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Do the Cardinals have the tools to win?

I rarely open with pitchers, but it seems like the entire focus of the Cardinals’ strategy. “Come hell or high water” the Redbirds can throw. But can they win?

Pitchers:

With the recent implosion of Adam Wainwright against the Padres, it seems like the illusion of the perfect pitching staff is fading in St. Louis. Fans have lost enthusiasm as the season seems to be dragging along. The Cardinals made two good moves before the trade deadline and one that really made sportscasters scratch their heads.

Masterson: The trade as a deal was fine, but why? He is worthless. A pitcher whose ERA is north of 5.00 is not one that should be seriously considered for high prospects. Masterson has no liquid value nor trade potential for the Birds next season. No one wants him. Masterson will not help the Cardinals win.

Sure, the addition of Lackey can help the team win. He is an extremely solid pitcher especially against the NL. But why stop at Lackey? Why not pick up an outfielder? Lackey was a steal but he will not fill as great of a need for the team as a super-star bat.

Lynn, Waino, Miller, and (eventually) Wacha are all solid enough to lead an average-hitting team to 90+ wins without much question. The problem is that the Redbirds are not an average hitting team.

The Bats:

Tavaras still has a long way to go before he has matured into what only might be a solid player. He is inconsistent, at best, on the big stage. He was solid, but not incredible, in AAA. I do not expect much more than a .210 batting average with fewer than nine homeruns on the season out of this rookie.

A.J. Pierzynski was the only right trading move the Cards made in my opinion. He can hit and fills the immediate need at Catcher for at least the next month. Who knows, maybe we can throw Yadi to third and keep AJ for another year. I would love a roster with both of them playing the field.

Holliday and Jay are both solid. Matt is in sort of a down-year but I imagine that he will accelerate when the time comes to hunker down and win games. Jay is the biggest surprise for me of the season. He has been far more solid as a hitter and in the field than last year. Jay has been carrying the team on his back for the majority of the season, especially when Adams was out.

Adams is a monster. His batting average has slipped a bit since the All Star Break from .329 to .314 but I cannot complain otherwise.

Peralta needs to be more consistent at the plate. He hits for power and nothing else. I like his improvement since the All Star Break and I hope to see him continue to play at this level for the rest of the season. Given the drop from 2013’s .318 to this year’s .286, I expect more from Matt Carpenter on a consistency basis as well.

Overall, I guess I just do not see many All-Star big name bats on this roster. The team does not have one player that will undoubtedly score when they need him to. They need an Albert Pujols. I do not see them getting past the NLDS without one.

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