Musings from an Optimistic Redbird Fan: 6-2012
Cards need to keep Lohse – The St. Louis Cardinals’ front office recently gave starter Jake Westbrook a contract extension. I think it was a really good move and I think the team should do everything possible, within reason, to keep their current starting rotation intact. So, the fact the John Mozeliak failed to mention Kyle Lohse in the Cards’ plans for 2013 is bothersome to me. Kyle Lohse is this year’s ace on the Cardinals staff. He is 13-2 with an ERA of 2.61. And while Adam Wainwright is coming back from surgery and Jaime Garcia is just returning from an injury, where would the Redbirds be in the standings if Lohse hadn’t performed and pitched Cy Young caliber baseball? I’m really tired of hearing the crap about baseball is a business; we lost a future Hall of Famer because of it and we may loose an ace pitcher because of it. Imagine a healthy rotation of Lohse, Wainwright, Garcia, Jake Westbrook and Chris Carpenter. Its hard to trump talent and experience and if they can keep this rotation healthy and intact for another year or two, that would be a good thing. Let’s hope Mozeliak and the front office has the guts to pay Lohse what he’s worth and bring the guy back. Instead of losing him to another NL team or worse, another NL Central team.
Joe Kelly passes test – Joe Kelly performed admirably in his first stint as a relief pitcher. In fact, he probably had flashbacks as a starter as he went 5 2/3 innings; the equivalent of a quality start. Putting him in the bullpen was a great move and will add a much needed power arm that can start or pitch in relief.
Allen Craig aka Professional Hitter – Craig will be the X factor as the Cards approach the post season. How he performs offensively will go a long way in helping the Redbirds in their quest to repeat as World Champions. Despite playing only 82 games he is fourth on the team in rbis, and leads the team in slugging % with a .572 and has a team leading OPS of .948. He’s also third on the team in homeruns. Forget the Fantastic Four…with Craig, Carlos Beltran, David Freese, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina, the Cards have the Fantastic Five!
Jon Jay Emerges – Since taking over center field, Jay has proven to be an excellent defender and is also producing offensively. Since coming back from injury earlier in the season, he is now the Cards leadoff man and hitting .316. He makes spectacular plays routinely in center field and is the only center fielder with at least 48 starts that hasn’t made an error. He also sports an “Ultimate Zone Rating” of 6.7; second best in the NL. The UZR is a defensive metric that measures how a player compares to an average player at the position. So, you’ll understand why Manager Mike Matheny thinks his player should be considered for a Gold Glove.
Thanks for reading. Go Cards!