Hellooo, TLR! Is this thing even on? Has anybody besides me noticed that Matt Holliday hasn’t exactly been pounding the ball since going 3/5 on May 13th against the Reds? Since that day, he’s gone 4/31 and dropped his batting average from .398 to .344. A hitting slump alone isn’t cause for concern, especially when the hitter in question was already batting near .400. The real issue is the 8 day period during which Holliday was basically on the bench or ineffectual due to injury.
Why wasn’t he on the disabled list? It’s not like the Cardinals didn’t have an able-bodied substitute for a couple weeks. It’s not like Holliday doesn’t represent a huge investment worth protecting. So, Holliday returns on the 8th day and looks pretty rough just running down the first base line. Nice. Just consider these two lines for the season:
- .284 / .388 / .453 / .841 in 51 games
- .343 / .405 / .505 / .910 in 53 games
One of those lines belongs to Colby Rasmus, and the other one belongs to Jon Jay. One guy is the starting CF, and the other is the “4th outfielder”. You guessed it. The 2nd line belongs to Jay. Not a bad substitute for Holliday in LF, is he? So, why not sit Holliday for an extra week to give his leg/quad/groinstring a bit more time to heal? I’m not sure, but it probably falls along the same line of logic as sending Mitchell Boggs down to have him start a few games.
Speaking of Boggs, I’m not sure what he did to earn TLR’s seal of disapproval, but it must have been bad. Cardinal fans were treated to a lot of propaganda about how Miguel Batista could do everything. He was supposedly the Swiss army knife of pitchers. He could spot start, pitch long relief, close, sing the national anthem, and even catch his own pitches in a pinch. I’m unconvinced. It looks to me like the organization is sacrificing Boggs to cover up a flaw in their own team design. It doesn’t look like they really do have a “6th starter” after all, so Boggs is the guy being asked to switch. In the unlikely event of a water landing, he’s the flotation device. I guess that’s better than forcing Jaime Garcia to blow up his ERA when he’s throwing big, fluffy darts, but it sure makes me wonder about how much homework the team did on Batista. I have a better idea, though. Drop the useless ballast that is Ryan Franklin, and use an actual long reliever as a long reliever. Crazy, huh? It’s just so crazy that it just might work.
TIDBIT: Maybe I’m delusional, but I can almost envision a starting infield of David Freese, Ryan Theriot, Daniel Descalso / Allen Craig, Albert Pujols next season. I could even see Theriot removed from the mix due to financial considerations, and I could see Descalso at SS where he would split time with Tyler Greene. Almighty dollar indeed.
MORE BITS OF TID: If Holliday’s injury lingers for even part of the season, the problem can be traced back to late May. There was no logical reason not to give it proper time to heal, especially given the need to have him healthy later in the year. He’s a closer, and he can end the season on a hot streak. Why take a chance that he’s not even available?
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