Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Training Was Not Encouraging

The start of baseball games that actually matter is almost upon us, and since I am studiously avoiding the NFL offseason, and waiting for the NBA playoffs to start so I don't have to deal with all these shitass teams trying to lose, let's check back in on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Alex Reyes got hurt before Spring Training even started. He's out for the year. So welcome Michael Wacha back to the rotation! Wainwright's been trying to hone a changeup throughout the spring, and getting his ass beat, which doesn't exactly bode well for my hopes he'd rebound this year.

In the bullpen, Trevor Rosenthal just went on the DL today basically. Tuivailala will be taking his spot in the 'pen, as the Cardinals answered one of my prayers by already including Socolovich on the roster. So it's Oh, Bowman, Cecil, Socolovich, Broxton (sigh), Tuivailala, and I don't know. Rosie's out now, Lyons isn't ready yet I don't think, maybe it's John Gant.

On the position player side of things, the team has supposedly worked out a contract extension with Molina for three more years at $55-65 million. Which would cover Yadi up through his age-38 season, and make him the highest paid catcher in baseball. And let's be honest, he probably won't be producing at the level of best catcher in baseball, it's unlikely he'll hold up, but I'm generally OK with this. It isn't my money, for one thing. There's no guarantee the Cardinals would spend that money somewhere else, or spend it intelligently, if they didn't spend it on Yadier. As profitable as this team is, this should not preclude them from signing some potential big name free agent, like Manny Machado or Bryce Harper (assuming either of those guys would be interested in coming to play for the Cardinals). I'm still surprised, though. I've grown to expect them to let the veteran guy walk in favor of the cheaper option.

Elsewhere on the diamond, Jhonny Peralta was named starting 3rd baseman, while the team has once again walked back from an earlier vote of confidence in Kolten Wong, with Matheny mentioning Kolten will possibly be platooned. Although based on Matheny's past history, he doesn't mean "platoon", where the lefthanded hitter plays against righties, and the righthander against lefties. He means he splits time up based on who happened to have a good game last week. Wong stated he wasn't happy and would rather be traded when informed of this by a media person, and much arguing commenced among the fans.

If Matheny did platoon Wong with Gyorko, the former against righties, the latter against lefties, that would be a reasonable and understandable decision. Wong could still be unhappy, but it wouldn't be a bad call. Like I said, though, Matheny hasn't shown any capacity to understand how to do that, so this will probably result in Kolten having a bad week, and finding himself glued to the bench as he reenters the Labyrinth of Working Through Adversity.

Interesting that Peralta, who has also sucked during Spring Training, and has one year left on his contract, is not facing any talk of being platooned.

In the outfield, Pham has looked unable to even see the ball in Spring Training, continuing an unsettling trend that started partway through last season. So he was left off the roster in favor of Jose Martinez. Oh boy. But don't worry about Martinez being the only backup outfielder, because the Cardinals are going to play Matt Adams out there as well. It pains me to type that. So much for giving a shit about defense this year. I'm sure the rotation can't wait to watch Adams flail around in left field like a slowly dying manatee.