St. Louis Cardinals: Peralta, Kelly, and Mozeliak conspiracies

michaeldavidmiles
Jun 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta (27) reacts during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 21, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta (27) reacts during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
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The recent moves related to Jhonny Peralta mean more to Carson Kelly and the St. Louis Cardinals than simply an activation, or so a conspiracy might support.

The St. Louis Cardinals recently activated their aged and experienced third baseman, Jhonny Peralta. While I have pushed for him to be traded- and I still feel this way- I think his activation has more of a ripple effect on catching prospect and heir apparent to Yadier Molina, Carson Kelly.

Let me say this before moving on, this post is completely my speculation. I know no facts that support my thoughts other than my having watched GM John Mozeliak’s moves over the past few seasons. I think what I’m going to suggest here has a greater potential of actually happening than some of the rumors I have proposed in the past.

Here’s the short of it: Mozeliak has activated Peralta to get enough evidence to either trade or DFA such that Matt Carpenter (or Jedd Gyorko) can move back to third base opening first base for Molina to platoon at while Kelly promotes and learns MLB catching.

While I pushed hard for Peralta to be offloaded, there is simply not enough evidence for another team to take interest at this point. Activating then from the disabled list allows Peralta to show one of two things: either he still has it enough so that another team will want him, or that he doesn’t have it still and needs to be released.

Either option, happening this season or at the season’s end (albeit the St. Louis Cardinals could simply let him walk at the season’s end), creates an opening at third base. Currently, Gyorko has been manning third to keep his bat in the lineup. His question would be if he could fill the post full-time or not.

Another option at first would be to move Carpenter back to third and have him platoon there with Gyorko. This would be a nice left-right platoon. This leaves first base… first could see the same platoon, honestly, but it could also allow Yadi to train Kelly while resting his aging knees.

Should Yadi move occasionally to first, which is something that I think will be necessary to complete his recent extension, then Kelly can man the plate on those games. This would allow first to be a left-right platoon with Carpenter and Molina.

In case you are wondering, Carpenter has a career -2.0 UZR at first base in 963.2 innings at the position. He has a career -7.0 UZR at third in 3,561.2 innings. Ouch.

How about the others? Gyorko owns a career 1.0 UZR at first base in a mere seventy innings and a career -0.5 UZR at third base in 642 innings. And Molina? In only eighty-two innings at first base in his career, Yadi owns a -0.4 UZR.

Let’s just look at these numbers honestly, Gyorko is playing third because he is the best third baseman bat the St. Louis Cardinals currently can trot out there (and a good one at that). Carpenter’s numbers argue that he is used best when he plays first and we need not even look at Yadi’s numbers to know that he is best behind the dish.

More from St Louis Cardinals Rumors

Those things admitted, we need to consider whether the time has come for Carson Kelly to emerge or if the St. Louis Cardinals have other plans. In the most recent Redbird Rants official podcast, the guys and I talked about our thoughts on the Cardinals’ likelihood to trade Harrison Bader and/or Kelly. To me, Bader is as good as gone but this was a view not shared.

My conspiracy theory espoused in this article is my justification for believing that Kelly is soon to rise and Bader is soon to depart.

To recap, I believe the time has come to sent Peralta packing, platoon Carpenter and Gyorko at third base, platoon Carpenter and Molina at first base, and platoon Molina and Kelly (promote Kelly) at catcher. By the way, this is easy for me to suggest since I am a big fan of platoons.

Before departing, let me show you Kelly’s offensive numbers. Take them with a grain of salt as they are triple-A numbers. In 124 at-bats, Kelly has posted a .323/.404/.556 with seven round-trippers to his credit. Couldn’t the stagnant St. Louis Cardinals offense use a player with these numbers?

Next: Bullpen RED ALERT

This rumor, this conspiracy theory could well be far-fetched but knowing the Machiavelli ways of Mozeliak, I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this happen. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Mo stick with Peralta and the roster the way it is today (albeit I think this would be a mistake). What do you think? Thanks for reading!

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