Jun 25, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) throws to first base during the third inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday Thoughts And Contemplations


Sometimes it’s just hard to be inspired to write.  It’s not that there are not things going on, it’s that everyone is writing about the things going on.  Endless takes on the Ryan Braun suspension, or the speculation on what trades will be made just don’t make me want to type more of the same.  But write I need to do, so this post will be a hodge podge of my jumbled thoughts about many things.  Little snippets of baseball.

Cardinal Nation is concerned about Pete Kozma.  He isn’t hitting well.  Count me as one of the few who doesn’t care.  I really don’t.   Baseball is a team sport.  One player is not going to mean the difference between winning and losing games.  Pete Kozma makes the plays.  He is one of the better defensive shortstops in the league according to defensive metrics.  When it comes to shortstops that is what is important to me.   I was not originally high on his call up last year, I admit, but now that he is here and doing his job well defensively, I’m sold.   Trading for a shortstop is all well and good if you can get one who makes the plays as well or almost as well as Kozma, but shortstops who can do that and hit well are either unavailable or too expensive.  No, if the Cardinals want to stick with Kozma, they won’t hear any complaints from me.

Cardinal Nation is also concerned about Jon Jay.  This one I do care about.  I like Jay, I really do, but I think it is time for the Cardinals to look into other options.  Those options don’t have to come from the trade market.  Playing Shane Robinson more often is one option.  If one bothers to check his numbers, Robinson is actually hitting better than Jay and is a better defender.  He also hits from the opposite side from Jay, so a LH/RH platoon makes a lot of sense.  And when I say Robinson is hitting better than Jay, I don’t mean batting average.  I’m talking about OBP, SLG, wOBA and wRC+, all numbers that mean something and are higher for Robinson than for Jay.  Now, I admit I am talking about small sample sizes, but for the time being, I am willing to ride those small sample sizes.  In the meantime, maybe an internal option manifests itself (Pham, Chambers, etc) or someone worthwhile becomes available in the trade market.

Starting pitching is giving people fits.  But Shelby Miller is already showing signs of coming out of his funk, and I am willing to give Lance Lynn more time to come out of his.  As for the 5th spot, use Kelly, and if that doesn’t work, use Martinez, or Wacha, or Lyons, or even Siegrist.  I am not opposed to trading for a starter if one can be found who doesn’t require giving up a shipload of prospects.  Good luck with that Mr. Mozeliak.

I’m worried about Yadier Molina.  Molina has hit .244 since June 19.  What is the significance of June 19?.  That date is one day following the date on which his BA peaked at .367.  It has been going down every game since.  Now, I am not saying I expected Molina’s BA to stay at .367.  It was bound to come down.  But the speed and the consistency in which it has fallen is concerning.  If Molina has changed his approach, it is not for the better.  He seems less patient at the plate, more often than not swinging at the first pitch, and not with good results.  We need Yadi to hit.

Allen Craig is awesome.  So is Matt Carpenter.  There is a whole lot to like about this team, so my previous comments shouldn’t be taken as complaints, more like observations.  This is a good team, and I am happy.  But a team should always look for ways to improve.  I am looking forward to seeing that happen.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tags: Jon Jay Pete Kozma St Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina

  • Moveguy

    I disagree with about 80% of this article which is headlined by the Yadi part. The guy is still leading the league in hitting and you are concerned about his approach at the plate. Seriously? He dropped 28 points in over a month from 367 to 339. OMG! How about being concerned about Mujica who has been getting lit up the last 2-3 weeks? If not for a HR saving catch the other night by Craig he would have blown his 3rd save in recent weeks. How about concerned about Freese who is still not hitting for power or average and his fielding is bad? How about Holliday who is hitting 40 points below his career avg?

    But then again one of the two Cardinal NL MVP candidates should be a concern of yours.

    • mrlyngreen

      My “concern” is fairly low on the panic scale. In fact, as I said in my last paragraph, these are only observations, not complaints. Yadi is swinging on the first pitch a lot more than he used to, which appears to me to be a change in approach. If it is, then why would he do that when his prior approach worked just fine? Seems like fixing what ain’t broke.

      As for the rest, I see no evidence to be concerned at this point about Mujica. Hitters may be getting more of a look at that changeup, which could account for some of it. It is easily fixed by making some adjustments. As for Freese, his decrease in power is in line with the rest of the team. Everyone’s power is down, which most likely is due to a change in approach at the plate, hence the high averages with RISP. Freese’s fielding is not bad, he is the same as he has always been. Holliday has always been a second half hitter, those numbers are likely to improve.