First off, would like to introduce myself to VEB. As much of a fan I am of the Cards, I haven't been on this site too often and have a few questions regarding the future of the Red birds and what you guys think the roster will look like in a year or 2.
First off, regarding Adams, Taveras and Wong, I'm curious where you guys think they will be next year. It seemed that while Jay was struggling at CF, that Taveras would eventually come in and replace him, but the past few games he has really gotten his swing back and his glove would definitely be missed had he not been in our starting lineup. I expect to see both Jay and Taveras in the outfield with Oscar at one corner and Holliday at the other. However, there are two things that are holding me back from this image. One being that without Beltran the past month, our offense would've really been hurting given Freese and Craig were slumping along with Jay. We had no lead off man getting on base with the exception of Carpenter at times. I'm starting to think Beltran has enough left to bring him back for another year or 2 given how well he has produced. But there simply isn't enough room in the lineup for him, Adams, and Taveras.
Ideally Oscar would replace his bat but you have to think there might be a decent learning curve from triple A to the majors. Also, where does that leave us with Matt Adams. Then it becomes an issue of Jay vs Craig if Mo and Matheny decide that Oscar is definitely going to be called up. I've heard many people say, just trade Adams with a young arm (which I'll get to) and get a SS. Problem I have with this is Adams looks like he can be a stud and a 1b/DH for the next 10 years. Since we obviously don't have a DH, Craig would have to bounce out to the outfield, and Taveras to CF with Jay to the bench.
Or, the last option is Craig to 3B with Freese slumping the way he has, and Freese to the bench. Clearly you can see i'm just looking for some kind of solution as Carpenter's bat is proving to be very valuable and Wong is still waiting for his chance in the minors to fill in 2b. It seems every position but SS is stacked with several options on this team or a stud all star that isn't moving barring some unforeseen injury.
Lastly, our pitching is beyond deep with Martinez, Wacha, Rosenthal, and Kelly all trying to take Westbrook's spot next season (hopefully the team doesn't pick up his option and I can't see how they will). I personally would love to have Wacha and Martinez come up and Rosenthal stay in the pen, but we simply don't have enough room. I would again, hate to trade either one, but if I had to trade one i would say Martinez. Problem is, they are too good to keep in the bullpen and too much upside to trade. But should any of our other starters get hurt, we are instantly looking for a replacement and wish we still had one of our youngsters available to plug in, so do you keep them all? Not to mention Manness and his ridiculous control.
Basically as you can see, and all already know, we have so much depth that im extremely curious with how you guys expect to see our roster shape up in the next few years. I have the utmost respect for Beltran and would have no issue with him coming back for a year or 2 if he produced well all year, but do you stunt the growth of some of your younger players while paying him 8-10 mil/yr?
I clearly don't have the answer, and again, would love to hear your guy's thoughts on the future of the redbirds.
Thanks for reading.