After a slow start to the season, which included a stint on the D.L., and a hot start by Kolten Wong at AAA, many Cardinals fans were thinking that the team should trade David Freese, put Matt Carpenter at his natural position (third) and call up Wong.
It got so bad that even Ken Rosenthal
of Fox Sports picked up on it, saying that trading David Freese made
sense financially, as Freese earns $3 million and will likely get a
raise through arbitration during the offseason.
However, sometime its not always about the money.
a World Series hero and local kid made good would sorely be missed, not
just by the Cardinals fans who love him, but also because he is an
important cog in the Cardinals lineup.
Its no surprise
that in April, when Freese was struggling with a .163/.255/.204 line,
the Cardinals went 15-11 for a .577 winning percentage. However, in
May, when Freese turned things around and hit .299/.365/.429, the
Cardinals were 20-7 (.741). Put another way, in games that the
Cardinals have won, Freese has hit .330/.416/.450 and in games that the
Cards have lost he has only hit .194/.231/.258.
not to say that Freese is the most important piece of the Cardinals
offense, but he is an important piece and the offense works best when
everyone is clicking.
I think it doesn't
have to be a case of Wong vs Freese. I think the Cardinals could carry
both players next year (along with Carpenter) and make it work.
the plan. The Cardinals rotate Freese, Wong and Carpenter at the
second base and third base positions next year. On days that Carpenter
starts at second, Wong can come in as a late inning defensive
replacement. In addition, by rotating the players, it would help keep
Freese, a notoriously injury prone player, fresh and (hopefully)
Its not a perfect plan, but it might allow the
Cardinals to trade Daniel Descalso or, better yet, dump little used Ty
Wigginton, while improving their bench as a whole. (In fact, I wouldn't
mind seeing the Cardinals release Wigginton and call up Wong now, but
that's a discussion for another day).
Overall, I think that by keeping Freese, Carpenter and Wong, the Cardinals will be a better team in the long run.