I mean seriously... if that homer is piling on, it must be bad:
On opening day, the Cards had seven outfielders on their 40-man roster. Grichuk, Dexter Fowler, Stephen Piscotty and Jose Martinez at the major league level, Tommy Pham and Anthony Garcia at Triple A Memphis, and Magneuris Sierra at Palm Beach. On April 24, the Cardinals DFA’d Garcia and outrighted him to Memphis, leaving them with six outfielders on their 40-man roster. On May 4, Fowler injured a shoulder and Piscotty a hamstring in the same game against Milwaukee. Piscotty was placed on the 10-day DL and Pham was called up. Fowler was kept active, and over the next ten days started two games.
During those ten days, the Cardinals operated with an eight-man bullpen. In that time, Sam Tuivalala and Miguel Socolovich each pitched twice, with both appearing in an 8-3 win over San Francisco. Wouldn’t the club have been better served to have a bench outfielder and lived without Tuivalala for those ten days?
On May 6, Martinez suffered a pulled hamstring and went on the DL the next day, with Sierra arriving from Palm Beach. That means that of the four opening day outfielders, three were injured in three days. And the Cards had every outfielder they had on the 40 man at the major league level or on the DL, with Fowler mostly unavailable.
When Piscotty came back, the Cardinals traded the NL’s best pinch hitter over the last three years, Matt Adams, to Atlanta. But, they maintained their eight-man bullpen. Now, they don’t have a legitimate backup first baseman. When Matt Carpenter needed a day off on Saturday, Jedd Gyorko played first.
And when the bullpen failed, the Cardinals called up a 27-year-old minor league journeyman, John Brebbia, designating Socolovich for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. This is a 40-man roster that has Alex Reyes…out for the season with Tommy John surgery…on the 10-day disabled list rather than the 60 day, which would open a roster spot.
To fill in for the 25-year-old Grichuk and the 26-year-old Piscotty, the Cards have plugged in 28-year-old Martinez and 29-year-old Pham. The most productive and exciting Cardinals outfielder this season, the 21-year-old Sierra, was sent to Springfield with a .367 big league batting average, a .406 OBP and eight runs scored in seven games. While sparking the team…which was 6-1 in the games he played…Sierra wasn’t going to play like that forever. But they should have given him a longer chance to fail.