Good morning, everyone. How are you today? Did you sleep well? I hope you did.
I had planned on doing a draft preview this morning; I'm way behind where I wanted to be on those this year. However, an unfortunate confluence of work, personal life, and the fact I completely forgot today was an early game in spite of it being in Chicago at Wrigley Field, has put the kibosh on those plans. Ergo, in an atempt to get a thread up at a decent hour of the morning, long enough before game thread time to offer a chance for proper conversation, I shall endeavour to bring you a brief, to the point post containing a few thoughts you can hopefully run with.
I will, however, avoid any sort of in-depth discussion of Skip Schumaker starting at second base last night. This isn't a family blog, exactly, but I would prefer to not push so far that VEB starts tripping workplace obscenity filters. And, honestly, much discussion of Skippy at Second is going to bring just that out of me. So, moving on.
I bring you bullets, you bring me your love.
- I am much relieved this morning after seeing A.D.A.M. pitch the way he did last night. He was infinitely sharper than he had been in his first three starts of the season. The fastball had more pop to it than recent starts, the slider wasn't spinning up there like a Jason Marquis Special, and the curveball, oh, the curveball. It was beautiful, my friends. I missed you, Adam's Curveball. Let's never fight again, okay?
- You know how I know I've been watching way too much hockey this season? Last night in the ninth I was silently urging the Cards to keep it tied so they could at least get the one point for extra innings.
- I've decided I'm tired of watching all the Cardinals' options at second base. I like Dirty Dan well enough, but I don't think he's quite starter quality. Love the guy playing all over the diamond, but I"m just not sure I want his bat in the lineup every single day. Tyler Greene has long been a favourite of mine, and I've defended both his real numbers and the ones I put together in my head for him, but he's the one who left the door open for Schumaker. If Tyler had come out and performed like half the player I think he has the talent to be, Skip would have no shot. I'm pinning my hopes now on Kolten Wong, who is currently hitting .339/.431/.579 in Springfield, good for a 185 OPS+. He has 9 extra base hits and an 8:8 BB:K ratio in 72 plate appearances. There was much consternation when Wong was selected last year; I'm proud to say I was higher on him than most. However, I did not see him bursting out of the gate like this. He's putting himself in a position that the club could very well be forced into making a decision about promoting him to Memphis by midseason, and from there who knows what could happen? Help us, Obi-Wong, you're our only hope.
- Matt Holliday is a strong dude. It was freezing cold in Chicago last night, he did not catch Carlos Marmol's hanging slider on the sweet part of the bat really at all, and yet he still had the strength to drive that ball out of Wrigley. More of that from Matt would go a long, long way toward making up for the players the Cardinals are missing right now.
- This bullpen scares me a little. Not a lot, necessarily, but a little. I believe in Jason Motte, I believe in the Scrabbler. I partially believe in Mitchell Boggs (I want to believe in him, but we're not quite there just yet), and I mostly believe in Fernando Salas. The rest? Not a bit. The trouble with your good relievers blowing a game or two isn't just the losses; it's the accompanying panic you feel as you realise those were the good guys out there, and there wasn't anything better the manager could have done about it.
- The Albert Pujols homerless watch now stands at 74 plate apperances in an Angels uniform. I'm just saying, is all.
- I'm curious as to what the community here would be willing to give up in trade for, say, Matt Garza. No, I haven't heard any rumblings or rumours; I was just watching him pitch the other night and thinking the Cubs are probably going to end up moving him, and he's going to be quite a get for some team. Still squarely in his prime years, he posted one of the least-celebrated 5.0 WAR seasons I think I've ever witnessed last year. I don't know what it would take to get him, but I would imagine it would have to be a pretty spectacular package. (Obligatory that's what she said.) Would anyone here be interested in dealing from the Cards' currently loaded farm system to try and grab up such a prized commodity while the Cubs are in between competing?