It's time to stop worrying about catching the Milwaukee Brewers and to start worrying about getting passed by the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates.
To the delight of the Redbirds-hating legions in all three of those bergs, the St. Louis Cardinals have done absolutely nothing to improve on a sub-par start that has now lingered into the second half of the 2014 season. They were completely embarrassed in their four-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers, splitting the first two nip and tuck games before getting absolutely bombed in the last two.
The offense seems completely without a plan, failing to get on base consistently and then to move runners forward when, somehow, they do get on. Statistically, the starting pitching has been superior. But even before Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcie went down to injury the cracks started to appear. The starting five have bent so far they're beginning to break under the strain of being forced to be perfect every time out to have a fighting chance.
I guess the front office is waiting for this team to completely fall out of the race before pulling the plug on Peter Bourjos and Shane Robinson to make room to break in players from the minor league ranks.
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Could Oscar Taveras help this team score some runs? I couldn't guarantee it. But I can guarantee that he couldn't do any worse.
What other move is there to make? If the Cardinals traded for offensive help, where would the new addition play? The only real opening is at second or third base thanks to the injury of Kolten Wong. Is Philadelphia Phillies second sacker Chase Utley available at a reasonable cost? And, if so, what would the Cardinals do with Wong next season? The Cardinals could trade for a third baseman and move Carpenter back to second -- where I think he plays much better. But the only logical choice, Texas third sacker Adrian Beltre, is a very expensive injury risk. And he'd probably be very pricy in terms of talent.
They can't trade Wong to try to find a more ready bat at his position because he's on the disabled list. So would it be worth the investment in talent to create a problem for 2015 and beyond?
Unless someone can find a way to get the current players to perform like they did last season, I don't see a quick fix. It looks like we're going to have to ride out this storm and hope for the best.