I bet Reyes is relieved. I don't see how they can send him back after tonight, but knowing the Cardinals he will already be on a flight to Memphis as I write this early Sunday morning. I really liked Reyes's aggressiveness and reliance on his fastball, particularly against Ryan Braun. In the first inning he struck him out on 3 pitches, finishing him off with the high heat. In the 4th Braun went down swinging again, the next time on 4 pitches, again on a 92 MPHer up. Then Tony had to be Tony, taking the ball from the kid in after he just threw 67 pitches. I can understand why TLR would trust Ryan Franklin, the dude has been nothing but nails all season while Reyes certainly has not, but the kid was in a groove, just hit a tiny blip in giving up the HR and his reward was a ride on the pine when he looked like he was just getting warm. I don't get it.
As for the trade deadline looming, you have to think with the Cardinals as close as they've been in a while, they will look to buy. Even if the season is shot, they'll be looking with the future in mind. Just for fun, let's look back to see what WJ has done when the Cardinal teams he was overseeing were less then perfect.
- On July 31 of '97, with the team back by 7.5 games, Walter traded Eric Ludwick, T.J. Mathews, and Blake Stein to the Oakland Athletics. Received Mark McGwire.
- On 7/31/98, the team was in dire straights, being 13.5 back, so they traded Royce Clayton and Todd Stottlemyre to the Texas Rangers for Darren Oliver, Fernando Tatis and PTBNL Mark Little.
- On 7/31/99, 11.5 games out, the team swapped on utility man for another, trading Shawon Dunston to the Mets for Craig Paquette.
- In 2003 Walt was 2 games back behind the Astros, but the bullpen was in tatters and he was content to stand pat. Later he traded for Sterling Hitchcock and Mike DeJean. Hitchcock "cost" the team Justin Pope, a previous 1st round pick who after doing well for 2 seasons in the low minors was struggling in his first season of high A ball. FYI, Pope is still trying to find his way to the bigs, still a Yankee farmhand pitching in relief for the Scranton/W-B Dunderballers..I mean Yankees.
McGwire was obviously an offer Walt could not turn down, and the deal was made with the future of the team in mind, as they signed him to a long term deal shortly after. Stottlemeyer was actually pitching quite well when he was traded to the Rangers, but he was the third highest paid player on the team making $4.9 mil and Clayton was making about $3 mil himself. It was a salary dump, but he received Oliver who went on to pitch 196 inning the next year, and young Nando was a major league ready hitter ready and displaced Gary Gaetti the following year. In '99 he stood pat for whatever reason and in 2003 there was an obvious need he was unable to address until it was probably too late.
One thing we do know about Walt, the trades he makes usually have the long-term future in mind. The only name I can think of off the top of my head that would possibly fit that bill is Jon Garland, and I'm afraid Ken Williams will ask for Rasmus and/or Chris Perez, which would be suicide. If AJ Burnett wasn't on the DL for the zillionth time, I think he could've been a distinct possibility. We'll see what happens. Al Hrabosky mentioned on the broadcast that the Red Sox had scouts looking at Eckstein, which seems like typical Al talking out of his...well, you know.
- Elsewhere, first round pick Pete Kozma made his debut with the GCL team. He was part of turning 3 double plays and at the plate he walked and struck out.