Greetings, Cardinal Nation. Grab a drink and pull up a chair, because it is time for reflection and deflection with the baseball team that hangs their hat on the Arch.
The St. Louis Cardinals are in the midst of another painful stretch of baseball, redefining what it means to tiptoe across the bridge of mediocrity. It’s a hard day’s night for the rogues in red-and there’s no rehab vessel in sight. Or is there? Let’s dive right in with some fresh musings.
- Stephen Piscotty is in trouble. The outfielder has return from his rehab assignment in Peoria and isn’t faring any better than before his injury. He’s 1 for 12 since his return, which is nowhere near where the Cardinals need him to be. He is also hitting cleanup, but can’t find a broom. In a 3-2 loss on Friday night, Piscotty went 0-4 in the fourth spot. But damn it did he hit that last fly out well, so let’s bake a cake of hope around that pile of bullshit. The truth is Piscotty is like a breakfast treat without a cup of coffee at the moment. He’s wrapped up in a highly disappointing season that followed a rather large extension. He was nearly traded this past week. How sad are you that he is still here? It’s simple: Piscotty had a great first season, but he has either fallen into some bad habits, or teams have the jump on him at the moment. Who wins the next round? In the meantime, don’t bat him 4th.
- Could Yadier Molina beat up Mike Matheny? Let me answer my fellow Redbird Daily scribe Clay’s question real quick: Hell no! Matheny would drop Molina in four seconds. Right cross, bible scripture, and a prayer would follow.
- You can hold onto the off-field issues with Piscotty too. Everybody knows his mother was diagnosed with ALS this year, but there’s still an accountability factor, and that is something the young man would agree with. Matt Holliday’s mother was battling cancer a few years back, but he didn’t get a pass for his work on the field. Piscotty has to produce when he plays, or someone else will. That’s the big leagues. That is the pros.
- If Piscotty can’t find it, should the Cardinals give Jay Bruce a look? I covered this over at KSDK yesterday, but the moral is easy to understand: if General Manager Michael Girsch thinks this CURRENT team can catch the Cubs, he’s drunk or drinking a lot of red punch. This team has no middle of the lineup thump and doesn’t scare the Cincinnati Reds pitching staff. Help is needed, and Bruce could help. He’s a proven commodity that brings power and a pistol in the outfield. Bruce has a 2.5 WAR this season to go with 29 home runs and 75 RBI. He would cost the Cards four million and has cleared waivers, so he can be traded.
Give Bruce four chances at that Reds pitching staff on Friday night and the Cards probably don’t lose 3-2. Just saying.
- Jedd Gyroko has fallen back to Earth rather hard, slugging just .325 in July and catching rest in August. While he’s a handy bat who can crush an unsure fastball and provide some good defense, Gyorko isn’t a huge threat to pitchers over the long term. He’s an elastic band that is due to snap after 3-4 weeks of usage. Sad but true, like the Cardinals. I love the contract that the San Diego Padres are helping pay this year, but he isn’t a 4-6 lineup place-holder.
- The Cardinals can’t seem to beat division rivals on the road. They have an infection or something in those road grays.
- Paul DeJong is 3 for his last 23, and the slug has been ejected from his production. Does my colleague Allen Medlock have a point about recalling Aledmys Diaz-the 2016 love child of Cardinal Nation-or is it too soon to yank the Illinois State basher? Diaz has earned the cup of coffee with the club, and would only strengthen an infield starting to leak oil all over. Banishing Paul DeJong isn’t a good idea, but he can use a push from the Cuban sensation originally known as Mr. Diaz.
- Matt Carpenter has ONE home run since June 24. Bruce has crushed ten home runs since then. Think about it.
- Mike Leake came back to Earth too. We’ll always have April of 2017, Michael. So so good.
- Tommy Pham has zero shits to give about this “falling back to Earth” idea. He is holding up quite well. Is he the much-delayed Hollywood blockbuster that gets its release date pushed back a few times, but dazzles upon its arrival? He’s the highlight of this season.
- If only Randal Grichuk hit as well as he looked.
- Final thought: I don’t expect the Cards to catch the Cubs, but I hope the final two months of baseball is better than the last three. The final 22 games of the season for the Cardinals come against N.L. Central opponents, so the ball will be in their court.
Shape up or drop off. Get busy playing better or please start drifting away. Make up your mind.
That’s all for now. See you next Saturday.