A few quick reactions to today’s Cardinal headlines from MLB.com:
Carpenter starting the season on the DL is disappointing, of course. But it’s hardly a surprise, given that the Cardinals have been playing a game of health Russian roulette with Carpenter the last couple of seasons. The Cardinals came out unscathed two years in a row after Carpenter didn’t face more than 63 batters in either 2007 or 2008. The shuttle between DL and active roster could be a season-long problem with Carpenter, who, as most people know, faced a career-high 996 batters last year at age 36. Rather than wait until the All-Star break to act, John Mozeliak should be proactive and nip this in the bud, or it’s going to be a long, frustrating season. Roy Oswalt, please call your office.
Wait, what? After reading that Carpenter was going to miss the opener, we wondered whether something might be wrong with Adam Wainwright, too. But he’s apparently just fine. If Wainwright were to start the
Opening Day Opening Wednesday game, he could get six starts in April. As it now stands, he’ll get only five. We agree with Lohse: “Carp or Waino could be the ones out there doing it.” Well, at least Waino.
Finally, some happy news. Without a clear place to play, Craig still doesn’t need to rush back. But the Cardinals will only be better when he is activated, even if it is to strengthen their bench and occasionally spell Carlos Beltran. Craig’s return dovetails helpfully with Skip Schumaker‘s disabling.
Facing a lineup of Valdespin, Cedeno, Turner, Duda, Pascucci, Baxter, Rottino and Nickeas, Westbrook wasn’t exactly dispatching Murderer’s Row. Still, we suppose it’s better than if those names had knocked him around.
The replay revealed something more akin to a misplayed line-drive single. Erik Komatsu also tripled in the game, perhaps a more meaningful hit in terms of its impact on the team’s composition heading into the regular season.
The subhead — “Infielder/outfielder’s versatility won’t be easy for club to replace” — is perhaps overstated. As consistent an on-base presence as Skip Schumaker was early in his career, Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and possibly Komatsu (who Steamer projects to have a .339 OBP this year, and ZiPS .328) will all be able to replace him, if his more-recent performance is any indication (.328 and .333 OBP in 2010 and 2011).