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How to Ruin a Roster Without Even Trying

Dumb-and-Dumber.jpg
John Mozeliak, left, and Tony LaRussa celebrate their latest brilliant maneuver.
​Cardinal management has really outdone themselves this time. I've actually been pleasantly surprised by the job Tony La Russa and Company have done managing the 2011 team to this point, but this is just mind-numbingly stupid. 

Today, the Cardinals reactivated Skip Schumaker from the disabled list. Not a surprise there, of course; regardless of how poorly Schumaker plays he's one of Tony's favorite strays and will have a home. The corresponding move to make room for Skippy was to subtract a pitcher. Again, not a surprise. In fact, I honestly considered a column this morning blasting the Cards for carrying thirteen relievers during the KC series. There's virtually never a good reason to have that many pitchers, particularly when you can't find enough work to go around because your starters have been brilliant. 

No, the move that we should all be shaking our heads and muttering over is which pitcher the Cardinals chose to send down. They sent down Mitchell Boggs

That's right. The Cardinals just sent one of their three best relievers to Memphis in order to make room for one of the worst players in baseball, all the while protecting two veteran relievers who have absolutely no business being on the roster. 

Under no circumstances does this make any sense whatsoever. I'm sure the explanation will be something along the lines of, "Well, Boggs needs to get more work in, and he was one of the few guys we could send down because he has options still." 

Here's the problem with that: the Cards are still running Miguel Batista out to the mound, with his 1.11 K/BB ratio and 1.78 WHIP. Yep, he basically walks a batter for every one he strikes out and allows close to two baserunners for every inning he works. And he just has to be on the team. 

Or how about Ryan Franklin? Veteran closerness or whatever bullshit LaRussa and Dave Duncan want to cook up aside, Franklin is currently sporting a 9.20 ERA, an equal number of strikeouts and walks, and is allowing almost two baserunners per inning. (1.98 WHIP) Ryan Franklin has been one of the worst pitchers in all of baseball this year. And he has a permanent spot on a contending team because of the abject stupidity and inability to recognise reality of the team's management. 

Mitchell Boggs, on the other hand, has been remarkably good in 2011. His strikeout to walk ratio is 4.75(!), his FIP is 3.06, and he's giving up barely better than one baserunner per inning. (1.07 WHIP) That's right, Boggs gives up just a little more than half as many baseunners as Ryan Franklin does, and his reward for turning into a shutdown reliever is a trip back to the minors while the big club piddles around with broken veterans whose only notable quality is the fact they were good sometime in the distant past. (Or, in the case of Skip Schumaker, his most notable quality is that he's never been good, but someone had a brilliant idea for an experiment a couple years back that might create the illusion he was good and is too arrogant and stubborn to admit it was an abject failure.) 

Of course, I'm sure the argument for keeping Franklin and Batista around is that the club can send Boggs down to the minors without a problem, while either of those other two would have to designated for assignment, meaning there's a fair chance they could just be gone entirely. The thing is, that's absolutely true. In order to get either Franklin or Batista off the roster the Cardinals would have to DFA them, then expose them to waivers. Two other thoughts immediately spring to mind, though: one, what team in their right mind is honestly going to want to pick up either of them, and two, neither one is worth keeping anyway. Most teams seem at least somewhat interested in making themselves better. Getting better does not go hand-in-hand with picking up trash heap veteran relievers who can't get anyone out. 

The Cardinals managed to make this team significantly worse today, and how ownership continues to let this farce go on is beyond me. Schumaker is one of the worst infielders in baseball. Ryan Franklin and Miguel Batista are two of the worst relievers in baseball. All three of them have a place on this team, though, because of some mysterious quality they possess which makes them immune to the consequences of being terrible. Congratulations to all three on finding the magic formula for keeping a job while far better players are shipped out to make room for more dead weight. 

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9 comments
tanman
tanman

skip schumaker is not that bad his defense and hitting is better than tyler greene !omg i cant stand tyler greene they should option him to triple-ffffffffffff! mitchell bogg is a solid reliver i agree but maybe he just getting a tune up ....the cardinals have a very good working system and i bet mitchell will come back kicking assvisit my bloghttp://ethicalfutures.wordpres...

painterboy67
painterboy67

WOW.To call Schumaker one of the worst players in baseball is just a stupid thing to say. What did he sleep with your wife or mother? Did you see the play that he made last night? He's a griity player. As for sending Boggs down I was surprised. But I will defer to Tony and Duncs wisdom to do what they think is right I think that they have earned that right, don't you? What have you done other than be a armchair quarterback. There 9 games over 500 thats with the BAD start. Yes I was one who said Franklin needed to be shelved, But i'm in my livingroom and Tony is in the clubhouse. I'm sure I would want a manager to be loyal to me after years of service. Give him the benifit of the dought.

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GDM
GDM

TLR & MO should both be fired

TheBigJC
TheBigJC

Do you even like the Cardinals?

Jeremiahw521
Jeremiahw521

calling schumaker one of the worst players in baseball is completely untrue. he has a career .290 AVG. he had a .241 when he went on the DL but thats only because he played 15 games. one hit will raise it 6 or 7 points. but i agree that sending mitchell boggs to the minors is a mistake. keeping batista is ok but the cardinals definitley need to get rid of franklin

Stlshady
Stlshady

He lives the Cardinals.  Asking if he likes them is like asking if you like air, or water.  Aaron knows more about this team and baseball in general than anyone you will ever meet.  If he seems angry it's because he has such a passion for this team that when management does stupid things like keeping Franklin while sending Boggs away I'm sure it pisses him off just like most fans.   Sure pisses me off.  I think that's the difference I think between Cardinals fans and most other teams, we invest ourselves more in our teams.  You think he doesn't like the team because he's critical of their (terrible) decisions?  

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