The Cardinals will apparently give spots on the opening day roster to both Joe Mather and Nick Stavinoha now that Julio Lugo has been shipped off to the Orioles.
It was obvious the last couple of weeks that the team couldn't decide which of the players to keep as they both kept getting sent out for action day after day. Stavinoha, more limited in his abilities as an outfielder, kept hitting. Mather slumped at the plate but played pretty good defense in all three outfield spots and occasionally at the infield corners.
Cardinals outfielder and corner infielder Joe Mather takes a cut March 22 against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla. (Scott Wuerz photo.)
I have to say, at least until we find out who the player to be named later will be, that I am not a big fan of the move. It leaves the Cardinals with three very inexperienced players on the bench as pinch hitters and I have visions of runners being stranded on base at key intersections of ballgames dancing in my head.
Lugo was cheap, had a good contact bat and was widely regarded as a good team player. I just don't get why he needed to be shipped off. The thought that he would grouse about playing time doesn't ring true when your manager is Tony LaRussa. Everybody plays when Tony is in charge. When he retires, he ought to go be a little league coach so parents will be happy their kid always gets in the game.