The Cardinals stepped into the second half taking a glass is half full approach. By moving on from Mike Matheny all their problems would magically dissapear. The bullpen would pitch better, Ozuna and Fowler would start hitting, the defense would play error free. After just six games they realized that not only was the glass half empty but it has been thrown to the ground and shattered.
Sitting five games back in the Wild Card is an illusion of potential for a team that has lost its way. While they only sit five games back they have to jump two teams in their own division just to make case for the second spot. It is time to open their eyes and see that this is a team that has to find a new direction. I wrote a piece earlier in the month talking about the potential of trading “ace” Carlos Martinez in hopes to have a return that can set them up for future success. While it is unlikely that they move on from Martinez they have to see that it is time move the pieces that are not going to be a part of the future. Players like Jedd Gyroko, Jose Martinez, Kolten Wong, Tommy Pham and Bud Norris have to be put on the trade block. Each one of these players have friendly contracts and assets that can intrigue true contending teams.
Players like Jedd, Jose and Kolten may not bring you high valued prospects in return, but they can allow the team to open up spots for young talent. Players that are ready in the minors like Patrick Wisdom and Tyler O’Neil need to be called up and put into bench roles while Yairo Munoz and Harrison Bader should be given the chance to play everyday to see what they can bring to the table on a day to day basis. The players that can bring you the most value on the market like Bud Norris and Tommy Pham should be moved in order to restock your system with top 15 potential players.
So why not move your hottest hitter Matt Carpenter or your bad contract Dexter Fowler or your “big” offseason pickup Marcell Ozuna?
Carpenter is the player you have to build around, moving him full time to first base is your best option and can bring you stability to work around for your infield.
Fowler’s contract will most surely be impossible to move. The reality is that you have to put him on the bench and try and find a suitor in the offseason that will help you take on some of his salary (Very Unlikely).
Ozuna is injured. He has little to no value at the moment unless you want to sell low. Shut him down and let him go fix his shoulder injury. If you would like to move him next season before he becomes a free agent then look into it then. He has to much potential as a great trade piece when he is fully healthy.
It’s hard for a front office to admit that the season is a bust. I am not admitting that it is a bust yet, but what the organization is putting on the field is not one that can make it to the playoffs let alone compete in an extremely competitive 2018 National League Central. Let the young kids come up and see what kind of impact they bring. Being a seller at the deadline does not admit defeat it can show a better understanding of your personal. This team needs a change, they need fresh faces beyond Mike Shildt. Let the young guys play and see if it can turn things around. Use Poncdeleon, Gomber and eventually Dakota Hudson in the bullpen if their is not a spot in the rotation. Let Bader get as many at bats as he can and see if he changes your team dynamic. Cardinals fans may not like the idea of “selling” but they will have to understand that sometimes selling just means admitting your mistakes. Everyone can accept that.