Prior to Monday night’s game facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, the General Manager for the St. Louis Cardinals met with coaching staff and then the press to announce some changes.
Thank the gods that GM Mozeliak spoke up. It is about time. The St. Louis Cardinals simply could not have gone on the road to loserville. The “changes” he made (if we assume that he indeed enforced these changes) had immediate impact as the Cardinals took game one from the Pirates.
Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch reported on Mozeliak’s statements. Let’s take a look.
First up, Mozeliak was noted as saying that he didn’t see many impact options in Memphis indicating that call-ups might not be coming soon. I am a little surprised by this on one hand and not surprised on the other.
My surprise in this statement is that there are nice performances taking place in Memphis from the likes of Tommy Pham (I know, even I am amazed that I’m making this statement), Carson Kelly, Luke Voit, etc. On the other hand, I am not surprised because I completely understand forcing the big-buck-earners to perform without a cop-out that the cavalry could be coming.
Next, Mozeliak assured fans- in his political way- that the Matt Adams experiment in left field is all but done. His words were, “doesn’t seem to have traction anymore…probably best to move on.” Well, duh. It was probably time to move on after spring training but Mike Matheny is too stubborn to recognize this.
So now the question is what will happen with Adams? With Matt Carpenter scratched from Monday’s game due to the injury to his index finger, we could see Adams appear at first base some over the next week or so. Or, if we are lucky, some other move will come for Adams; that’s my hope!
The third piece of news from Mozeliak was the fact that Tyler Lyons would be joining the team this week from rehab. This is great as he could well fill in for Adam Wainwright if needed. If this is the case, then I could completely see Wainwright and Lyons being the fifth starter with each covering two-to-three innings each then handing over to others in the pen.
Once Lyons rejoins the team, however, a corresponding pen move will be necessary. Will this spell the end of Kevin Siegrist or Jonathan Broxton? While I would prefer either of these (I’d take Broxton’s exit over any other), it wouldn’t surprise me to see Miguel Socolovich heading back to Memphis or released.
The fourth piece of news, in Langosch’s list, was that the organization is applying a short leash on Jhonny Peralta. Peralta has been a major disappointment this season- his final season on his contract- both defensively and offensively. His current slash is .120/.185/.120.
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This short leash news is good news. The St. Louis Cardinals cannot afford for Peralta to continue to play at third making errors (he has committed two errors already in this young season). The St. Louis Cardinals cannot afford for Peralta to continue to appear in Matheny’s lineups in the four-spot to hit a miserable .120. Shouldn’t the organization pull the leash now?
The final piece of news from Langosch’s report is Mozeliak’s concern for Yadier Molina. According to Langosch, Mozeliak was confused by Molina’s lack of crisp play and openly wondered if Yadi might be injured. Is this prognosticating? Is this preemptive for a move to the DL (to justify it for fans later)?
All of this came a few hours before Monday night’s game wherein Molina was absent from the lineup, wherein Peralta was absent from the lineup, and wherein Adams was absent from the lineup. In their stead, Greg Garcia got the start at third (went 0-3) and Jose Martinez started at first (went 1-3). Also, Eric Fryer got the start over Yadi and went 0-3 himself.
While the results individually aren’t that great, the play was great and I’m always glad to see a lineup full of players with everything to gain and nothing to lose. Players like Garcia and Martinez will out-play their competition if only to earn more playing time. Players like Fryer will hold down a position well until Yadi can come back 100 percent.
So, did the Mozeliak “changes” make an impact? Darn right they did and I, for one, am glad of them. Let us hope they continue. Stay tuned for more on whether these changes (and perhaps more to come) have or will right the ship.