Despite the fact that the Cardinals are in all likelihood not making the postseason this year, September is still an interesting month for St. Louis. While legitimate contenders prepare for the stretch run to the playoffs, the Cardinals can actually get a lot accomplished during the final few weeks of the their season. The focus has in many ways shifted toward the future of the franchise, leaving us with a number of talking points. All of the latest Cards news is headed your way after the jump.
Speaking of shifting to the future, John Mozeliak recently indicated the club’s interest in retaining shortstop Rafael Furcal, who will become a free agent at the end of the season. Negotiations are not currently open between the two sides, but Mozeliak hopes to get the ball rolling before season’s end.
When you look at our club since he came to our team, he’s just really changed the look of it. To try to find a way to get him back makes sense. But we have a lot of balls in the air. To try to balance it out financially and make it work is a challenge. But based on how he’s played, and the type person he is and the energy’s he brought to the club, there are a lot of positives.
~Cards GM John Mozeliak
Lucky for the Cardinals, Furcal himself wasted no time returning the organization’s interest. Whether or not Furcal is really the best option at shortstop for next year and beyond, I think it’s positive that both sides to be on the same page, especially considering that nothing else seems like a guarantee this offseason. While Furcal has managed to hit just .222/.277/.381 in 138 plate appearances for St. Louis, his energy and impact defensively has clearly been valuable.
I love the city. I’d want to play for St. Louis. I’ve got to sit down and talk with my agent about business. I haven’t done that yet. But we’re open. Everybody knows what I can do if I’m healthy. I know that. Right now I feel pretty good.
Let’s move on the St. Louis bullpen, which has obviously been through a lot over the course of this year. Through all of the mixing and matching, all of the ups and downs, one man had remained as consistent as they come. That man is 29-year-old Jason Motte, who hadn’t allowed a single run in 21 consecutive relief appearances before giving up one to the Brewers en route to a save last night. The guy has just been sensational, posting a 1.70 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 58.1 innings of work. He also has 17 holds and 51 strikeouts. Motte has solidified himself as one of the go-to-guys in the Cards’ pen, and his versatility in various situations is crucial for a Tony La Russa managed team.
In other news, the Cardinals announced their final September call-ups on Monday. The list consisted of infielder Tyler Greene, catcher Tony Cruz, and outfielder Adron Chambers. The three other players added to the roster earlier were pitchers Maikel Cleto and Brandon Dickson and outfielder Shane Robinson. Nick Punto was also added to the active roster yesterday, coming back from a July 28th oblique injury. I think we could have predicted many if not all of these call-ups, and it should be interesting to see if any of these guys make a solid impression heading into the offseason.
Finally, when I heard the news that Sunday’s Phillies/Marlins game was played under protest, I immediately wondered when the last time was that MLB actually upheld a protest. As it turns out, this last happened in 1986 when a game between the Cardinals and Pirates was protested because the game was improperly called because of rain. The game was picked up from the point of suspension, and the Cards ended up coming away with the win.