Today I thought about a great many things, as fluffy white stuff assaulted the Emerald City of Seattle. Mostly, I thought about how devastating the loss of Adam Wainwright is for the Cardinals. Injuries in baseball can seriously de-rail a season. Then my brain started to wonder about how much Lucroy’s fractured finger could effect the team. When I heard the initial news yesterday, I really thought very little of it. Once I had some time to think about it, a few realities started to settle in.
- When the season kicks off, it is more than possible that Jon will either be on IR or on a rehab assignment. So, it is entirely possible that my new “Jeff Suppan”, Wil Nieves, could be catching Greinke or Gallardo on opening day. To me, this is a very serious problem. Especially when you consider that once Lucroy is able to come back, he will be the starter. Kottaras, Nieves, and Rivera are all epically terrible with a bat in their hands. Think Not having Lucroy will make us a little weaker offensively.
- This season we have 3 new pitchers, plus LaTroy Hawkins plans on pitching. Lucroy is going to miss all of spring training, which means he is missing that continuity with his pitchers. This could become a real problem once JL comes back to the team. Spring training is so important for pitchers and catchers, that is why they have to get there a few days early every year. There is absolutely no way that Lucroy should not be out there when healthy, but he will need to shake some rust off. The shaking of rust, could lead to a few rough outings for our starting rotation.
- What if this becomes a chronic injury problem for him? Then we are completely screwed. I know that “the bosses” are confident in our depth at catcher, but I am not one of “the bosses”. Call them what they are, a flat room temperature beer. Kottaras has a hair pulling career .213 batting average, Jeff Suppan Jr. is not any better with his 129 career K’s and 159 career hits, and Mike Rivera is the catcher who was not good enough the first time around but now he is much better…..I guess. In all honesty, I do not know that I would put these guys on my bar league softball team. Yet, I am expected to entrust our mind boggling pitching staff to these three stooges (no pun intended, I genuinely feel like they are stooges and their happens to be 3 of them).
- This last point is the one I am least concerned about. How will this affect his productivity when he comes back from the surgery? Not only is he missing out on reps with his pitching staff, but he is missing out on hitting instruction, cage sessions, and throwing practices. His first week or two back could be Strikeout City. Not to mention, the odds are pretty strong that teams are going to be stealing bases on him for a while. It usually takes some time to get that throw from home plate to second base clicking. The Catcher position could be a real problem in April, but all that matters is September and October.
Bottom Line; Lucroy is our best Catcher and those other guys are nothing more than stop gaps. The problem with that might not rear it’s ugly head until we are in to the regular season, but I assure you it will cause some problems. Let’s all take a second and realize that it could be much worse, we could be Cardinals fans.
Please stay tuned, Colin and I are working on our All Brewers Team. In honor of the All NL Central team that our Fansided divisional brothers and I put together. The NL Central is only 41 votes behind the NL West, so please place your vote for the NL Central. If you have not voted for our team yet, follow the link and vote. If we have any problems choosing the All Brewers Team, we will ask for your opinion. In fact we already have a problem at Catcher (Oh Sweet Irony!!!!).
Everyone have a wonderful rest of your Thursday, we will talk tomorrow.