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Game 78 Open Thread: June 30, 2006

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suppan duckworth
6-4, 5.09 1-1, 4.96

the angels DFA 'd jeff weaver today; i wouldn't mind seeing the cardinals take a flyer. not if it's going to cost any worthwhile talent, mind you, but the angels don't have a whole lot of trade leverage here. if the cardinals can get him for, say, john gall or larry bigbie or reid gorecki -- well, why not?

i suppose there is the matter of weaver's 2006 performance . . . .

you'll argue that he's no better than the rag arms we already have, and maybe you're right. but i think he has something left, and the ante is now low enough -- $115K for the balance of the season -- that it's worth placing the bet. he's had a painfully bad 1st half, but this is still a guy who was a solid #3-type pitcher as recently as last season, when he won 14 games for a 71-91 team and posted 21 quality starts in 34 outings. this year, even as bad as he's pitched, weaver has turned in 7 q.s. in 16 tries -- the same ratio as marquis, and only 1 q.s. fewer than either suppan or mulder. despite the ugly w-l and era this year, he has the same low walk rate and good strikeout rate that made him successful in the past. with a return to the (easier) national league, where he had his two best years, and with some run support and a decent defense behind him, he might yet contribute some value.

another consideration: weaver has been a 2d-half pitcher the last couple of years. in 2005 he went 7-3 after the all-star break (7-8 before it) and lowered his era by half a run; in 2004 he was 7-4 after the break (6-9 before) and, again, improved his era by half a run. it does not strain the imagination to suggest that weaver might come in here, make 16 starts, turn in 9 or 10 quality starts and win 7 games. . . .

i can hardly believe i'm suggesting that the cards should bring in yet another rag-armed retread. but weaver is no sidney ponson. in 2004-05 he went 27-24 with an era of about 4.10 -- ie, he pitched somewhat better than matt morris. his established level of ability is inarguably better than ponson's, and at least equal to marquis' and suppan's. when the cardinals were rumored to have interest in weaver back in january, i pooh-poohed the idea -- but at that time it was thought that he would sign a multiyear deal at $10m per. now that you'd only have to pay him the same as you'd pay bo hart -- well, why not? if ponson's worth a $1m bet, this guy's got to be worth half the league minimum. best case: weaver pitches well enough for the cards to dump ponson; if/when mulder returns, the cards send marquis to the bullpen or trade him to an american league wild-card contender.

the discussion is probably moot -- it's thought pretty likely that the dodgers will reacquire weaver . . . .

cardinals diaspora reminds y'all to root, root, root for the sanders tonight when he returns to busch 3. reggie comes in hitting an even .250 with 9 hr and 38 rbi.