Cards Anchor Lineup with Unusually Bold Trade Deadline Deal


I could hear fans all over St. Louis today asking the friend that told them the player that was traded to the Cardinals today: “Wait…did you say Halladay or Holliday?” I spent the entire All-Star Break trying to convince everyone that the bat plugged a more important hole than the arm, and at a more affordable price. Mozeliak agreed, and today the Cardinals inked the slugger for the rest of the season. It cost the organization Brett Wallace, along with OF Shane Peterson and right-handed sinkerballer Clayton Mortenson. After Oakland pitched in to help pay the 6 million still owed to Holliday this season, the Cardinals only paid 4.5 million for this season’s rental.

Two hours in and I’m tired of hearing about how this trade is identical to the Mulder trade. With baseball, all you can do is try to make a move to help the ballclub make a playoff run. Mulder ended up being injured, which really couldn’t have been reasonably foreseen. It was a move made in good faith that happened to fall on its head because of circumstances.

This trade is the same: Tony La Russa has been clamoring for this cleanup bat for some time, and he recognizes it’s what the team needs. I think a pitcher can absolutely change the dynamic of a playoff race, simply look to CC Sabathia last season. But with Carpenter and Wainwright being as sharp as they are, you have to assume that those two guys anchor a rotation just fine. However Ryan Ludwick, as well as he’s been swinging the bat, is not who you want in important games down the stretch behind Pujols. We need some run support for these pitchers. When you can have a pitcher that has a 3.09 ERA but still has a losing record (Piniero), it seems to me that you would want to generate more runs.

The Cardinals fixed several holes with their clever deadline additions: A lack of 3B production, a lack of a potent cleanup hitter, and a clear SB guy. I don’t feel the rotation or the bullpen needs pre-empted any of these needs, except I would have taken a fifth starter over Lugo. I think the price was right on all three of the acquisitions.

The trades will make Tony salivate, giving him even more ingredients to change while trotting out a new lineup card every night. The hardest part for me is who to put in front of the pitcher. TLR doesn’t like Molina for speed reasons, so I think it will typically go to De Rosa or the 3rd OF. Plus De Rosa and Lugo’s infield flexibility make players like Barden, Thurston, and Hoffpauir much less valuable. Brendan Ryan, however, is still the best option at SS because his range is superior to Lugo’s since he’s been beaten up the past couple years. If Glaus comes up, it will even result in only more options for the outfield and maybe the hot corner.

Looking forward, if the Redbirds are blessed with good health, they will have an exciting run toward the postseason.

My lineups:

LHP Lineup:
Lugo 2B
De Rosa 3B
Pujols 1B
Holliday LF
Ludwick RF
Molina C
Rasmus CF
Pitcher P
Ryan SS

Against RHP
Skip 2B
Rasmus CF
Pujols 1B
Holliday LF
Ludwick RF
De Rosa 3B
Molina C
Pitcher P
Ryan SS

  • http://bellsouth.net Charles Griffin

    Your lineup against right handed pitching is absolutely the best lineup in all of major league baseball. We know that, regardless of the NY-LA reporters, the Cards possess 3 of the top 6 starting pitchers in the league. In my 55 years living and dying with my Cardinals, this is one of the best balanced teams I can remember us going into the playoffs with.
    I also think we need to look forward to ’10. We must resign our core players, while not pulling a Bruce Sutter or Jack Clark again. Would you agree that our core consists of Carp, Waino, Pinero, Albert, Holiday, DeRosa, Schumaker, Brendan Ryan, Ryan Ludwich, Yadi Molina, Rasmus, LaRue(?), McClellan, Trevor Miller, Brad Thompson(?). This gives us between 10-12 positions to negotiate for money and ability. With money coming off the books and Lugo basicly paid for, we can sign our core players plus add John Schmoltz and a #1 front line starter, Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay. Schmoltz called Halladay another Carpenter. Is there any question that TWO Carps in the rotation, along with Waino, Schmoltz, and Pinero puts us back on top again next year?