Recent injuries in addition to past behaviors make it seem as though the St. Louis Cardinals have a problem with their players and trust in management.
The St. Louis Cardinals have the greatest number of players resting on the disabled list in all of MLB. This is unacceptable but is likely unavoidable during a normal season of player exposure. That said, I find myself questioning if the number of injuries has more to do with the players and their conditioning, a problem with the medical staff, or a distrust in management.
We discussed this conundrum in our most recent podcast. If you missed it, catch it here.
Our discussion started by looking first at player conditioning in response to Alex Reyes, his rehab, and his one-game stay in the majors before returning to the DL once again. The question here was that Reyes had looked so good in his rehab stints and the fact that none of us noticed anything different in his one-game return.
Was this an issue of Reyes being rushed through his rehab? Not according to us since he had numerous, low-stress starts in the minors. Was this an issue of an unspoken medical issue or missed medical issue? Perhaps. Or was this an issue of not trusting management to the degree that Reyes should have reported?
Thinking still about pitchers and the number of St. Louis Cardinals pitchers occupying the disabled list, others like Adam Wainwright, Greg Holland, Matthew Bowman, and even as far back as Jaime Garcia stand as examples of other items of distrust as it relates to injuries.
Wainwright was rushed back when not ready. Holland has yet to admit any real injury. Bowman was overused by management and into injury. And Garcia refused to admit injury to the postseason detriment of the St. Louis Cardinals.
We transitioned from Reyes to a discussion of Marcell Ozuna and the reports of his batting stance change that he found himself by watching numerous hours of video. My question was, Isn’t this the job of the hitting coach? Shouldn’t the hitting coach catch these things and impress these changes upon players?
This incident indicates to me that Ozuna may not have trusted John Mabry or may have felt that without his own work it wouldn’t get done/fixed.
Dexter Fowler clearly has something awry and yet management continues to send him out into the field as a starter for the St. Louis Cardinals. Is he holding something back and not disclosing to management?
Similarly, Matt Carpenter was struggling and it didn’t seem that Mabry nor Matheny was becoming players in his adjustments. Carpenter is similar to Ozuna and it appears that he too solved his own issues without aid from the coaches.
Another similar incident was discovered in our podcast discussion and this one occurred back in the early days of Mike Matheny. Think back a few season when the elder statesmen on the squad in the form of Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright called player-only meetings to get the team turned around, etc.
Was this a sign of distrust in management? It certainly seems as much; the St. Louis Cardinals have a problem.
Conclusion and solution?
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So, adding these three situations, do you see the triangulation of facts? To me, it certainly appears that the organization has an issue with its players lacking trust in management. If your players won’t tell management about their injuries or if the players must themselves call player-only meetings to instill work ethic, then there is a problem.
Something must be done. The time has arrived- in my opinion- to part ways with the St. Louis Cardinals management. Matheny and Mabry, through these scenarios, show an inability to lead this team (or perhaps any team for that matter). The front office must make a change and do so immediately.
To that point, I recently overheard an interview with Memphis’ general manager. From what I heard, it seems that perhaps things may be in the works involving Stubby Clapp. If you are interested in that, stay tuned for a piece I’m writing about this overhearing and what this rumor might entail.
The time is now for the front office to climb off the high-horse and make a change. That is, if they are interested in NOT losing to cellar-dwellers like the Padres.