cardinals best hitter has been stuck in Memphis for the first two months of the season. Thanks for reading!

-David Jenkins


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