John Mozeliak joined the guys in the booth at FSM in tonight’s game and talked a lot about Wacha. It was clear that he still liked Wacha’s change-up but was disappointed in his fastball command. He also made a point in saying that he really wants him to develop a quality 3rd pitch in his curve. In fact he even said that he would rather have him be developing that in AAA rather than dealing with the stress of the big leagues. Pretty telling stuff from the guy in charge.
Now I like Chris Duncan a lot but he was just venting his thoughts on Twitter. He in no way has any knowledge of what the organization is going to do when Jake Westbrook comes back to the rotation on Friday. But the hints were certainly prevalent and I agree with Duncan’s observations.
All in all if Wacha gets sent down I’m fine with that. Injuries forced the Cardinal’s hand this season but I would have preferred to have Wacha come up and stay up.
Until this weekend… Go Cards!
Adversity is nothing new to the Cardinals. It seems every year the Cardinals lose a key player from last year’s success. This year the industry was drooling over the Cardinal’s pitching success and depth. In the beginning fans were clamoring for Mozeliak to trade for a long term shortstop because we have “too much pitching”.
I’m sorry but that statement doesn’t exist in my vocabulary.
The Cardinal’s were trying some band aid solutions while waiting for news on Westbrook and Carpenter. Now they no longer have that option.
Carpenter experienced his first set back in rehab.
Westbrook is going to go see this guy named “Dr. Andrews”. Remember him? Yeah Jaime Garcia just visited him a week ago… he’s shelved for the season.
About those band aids? Now John Gast is shut down with a shoulder strain.
Options are running out. Shelby Miller is going to have to be our number 3 starter behind Lynn and Wainwright, who absolutely can NOT get hut. The Cardinals were trying to avoid this… to protect his development… now I think they have no choice.
Mo was waiting for a permanent role. Now he’s got one. It really is time. I understood why Gast and Lyons were called up over him, but with Gast out Wacha needs to be up here. He’s definitely ready with a 4-0 record and a 2.05 ERA. This will be the ultimate test to the Cardinal’s organizational strength.
That bullpen is a mess with a confusing mix of starters and relievers with undefined roles in front of Mujica and Rosenthal. Mozeliak needs to figure this out and fast.
The Reds and Pirates keep winning at alarming rates.
The race is on.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When Jake Westbrook was acquired from Cleveland in 2010 I said… “eh”. Typical no. 5 starter, with a decent sinker. But there is something about Westbrook that has proved to be so valuable in the Cardinals rotation the last 2 years… Consistency. We know what we are going to get out of Westbrook, something that I like a lot about him. He is what he is and that is good enough for me. The Cardinals ended up extending him to a 2 year, 16.5 million dollar extension with a mutual option for the 2013 season and here we are now. A contract year. Jake reported to camp this year having slimmed down and refocused. He knows this will be his last year in STL and he needs to cash in on one more contract.
Then there’s this: He’s given up ZERO runs in his first two starts.
I know, I know, there is the easy argument: “It’s a small sample size!!” But it’s fun to talk about. How else do you explain this? Are we witnessing Westbrook reinvent himself into something magical?
No doubt Westbrook has been locked in, but here’s my problem. His walk percentage is 14.9%, way above his career norm. His batting-average-on-balls-in-play is .224 compared to a career average of .304. He has walked 10 batters in 15.2 innings pitched. It’s a number I don’t like and isn’t sustainable. He’s been getting abnormally lucky and the numbers concern me more than encourage. The surface level numbers are good but I don’t see anything that tells me this will continue.
You know what I do like? That sinker is working. His ground ball to fly ball ratio is 1.72, matching his career high. He has been efficient enough to throw a complete game shutout against the Reds. He looks strong and his velocity hasn’t wavered. Look nobody expects Westbrook to win the Cy Young but I think he is vital in a rotation that hasn’t thrown a lot of innings in each members’ respective careers. Westbrook needs to be that workhorse. He needs to be him. If that’s 200 innings and a 3 1/2 ERA that’s okay with me.