Anybody out there still think that keeping both Miguel Batista and Ryan Franklin and sending Mitchell Boggs to Memphis made a lot of sense? I’m not sure about you, but last night’s 6-1 blown lead has made me reach my boiling point. It was only a matter of time before Batista’s WHIP caught up with him in the worst way. It’s starting to get ridiculous for both Batista and Franklin to take up space on the roster. There’s no upside for either one, and there’s no more time to see if they can figure it out. It’s June 15th, enough already.
The Cardinals are going through a rough patch with their starting pitching right now with having the starters go deep into games. If not for Eduardo Sanchez and Fernando Salas, the season would probably already be over. The good thing about this year’s Cardinals is that they have bounced back from some tough series and beat up on sub .500 teams. It looked like that trend would continue last night as they pulled out to a 6-1 lead on the last place Nationals, but then Tony LaRussa went with Batista and stuck with him for too long.
Since Sanchez is day to day with a sore shoulder, I was thinking that last night’s 7th inning was the perfect time for Boggs to come in. You remember him don’t you? The Cardinals reliever with the 1.05 WHIP, 3 for 4 in save opportunities, 22 strikeouts in 22.2 innings that was sent back to Memphis not long ago. However, in LaRussa’s world, results are not the main thing. The main thing is proving to the rest of Cardinal Nation that Batista and Franklin still can get the job done by giving these over the hill veterans every chance in the world ahead of younger pitchers who do get the job done. The excuses for sending down Boggs were a smokescreen to hang onto the beloved oldies in the first place.
I’m not sure how many games the 2011 Cardinals are going to lose at the expense of guys who shouldn’t be on the mound like Batista and Franklin. We won’t know until the end of the season how much it may have cost the Cardinals a chance at the playoffs. It has to stop sometime. My point is that if the Cardinals are going to continue to run out pitchers that are going to get pounded, why not take a chance on some younger arms in the system that might have a future.
Losing Adam Wainwright was a huge blow to the hopes of the 2011 season. As bad as it is, however, Lance Berkman and the offense has provided the Cardinals enough to keep them at the top of the NL Central. The youngsters like Salas, Sanchez, Daniel Descalso and others have done their job, along with the starting pitching. The Cardinals will get Matt Holliday back on Thursday, and Albert Pujols seems to be coming around. The Cardinals are going to slug their way to a lot of wins year. Hopefully David Freese will return before the All-Star break and the offense the team hoped to have will finally be in place for the final three months. The Cardinals cannot continue to give away 6-1 leads to teams like the Nats though.
It’s time for John Mozeliak to finally say to LaRussa that there’s no room for Batista and Franklin on the 2011 team and make the moves that need to be made. While I still think the Brewers will run away from the rest of the NL Central in the end, a couple of injuries could derail them, so throwing in the towel shouldn’t be the option yet.