OK, so this was going to be today's installment no matter what response I got in yesterday's "If '07 (and possibly '08) is a bust..." thread. Since the response was what it was, I thought this would be an even better idea today.
I'm usually one of the optimists on Cardinals message boards, so I would love to assume that '07 will not be a bust and we will get right back in it starting with a winning road trip out of the All-Star Break and seem to be on track to make the playoffs. If so, and management decides to go for it this year, what should happen?
C - Molina (don't see him going anywhere)
1B - Pujols (will get better)
2B - Kennedy/Miles (platoon will need to work out, that means Kennedy needs to hit righthanders.)
3B - Rolen (finds some power again
SS - Ryan/Eck (Eck plays well - and uninjured - after coming back from this one)
LF - Duncan (Dunc is what he is after break, too)
CF - Edmonds (comes back from injury as strong as he went into it)
RF - Encarnacion (keeps up his usual pace)
C - Bennett (stays same)
INF - Spiezio (slugs more like last year than this year)
INF - see above (Kennedy/Miles)
OF - Ludwick (starts to hit lefties better, too)
OF - Taguchi (plays like he has all year)
SP - Carpenter (comes back healthy and pitching well)
SP - Maroth (looks more like he did against SF and NY than he did against CIN)
SP - Looper (comes back strong from injury)
SP - Wainwright (pitches like he has in wins and no decisions rather than like he has in losses(7.82 ERA in losses))
SP - Thompson (he's pitching the best (how well he's done stat-wise AND compared to what Duncan wants) out of him, Wells, Reyes, and Wellemeyer)
RP - Izzy (keeps up pace)
RP - Percival (arm doesn't break down after 2 years off)
RP - Springer (continues pace)
RP - Franklin (doesn't fall off much)
RP - Johnson/Flores (one gets slightly better - probably TJ)
RP - Cate (continues to shine brilliantly)
RP - Wellemeyer (does better relieving than starting)
That would mean Ryan goes down when Eck's back, Skip goes down when Edmonds is back, Wells and Flores (possibly) get DFA'd, Reyes gets sent down or sent packing (preferably sent down and told that next season they will let him pitch like he knows how in the minors and will just build on his strengths...just finish the year getting back to what he knows.)
What should happen from here?
In September, bring up Reyes, Cavazos, Jimenez, Falkenborg (maybe?), Worrell (maybe?), Ankiel (if we can do that and not lose his option), Stavinoha, JRod, Ryan, Bozied, and Hoffpauir. That's 11 players and you can bring up 15 (I think), but why not give them a shot to see "The Show" and possibly get time during the playoffs if they play well enough (see Kinney last year - came out of nowhere to shine in the 2nd half...I know, not just September, though)
What deals could possibly get done to improve this group? I don't know because I am of the boat that says do not mortgage the farm to get a piece or two just for this season.