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Cardinals vs. Indians - 6-12-09Posted Friday, June 12, 2009, at 4:08 PM
There are a few things to discuss about today's game with the Indians, so let's get going.
FSN Midwest's website confirmed that Brian Barden has been optioned to AAA Memphis, while pitcher P.J. Walters has been recalled. You may remember Walters being blistered in his first stint earlier this season. In five games with the Cardinals, he posted a 9.58 ERA in 10.1 innings. He struggled with control, walking six, and he was also the victim of three home runs. It's unlikely that he will be in the rotation since Brad Thompson seems to have taken Kyle Lohse's spot for now; however, if Walters DOES make a start instead of Thompson, you can bet it is because he is being showcased as possible trade bait. If the Cardinals were really wanting to fill Lohse's spot with someone besides Thompson, it would have been either Mitchell Boggs -- who has had some success at the Major League level -- or prospect Clayton Mortenson, who boasts a 6-3 record with a 3.29 ERA in Memphis.
There are rumors floating around about Brad Penny of the Red Sox being on the move, and the Sox are interested in receiving young pitching in return. If they have inquired about Walters then I would believe that is the reason he got the call instead of Boggs or Mortenson. This is purely speculation, mind you, but I can't see any other reason for Walters to be recalled unless he is being showcased for a possible trade.
Tonight's starting lineup for the Cardinals is as follows:
T. Greene 3B
You will notice that Colby Rasmus is not in the lineup, and that's something I don't understand. Yes, I know the Cards are facing a lefty tonight and Rasmus has been eaten alive by southpaws all season, but if he is going to be the future of the Cardinals' outfield, he's going to have to hit lefties. The only way he's going to learn how to do it is by facing them. Duncan has been useless as of late, so having him in the lineup is a mystery. I figured Stavinoha would be the DH and Rasmus would play CF tonight, but Tony proved me wrong.
Possible trade pick-ups
As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, the Cardinals desperately need some offensive help, particularly in the infield. There have been several rumors floating around that the Cardinals may be interested in several different third basemen, such as Mark DeRosa, Adrian Beltre and Garrett Atkins.
DeRosa would be a nice pickup because of his versatility, especially if Troy Glaus does end up coming back from rehab this season. He's a great clubhouse guy and is going to do everything you ask of him, including hit around .280 with 20ish homers. He seems to be the favorite among Cards fans to be picked up, but I don't think he is a true impact bat. He would be great to have in the lineup, though, as he is a savvy veteran who can drive in some runs. We will see him tonight in Cleveland.
Beltre has been an impact bat in the past, but his huge price tag will likely be the reason he doesn't come to St. Louis. He is not having a great year, and he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Couple that with the fact that we would have to give up prospects to have him as a rent-a-player while also picking up a chunk of his salary, and he's just not a good fit. What is appealing about him, however, is that he is a legitimate second-half hitter who comes on very strong at the end of the year. That could be very beneficial for the Cardinals. He's also a Gold-Glove-caliber defender at third.
Atkins has been a rumor that really doesn't seem to fit. He's having an awful year and he has a career .253 batting average away from Colorado, which makes you wonder if he's a product of the thin air (though he has 47 home runs in Colorado and 47 career homers away from Colorado, his OBP, SLG and OPS are all significantly lower away from Coors Field).
One name you might not have heard about in the trade rumors is Chone Figgins of the Angels. The Angels, per ESPN's Jayson Stark, are making any of their infielders availabe if they get young pitching with upside in return. Though Figgins is a slap hitter, he is a high OBP guy with the ability to get on base in front of Pujols. This could be deadly if Ludwick can come around and end up protecting Pujols like he did last year. Figgins has great speed and can help produce runs as a true lead-off man. Interesting, right?
Another name that is coming up briefly in trade rumors is SS Stephen Drew, J.D. Drew's younger brother. He is a great young player for the Diamondbacks, and it seems as though they may be entertaining some trade talks for a few of their guys. I don't think this will happen because the Diamondbacks would want some serious players in return, but trades do sometimes happen out of nowhere, and he would be great to hit in front of Pujols for a long time.
Cardinals fans are also loving the idea that Matt Holliday has been talked about as a possible deal for the St. Louis outfield since Oakland is looking to unload his salary. He's really starting to heat up after a slow start to the season -- nobody hits well in Oakland's cavernous park, by the way -- and he would be a huge asset in the clean-up spot behind Pujols. Again, price will be an issue with Holliday, but you have to give to get. If the Cardinals are serious about contending, they can't keep running Duncan out to left field. They need some clout, and Holliday provides that.
Leave some comments about trades you would like to see happen.
A blog for Cardinals fans by a Cardinals fan. This blog will explore the happenings in the St. Louis Cardinals organization on a semi-daily basis, from roster moves to game-by-game analysis.