Like many others, I’m deeply affected by the offseason. I go through all the same phases of depression waiting on more baseball that everyone else does. I sometimes feel insecure, wondering if I’m the only one who has a noticeable big chunk missing out of his life just because there’s no game on. I suspect I’m not. On the other hand, I sometimes feel guilty if I find something else to occupy my time. Now that’s just sickness.
As this offseason progresses, I’m feeling more confident about the upcoming season. There are things I see the Cardinals doing that reinforce John Mozeliak as the GM superstar that he is. I’d point to the aggressive trade to get Jason Heyward, and dropping the old guard like Shane Robinson and Daniel Descalso. No disrespect is intended toward either one, but Descalso was never going to have pop off the bench, and Robinson’s toolset didn’t enhance anything the Cards already have either in the field or on the bench. Letting them go was the right thing to do.
He continues to make smart moves by taking small risks that could pay big dividends (a la Pat Neshek in 2014). Taking an inexpensive flier on Matt Belisle won’t break the bank, but he could only improve from what he’s done in Colorado. Dean Anna could be an exciting addition to the team. Even if he spends the year in Memphis, so what? We paid next to nothing for him. Dumpster diving is no way to build a baseball club, but that isn’t what Mo is doing. He’s enhancing, finishing off some details, putting on a fresh coat of paint, if you will. The team’s core is already in place, and it is returning next year.
I still want to see the Cards do something to get some pop off the bench next season. I think that’s a critical area that made the team weak last year. Late in games, when the pitcher’s spot came up, the opposition didn’t need to make a pitching change. Their approach didn’t even have to get altered. No need to put Descalso on to avoid pitching to him. I think the Cards can fix this. I also think they can find a platoon partner for Matt Adams. If that person also ended up being a better backup catcher than Tony Cruz, my heart wouldn’t be broken.
So yes, I’m bumming hard this offsesason, but I’m also thinking about how good this team can be next year and it gets me through.