The day the Brewers acquired C.C. Sabatha, the Cardinals sat three and a half games behind the Cubs and half a game ahead of the Cerveceros. Sure enough, the Cubs countered with a move of their own and acquired Rich Harden. That was over two weeks ago.

A week ago, the Cardinals were in second place, four games behind the Cubbies, and one game ahead third place Milwaukee.

Tonight, after an eight-game winning streak by the Brewers, the Cardinals sit in third place, four games behind first place Chicago.

Sure, it may not be enough to call it a pattern, but the reality is that Sabathia has been everything the Brewers needed and the Cubs added talent to an already talented roster. Does that mean the Cardinals have to make a move?

No, says my brother, a hard-nosed, die-hard Cardinal fan.

One argument is for the Red Birds to get some bullpen help

Little brother says the imminent return of team ace Chris Carpenter, as well as last year’s revelation Adam Wainwright, will push starters Braden Looper and Mitchell Boggs to the bullpen. Plus the icing on the rotation’s cake is Kyle Lohse’s “out-of-no-where” season.

As far as their closer situation, the good news is that in lieu of a disappointing Jason Isringhausen, Ryan Franklin has collected 14 saves in 18 chances. The bad news is he has four blown saves, the latest one coming in walk-off fashion off the bat of Ryan Braun, who happens to play for those very same Brewers.

What about a bat?

They may need a bat, but Troy Glaus has been hot, not to mention All-Star Ryan Ludwick, Rich “it was still legal” Ankiel and Pujols, are all on pace to collect 100+ RBI.

Even Yadier Molina is having a solid year, batting 40 full points above his career average.

Show me some glove

And, little brother says, don’t underestimate defense. The Cardinals are tied for the best fielding percentage in the National League with the Astros.

While all of those are compelling arguments, the truth of the matter is the Cards need to stock up if they want to keep up in the NL Central. The most glaring need is bullpen help, and they’ve sent scouts to keep an eye on Oriole’s closer George Scherrill. What’s more, too much pitching is never a bad thing, which is why they’ve been mentioned in A.J. Burnett trade speculation.

If the Cards do make a move (which I think they need to), all signs point to pitching help, but adding a good bat off the bench couldn’t hurt.

What They Need Index

5 Responses to “What They Need: St. Louis Cardinals – Bullpen help, maybe a bat”

  1. Thanks for the love, Sarah.

  2. Part of me wonders why bloggers get such a bad reputation. Then I remember that in the real world there are these things called editors that make the god-awful shit you write readable. Maybe your “die-hard” brother can tell you that it’s Braden Looper, not “Brendan,” and Glaus, not “Glauss.” Too, in the biz, is there such a thing as a fact-checker, who might remind you that Braun’s homerun was not a “walk off,” but in fact a go-ahead shot in a visitor’s stadium. Not to mention the fact that a return of Carpenter and/or Wainright would certainly lead to a demotion of Boggs, who is seen as a starter not as a reliever. You should be absolutely embarrassed by this post. And to think, I was actually looking forward to what you guys had to say about the Cards.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Hey Shawn, your concerns are duly noted. We actually do have an editorial process on UmpBump—because spelling is hard, and stuff—usually what we do is just proof each other’s posts right after they’ve been posted. But since you apparently get up very early (at least as far as our time zone is concerned) you just beat us to the punch this time. And let’s not turn this into an MSM-vs-Bloggers thing—I’ve yet to read a newspaper without a lush “corrections” column. Anyway, we’ll fix the errors. Thanks for the heads-up.

    About moving young starters to the bullpen….I am leery of this, in general, but the Red Sox have been playing around with it for the past year or so (with Lester last year, and now with Masterson) and it seems to be working so far. Better than overpaying for bullpen help, anyway. Maybe other teams should be more willing to try it.

  4. Alejandro Leal says:

    Hey Shawn, thanks for the classy feedback, I wasn’t aware that the Cards had hired you as their pitching consultant, maybe I should run posts by you for approval.

    I dunno if Boggs is going to the bullpen, but if you or I knew we wouldn’t be posting on this forum. Stay classy…

  5. the little bro says:

    Hey Shawn, talk about fact checking, a team will do what they deem necessary will ultimately help them out this season. In case you don’t recall, these same cardinals two years ago placed a pitcher that was seen as a starter in the bullpen and BAM, what happened they won the WS, oh yeah this pitcher was Adam W. He was ultimately became a stud in the rotation, and if the cardinals see it necessary to place boggs in the bullpen as opposed to going out and sacrificing some prospects to rent out a player for the rest of the year, then they most certainly will do so.
    It just sounds like you are a frustrated blogger that isnt very good at what he does, and has to take it out on comments.

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