Looking for Lead-Off Love (Part 1)

by on June 18, 2010 · 3 comments

Motivated by an incredible UCB Radio outing, the biggest question to date isn’t where Holliday should be batting or even who the fifth starter will be come August. The Cardinals are faced with an even more daunting task, and I’m looking at our loyal three readers for answers.

St. Louis can’t seem to score runs but never was that a secret. The bigger issue remains that not enough production out of the first spot in the lineup leaves fewer chances for the run-producers.

Today’s exam 😀 is a two-parter so I hope your No. 2 pencils are ready.

Question number one: Who should be the Cards’ lead-off hitter after the trade deadline?

Now remember extra points may be given for creativity!

Question number two: If said player is not on the current 40-man roster (sorry Nick no Grudz for you), what trade makes sense for the front office?

No extra credit on this one — it has to make sense both financially and prospectly (I’m leaving that word in no matter what spell check says).

I’ll be back on Sunday with my two answers and then Monday with the results. Good luck and don’t look at your neighbors’ paper for guidance. But please enjoy your weekend and get ready for all the TLR with 80’s hair pics during the Oakland series.

Loyal to a fault, I was taught to never give up on your team. The Cardinals have much to look forward to in '13, and my family has already planned a number of trips to Springfield and even farther up the I-44. This year will start and end with #6, however, as St. Louis will have an extra fan watching from above - RIP Stan the Man
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PoisonIvie June 18, 2010

Great show the other night, I was wondering who would get the first “inspired” post up…

I think BRyan ends up leading off for this club, the way he is currently playing. That being said, I don’t think Skippy is at 2nd by the end of 2010. Who replaces Schumaker will ultimately have an impact on who leads off going into an October that is not so certain any longer.

PH8 June 18, 2010

I think ole Skip was listening to the archive this morning or something.

Lee June 21, 2010

The (very small) sample size of this season seems to suggest that Lopez might be our best bet out front. I would LOVE to see Rasmus get a real chance to lead-off, but TLR doesn’t seem likely to do such a thing. Hopefully, though, our lineup for most of the post-trade-deadline looks like this:

Lopez, Ludwick, Pujols, Holliday, Rasmus, Freese, Molina, P, Ryan

Schumaker as a first option seems silly to me (and has for a while now). He should be a utility for 2B or OF, really IMO.

In terms of trades, though, I’m not sure if there is a scenario that makes a whole lot of sense AND is likely to occur. It doesn’t seem impossible, though, that we move Lopez or Schumaker + some minor league talent for a better middle infield option (though I’d obviously prefer to move Skippy). Reaching, I’d say Mark Ellis could be an upgrade. Really, really reaching, Chone Figgins seems like a nice option as well.*

*Ok, so it’s HIGHLY unlikely that this would occur, but consider this: if you’re the Seattle Mariners, you have to admit that this whole “Defense” approach is failing you since you forgot about “Offense.” You brought in medium to expensive guys who can field, but no one is hitting worth a lick. If the Cards are willing to take on the extra 7ish million in salary, wouldn’t you grab Schumaker as an INF/OF utility (how much worse could he be on offense) along with one or two prospects? And if you’re Figgins, how much do you love the idea of getting a clean slate by moving to the weaker NL, on a contending team in a (slightly) more hitter-friendly park. Again, it may be improbable, but certainly not impossible.

Of course, for a trade involving Ellis or Figgins (if we’re entertaining the idea), the Cards would have to be willing to take on more salary (not sure if that’ll happen) AND give up a bit of the farm (much depleted). And I have no idea how much of said farm it would take or if Moz would pull the trigger.

All I really want is for Skippy not to lead off.

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