Ahh, the Astros. Every time we play them I’m reminded of the 2004 NLCS. Biggio, Berkman, Beltran vs. Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen. Ahh. Those were the times. We won’t talk about what happened after that series…
Now that the Astros have shifted over to the AL, it’s a rare sight to see the teams play each other, and it’s definitely fun to reminisce, but now it’s Altuve, Correa, and Rasmus going up against Carpenter, Piscotty, and Diaz. Times sure have changed.
The Cardinals sure have changed, too. I don’t think just about anyone could have predicted that the Cardinals would be anywhere near the top of the leaderboards when it comes to home runs, but they are tied for most in the NL with the Nationals so far this year. (we won’t count the AL teams anyway because they get an extra position player in their lineups. Cheaters.) Last night was no exception. Moss and Adams both sent baseballs over the outfield wall, but it was to no avail.
The rotation seemed to turn a corner, going through one full turn and not having lost a game, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you there were still some kinks in the armor. While I think everyone enjoyed the sweep of the Pirates that put the Cards in second place and a wild card spot, I am not convinced that the Cardinals are ready to be a winning team yet. They may still get there, but I’m sure that the best the Cardinals can reach is a wild card spot unless the Cubs still find a way to Cub their way out of first place.
The last of my quick hits is to speak about the depth of the team. There is a little gap of prospects in the system where there are still more coming, but none ready to make the jump to the majors. Depth was a real concern coming into the year because of that, but now there are players in Memphis that could be on the roster. Pham isn’t hitting well there right now (.222/.330/.323), but with what Hazelbaker did early in the season (even though he’s cooled off), Pham doesn’t have a spot right now. Wong is lighting it up in Memphis, hitting 2 homers just last night, but doesn’t have a spot in the lineup because Diaz has been good enough to move Peralta to 3rd and Carpenter to 2nd to make room for him in the lineup and Wong needs consistent playing time right now.
I’m not as confident on the pitching depth, as Reyes is just beginning to get into the swing of things after his suspension, Gonzales is gone for the year, and Cooney still has yet to make his debut. Here’s to hoping the major league arms hold up this year!