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St. Louis Cardinals Roster Report 2008-12-15


St. Louis Cardinals Roster Report 2008-12-15
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.

ARRIVALS: SS Khalil Greene (trade with Padres), LHP Trever Miller (free agent from Rays).

DEPARTURES: RHP Matt Clement (free agent, signed with Blue Jays), INF Felipe Lopez (free agent, signed with Diamondbacks).

FREE AGENTS: OF Juan Encarnacion, SS Cesar Izturis, RHP Jason Isringhausen, RHP Braden Looper, LHP Ron Villone, LHP Mark Mulder, RHP Russ Springer, INF Aaron Miles (non-tendered), LHP Randy Flores (non-tendered), LHP Tyler Johnson (non-tendered).

The Cardinals have some interest in Looper and Isringhausen.

ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: OF Rick Ankiel, OF Ryan Ludwick, RHP Todd Wellemeyer.

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

IN LIMBO: 2B Adam Kennedy asked to be traded, although the request might not be granted. OF Chris Duncan might be dealt, 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 (sore right shoulder, right elbow surgery in November 2008) didn't have a clear timetable for his return following the elbow procedure.

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.

SS Khalil Greene (broken bone in his left hand in July 2008) passed a physical when he was acquired by the Cardinals in December.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 15, 2008

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