Every week (likely every Saturday morning) I’ll post “Buy or Sell” – where I give a thumbs up or thumbs down to various St. Louis Cardinals trends/topics/musings that are commonly discussed throughout the week.
With that said, let’s get underway for the week of August 18
The Beginning of the End of the St. Louis Cardinals?
August has been a mix of highs and lows for the St. Louis Cardinals.
In one hand you have the team winning at an incredible rate, including a span of two weeks where they almost didn’t lose at all.
Hell, even the bullpen couldn’t slow them down.
In the other hand is an injury bug that came and bit the Birds in the ass this past week, as both Trevor Rosenthal and Adam Wainwright are now dealing with arm issues.
At first glance, it seems Rosenthal may be a long-term thing, Waino is TBD at best.
So with the injuries to two core players, is this just a bump in the road, or a sign of things to come?
Well, it’s hard to imagine the team compensating for the loss of Rosenthal, as he was pitching at a very high level – some may say as good as any reliever in the National League.
Wainwright, while not his old self, was seemingly finding ways to win games – knotting 15 wins on the year.
Bottom line, both of them have been valuable (however you want to define that word), to the Cardinals’ minor success this year.
While players like John Brebbia, John Gant, Tyler Lyons and Luke Weaver will have to pick up the slack in their absence, it’s not a dead in the water situation.
Sure Rosenthal was lights out at times, but the bullpen as a whole has been better as of late, and maybe by a collective effort, they can compensate for his loss.
Wainwright will be replaced by Luke Weaver, who by many expert opinions was probably due for a longer look as a starter anyways.
So while it is not the most ideal situation, as long as the offense keeps rolling and the rest of the staff can stay healthy, there are reasons to be optimistic.
While the losses definitely hurt the club, they don’t kill them, not by a long shot.
Verdict: A soft Sell
Is an August Waiver Trade Brewing?
The waiver wire has seen a number of different names come through and go unclaimed, and the Cardinals front office has taken notice.
At least that would be the hopeful thought of St. Louis fans.
Whether or not the club makes a move to strengthen its roster remains to be seen, but with the injuries to two of its Major League arms this past week, the pressure is on now more than ever to make an acquisition.
I mentioned above how valuable Trevor Rosenthal has been to the club this year, and losing a talent like that hurts…badly.
There may not be a reliever out there that can match what Rosenthal has done this year, but is there somebody proven enough to help the Cardinals get over the hump and safely into first place?
Tyler Clippard (now Houston) and A.J. Ramos (New York Mets) found other teams, and would’ve probably been at the Cardinals’ wish list had Rosenthal’s injury taken place a few weeks ago.
So at a high-level glance, the answer is no, and the team now stands to use minor leaguers to fill the void.
The Birds also have the fortune of September call-ups coming very soon, as the club could use that as both an audition for future status on the parent club, and to help them vault the Chicago Cubs for the division crown.
Names like John Gant, Dakota Hudson, and John Brebbia (amongst others) will definitely cross the minds of the front office in St. Louis.
With the slim pickings on the reliever yard, and a few attractive options within the organization, I don’t envision the Cardinals making that desperate move.
Is a Storm Brewing?
Not much to talk through this week other than the major injuries. It almost seems like the calm before a storm.
Will that storm be a continuance of winning ways, or the start of a free fall?
Time, as always, will only tell.
Thanks for reading! Follow @TonOfClayton for more rants, rhymes and rumblings the rest of the season.