Ladies and gentlemen, bad just went to worse for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Their worst nightmare came true when Matt Holliday suffered a quad strain during Monday’s game against the Colorado Rockies. On Tuesday, the Cardinals placed Holliday on the 15-day DL and threw the lineup into even more turmoil than anticipated this season.
The skeptics will say the Cardinals can’t possibly overcome this injury. The doubters will wonder how long the Cardinals can hold on before the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates overtake St. Louis in the standings.
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To which I say this. Hold your horses.
There is a way the Cardinals can come out of this smelling like a… well, maybe not a rose, but with a fresh scent of flowers attached. St. Louis does not know yet how long it will be without Holliday’s services. It will likely be for an extended period, but whether that it is a month, two months or longer remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have the services of hitters like Jon Jay, Randal Grichuk, Peter Bourjos and Jason Heyward. If even two or three of those players can produce on a regular basis, then the Cardinals will look better for it all around.
The injury, while costly, did not strike at the heart of the Cardinals pitching staff. Had this been, say, Michael Wacha, St. Louis may have been devastated. With a healthy Wacha, Lance Lynn and Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals have three strong pitchers.
They will need the pitching. Holliday’s injury increases the likelihood of a bat coming to St. Louis very soon. Whether that bat is Ryan Howard or someone else is yet to be determined. As much as the Cards would like a pitcher and a bat at the trade deadline, the team may have to settle for a bat and hope for the best.
A lot hinges on Holliday’s recovery. Wainwright is done for the year. Adams appears to be headed in that direction.
If the Cardinals find out Holliday is toast for 2015, then it may be strike three for the season. I have a feeling, especially if general manager John Mozeliak has anything to say about this, that it won’t be curtains for the Cards.