Thursday, July 12, 2018
Cut the Carp
The St. Louis Cardinals have lapped themselves.
They've gone from being a team led by standout up and comers like Matt Carpenter, to being a team led by a killer pitching staff, to being a team led by a youth movement featuring Tommy Pham and Paul DeJong, to...just being led by Matt Carpenter again because nobody else will do it.
And that's not bad. Matt Carpenter is a stellar player, with a lot of little tools that can get the Cardinals by in squeaky situations. Plus, Carpenter just BARELY missed out on owning a World Series ring, so he's been angry and driven ever since he broke into the league. I do think he's, in my opinion, one of the easier players to hate, in the sort of Dustin Pedroia way of 'I hate him because he's so good'.
The Cardinals' priorities do seem a bit busy at the moment: a lot of people are doing 'good but not great', including usual flagship stars like Yadier Molina and Carlos Martinez. Miles Mikolas is the top pitcher, which is nice, and young arms Jack Flaherty and John Gant are rounding out the rotation, as Michael Sacha has another alright season (though he's currently injured). The bullpen is also 'alright but not great', with some bloated arms, like Greg Holland, weighing down the guys who are doing well.
The batting half is surprisingly well-rounded, though. Lots of guys, like Pham, DeJong, Marcell Ozuna, Jose Martinez and Harrison Bader, are doing pretty well, though Dexter Fowler and Kolten Wong aren't really wowing people offensively. The bench is varied, the lineup works, and it's a team that's either outscoring people by 10, or...BEING outscored by like 7.
With the Cubs and Brewers, it's hard for them to REALLY shine through, but they do have a shot. Which worries me.
Coming Tomorrow- Someone who DID win a ring with the 2011 Cardinals. And...is still hanging in there.