After a 7 game losing streak, the St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak called a press conference to prove that the Cardinal’s aren’t playing any games.
If you’ve missed the last week or two of Cardinals baseball, you really haven’t missed much. Seven crushing defeats in a row, where not only has the bullpen been awful, but the offense has been too.
After an extremely poor start to the season, made only slightly better by the struggle of every other team in the division, Mo had had enough.
Three big moves were announced at last nights pre-game conference. 1) Kolten Wong returns from the DL. 2) Jhonny Peralta is designated for assignment. And 3) Third Base Coach Chris Maloney is sent to the minors.
Now, I wouldn’t say that the first two of these moves were surprising. A lot of people hoped something would be done about Peralta. He simply wasn’t being productive, and as a consequence held no real value to the team. And with the emergence of recent call up Paul Dejong, and the production from Tommy Pham, the Cardinal’s had to find another option to free up some space when Wong returned. But still, the move to DFA Peralta is still one that carries with it a sense of seriousness and action. A move that signals despite the pay of a player, if the play isn’t present then they will cease to be as well.
However big the Peralta move might have been, no move all year has carried with it as much of an implication as Chris Maloney’s demotion. This is the first time that John Mozeliak has demoted a coach during the middle of a season. Coupled with the decision to DFA a highly-paid veteran, this is a move that can only be interpreted as a message to the entire team, encompassing the players in the dugout, the players in the bullpen, and the coaching staff, that things MUST change. A 26-32 record will not suffice, and if change doesn’t come on the field, change will prescribed elsewhere.
There is a lot of season left, and undoubtedly baseball is a game of streaks, but Rome wasn’t built in one day. You can’t expect to just struggle all season and miraculously kick it into gear as the season concludes. John Mozeliak knows this, and these moves were his attempt at fixing it.
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