“The sky is falling!” That’s been the common sentiment I’ve seen over the last couple days, since the news came that shortstop Rafael Furcal is still feeling the effects of the elbow injury he sustained last season and has been shut down. News came out yesterday that he’s going to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion after meeting with the team’s doctor on Monday. Odds are ever increasing that he won’t break camp with the Cardinals and will begin the 2013 season on the disabled list.
The Cardinals were caught with their pants down for failing to acquire a big name shortstop in the offseason. They should have babysat Furcal through the winter to make sure they knew how the arm was. The season is doomed. We need to mash the panic button and trade everyone away for Troy Tulowitzki.
Those have been some of the statements I’ve seen Cardinals fans making over the last couple days. There may be some truth to the statements, but they aren’t all truth. They are worth considering. Continue reading
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that Rafael Furcal will be placed on the 15-day disabled list and in his place they will activate infielder Pete Kozma. Furcal was sent back to St. Louis after last night’s game feeling a pop in his elbow. The team is calling it a “right elbow strain,” however pops are not good. There is rumbling that he may require Tommy John surgery, which could have him missing the beginning of next season. But that is still just speculation as the team hasn’t announced the results of his examination today yet.
Pete Kozma was recalled from Triple-A Memphis last night and activated today. He will start at shortstop tonight against the Washington Nationals for his third career Major League start.
Kozma, 24, was drafted in the first round of the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft. He had a short stint in St. Louis last season where he hit .176/.333/.235 with 1 RBI in 22 plate appearances over 16 games. He logged just 15 innings at short stop, spending 29 innings at second base and 1 inning at third base. Continue reading
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have signed Jake Westbrook to a new deal. The deal is essentially a 1 year deal that gives Westbrook $250,000 more than he would have made on his 2013 option and gives both parties a mutual option worth $9.5 million for 2014.
Westbrook, 34, said earlier this month that he intended to exercise his half of his $8.5 million option for 2013 but admitted he wasn’t sure what the team was going to do. He got his answer.
He is certainly pitching worth it right now too. With a 12-9 record and a 3.50 ERA in 24 starts, he is enjoying the second best season of his career by ERA+. His best was 2004 where he got his only career All Star nod and finished at 14-9 with a 3.38 ERA. Continue reading
Last night Mike Matheny was left with a choice. Do you leave in Daniel Descalso to face Pittsburgh Pirates’ closer Joel Hanrahan? Or do you pinch hit using Skip Schumaker.
We all know the outcome. With Carlos Beltran on first with two outs, Matheny elected to leave Descalso out there and he hit a line drive to center field to end the Cardinals’ 21st loss in 1-run games.
Normally things like this may not make much news. However, when you have Skip Schumaker on the bench, hitting .314 on the season and finally playing slightly plus defense at second base, why aren’t you playing him? Why is Descalso out there? There are many reasons why Schumaker would have been the better choice over Descalso. Continue reading
For the third time this season Lance Berkman is headed to the disabled list. The move was made this afternoon as the team recalled outfielder Shane Robinson from Memphis to take his spot on the roster.
Berkman, 36, had just returned from the disabled list two weeks ago after having knee surgery. He was continuing to have inflammation in the knee that gave him trouble in the game last night. On July 24th against Los Angeles, Berkman took a line drive off his knee near where the cut was, which may or may not be related. He had hit .182/.341/.333 since his return from the disabled list.
In his place, Shane Robinson gets the call. Robinson started the season with the Cardinals and in 64 games is hitting .256/.304/.344 with 2 home runs. He was optioned to Memphis in July to make room for Berkman. He has hit .300/.388/.414 in 18 games for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate.
There were also some injury concerns around Rafael Furcal and Yadier Molina who were examined by team doctors today. However, both are still in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Brewers.
Here the Cardinals’ sit today, 7.5 games back in the NL Central with a 54-48 record after 102 games. After 102 games last year they were tied for the division lead with a 54-48 record.
Over the last 10 years, a team has needed 90 wins to get a Wild Card in the National League. That means over the last 60 games of the season that start Tuesday against Colorado, the team needs to go 36-24, that’s .600 baseball. Still doable without going on some crazy run.
When you look at the schedule and Home/Road splits for teams, we don’t play a team with a winning record where we’re playing them until we go to Cincinnati and then to Pittsburgh starting August 24th. That means the next 24 days are absolutely crucial for the Cardinals if they intend to make the playoffs.
If the Cardinals and the other teams continue to play at the same winning %s, the Cardinals will likely go 32-28 the rest of the way. But ladies and gentlemen, that’s why we call it baseball. From August 24th to September 2nd we have a 10 game road trip where we play Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Washington. That will be the season.
Something that’s also fun to think about is that the Cardinals host the Reds in the final series of the season in Busch Stadium. How epic would it be to rob them of the division on the final day of the season? Continue reading