TBD is the only way to describe how the trade deadline will impact the Cardinals in 2013. No news was good news for your humble Preacher, however, as the rumors of ill-fitting deals didn’t sit well. This winter will be a much better time for stronger trades and putting the roster puzzle together. The time is right to look at how each of the four full-season clubs is positioned down the stretch, with the top organizational squad on the clock.
Tyler Lyons may have a leg up on his rotation mates if St. Louis does utilize six starters this month. That is not to say Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are left out of the fun, but they may be better suited as bullpen weapons down the stretch. Outside of the big three starters, Memphis offers up a few other intriguing storylines with a pennant still within reach.
If the Cardinals need more bullpen assistance, lefty Sam Freeman begins the discussion after an eventful summer. He moved back into the picture by tearing through the PCL from June on and currently stands to benefit the most from the lone summer trade. Freeman now has little competition for a September call-up as long as Lyons stays in the rotation picture.
The Cardinals have the luxury of extra spots on the 40-man roster, a benefit that should come in handy very soon. Kolten Wong takes the top spot in current talks as a potential add but the big question is who will join him? Oscar Taveras is the unknown at this point, and Thomas Pham has already lost the momentum from his promising run. Both injured outfielders offered protection in center, something Mike O’Neill has not encountered thus far as he moved up the ranks.
The guess is a healthy Taveras gets added in September to learn from Carlos Beltran as all the firepower available helps in October. With less than four weeks until the rosters expand, the Cardinals must see enough to chance adding further question marks to the top prospects’ resume.
If I missed your favorite Redbird, let me hear it! Tonight is all about ending the Dodgers’ road streak and checking out the progress on Ballpark Village.