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St. Louis Cardinals Roster Report 2008-10-29


St. Louis Cardinals Roster Report 2008-10-29
The Cardinals exceeded the expectations of most by winning 86 games but they fell short in the second half when their depth was not sufficient to overcome the loss of OF Rick Ankiel (lower abdominal strain) and C Yadier Molina (bruised left thigh) and the continued arm problems for RHP Chris Carpenter. They also struggled when RHP Adam Wainwright was out for 2 1/2 months with a sprained middle finer on his right hand.

BIGGEST NEEDS: The Cardinals have to get one starting pitcher outside the organization after they retained RHP Kyle Lohse, who agreed to a four-year, $41 million contract. They may not be able to afford to keep free agent RHP Braden Looper.

The Cardinals must get two left-handed relievers to fill a hole that was huge this year and a veteran right-handed reliever to hold the fort until young fireballing RHPs Chris Perez and Jason Motte. And they must upgrade their offense at second base and shortstop.

FREE AGENTS: OF Juan Encarnacion, SS Cesar Izturis, C Jason LaRue, INF Felipe Lopez, RHP Jason Isringhausen, RHP Braden Looper, LHP Ron Villone, LHP Mark Mulder, RHP Russ Springer.

The Cardinals have largest interest in re-signing Lopez and some interest in Looper, Izurtis and Isringhausen.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: OF Rick Ankiel, OF Ryan Ludwick, INF Aaron Miles, LHP Randy Flores, LHP Tyler Johnson, RHP Todd Wellemeyer.

Ankiel, Miles and Wellemeyer are the most significant cases because all can be free agents at the end of next season. Ankiel and Wellemeyer, especially, could command big money.

IN LIMBO: 2B Adam Kennedy already has asked to be traded and will be accommodated. OF Chris Duncan might be dealt, too, but he was sidelined with a disk problem in his neck in the second half of the season and must prove he is healthy before the club would consider moving him. INF Brendan Ryan appears to have worn out his welcome, and RHP Joel Pineiro could be moved if the Cardinals acquire starting pitching help.

MEDICAL WATCH:

RHP Chris Carpenter (nerve issue affecting right shoulder) decided to forgo surgery in the hope that rest and offseason therapy sessions can enable him to be ready for spring training.

1B Albert Pujols (nerve transposition surgery on right elbow in October 2008) should be ready for the start of spring training.

RHP Jason Isringhausen (flexor tendon surgery in September 2008) already was rehabbing before the season ended.

OF Rick Ankiel (abdominal surgery in September 2008) was recovering at season's end.

OF Joe Mather (left wrist surgery in September 2008) should be ready for spring training.

OF Chris Duncan (neck surgery in August 2008) should be ready for spring training.

LHP Randy Flores (left shoulder surgery in September 2008) should be ready for spring training.

LHP Jaime Garcia (Tommy John elbow surgery in September 2008) likely will miss all or nearly all of the 2009 season.

LHP Tyler Johnson (left shoulder surgery in May 2008) missed the rest of the 2008 season.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 29, 2008

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