Thursday, April 2, 2009

Are There Even Options for Third Base?

As we take a trip down memory lane, we notice that we are in a far too familiar place already in the 2009 season. If you haven't figured out what I am talking about, I am referring to the recent news of Troy Glaus. We have seen this time and time again in regards to Mark Mulder, Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen etc... and how these situations end up. I think Troy Glaus is a tremendous talent and what he did for us last year is only a testament of his abilities, especially on the defensive end. But as we move forward in this debacle which acts as a dark cloud over what seems to be a bright 2009 season, we find ourselves asking ourselves the same old question: When will (fill in the blank of whatever star player we have had) return? The medical staff, P.R. people and front office always seem to have a hard time answering this question. We always hold high expectations on the return of these players, but the people behind all of this do not help on setting these unrealistic timetables. But when they do return our hopes and prayers have been answered, but usually only for a short time. For example, Chris Carpenter just last year in the 2008 season. When he returned, you knew something wasnt right. I liked the fact of trying to ease him for only 3-5 innings per outing, but you could tell something was nagging at Carpenter and he was far from the Carpenter of old. Result: Season ending surgery. Then the Mark Mulder saga. I always held high hopes for him and I wanted him to return to the Cardinals healthy and prove everybody wrong, but what happened? The same old story. He returned to only reaggravate his injury. And now Troy Glaus, a solid piece of the Cardinals lineup and who also seemed to be a defensive mainstay is out for an unknown period of time. Glaus' timetable went from reasonable (May) to whoah! (June) to Mark Mulder status (After the All Star Break). Surprising? Absolutely not. So I am trying to help spread the word on not getting our hopes up and to trust what we have in house as well as our front office. I understand that the Cardinal faithful do not want to do that, but we are paying Glaus $11.5 million dollars this year to NOT play the hot corner. When are we going to learn?

So, what are our options? Staying in house.....again? Which is a tough one to swallow, but is the only reasonable answer at this time. One question that sticks out in my mind is: How is that Edmonds trade looking right about now? Jim was my favorite Cardinal of all time and yes it was hard to see him go, but the guy we got in return (David Freese) is paying dividends and its looking like he is going to be our Opening Day starting third baseman. Who would have thought that that would have happened? I am very high on David Freese and I think that his talents will only excel when he gets more time at the major league level. We also have Wallace in the minor leagues, but his defense is far from major league ready. I was kicking around some ideas. Lets play "What if this situation doesnt work?" game. Meaning, what if David Freese doesnt pan out at third base liked we thought he would? What would you like the Cardinals to do? Here are some possible options:

1.) Stay with Freese
2.) Take a flyer on any capable player out there
3.) Make a trade

I think the most illogical option is option number three, making a trade. Even though there have been some rumors about trading for Ryan Raburn from Detroit, that would not be a wise decision. If we were to trade for a player, they would have to be more than adequate at defense at third base. Meaning, basically trying to obtain an everyday third baseman. This is the last thing that we should do for two reasons: (1) That player would only be a rental due to Freese and Wallace waiting in the wings. We would also have to give up pitching most likely and that is the last thing we need to be doing right now. And (2) There is no way that we will try to obtain an everyday third baseman because that means he will be a proven, older player who will be expensive. For instance, a guy like Melvin Mora who would probably be available due to the fact that the Orioles have close to zero pitching. The next option posed that I am a little mixed about is taking a player through waivers. I dont think this would help, nor do I think it would hinder our current situation. For instance, Dallas McPherson who was just released by the Marlins. He hit 42 home runs last year in AAA along with 98 Rbi, yet nobody seems to be giving him a look. So why dont we take a waiver on him? I think our hands are tied. I personally dont want to pick up McPherson because then we would have a logjam at third base which is something that we are already dealing with in the outfield. Lastly, I think the most logical decision would be to stay in house. I know, I know you are saying, "NO! NO! God we are so cheap if we do that" etc... which may be the case, but in our recent penny pinching ways, the way that I see it, will only help us in the future. If we are able to fill the holes on our Major League club with the guys that we have that are ready to make the jump from the minors, we are at a huge advantage. An advantage that not many clubs out there have. We are going to have to buy into what the Cardinals are doing right now because it is the way of the future. We could look back a few years from now and talk about the major mistakes that we made, but by that time, especially in this instance, this decision will not be one of those mistakes.

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