The countdown to baseball’s waivers-free trade deadline has positively been illuminating.
Rookies flashed long-term intensity while respirating some life into a muted Cardinals. With a Memphis Mob relocating in on their domain — and trade rumors swirling around a group — some veterans had to consternation about their future.
Executives John Mozeliak and Mike Girsch stayed bustling on their phones, monitoring a marketplace. Will they spin buyers before a deadline? Will they sell?
Or will they buy AND sell while stability their register reconstruction?
Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray set a pitching market. While Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn prepared to make his Sunday start as scheduled, a Athletics suspended Gray while exploring a trade with a New York Yankees for a package of prospects.
What happens with Gray will assistance establish a trade cost for Lynn, an imminent giveaway representative who could spin one of a Plan B options for other teams.
(Houston is among a teams reportedly interested. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is still vocalization to his aged employer. Apparently there are no tough feelings over a whole “Hackgate” thing. The Astros done out utterly easily with those breeze picks.)
While Lynn quietly awaited word on his fate, conspirator Adam Wainwright missed a start with a teenager behind injury. That brought rookie Luke Weaver behind into a fray, this time as a starting pitcher.
Weaver breezed by a Arizona batting sequence once Thursday night by changing speed off his sharp-witted fastball, yet Diamondbacks slugger J.D. Martinez kick him with a grand impact during his second pass. Weaver is an sparkling prospect, yet maybe not prepared to step in should Lynn depart.
That would be cryptic for a Cardinals, who stumbled opposite a Diamondbacks on Saturday night before a record throng of 48,052. They sojourn in a playoff competition notwithstanding themselves and fans still fill Busch Stadium, so they contingency play on, right?
Rising immature talent has kept this group viable, yet it has also combined worried register crowding. This could lead to some-more kerfuffles like Yadier Molina’s doubtful night off.
Molina insisted he was good to go Thursday, yet awaiting Carson Kelly started instead. Manager Mike Matheny wants to spell Molina from time to time to gangling him some wear and rip . He also wants to keep Kelly engaged, given his swell in a minors and his intensity to spin a bland catcher someday. But Molina, ever a competitor, prides himself in personification any day.
Molina lifted this indicate by amicable media — to a dismay of management, including Cardinals authority Bill DeWitt Jr. — and expounded on that subject Friday . In turn, Matheny rehashed his preference in some fact with media types.
So will Molina and Matheny speak it out?
“The conversations we have, a things we do inside all a time, that’s not indispensably anybody else’s business,” Matheny pronounced before Saturday’s game. “Now we keep moving, keep personification a game.”
But how will this play out over a subsequent three-plus years with Molina underneath contract? Trading Kelly is an choice yet he is a initial peculiarity throwing awaiting a group has grown since, well, Molina — so interruption with him would sting.
The bolt of outfielders combined conjecture a group could pierce Randal Grichuk or Tommy Pham before Monday’s deadline. Yet Grichuk would furnish 20 to 30 homers per deteriorate personification any day and Pham has spin a desperately indispensable tempo-setter with his hard-charging play.
This group needs some-more personalities like Pham, not fewer.
Meanwhile, Stephen Piscotty is adult in Peoria scraping decay off his pitch with a Class A Chiefs after recuperating from a stretched groin muscle. He went 1 for 4 Saturday with an RBI and dual strikeouts.
What happens when he earnings from a infirm list? This group is awash in outfielders.
Prospect Magneuris Sierra looks like a team’s core fielder of a destiny during his progressing call-ups. Pham looked energetic there, too, and awaiting Harrison Bader has non-stop eyes during his initial Cardinals debate — violence out infield hits with his speed and covering most outfield territory.
But maestro core fielder Dexter Fowler is in a initial deteriorate of a five-year, $82.5 million deal, so …
The bullpen has been another contention point, quite after Saturday night’s meltdown. Will a Cardinals demeanour outward for service help? Is a group prepared to pierce Trevor Rosenthal and/or Seung Hwan Oh to other contenders?
Rosenthal has worked dual innings in any of his final dual outings, winning one diversion and saving a other with clever performances. Has this timely upswing altered how Cardinals government views Rosenthal?
“Trevor, when he’s right, he’s special,” Matheny positive us.
Like so many other Cardinals, though, he has been strike or skip this season. And this is because this sub.-500 group is confronting change as a deadline edges closer.