Cards add insurance in Ian Snell and Miguel Batista

The St. Louis Cardinals signed Ian Snell and Miguel Batista to minor league deals today.  I guess the thinking is that if a starting pitcher goes down, Snell might be able to fill the role.  In 2007, Snell posted a 3.76 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 177 strikeouts in 208 IP.  Since then, he has been awful.  His S0/9 has gone down every year since then, and he hasn’t come close to his 2.9 BB/9 since 2007.

Batista hasn’t started a game since 2008, and while not great, he had 3.70 ERA and 1.33 WHIP for the Nationals last year out of the bullpen.  Batista will turn 40 in February, and if the Cards end up needing him in the bullpen, it could be trouble. 

On the side of things, we have Dave Duncan.  If anyone can take a pitcher and turn him around, he’s the man for the job.  While Batista probably won’t join the big club, I can see Snell being a possibility.  While on paper the Cardinals look to have a solid rotation of Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse, it’s hard to imagine all of them staying healthy.  I still wonder what caused Wainwright to be shut down in his last start, and it’s hard to say if Kyle Lohse can ever return to form after his rare surgery. 

So maybe Snell will get a chance.  I’m not sure if the signing is an indication that Lance Lynn isn’t quite ready or not.  I’m not sure what kind of mental makeup Snell has.  I would think that Dave Duncan gave his input on the signing.  Snell probably won’t turn into Chris Carpenter, but hopefully if he’s needed Duncan can bring back the Snell that pitched in 2007.

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