Almost like an answer to my prayers, Adam Kennedy has said publicly that he would like the Cardinals to trade him this off-season. He primarily cites that Tony has told him he doesn't warrant everyday status any longer, and he doesn't feel a part of the Cardinal's long-term plans.
Fair enough. I credit Kennedy for being professional in his statement, and not re-creating a whiny Scott Rolen-like press release. The guy wants to play every day and wants that opportunity, so he'd like to go elsewhere. I've got no problem with that, and I certainly hope the Cardinals oblige his request and move him this off-season. My fear has been that the Cards, because Kennedy was under contract for 2009....would make him the everyday 2B just so they don't have to eat his contract if they can't trade him. Hopefully, that will not be the case. Kennedy returned the Cardinals last year with high hopes of being a steady, stabilizing influence to our middle infield. Unfortunately, it just hasn't happened. While he has been much better and more productive in 2008 than he was in his awful 2007 campaign, the bottom line is that Kennedy just doesn't have much impact in the lineup. His horrible OBP of .304 is really bad when you consider that Adam is a contact hitter and doesn't strike out much. While fairly consistent average-wise, he just doesn't have the pop in his bat to be a lineup presence. His 0.327 slugging percentage is among the worst on the team in terms of everyday players. He is also hitting below .200 as a pinch-hitter, limiting his appeal as a reserve infielder for 2009.
Players like Kennedy were commonplace in baseball 30 years ago, when middle infielders typically provided little offense and were mainly defensive players. That has changed now, and teams need pop and production from the middle infield. One of the killers for this team has been that with Cesar Izturis being the primary SS, we simply have had little offensive production from the middle infield. Whether or not Felipe Lopez fits into the 2009 plans remains to be seen, but the middle infield will obviously be a need that is addressed this off-season. If Izturis returns at SS, the Cards definitely need more production at 2B, and the best move for both parties would be to move Kennedy to someplace where he'll have a chance to play.
Other miscellaneous Cardinal thoughts:
- Disappointing that Chris Perez couldn't seal the deal last night and had to be relieved by Jason Motte. Motte has a Howitzer for an arm, but doesn't have a ton of experience pitching, as he is a converted catcher. I wonder if the Cards have a thought of making him a closer some day?
- I don't understand the logic of playing Aaron Miles in LF and Kennedy in RF last night. I know we are shorthanded in the OF, but why not give some playing time to guys like Nick Stavinoha or Brian Barton.....who are actually outfielders? I'd think Tony would want to use the fact that Ankiel and Mather are out to take advantage of the chance and see what a Stavinoha can do playing everyday. Tony is smarter than me, but I don't get that one.
- Adding insult to injury, the Cubs come from behind win yesterday probably sets the stage for them to clinch the division this weekend against the Cards.... I wish we could win as couple of them, and possibly put the Cubs celebration off for a few days, until they are playing someone else.