The collective *ugh* that could be heard from Cardinal fans, following Chris Carpenter's latest injury, had scientists in Southern California scrambling to pin point the exact location of the seismic activity.
Don't worry guys. It was just us St. Louisans, kicking ourselves for buying into the fairy tale that our Cardinals might actually be able to make it through an entire season with the thinnest pitching rotation known to man. Go about your daily lives. We'll cope. We're used to this.
We all said it. In fact, we screamed it. From October to March we begged and we pleaded. We talked about it with our friends. We blogged about it to complete strangers. Did it do us any good? Not in the slightest.
So here we sit...in the exact situation we were all afraid of
Well, I have an idea of what comes next...but I don't think you're going to like it.
Here it comes...
I think that's exactly what the Cards will end up doing.
Because it's exactly the way they like to run things. It's not like it was a big secret that the rotation was dangerously thin. Hell, if the average fan realizes it...don't you think every GM alive knows it too? Still, the Cards chose to do nothing.
"But we're going to get Carpenter back. Which is like making a trade for one of the game's best pitchers."
Yeah yeah. And you know what? For a couple of games it was. Chris Carpenter still has it. Make no mistake about that. And I don't think there's a Cardinal fan out there that despises or blames him in any way. Just a bit of bad luck the past couple of years.
The part that irks us fans the most, is that the need was so obvious. You can never make up a gameplan without leaving yourself at least some margain for error, and that's exactly what the Cardinals did. They banked on having five healthy starters for 162 games, and thats it.
So now what? Well, honestly...I think they're going to continue doing the same exact thing.
They'll spin some story about how...
"Getting Carpenter back right before the All-Star Break will be like making a trade for one of the game's best pitchers"
And all of us Cardinal fans will be holding our breath every single time Carpenter takes the mound from then on. I just don't see how making a trade could hurt us. I mean, even if Carpenter comes back, would it hurt to have another quality arm in the rotation? I know Pineiro has started off kind of hot, but how long will that last? What about 50/50 Wellenmeyer? Half the time he's decent, half the time he stinks.
The point is...if there are options out there, why not take advantage?
With that being said...
I know I pointed to Cliff Lee as being one of those options. I think he's a solid southpaw who would benefit from getting out of the AL. Would love, love, love to see him in a Cardinal uniform. I also like the idea of saving Jake Peavy from a bad situation. I know he hasn't been great this year, but with all that went down in the offseason with San Diego...he could probably use a change of scenery.
And then there's Matt Cain...
This is a guy that many of you mentioned as the "ideal fit" for the Cards. And while I'll agree that the Giants could definitely use some offense...I'm not sure the Cardinals have what it would take to get him here.
On the surface, Ankiel/Boggs for Cain would seem like a good deal. But there are a lot of things you have to consider in a deal like that. For one...Why would the Giants trade away one of their best young pitchers (who is still under contract at a very reasonable rate for the next two years) for a 30 year old, streaky hitter, who is about to become a free agent? They're already trying to unload a similar guy in Aaron Rowand. Unless the Giants improve drastically over the next two months and make a run at the division, I just don't see the move being worth it for them.
No, I think that the Cardinals best bet at landing a starter is either going to come from a team who is completely out of it and looking to unload pending free agents, or from a contender who needs a quality bat in the outfield (Cleveland could fit both of those descriptions depending on how they do the next two months. Even Chris Duncan would be an upgrade over Frank Francisco in LF).
The question is...Will they make the move if it's there?
Here's betting they Stand Pat.
God, I hope I'm wrong.