St. Louis Cardinals: The Buffa Bullet Round


St. Louis Cardinals fans, welcome to the Bullet Round, where I will dish on a number of Cardinals topics.

Wherever my St. Louis Cardinals blogging days have taken me, a bullet round like feature have followed. Whether it was the Dose of Buffa page, Cardinals Farm or the Cards Conclave. When there isn’t one solid topic to discuss, why not touch on a number of topics and please a few fans looking for something on a chilly February night. Let’s begin things with the Hulk of Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Holliday at first?

Matt Holliday is working out at first base, taking grounders and giving into the notion that he can play a few innings there. This is still comic book lore, because I don’t think Holliday jumps Brandon Moss, Matt Adams and Stephen Piscotty on the depth chart over there.

Like seeing one of those stunts in a movie and being wowed but admitting at the same time, “Only in a movie”. It’s not a realistic thing yet because the Cards value their defense and he’s never played the infield in the majors, but the more he hangs out there, the more newsworthy it gets. I am just glad he kept the beard up to this point.

Fowler an option?

Dexter Fowler may be jobless, but I don’t think John Mozeliak needs to take a look. The only thing Fowler truly possesses is the ability to get on base. A lifetime .363 on base percentage is the only selling point. He struck out 154 times in 2015, turns 30 in March, and is terrible defensively wherever you put him in the outfield.

Fowler will get a one year deal somewhere because he is some value to a team with a need. The Cards don’t have a need for Fowler’s skill set. If Randal Grichuk goes down, Tommy Pham deserves a shot. When healthy, I believe Pham can be as good as Fowler offensively and a lot better defensively. Yes, Pham can be better than Shane Robinson.

More from St Louis Cardinals News

Skip joins Jay

Skip Schumaker signed with the San Diego Padres, and I am happy for him. He’s a good dude who put in some fine work as a Cardinal before his inevitable decline in halfway decent talent. He joins Jon Jay in SD and will give them something of a utility presence. Maybe.

Aging Core

I’ve heard people get mad at the constant reporting on Jason Heyward’s comments about the aging core and I have one answer for that crowd. Deal with it. It’s news. It will get reported throughout 2016. It heats up the Cubs-Cards rivalry even more. There’s nothing worse than hearing whiners spat about a juicy rivalry tidbit.

Heyward said it, meant it and can deal with it. You know what’s not worth reporting? Justin Bieber’s latest haircut. Heyward’s words carried some truth and it will be interesting to see how the AARP baseball crowd respond. Holliday needs to walk to the plate during the first series with a cane in his hand. Nevertheless, stop whining about the content.

Return of the MVP?

David Freese was talked about over at Viva El Birdos, the fine SB Nation website. Would Freese come back to St. Louis? First, Freese isn’t done yet. He put together a solid 2015 season hitting behind Albert Pujols. He can play an average third and first if needed. Freese smacked 14 home runs and slugged .420 in 121 games while assembling a 2.3 WAR in 2015.

He will be 33 in April. Why else would Freese be of interest to the Cards? He hits LH pitching very well. In over 600 lifetime at bats, Freese has a .826 OPS, including a .459 slugging percentage. That is a lot better than Adams and Moss. However, Freese will likely land somewhere that guarantees him at bats. In a pinch, he isn’t a bad idea to counter a LH heavy first base corps.

A new “Flying Hawaiian”

It’s going to be a big year for Kolten Wong. The kid is full of confidence and has shown the high side and the low side in his first couple seasons. He will ascend or drop down in 2016. I think he should abandon the need to make contact and just indulge his inner power hitter.

Easy does it with Piscotty

Temper your expectations for Stephen Piscotty folks. I am hearing some people expect this kid to be Willie Mays incarnate in 2016. Slow it down. This is his first full MLB season and he should do well. Let’s not expect him to be Rambo just yet. Something around a .775-.800 OPS would be solid. I don’t need him to be Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton and the Big Puma!

Speaking of Giancarlo, if the Cards lose out on the Bryce Harper 400-500 million sweepstakes in a few years, they could try to pry Stanton out of Miami if a situation develops. Back to reality…

Happy birthday Lance Berkman. Your game tying single in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was great but so was your entire October. Also, thanks for trying to fill in for Pujols in 2012. Injuries caught up to you but the insurance in advance was nice.

Next: Holliday at first base again

If Yadier Molina keeps racking up gold gloves and nets another World Series ring, I think he has a decent chance at the Hall of Fame. The odds for catchers entering the hall isn’t too optimistic but a Yadier Molina doesn’t enter this league that often.

He may not have the offensive stats, but someone as revered in the game and one who carries such a large effect will get consideration. If he bounces off the first ballot like Jim Edmonds, there will be riots in St. Louis.

Since it’s getting kicked around in the news, a 2017 Winter Classic at Busch Stadium would sell out and be a crowning achievement for a city that treats the other sports teams in town like family. Blues, Hawks, Busch, some powder on the ground and maybe a puck drop from Brett and Bobby Hull.

If you ever have a burning topic to be talked about, tweet me @buffa82 on Twitter. I like taking topics and spinning a quick take. Don’t hesitate because I will actually respond and give you an answer. If you like what I have to say, you can follow me later.

Thanks for reading.