When getting old is a crime…

In the real world, you are innocent until proven guilty.  Increasingly in sports, however, particularly baseball, when you are over a certain age, you are guilty until proven innocent.

The Cardinals, upon activating Carlos Martinez, cut Luke Gregerson.  Luke, who’s 35, had only recently been reactivated himself on May 4th.  He had been out since last July with a right shoulder impingement.

He had made 6 relief appearances since coming back, allowing 5 runs and and 11 hits in 5 and 2/3 innings. I realize he’s a reliever, but to me that’s the ultimate small sample size alert. After that long of a layoff, my thinking is that it might take some time for Luke to find his groove again.  There are two arguments against this:

1j The Cardinals don’t have the time.

2j Luke is old, he won’t find that groove.

Let’s set aside the first for today and focus on the second.

Increasingly in the age of advanced statistics, getting old isn’t just a crime, it’s a *generalized* crime, as in, “no matter who you are, you are getting old, you must be vastly declining.”

Just look at all the early signings that have happened with players yet to reach arbitration. Teams are locking them up now because they really don’t want to pay them later when they’ve crossed the dreaded 30-32 year old barrier. All players are now guilty of the crime of getting old, save for rare exceptions like potential hall of famers still performing (Justin Verlander for example), players who’ve been with one team their entire careers and cutting/trading them would tick off the fans (Yadier Molina, still doing well, but not what he used to be) or contracts too expensive to eat that nobody wants to trade for (Albert Pujols).

Add to that the element, in Gregerson’s case, of coming back from a long term injury but being expected to perform at old levels right away, and well, the man was doomed.

I can only hope another team not only gives him a chance but gives him time to work back into shape. The Cardinals, a team contending for the division, were obviously not that team.


As always, thanks for reading.


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