Cards make some moves and gain some ground

The Tyler Greene experiment is finally over.  I think most of us were rooting for Greene, and hoping he could tap into all the talent in that body.  With the speed, the range and the power potential, Greene was easily the best athlete on the Cardinals roster.  The Cardinals dealt him to Houston yesterday for a player to be named later, and reunited him with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, who drafted him.  The Cards have called up Ryan Jackson from AAA Memphis, and it looks as though he might get more playing time than usual because of Rafael Furcal’s struggles do an injury in his lower back.  Furcal had an injection the other day, but just isn’t right at the plate right now, and his average has dropped to .265 with him routinely popping the ball up.

Jackson was supposed to be the shortstop of the future when Furcal’s contract was over, but he’s not a top 10 Cardinals prospect.  He has a great glove and tremendous range, but has very little power and overall lacks in offensive production.  Jackson was a 5th round pick in the 2009 draft out of the University of Miami.  In 2012 at Memphis, Jackson is hitting and getting on base at about the same rate he’s done throughout the minors.  In 113 games, Jackson is hitting .269 with a .333 OBP, 10 HR, 45 RBI’s, 2 SB and has a .731 OPS.  Those numbers are pretty much in line with Jackson’s minor league averages since 2009.  He’s a career .266 hitter with a .335 OBP and a .706 OPS.  Jackson is 6’3”, 180 lbs., and will be a bottom of the order hitter who can hopefully hit enough to keep his defense out there.  It’s good to see the Cards stay the course on promoting from within.

Getting to the big club, I think you have to be happy with a 4 game split against the Giants.  The Cardinals faced one of the best pitching staffs in MLB, and made up some ground in the standings.  The Reds lost their 5th game in a row last night after playing at a .800 WP for 30 games.  The Cardinals are now 5 games out of the NLC lead, and 2.5 games behind the Pirates and Braves for the final wildcard spot.  I still don’t think the Cards catch the Reds, but catching the Pirates should be doable.

Adam Wainwright continues to look like the AW of old, lowering his ERA to 3.90 and getting his record to the .500 mark at 10-10.  Joe Kelly had his worst game as a Cardinal, but I still think he finishes the year out in the rotation.  Aside from one inning in the 15-0 loss to the Giants, Mitchell Boggs has been unbelievable as a set-up man.  Edward Mujica has done a solid job as a Cardinal in his 7th inning appearances.

By the end of this month, we should have a feel for what direction this team is heading.  We face the Pirates 6 times and have a 3 game series with the Reds.  They’ll need to do more than split with the Pirates if they’re going to catch them, as they have 19 games in September against the Astros, Cubs and Brewers.  Add on to that a 4 game series with the Mets, and the Pirates have the second easiest schedule down the stretch of any team in baseball if you go by opponents winning percentage, second to the Reds.

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