April 27, 2017

The lineup the #STLCards need right now

Two keys.

First, per Derrick Goold, and other Cards fans besides me, Matt Carpenter needs to be in the No. 2 hole, right behind Dexter Fowler. (And, it looks like Mike Matheny may start doing that.)

Second, everybody and their grandma knows the gig is up for Jhonny Peralta. (With his front-loaded contract, John Mozeliak may be able to get something for him in trade value, especially if he's sent to an AL team where he can also DH.)

Depending on whether its Jedd Gyorko at 3B instead of Peralta, and Kolton Wong at 2B, or Gyorko at second and Greg Garcia at 3B — or the occasional Garcia/Wong lineup — that leads to this.

Lineup 1:
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Matt Carpenter, 1B
3. Jedd Gyorko, 3B (for now)
4. Stephen Piscotty, RF
5. Aledmys Diaz, SS
6. Randal Grichuk, LF
7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Kolton Wong, 2B
9. Pitcher

Lineup 2:
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Matt Carpenter, 1B
3. Jedd Gyorko, 2B (for now)
4. Stephen Piscotty, RF
5. Aledmys Diaz, SS
6. Randal Grichuk, LF
7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Greg Garcia, 3B
9. Pitcher

This ignores the Garcia-Wong days on the IF, and days when Grichuk spells Fowler in center, or Jose Martinez takes an outfield position (for the love of god, Matheny, no Matt Adams out there, and learn more strategery in general), etc.

Longer-term, assuming Diaz moves BA and OBP to where it was last year, and Gyorko falls back to where he was last year, the two of them flip spots. If Grichuk gets his package together, he could even move to No. 5. I still like him ahead of Molina, because of both power and speed.

The batting stuff, otherwise, I expect the team to get past shortly — though I still consider the Fowler contract to be a long-term overpay, in its mix of five years rather than four, a full no-trade, and unlike Peralta's, not being front-loaded. Per a Goold comment, the empty seats at Busch late last year really must have scared the team.

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