I'm not sure when the Saturday post will be up, but in case it won't be, a discussion question culled from the comments of yesterday's post: What is this team's bench going to look like? What should it look like? Here's my pick, assuming as ever that La Russa takes twelve pitchers.
- CF Skip Schumaker -- I'd rather take Barton north, because he bats right-handed and Schumaker might be more likely to return a left-handed reliever or an A-ball prospect, but so long as Skip is on the team he's going to make the opening day roster.
- LF Chris Duncan -- same here; I think Joe Mather is more likely to be able to hit in April and May, and he might help the Cardinals by standing at third base, but Duncan is going to make the team if he's healthy, or even Isringhausen-healthy.
- IF Joe Thurston -- He seems like a perfect La Russa pick; he plays second, and as a result can be stretched at short, which TLR loves to do, he's really fast, he bats left-handed... Spring Training cliche prediction: he gives you a lot of looks out there.
- IF Tyler Greene -- here's my surprise pick. Thurston is going to stand at shortstop if he can make the team, but Greene is by all accounts a very rangy defender at short. He steals bases at a high percentage, in addition to that, and if he has a good spring the giant holes in his swing might not be so obvious. If the Cardinals don't pick up any more infielders—and I think they might—he could get a La Russa Put the Ball in Play dispensation.
- C Jason LaRue -- To paraphrase Groucho Marx, "Hooray for Catcher LaRue, the African Inquirer—well somebody's gotta do it."