So we are a week into ST and I can't help but think about what I'd do if I was in charge of the Cards roster. Much has been discussed about what to do about the outfield. We've talked over and over about who should be the odd men out. I know most of us aren't happy about the middle IF situation (Kennedy/Izturis). It seems we are all fans of our young guys who have worked/are working their way through the minors. Like it or not the pitching staff seems to be mostly set (except the 4th/5th starter battle). If you were in charge how would you shake this roster out? Here's what I'd do:
1B - Pujols
2B - Miles
SS - Ryan
3B - Glaus
C - Molina
LF - Barton
CF - Schumacher
RF - Ankiel
1B/3B/OF - Mather (Spezio Role)
OF - Ludwick (would be in somewhat of a 3-way platoon with Skip and Barton)
C - Larue (I actually like this signing, tons of experience if Yadi gets hurt)
2B/SS - Izturis - (expensive late inning defense)
2B/SS/3B - Jimenez - (love the OBP and hits from both sides of the plate)
What to do with the rest:
Duncan - This guy has gotta to be traded for a SP and he's gotta go somewhere where he can play 1B or DH. How neat would it be to see him launching homers into McCovey Cove back home in the Bay area?
Gonzalez - I just can't give this guy an opening day roster spot. Trade him if you can. If not, I'm okay with sending him to Memphis if he's willing to go. We could wind up needing a veteran slugger if Albert goes down. Overall, I'd prefer not seeing him wear Cardinal red.
Kennedy - In the words of Weird Al, "Just Eat It!". Easy for me to say since it's not my checkbook.
Rasmus - Starts in the minors. Call him up if Slick Rick gets hurt, or just when he's punished AAA enough.
Phelps - Starting 1B for Memphis. Emergency depth.
Hoffpauir - starting 2B at Memphis. He'll be up at some point during the season to make his case for '09. I love this guy and want to see him as the starter someday, but if he's just gonna be Aaron Miles Version 2.0 ...I'd rather have Miles.
Barden - Starting SS for Memphis. Emergency 3B depth if Freese/Craig aren't ready.
The main problems I see with this is the obvious fact that the guy (Noah Lowry) we could get from S.F. for Duncan is hurt and there is zero pop from the left side coming off the bench. The latter is a problem that the cards have anyhow with Spezio's release. I wonder if the Giants have any prospects the A's would take to complete a 3-way deal for Joe Blanton (the Cards would probably have to chip in a prospect or two, also)....I'm sure the Giants would rather have Dunc than Dan Johnson if they are looking for a 1B (which they should be). The trade would look something like this:
Cards get: Blanton
Giants get: Duncan
A's get: 2 Giants prospects & 2 Cardinals prospects
For the record, I have no idea what kind of prospects the Giants have and I don't really feel like looking it up.