Tuesday, July 28, 2009

a little "pop" in the lineup

The Cards' first big trade of the year came in the form of a utility player with more than a little experience in the NL Central.

One Cubs blogger waxed somewhat resentful about the Cardinals/Indians trade that brought the versatile Mark DeRosa to St Louis and sent Chris Perez and (eventually) Jess Todd to Cleveland:

That’s right, Mark DeRosa is now a Cardinal. The Cubs worst offseason trade of the year is now coming back to bite the Cubs in the ass. The Cubs most hated rivals just got better and it’s all because of Mark DeRosa.

Never mind his iffy start with the Cards (ending up on the DL before registering a single hit), DeRosa has been a huge addition to the club. And I'm not just saying that because Cubs fans are unhappy.


Next, as you may have heard, the Cards dispensed with Chris Duncan in the form of a film noir-type "meet on a train in the middle of the night and arrange a mutually beneficial assassination plot in which neither of us will be suspected for the murders we're about to commit" thing. The only apparent motive for either team is that of addition by subtraction. *Wink, wink*

I was not at all pleased with this trade, and I don't see any change in my feelings forthcoming. Lugo is at best a mediocre defender and an adequate hitter. His main asset is his ability to hit lefties for a little better than average. Any other team wouldn't sneeze at an offer to get him, but the Cards are so weak on the left side that we're pretty much willing to give any idiot a shot.

I don't have anything personal against Julio Lugo. I just don't like him.


Our most recent acquisition was Matt Holliday. Last year, when offseason trade rumor-mongers were eagerly sending Holliday to St Louis, I didn't get my panties in a twist over the whole thing. For one, I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of shipping off two of our best outfielders (Skip and Ludwick) in exchange for one outfielder, mainly because the math just didn't work for me.

The other thing that bothered me about the possible trade (back in November) was that Matt would have to pick a new jersey number, seeing as #5 is taken (and hopefully will never be worn by another Cardinal for the rest of all time). In the end, he went to Oakland, where even his magical powers weren't enough to keep the A's out of the basement of their division, and the whole idea of Matt in red & white was put to bed... for the time being.

Then, suddenly, John Mozeliak surprised everyone, including himself, and brought the square-jawed hit-man to our fair city (or rather, to Philadelphia, for a road series), and a true threat behind Albert was finally a reality. We gave up Brett "the walrus" Wallace, a third baseman with a big bat, less than spectacular defense, and a quite large bottom. Um, I mean, powerful thighs. Er, I mean a solid foundation. Yes, that's it. The man is very solidly founded.

Fine print: Of course, those of us paying attention realize that Ryan Ludwick, while a remarkable power hitter and above-average defender, will never get the respect he deserves from pitchers, thus nullifying any actual threat he might pose in the batter's box. We therefore reserve the right to consider him a top quality clean-up hitter, while at the same time conceding our need for someone more publicly recognized as such.

All in all, I am somewhat impressed with our GM's go-get'em-ness (???), but I still feel that now that we've started down this road, we must complete the journey. Get us a starting pitcher (Halladay or Lee will do), Moze, because if there's one thing you don't want, it's for all this farm system looting to have been for naught.