Should the Cardinals trade for Derrick Turnbow?

by on May 9, 2008 · 0 comments

I know, I know. This has been widely debated across many teams’ fan bases. Hear me out.

I think ‘ole Derrick has just enough gumption to reject an assignment to AAA – thus negating his contract with the Brewers and making him a free agent at any price. (If the Cardinals were to claim him off of waivers or trade for him, they would be responsible for his $3M-plus salary.)

All that being said, it seems no one besides the Brewers’ AAA club wants anything to do with this guy. I’d argue he’s the perfect project for Coach Duncan.

Before you call me crazy, consider this (I apologize for the formatting, I am working on a solution):

W L G GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP BFP IBB BK ERA
4 4 70 0 0 0 65 42 70.7 58 21 18 5 23 103 3 8 291 1 0 2.29
1 5 78 0 0 0 52 32 75.0 69 47 44 10 36 104 6 11 340 4 0 5.28
5 3 66 0 0 0 34 19 67.0 54 29 25 9 30 88 4 6 287 4 0 3.36

Next, consider this (again, my apologies on the format):

W L G GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP BFP IBB BK ERA
7 1 69 0 0 0 62 39 67.3 49 15 13 5 24 64 1 9 271 2 0 1.74
4 9 64 0 0 0 49 24 56.3 56 51 43 8 39 69 4 6 266 2 1 6.87
4 5 77 0 0 0 13 1 68.0 44 36 35 4 46 84 2 7 292 0 0 4.63

Any idea which player is which?

The first one is Brad Lidge, who is now putting up this line in Philly:

W L G GS CG SHO GF SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP BFP IBB BK ERA
1 0 16 0 0 0 12 8 16.0 7 2 0 0 6 15 0 2 63 1 0 0.00

Could Duncan create the same sort of revival with Derrick Turnbow in St. Louis?

I’m not saying Duncan is the answer to every pitcher’s problems, and I’m certainly not saying that Turnbow is absolutely salvageable. But I pose the question – is it worth a look?

Lidge has clearly benefited from a change of scenery, as I suspect many relievers who have buckled under pressure would. Turnbow doesn’t have the same stuff as Lidge, and I understand that’s a huge fundamental difference, but we’re still talking about a guy who has saved 39 games for a Major League Baseball team before.

Many are upset with the performance to date of incumbent closer Jason Isringhausen. If Izzy continues to falter, who is going to take his place? Chris Perez is one name that has been thrown about, but he’s obviously unproven, and not someone you will want to throw into the mix of a potential playoff race (I’m virtually sure he’s not another Waino). Who does that leave? Ryan Franklin? Russ Springer (who Tony doesn’t even trust to setup a save, much less close a game)? Kyle McClellan (who despite my support here, is about as ready for the closer role as Perez)?

The answer is either Izzy or someone outside the club, in my opinion. I think Turnbow could profit from a change of scenery. He might even churn a release by the Brewers into a successful term with the Cardinals, rivalry and all.

I’m not saying the Cardinals should make a trade for Turnbow. I’m not even saying they should claim him on waivers and assume his contract. But if this kid becomes available for the highest bidder, I would hope Mo goes after him – if nothing else, depth in this bullpen can never hurt.

EDIT: Turnbow has accepted his assignment to AAA (smart chap, keep the cash), so this is likely moot.  Still fun to talk about.

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Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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