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Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Tough Road Traveled

Weekly St. Louis Cardinals-focused chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

In our normal late-Friday time slot, I joined Ken Miller and Jim Brinson on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our weekly series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals.

We discussed the Cardinals up and down offense, the changes to the pitching rotation and of course, the current road trip through Colorado, Los Angeles and to San Francisco next week.

Once again in 2014, Cardinals followers in central Iowa are able to catch St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcasts on KXnO as well as my regular segment each week throughout the season, either over the air or via streaming. Or, if you miss it live, you can always catch the replay right here at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Click here for audio: Brian Walton with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson (7:53)

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Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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51 Responses to “Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Tough Road Traveled”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Mo will want to try to swing a deal during late July, in hopes of helping this team.
    A deal like Freese and Salas for Bourjos and Grichuk was sweet, because we got rid of two heros of yesterdays, for some guys who could help in future. This was like trading over the hill Edmonds for Freese, some years back.
    Who else might we have who Mo could unload and try to turn into something more useful?

    Mo has trading chips. One is Bourjos. Good defensive CFs have some value. He might improve as a hitter if another team could afford to give him more at bats.
    Jon Jay is another chip, on the same principle. We would not actively want to trade him, but could possibly yield him to enable a deal.
    I suppose Allen Craig could be dispensed with, in a trade. We could replace him with Taveras and Grichuk, as a platoon. Mo would probably be reluctant to trade Craig, but its not impossible.
    Lefty Choate is dispensable. Take away one bad outing and his ERA is a lot lower. He is a pretty good loogy and as such has some value.
    Lefty Sam Freeman might be tradable, given we have some other lefties coming up behind him.

    It seems like the Cards are reluctant to trade starting pitchers and given injuries, this has been a good idea.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    The Cards trading for David Price does not sound likely. We need hitting more than pitching. Also TB would want Oscar, whereas Mo values prospects too and is not keen on giving up good ones.

    The Cards need to add an established hitter/position player. He could play 2B (or 3B or even SS because Peralta could shift to 3B and Carpenter back to 2B). It would be helpful if the player could provide some power.

    Mo probably wants to play it safe, in terms of a trade, not surrender too much future potential for a short run contributor. We traded Rasmus mainly because he was not a good fit for the team’s culture, not because we like to trade a young player. We must have come to have some doubts about Zack Cox, hence he could be safely traded too, in a low profile deal for Mujica. We once traded Brett Wallace, because the As liked him a lot coming out of college, and wanted to deal off Matt Holliday. Mo won that trade, it turned out.

    It takes two to tango, in terms of trades. The Angels must have really wanted Freese, so they got him. Ideally, you want the other party to really want somebody who you can afford to give up. This depends on the other team’s needs.

  3. Bw52 says:

    Trade most of the sorry bunch.Nothing like showing a national TV audience how bad they are.Right now only guys I would call untouchable would be;Wainwright,Miller,Wacha,Martinez,Rosey,Segrist,M.Carpenter,Wong,AdamsTaveras,Grichuk,Gonzales,Maness,Molina.Lynn ,Kelly,Lyons,
    Holliday is untradeable,Freeman has done well.

    Craig and Jay and Motte 3 decent MLB trade chips.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Motte has no value as a trade chip. He is bouncing back this season from TJ and this winter becomes a free agent.

      • Bw52 says:

        Actually neither does Jay.Most MLB teams don`t have a need for a singles hitting,rag armed defensive liability in CF who can`t steal bases either.

        • blingboy says:


          It should also be mentioned that Craig is owed $25 Million over the next 3 years. Right now, we would have to pay somebody to take him.

          Craig’s trade value must be a negative and falling fast. limited range defender who is either hurt or or suffering the cumulative effects of several significant past injuries which have sapped his ability to hit. Probably best suited to play 1B, but a sustainable offensive rebound is highly questionable due to likely physical issues. (emphasis on sustainable)

          Motte, Jay and Craig wouldn’t fetch jack, given that Motte will be a FA, Jay will be 2nd time arb and Craig’s contract looks like a big loser.

          If somebody wants to think about a trade, first make a list of our players who are: (A) producing, (B) worth what they are making and will be making, and (C) not hurt or rehabbing. The guys on that list are decent trade chips. Any trade that would bring anything of use would include us giving up somebody on that list, and it is a very short one.

          Let’s quit fantasizing about how all Mo has to do is package a bunch of overpriced, gimpy underachievers and get back a healthy producer that will be a significant improvement over what we’ve got.

          • Bw52 says:

            Cards don`t have any producing tr4ade chips right now.Not a single one.

            • blingboy says:

              As far as position players, there are Adams and Carpenter that would be appealing to potential trade partners. Taveras has value, although nothing like what he had in the past. Other minor leaguers have value but not as the main piece in a trade that brings us a producing major league starter. That brings us to pitchers, and there are some trade chips there. Martinez, Miller and Rosenthal would get the most interest and bring the most. Lynn would bring value. Kelly some value. Gonzales some value. Wacha is not trade-able for the foreseeable future.

              • Bw52 says:

                Why not keep most of the kids and see what value you can get for Craig,Jay,Why would Miller have value?Miller was injured (arm weary) last season,Back issue this year?
                Lance Lynn might be some value as would Kelly but you might want to hold on to the pitching and try a trade some under producing bats..Craig,Jay,.Holliday is untradeable.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Frustrating bringing out exaggeration. For example, Taveras still has his value. I agree with keeping younger players, FWIW. Holliday is not untradeable, not should he be dealt.

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      Your a hoot Bw, you want to keep all the high value players and get rid of the low value players, well….duh…. The problem is you then scream for Mo to make a move but in your mind the players that might bring him value in return you think are untouchable. How does he then make this big move you keep screaming about?

      btw, in what world is Lyons untouchable?

      • Bw52 says:

        CC so glad to see you are enjoying your reading.So enlighten us poor uninformed masses with your knowledge.So tell us your thoughts on salvaging this season.Who`s going to trade for a underproducing allen Craig? Jon Jay and his rag arm and banjo bat? Nobody will take Holliday and his contract,Lance Lynn might bring something but can you trade him with Miller,Wacha and Garcia all question marks.Same with Shelby Miller.Peralta and his contract will be hard to unload if you go that route.Molina also.So who do you trade?

        • CariocaCardinal says:

          So many (inaccurate) strawman assumptions there I’m not sure where to begin. But the biggest mistake you make is to be so arrogant to think everyone agrees with you that something has to be done to salvage the season. We are a 1/2 game out of the wild card and baseball prospectus gives us the 5th best chance to make the post season in the NL.

          I consider no one untouchable. I’m sure the Cards could trade almost anyone on their roster. The question is how much they would get back. The Cards basically have a few solid strategies they can adopt. They can stay the course and hope that players revert towards their norms and that the return of injured players is enough. They can bank on rookies such as Tavares and gonzales to te lift the level of team player. They can try to identify players under performing elsewhere who they think might play better here for one reason or another and thus can be picked up for a reasonable price. They can probably add useful players by taking on salary. Or they can probably trade a package of players for a solid player by picking up some portion of the salary pf the players we send off.

          The easy answer is to open the checkbook but that’s because it is not my money. Utely anyone? Icharo? I’m sure there are many others we could easily get by taking on salary.

          My guess is we will basically stay the course and I’m fine with that for now.

          Sorry you feel poor and uninformed but that is not my fault and I doubt I can say or do anything to change that.

          • Bw52 says:

            Stay the course and watch this team sail right out of contention.Glad you feel that is fine.Enjoy .

            • CariocaCardinal says:

              stay the course as compared to your alternative…….hard to compare since you haven’t proposed any real alternative other than our players suck, our manager sucks, our coaches suck, our GM sucks, Now those are real solutions everyone can rally behind aren’t they?! We have a competitive team. Maybe we make the playoffs maybe we don’t. Even the Yankees didn’t win it every year during their dynasty period – but i bet they stayed the course.

              yes, I will enjoy. Particularly if the alternative is to be a miserable guy running around screaming the sky is falling and offering no alternative shelter.

              • kray66 says:

                I’m with CC. I’d rather burn a year and not make the playoffs than make some drastic, desperate measure to win right away. We don’t have a lot to trade with. Adams or Craig could be moved as they seem to be interchangeable (especially given Craig’s OF replacement -Taveras), but Craig’s stock has dropped considerably. As noted above, we’d have to pay part of his contract if dealt. Adams is hitting well and seems to improve over time. And every time we think there is pitching depth to part with, an injury pops up and makes that less obvious.

                At the end of the day, it’s a game. Yeah, it’s been frustrating to see the team underperform, but there’s a lot more things in the world to get bent out of shape about than this.

  4. Bw52 says:

    When this team falls out of contention in the next 2-3 weeks maybe Mo will think about trading or DFA some players.Craig because of his salary and declining production.
    Jon Jay because of his singles bat,poor defense and lack of base stealing ability.
    Shane Robinson-nice effort team guy,you can afford that when you have hitters who hit,otherwise not.
    Descalso-can`t play SS very well,adequate at 2B,not a lot of value except in Mathenys mind
    Ellis-never gotten untracked…………but he`s a RH vet bat who could give Wong a rest versus LHP

    Angel Castro-get this guy off the roster

    Dump Descalso and bring up Greg Garcia who has some speed and can play defense.
    replace Robinson with Taveras

    • Brian Walton says:

      Sorry to interrupt the rant, but Castro hasn’t been on the roster for almost three months. Check out our Roster Matrix!

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      Just so I’ve got this straight, your answer is to eat about $30 million in salary (Craig, Jay, Ellis, Robinson, and Descalso) and add Greg Garcia. No doubt that is the solution. It will solve everything and put us in immediate contention.

      • Bw52 says:

        Maybe if I go real slow you can follow.
        Trade Craig,Jay,Ellis and try and go with younger players.Think a bit ahead instead of grasping after a declining chance of being a real serious contender this season.Why is that too hard for you to follow?

        • CariocaCardinal says:

          could have sworn at some point this year you’ve said that each of those guys has no trade value or is not worth the rest of their contract. do you deny that? Assuming you can get nothing of value for those guys as you’ve implied – who do you bring up from the minors that will make us better?

  5. blingboy says:

    Craig is not helping the team right now. If he is not right physically he needs to be put on the shelf until he can contribute. Hopefully later this season when we are hopefully in the race.

    As to Bourjos, Robinson, Descalso and Ellis, that is a third of the position player part of the roster that is essentially useless. Some have some defensive value but they are overall a big liability when they are in the lineup.

  6. Bw52 says:

    This team is pathetic.Somebody in management needs to pull their head out of their rear and try and improve this team.

  7. Bw52 says:

    Cards have payroll commitment of close to 90 million next season for 10 guys
    Wainright 19.5 million
    J.Garcia 9.3
    Choate 3.0
    Yadi 15.0
    Peralta 15.0
    Holliday 17.0
    M.Carpenter 3.5
    Craig 5.5 contract jumps 2016
    Jay 3.25 Arbitration
    Lynn 1st time Arb?

  8. blingboy says:

    Earlier in the year Mo’s working theory probably was that if a high value trade chip was needed it could be Adams or a starter, maybe Miller or Lynn. I would bet that Adams is off the board now. The idea would have been Craig to 1B and Taveras in RF. Now, Adams is the only middle of the order type hitting with any authority, with an assist from Yadi. There is just no way he could be traded unless we fall far out of the race.

    Trading Lynn or Miller now would be very risky, unless a good starter came back. And if a good starter came back, a productive position player wouldn’t.

    So I think the only real option right now is to trade something of grate value, but which is not something we are heavily relying on right now, or anytime real soon. That would be Taveras or Wacha. I think it would be very difficult to get enough value for Wacha right now, so that leaves Taveras. I know that there are those who say “I hope Mo does not trade him”. But since that is the only thing Mo can do, it is the same as saying “I hope Mo does nothing”. In other words, there are two choices, trade Taveras or do nothing.

    • Brian Walton says:

      bb, I respect the fact that you went through a logical thought process. On the other hand, your distillation of the entire situation as being “trade Oscar or do nothing” is overly simplistic.

      • blingboy says:

        I invite others to propose other options available to Mo, along with some explanation.

        • kray66 says:

          I’m following your process bb. I agree on Adams. I would hate to trade him. Especially given that it feels like he improves each season as the team asks him to work on things (weight, hitting into the shift). His trade value is probably at its peak, but as noted, he and Yadi have been the backbone of offense for the year.

          Hypothetically, we trade Taveras. But for what? Do we really think another starter is the answer? Someone experienced for the bench? I think everyone is frustrated with the team, but I’m just not sure there’s anything we want bad enough to part with OT.

          • blingboy says:

            Doing nothing is a valid option. By nothing, I mean not making a major move, trading a starting player or top prospect for a starting player.

            There could be minor moves aimed at improving the non-starting position players. There are guys at Memphis that could be tried, Grichuk again, Piscotty, Garcia, Pham. Replacing DD and Robinson would be low risk moves.

            I would not be shocked to see Craig go on the DL. He is clearly not right. I would also not be shocked if Mo pulls the plug on Ellis and/or Bourjos.

            Mo needs to do a better job of giving Mike the best 25 players he can, and Mike needs to do a better job putting the best 8 on the field.

            • kray66 says:

              Again I think I agree completely. “Low risk” is exactly the way to describe those moves. The only negative to doing something like that would be exposing a “prospect” to the majors and diminishing their trade value if they struggle. But I don’t think we’ve heard much trade talk involving those guys, and again, we don’t even know for sure what we want to trade for.

              Ellis didn’t help himself any by jumping straight to the ML roster at the start of the season when he should have spent a little more time at AAA. I thought perhaps he got a bad start, but by this point, it’s clearly not the issue now.

  9. JumboShrimp says:

    Wow, what a thread that I unleashed. A number of unpersuasive opinions.

    Mo should try some things internally. It may be time to demote Bourjos or DFA him if he cant be sent to Memphis. Today was a good audition. We need right swingers to do something against Kershaw. Bourjos did nothing and whiffed twice. He was a headline acquisition of the off season so Mo has kept him around. But the bottom line is he is not helping much and we should try something else with his roster slot. Such as Tommy Pham. Pham has been working away in the minors, overcoming injuries, he has had a good couple of months at Memphis. Let him start in CF versus LHPs, send down Bourjos.

    If Taveras is physically ok, and he has missed some starts recently, then bring him up and send Robinson back down. Taveras can platoon in RF with Craig. We might as well start acclimating Oscar to the majors and there is nothing to be gained any longer by having him at Memphis.

    Bringing up Pham and Taveras can enable Mo to show fans that he cares and is not immobilized. Bourjos has established that he cant hit enough to play and Craig has established that his at bats should be reduced. Taveras is the future and the needs to start playing henceforth.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Grichuk is another possibility, instead of Pham. One of the two needs to be in CF versus LHPs. Grichuk won one game against the Blue Jays with a HR versus Buerhle. Its good to get Grichuk and Taveras back in the majors and start working them into the mix on a part time basis. They do not have to be full timers, but they do need to get plenty of at bats. Grichuk can spell Holliday once per week and get starts in CF versus LHPs. Taveras can start in RF versus RHPs.

    • blingboy says:

      It took Mo until July 9 to get rid of Wiggy. On one hand, we owed him money while we owe Bourjos nothing. On the other, Bourjos is outhitting Wiggy .204 to .158.

  10. JumboShrimp says:

    If we limit ourselves to one move, promoting Oscar probably makes the most sense. He can start against RHPs. Craig and Holliday can give up some at bats. They can afford to financially, since already filthy rich.
    Its a good situation for Oscar, little pressure. Few expect him to save the day by himself. He can enjoy favorable matchups. Oscar is the future, so might as well get started on ML pitching.

  11. Bw52 says:

    It`s quite obvious several people prefer the head in the sand solution………just hold on a hope things get better.While several others prefer to try and make moves now and look to the near future instead of stagnating,treading water,rrunning in place.

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      I prefer to think of it as we are farting and I am holding my nose until the smell passes. You seem sure we’ve shat our pants and the smell wont pass. you may be right but it is not worth the risk of throwing out what could be a way above average pair of pants and underwear. i know I can always throw them out at the end of the season if i am wrong.

      I have yet to hear anyone propose any moves (even in general terms) other than bringing up some guys from the minors which for me constitutes staying the course.

      • Bw52 says:

        I prefer to agree with Branch Rickey; Better to trade a player a year early than a year late.Craig might bring a younger player.Greg Garcia can function in the Descalso role and provide some speed and better defense.Jon Jay might bring a mid level prospect.Mo has several bench guys who can be throw-ins in a package deal with Craig or Jay .
        Craig can`t seem to stay healthy and is losing mobility.Kozma can`t hit enough to keep a roster spot.Robinson ……………just a 5th OF.Seattle has a switch-hitting SS-2B Nick Franklin who is having a horrible season Maybe Mo could check out what Seattle could \use.

  12. JumboShrimp says:

    Excited to see Descalso in the lineup at 2B! Lets play ball!

  13. Bw52 says:

    Marco needs to find some “swing and miss” to his stuff.Second time around it hasn`t gone so well.Maybe he will end up being a Lefty Tewksbury .

  14. Bw52 says:

    For all you head in the sand guys…………………….great game so far tonite……………how about that clutch hitting by Craig,Jay and DD? Great stuff wasn`t it?

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