The Cards took two of three in their latest visit to Houston, where they played the AAAstros. Game 1 was another bummer, as they once again scored more than 5 runs and lost the game, 9-8. If those kinds of performances keep happening, Cards fans are looking at 2003 all over again. The Cards had the offense that year as well, but had to resort to pitchers such as Esteban Yan to try and make something happen, which didn’t.
The Cards had a great game 2 of the series, both in beating Bud “Chuck” Norris, getting Adam Wainwright a lead to work with, and holding onto a one run win. Lance Lynn had another terrific outing game 3. Last night’s blowout 14-2 blowout victory allowed the Cards to work Fernando Salas back in the mix easily after the Cards think they found what was ailing him. If you haven’t heard, Salas passed a kidney stone while at AAA Memphis which had been bothering him for some time but not known. Hopefully the pain from that was the cause for his mechanics being off, and he can bounce back to the 2011 version now.
Jaime Garcia should have never taken the mound in Game 1 vs. Houston. He told the Cards he wasn’t feeling quite right, but could gut his way through it. Now, he’s on the DL with an undiagnosed shoulder problem. I’m not the only one who has been down on the Cards medical staff, as Bernie Miklasz has brought the problem to light here. The only think I can think of is that Dr. Paletta or someone on his staff has some blackmail on Bill Dewitt Jr. I’m not sure if it’s pictures with a hooker or what, and I’m only halfway joking here.
The question now is how much time Garcia will miss and who will take his spot? Knowing the Cards medical staff, it will just be shoulder stiffness that will keep Garcia out 3 or 4 starts, which will turn into a torn labrum, which will turn into a complete dislocation of the shoulder. It doesn’t appear the Cards are in position to make a trade at this time with some many teams still in the race. The Chicago Cubs are going to have a fire sale, but I think they’ll make Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster available to everyone but the Cards. With the Cubs being years away from contending, I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Theo Epstein might lose his job if he does anything to help the Cards at all.
So it appears the Cards will have to figure it out with internal options. Brandon Dickson is the likely candidate, but there’s another starter at Memphis who is putting up good numbers who isn’t talked about very often, and that’s Joe Kelly. We know what Dickson is, a 4A pitcher. I say why not give Kelly a shot. Shelby Miller shouldn’t and won’t get the call up right now. For one, the Cards don’t want to start his clock yet, and two, he’l not ready. There’s no need to shake the confidence of a potential future #1 starter.
For those of you who are still confused about the draft, join the crowd. The Cards did pick a high upside pick in the 2nd round, Carson Kelly. Kelly is committed to the University of Oregon next year, and tweeted that he was likely headed there after not being taken in the first round. His did make those tweets before the Cards selected him early on day 2 of the draft, and now says he’ll make his decision in the next week. Important to note is if the Cards do not sign Kelly, they lose the money he was slotted for, so they can’t apply it to another pick. If the Cards were more certain of Kelly’s commitment, he could have gone as high as their 23rd overall pick. Taken him a little later puts the Cards in a better position as far as losing less slot money.
More than likely, the Cards won’t sign at least 2 or 3 of their 14 picks in the first 10 rounds. I’ll revisit this issue when the deadline is near. Like I said before, it’s a real bummer that these new rules were put in place in the year in which the Cards had the most picks and the most important draft in their history.