The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Looking forward to a Cardinals designated hitter for once

Due to the National League’s victory in this July’s All-Star Game, the NL entrant in the 2011 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals, will enjoy the home field advantage. World Series Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 (as necessary) will be in St. Louis. The American League champion Texas Rangers will host Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary).

For the first time in Tony La Russa’s three World Series since joining St. Louis, I am actually enthused by the opportunity for the use of the designated hitter. (Of course, this is required in the AL home parks.)

Based on past history, that would be a crazy thing to say. After all, in La Russa’s other two World Series with St. Louis, his designated hitters have been more than bad. They were a combined 1-for-14 (.071) with three walks and a whopping eight strikeouts.

In 2006, Scott Spiezio and Chris Duncan received the starts at DH. In the latter case, that pushed light-hitting So Taguchi into the starting lineup in left field. In 2004, Reggie Sanders and another weak-hitting infielder, Marlon Anderson, started as the designated hitter. The Cardinals lost three of the four DH games.

2011 offers promise, however. Allen Craig, a powerful bat, is ready to come off the bench. He can either play right field for Lance Berkman or more likely, become the designated hitter himself.

In fact, with his pinch-hit during Sunday night’s NLCS Game 6, Craig collected more RBI (two) than the aggregate of the Cardinals’ four games worth of World Series designated hitters this decade (one RBI in 17 plate appearances).

Beyond Craig, there are no other good DH candidates on the Cardinals roster. The latter part of that statement is one I recall making about the Cardinals’ options in the previous two Series – no solid DH candidates.

Here are the stats of who served as the DH in the past two World Series and how they fared.

Designated hitters, St. Louis Cardinals, World Series, since 1996

Year WS Game Site W-L, Score Designated Hitter AB R H RBI BB K
2006 1 Detroit W, 7-2 Chris Duncan 4 1 1 1 0 2
Preston Wilson 1 0 0 0 0 1
2006 2 Detroit L, 1-3 Scott Spiezio 3 0 0 0 1 1
2004 1 Boston L, 9-11 Reggie Sanders 3 1 0 0 2 2
2 Boston L, 2-6 Marlon Anderson 2 0 0 0 0 1
So Taguchi 1 0 0 0 0 1
Totals 14 2 1 1 3 8

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56 Responses to “Looking forward to a Cardinals designated hitter for once”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    My poster of the year will be announced this week! Stay tuned.

    • blingboy says:

      Just award it to yourself, Jumbo, for keeping the faith thru the dark days.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Serious competitors for this award are sadly far and few between.

        The second runnerup is seldom seen DizzyDean17, solely for posting in one thread in late in September, to elucidate mercifully about the “problem” of double plays from which our team was said to suffer. The “problem” owed to our high on base rate, a problem well worth having!

  2. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Team may have to win four at home to cash in………. Carp ????? have to figure its Garcia then Lohse… and then Jackson…………. Tony won’t risk Garcia in Texas…..

  3. Kansasbirdman says:

    I like our underdog status going in. Everyone is talking about our starters and texas’ big hitters and three lefties. I even think we would benefit from the AL team having home field advantage. I say this because all year when faced with a favored opponent, be it pitcher or lineup, we met and in most cases overcame the challenge to pull off an upset. When going up against a struggling pitcher (except this last game :-) ) we seemed stymied. Hopefully, then this last game against marcum, a struggling opponent, broke us of this phenomenon, and now we do well against both types of opponent, I am knocking on wood ;-)

  4. Kansasbirdman says:

    Question, not having watched a lot of AL games, can the DH be moved to a position and back in the course of a game, similar to moving a position player around (without taking anyone out)? If so, LaRussa would have a field day with Holliday, Berkman and Craig. I think the DH spot is going to be interesting, it will depend on who hits best off the bench but I gotta think Craig could get a start with his D being a better than Berkmans or Hollidays, at least on paper

  5. crdswmn says:

    Wouldn’t you know it, I lost my internet connection right after the game was over and I wasn’t able to get it back until this morning, so I missed out on all the celebrating last night. WE ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES BABY!!!!!

    • Brian Walton says:

      I have three video clips posted up on the main site.

    • RCWarrior says:

      You didn’t miss out, I’m betting you were celebrating no matter if the connection was lost. I was also celebrating…..in wagering a rather large sum of denero on the cardinals making the World series, last night’s victory was reason for popping the bubbly for me as well. :)
      WC can give you the beginning odds on that happening and calculating a 5 grand wager makes for a happy camper.

      I still like the Cardinals to win it all but I’m only thinking that they are a one or two percentage point favorite in my book. Basically a coin flip but I like the Cardinals offense a tad bit more than the Texas offense. The pitching staffs are a wash for me.

      I’m feeling the WS title coming St. Louis’ way.

      • RCWarrior says:

        By the way, how good was David Freese in this LCS? WOW!! Clutch hit after clutch hit. Albert really came on strong and Matt really brought something to the team after missing time with the injury. There were so many great individual performances in my mind but the overall team play was off the charts good.

        Man I know there was a lot of hooting and hollaring when David won the MVP last night. Fun to see. :)

        • blingboy says:

          David really put up a Ruthian line, likely due to drinking the water there in Alabama for a few years.

          Maybe he’s got the injury bug, and other issues, behind him now. Like to see what he’d do with 650 PAs.

          • RCWarrior says:

            David had a hard time there for a few years but came out the other side a better man. He played for my former college coach at South Alabama and there is no better coach than CP at turning you into a man. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can realize you have a problem. David hit rock bottom and now is on top of the world. His is a success story.

  6. blingboy says:

    Do any of the guys who began the year with the team but are gone now get a ring and a share if we win the WS? Colby, Franky, etc. What about minor leaguers who got a few reps earlier, or during September? Cruz, etc?

  7. blingboy says:

    I’ve been catching up on last night’s game. Sounds like a fun game to watch if you are a Cards fan.

    Can’t argue with Freese for MVP. Another guy who came on, somewhat surprisingly to me, is Jon Jay. Got on base a lot and his D was something. Couple of great, aggressive plays last night.

    Motte has really emerged after being mired in the pack early on. Tony seems to have confidence in Lynn. Maybe that’s our closer and set up man opening day next year. Boggs seems odd man out as of now, and what’s the future hold for KMac?

    We will have to start throwing around proposed DH lineups. Ideas?

  8. blingboy says:

    Chris Narveson has done a lot for the Cardinals, first by getting traded for Larry Walker who contributed to the team’s successes in ’04 and ’05, and again by getting pummeled to seal the deal last night. He ranks up there with Kent Bottenfield who got traded for Jim Edmonds who contributed mightily and then himself was traded for David Freese the MVP of the NLCS. A tip of the cap to Chris and Kent is in order, I hoist a cold one in their honor.

  9. blingboy says:

    The Cards will Likely get more out of the DH spot than the Rangers.

    http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/10/rangers-continue-to-get-little.html

  10. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    If Tony made Berkman the DH………….and hit him second…………small prayer………..he won’t….he will likely try Craig second again……………….as he has in trying to influence his AP’s interests………this is a losing combination for the team…………… Molina by definition hits 7th now……….and he is so casual and disinterested from there….he actually contributes…………. Cards are slight favorites at this point in game one…………..but that is a stupid bet……….. three lefties, and a pretty good one to start……luck will create 5 games……………………… bottom line…….. Verlander is Jackson on steroids………he would be crucified by Texas………… there right hand hitters are so strong….. Garcia will be punished……. That leaves a Breaking ball hero and a pitcher under duress…………….. The bull pen maneuvering is a joke against this lineup………….. None of the Starting rotation has endured mechanical intrusions by DD…………..thats not deliberate on his part………he is attempting to return from a distant point…….could this be a Walt Disney fantasy in the making………maybe……..is it likely………………. no …………. will Tony fall like a rock………..how not……..he had no choice in anything he did this last week. He went to a last ditch strategy for more reasons than a brilliant idea and finesse coaching………… Texas has a stratified lineup…….. any combination of 3 or 5 will kill you………… I’m actually waiting for a BD move at this point……….its his turn…….how about Furcal for 2/15?………………

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      I’ll bet we see Berkman hitting 2nd at some point in this series (and Yadi 6th also).

      Yadi hits just as good from the #6 spot as he does the #7 spot.

      I think Tony is smart enough to know that he has little to no influence at this point on what happens with AP.

      Only the Cards would pay Furcal that much (and a number that high would have to include money for a buyout of an option).

      If BD is going to make that announcement he only has 1 day to do it. MLB frowns on contract/trade announcements during the world series.

  11. Bw52 says:

    While wanting Furcal back in 2012. 2 years for 15 mil.No way Cards go that high IMO.More like 2/8.

      • RCWarrior says:

        I actually said something close to those numbers earlier WC. I believe Furcal may get somewhere between 7 and 8 million a year for 2 or 3 years. He has hit some big jacks in the playoffs and down the stretch. He has made himself a few extra bucks while playing for the Cards.

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          He’s a self motivated individual ……….. I look for the Cardinals to make him an offer……using the Pujols resources……..thats before AP even hits the market…….his is the biggest testosterone donner the Cardinals have……………………… BD is a lucky sucker………..

  12. blingboy says:

    Price Fielder single-handedly secured home field advantage for the NL in the WS. That’s a huge factor in the Cards favor. If we win it, maybe we should give him an honorary ring. :)

  13. blingboy says:

    Which was the bigger contributing factor, the Rasmus trade or the Furcal trade?

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      It seems that these trades were examined in detail at the the time BB………… what they really represent now?…………..you must factor in what they achieved……………. I laugh almost every time I see Mo stand up and take credit for these decisions……………. and especially when watching BD shovel the credit over to his GM ………………. Tony knows there cost………and he is playing fast and loose with the chips……
      the dealer still wearing his visor……unflinching………….. Its going to be an interesting month or two…………question is……..will you know any thing about it after you see it resolve………

      We have played well……of late……from a baseball perspective………. Bit it took the Braves auguring into the planet……..the Phillies miscalculations…….and finally a Brewers team that ran out of gas and pitching…….just as bad as the other two….. but our good defensive play…….in spite of some of Tony’s moves won the day………….. lets hope that Dave levels out…….. and Tony doesn’t get to sentimental…………

      A scene I would have enjoyed………..AP walks up and hugs BD in front of the camera’s…..turns and says……..”I love these guys Bill………. I’ll take 5/125 and I will agree to it right now”………. AP extends his hand to sanctify the pledge……….. before everyone……… just to see the look on BD’s face……
      Lets see what becomes of all this…………… Cards have to at least split at home…….and win a game in the band box………. and then take there chances at home……preferably in unstable weather……

  14. Bw52 says:

    I would say both about even.Rasmus brought Rzep,Dotel,Patterson and Jackson who all except Patterson have been playing important roles.Furcal solid defense and occaisional hitting helped and he cost a minor leaguer who might have a big league future.So all in all about even.

    • Kansasbirdman says:

      Everything has aligned this year (the whole year), challenges put up obstacles but the team found a way aroound them each time. Even so-called weak links contributed in clutch ways. Theriot’s d left a little to be desired, but he has been clutch in game-winning situations at the plate. Colby struggled a bit before the trade but I remember more than one game where he hit a clutch hr even when his ba had dipped (plus gotta remember in spring his ba was leading the team at well over 3 hundo). So at most points in the season there was SOMEBODY picking up where someone else was struggling or injured. Think about it, in a season where every single win has counted and EVERY SINGLE WIN was necessary, every game winning hit has been crucial to this season. So our only position ML starter traded contributed before the trade and the players gotten in return have been a contribution, and the position starter now relegated to sporadic starts and bench play has still been contributing. That is what has been so memorable about this season, every win we saw was THAT important. :-) and every bit of it has been a TEAM effort from the FO, to the coaching staff to the bullpen specialist and bench. 2011 could only be more memorable if we had 11 wins this postseason for our 11th Championship.
      (Knock on wood) ;-)

    • RCWarrior says:

      I agree BW. I would say both are equal in their contributions.

  15. Kansasbirdman says:

    I don’t think having anyy kind of advantage with this team is actually an advantage this year. The 2011 Cards have done best while in underdog status. Give them a challenge (we have faced many all year) and they rise to the occasion. :-)

  16. Kansasbirdman says:

    I lost a post Brian. Not sure if I can rewrite it as I was kinda on a roll/train of thought there. It was a reply to Bw52′s post about the trades.

  17. crdswmn says:

    Apparently Carp has an elbow issue. Great, that is just what we need going into the WS. As usual, different stories, different spin. Cardinals say it is not an issue, Joe Strauss says it is, let’s play scare Cardinals fans to death for $200, Alex. Gee, I’m not a nervous wreck already anyway.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Carpenter is scheduled to speak this afternoon.

      • RCWarrior says:

        Carp will pitch….with an elbow injury or not….Tony has jumped on his back and rode and there is no need to stop riding now. And Carp will want to be on the mound for his teammates in this final. The Cardinals can definitely win this thing with or without Carp, but with him would be a little bit easier.

        If the elbow blows out Carps decision to sign the new deal would be a bit of good fortune on his part. And who knows, maybe Carp said sign me to give me some security and I’ll throw no matter what down the stretch.

  18. JumboShrimp says:

    Its not surprising if Carp had elbow swelling. Including spring training, he is probably over 270 innings. TLR rode him hard down the stretch on the final game of the season and two starts against Philly.

    While Carpenter will probably take the ball tomorrow, the Cards could consider going with Garcia in game 1 and Jackson in game 2. Then they could go with Carpenter, Lohse, and Westbrook in Texas, allowing Garcia and Jackson for games 6 and 7, back in StL.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Open the WS with Jamie???????????????? there is some gaming going on……….with smoke screens……

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Jamie could win at home, but hard for him in Texas. Ditto for Jackson. So start them in games 1 and 2, go with Carp, Lohse, and Westbrook in Dallas.

        • RCWarrior says:

          That sounds like solid thinking Jumbo. Makes perfect sense to me. I just must have more confidence in this Cardinals team than most I guess……….because I just don’t think it matters. The Cardinals are hot hot hot and its not gonna matter in my mind who throws where because the Cardinals offense will outscore the Rangers. You just watch it happen.

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            We all might be in for a surprise here……….. Westbrooke is likely activated……….. Carp is blowing oil…………….. smart tactic might be to get him off CJ………… think 3 and then 7 if it comes……. Jackson has have of Verlander”s stuff………and Verlander was hit hard………I see him starting game 4 maybe with Westbrooke at the ready……. Jakes sinker is good…….it may be type of pitch that they are too aggressive with…….for short periods……….

            Bottom line……..the gaming thats going on……includes Texas……and Mo/BD……..if Carp blows up in game one………..end of series………….

  19. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Lhose does pitch game 3 it appears…………………….that tells me its Carp …Garcia….KL…???

  20. blingboy says:

    Entertaining thread everybody, thanks.

    Westbrook would make a good next unlikely hero. Bring him on. If his sinker is on he’d be perfect for Arlington. We could score a dozen in that park.

    Chance of Lance being the DH is 100%.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      There might be a little TLR head game going on here BB……………. I don’t know enough about Texas to speculate what their concerns might be…………….. Apparently the new standard for a start will be 5 innings……….if you can get there………. read something about a sports hernia with Westbrooks nearby..

      • blingboy says:

        The high powered rotations and ballyhood starter acquisitions didn’t help Philly and Milwaukee. Our 5 inning wonders did enough with a stand up job by the three legged dogs out in the pen.

        Maybe you’re onto something with Albert, Westy. Winning it all in such unlikely and dramatic fashion might turn him all smooshy. Lozano would love that after all this.

      • blingboy says:

        But I would feel sorry for the kids in the DR trying to play with bare feet and scuffed up balls. Surely he wouldn’t do that.

  21. blingboy says:

    Weather may play a part in Tony’s rotation plans. Cold, wet, blustery, possible rain relays.

    When is the roster announced?

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