SocraticGadfly: St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline:Most consistently inconsistent team in MLB?

July 31, 2019

St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline:
Most consistently inconsistent team in MLB?

So, the Cardinals made a mini-run after the All-Star Break, to get back into wild-card talk, to even get back into division title talk, and of course to squelch "seller" talk.

(And, no, despite offering it as an option in the poll at right, I don't expect the Birds to actually win the division this year, though when I put that up in spring training, I thought they might. Given that the Cubs and Brewers have both just made deadline day moves, I double down on this stance. Agree? Disagree? Hit the poll.)

First, I like the idea of getting rid of the second waivers trade deadline. But, I would have split the dates difference and put the unified deadline at Aug. 15. Thanks, Rob Manfred; go steal first base. From what I've read, a lot of MLB execs agree. I would hope that John Mozeliak is one of them.

Breaking news, later July 31! Mo engaged in a deadline trade. I'm sorry, no, that was a salary dump, not actual trades like the Cubs and Brewers did.

So, is this year's Cards team ready to compete?

Well, the Paul Goldschmidt trade that I lauded hadn't worked out perfectly. It's not been horrible, but Goldy just hasn't hit what used to be his top gear yet.

And, as Yadi Molina has another injury rest — now estimated to be lasting until mid-August — Carson Kelly, part of the trade meat, is doing some stuff in Arizona. Molina's leadership is missed along with his bat.

Matt Carpenter, unlike last year, did not follow a spring swoon with a summer smash.

Harrison Bader is either having a sophomore slump with the bat in center or else showing some of his true self. In either case, he sux bad enough he just got sent down to Memphis.

Meanwhile, despite my preseason warnings about Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright, and my urging of Mo to sign Dallas Keuchel, the rotation is still meh. Daniel Ponce de Leon, with an abbreviated head fake last year, is having a rookie slump. That's as Ben Dover Hochman proves he's still a sucker for the Mo PR. And signing junkballing LOOGY Adalberto Mejia off waivers is NOT a "trade deadline move."

Bernie Miklasz has a better take. I quote:
It is difficult for me to breathe anytime I recall that Cardinals’ management really thought the team was all set with starting pitching coming into the season.
OTOH, even if it is water under the bridge, he doesn't mention Keuchel either.

I mean, when your most buzzed-about possible trade piece, if you were sellers, is Kolton Wong, you're not that good of a team.

Should the Cardinals actually be sellers? Yeah, Goldy is heating it up, but you're in the middle of an 11-game stretch against winning teams, all of them likely in the playoffs. I don't care if you're leading the division by a game; you probably won't be there in a month. Agree? Disagree? Hit the poll at top right.

Is the fault in part on the players? Yes.

Is it also on Mo? Yes.

He's not been that good on building from outside, or on free agency. He did avoid giving an albatross to Albert Pujols, but also did overpay for both Dexter Fowler (unmoveable) and Mike Leake (moveable with enough cash). Oh, and I still remember how much all of the Post-Dispatch sports staff fellated the Leake signing. When "he's a great batter for a pitcher" is part of the fellation, it's bad.

Right now, Cards fans, if this team does pull a wild card out, would you expect it to advance past the wild card round of the playoffs? If, by a miracle, it wins the division, ditto; do you really think this team can win a playoff series?

Looking past this year doesn't look better. Is Marcell Ozuna gone? A two-year experiment where Mo again likely overpaid? Waino and Wacha are certainly gone, but good-bye to both Miles Mikolas is having a better year on FIP than ERA, etc., but after that, the rotation still doesn't look great. Carlos Martinez will never be an "ace." Molina is definitely getting into the "deteriorating catcher" zone. Carpenter may have had his peak. Even if Goldschmidt rebounds for a full season, there's going to be fewer parts around him.

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