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  1. As a Cub fan….that “we need a left handed bat” really gets under my skin!!! Just bitter that they win 97 games and the feel they aren’t balanced enough cuz they lost 3 games.

    Comment by Boomer — July 24, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

  2. Pujols hits all pitchers regardless of handedness. Holliday and Ludwick superior wOBA numbers for their careers against RHP.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — July 24, 2009 @ 4:05 pm

  3. As David mentioned, considering Ludwick’s major opposite platoon split for his career, the fact that pujols hits anybody, and how well rasmus has done this year against RH I’m not too worried about it. You take what you can get and Holliday is a huge upgrade over what they currently have, and he was the best player available.

    Comment by Shannon — July 24, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

  4. Hell I’m sure the Cards would be happy that other teams are selecting their pitchers based on handedness rather than talent. Just like I hope teams try to throw lefties out against the Phillies in order to ‘exploit’ Utley, Howard, Ibanez, and Werth.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — July 24, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

  5. Well, this year, the Cardinals have .659 OPS vs LHP and .763 vs RHP

    Comment by JimRI — July 24, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  6. Agreed.
    Cards are 4th in the NL in runs scored vs RHP & 13th in the NL in runs scored vs LHP…

    Comment by Boomer Lowe — July 24, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  7. Oops! Care to comment, Dave?

    Comment by nick — July 24, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

  8. Plus there arent many Left Handed hitting 3rd basemen

    Comment by Matthew — July 24, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  9. Maybe you haven’t seen tonight’s lineup. It includes Ankiel instead of Rasmus. Yippee!!! And, gee, wouldn’t it be great if there was a left-handed 3B available? Hmm…. What about within the organization? Anyone? Is there anyone at, say, AAA who plays 3B and is a pretty good hitter and might be able to help us this year and for 6 more years? Oops! Not any more!

    Comment by chuckb — July 24, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  10. The Cardinals have not hit lefties for three years. The DeRosa and Holliday trades, along with the Duncan deal, eliminate that problem b/c now they don’t have to worry about Ankiel or Duncan getting chewed up by lefties and they don’t have to play Joe Thurston, who just stinks anyway.

    I’m not the least bit worried about how they’ll fair against righties. From the second he’s been a major leaguer, Ludwick has exhibited a reverse platoon split. Rasmus has done well vs. RH considering he’s 22. Pujols hits anyone.

    This team has dramatically fixed its offensive Achillies Heel…ineptitude vs. LHP. This trade should be bashed, but this is a pretty week angle upon which to attack it.

    Comment by Pete — July 24, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  11. Except the one they dealt to make the trade.

    Comment by Pete — July 24, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  12. The Cardinals can solve this “so called” problem easily with a platoon of
    Ankiel and Ludwick in RF. What is wrong with you lately. All you seem to do is bitch about mole hills.

    Comment by giantsrainman — July 24, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

  13. not to mention yadier is hitting above .300 against rhp this year. both schumaker and razzle dazzle drastically hit rhp better. so spreading them apart in the order will force opposing managers to use their lefty specialist on one or the other.

    Comment by MPAUL — July 24, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

  14. Read the article, raced home to make the Luddy, Holliday reverse platoon, Pujols kills everyones, Cards kill righties, we WERE helpless vs lefties argument. Beaten to the punch by like 10 people. Oh well.

    Comment by Matt — July 24, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  15. You realize you can post comments away from any computer in the world, right?

    Comment by DavidCEisen — July 24, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

  16. People get way too worked up about lineup balance. You either have good hitters or you dont. Pujols followed by holliday should be the premier 3/4 combo in the game for the rest of the year regardless of which side of the plate they stand on.

    Comment by Scott — July 24, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

  17. And why would they do that?

    Ankiel has been horrible this year and Ludwick is slugging well over .600 this month. He was pretty bad May-June, but was also one of baseball’s best hitters last season.

    Oh and Ludwick hits better vs. RHP anyway.

    Comment by Pete — July 24, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

  18. I doubt Rasmus bats second in that lineup. I would think it would be like this:


    That looks well balance enough. Besides, it’s not like Pujols, Ludwick or Holliday are that bad against righties :)

    Comment by Nick — July 24, 2009 @ 8:23 pm

  19. Given that Pujols alone dominates everyone, it is like having a switch hitter in the lineup.

    BTW Nick, the Pitcher bats eighth ;-)

    Comment by Alireza — July 24, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

  20. I know, I’m a Cards fan. However, given that we now have a deeper lineup, with high OBP guys as late as the 7th hole, it doesn’t make sense to bat the pitcher 8th… I hope Tony sees it that way.

    Comment by Nick — July 24, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

  21. Doh!

    Comment by Big Oil — July 24, 2009 @ 9:48 pm

  22. Perhaps…but I’ll still defer to the Book on that one.

    Comment by Big Oil — July 24, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

  23. Although, as a clarification, if the lower part of the order has demonstrated over a large size that they are consistently high obp (relative to league avg for that position in the batting order) then I would agree with you. Simply don’t know enough about the bottom of their order.

    Comment by Big Oil — July 24, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

  24. Werth hits righty, just FYI.

    Comment by Nathan — July 24, 2009 @ 10:03 pm

  25. I don’t understand. What lefty bats are out there they could have got and would have made an impact? Easy to say harder to do.

    Comment by D Wrek — July 24, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

  26. Well, according to Baseball Reference, here are the league averages in OBP:

    6th: .332
    7th: .314
    8th: .327

    Assuming the lineup I posted above is correct, here are the projected OBP for those players:

    Rasmus: .324
    Molina: .335
    Ryan: .308

    So I guess they are below average in that category.

    Comment by Nick — July 24, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

  27. Holliday has a career .941 OPS against righties compared to a .873 against lefties.

    Comment by Nick — July 24, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

  28. Dumb question, but I’m assuming you filtered NL only?

    Comment by Big Oil — July 24, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  29. Yes

    Comment by Nick — July 24, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

  30. I linked my name to all third basemen who have accumulated at least 100 PA’s this year…

    Not many lefties there who are both good and at all likely to be traded

    Comment by Aaron B. — July 25, 2009 @ 1:40 am

  31. I don’t think this is quite as big of a deal as it would normally be because Pujols, Ludwick, and Holliday all hit right handed pitching very well.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Holliday or Ludwick hit second and have Rasmus moved further down the order. It would be pretty stupid to hit them back to back.

    Comment by JI — July 25, 2009 @ 11:32 am

  32. Wait. What?

    Ankiel is playing over Rasmus? What? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of trading for Matt Holliday?

    Holliday over Rasmus is not nearly as much of the upgrade that Holliday over Ankiel is.

    Comment by BX — July 25, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

  33. Regardless, if it became a problem of sheer handedness, Ankiel is able to fill in at any OF position, and bat left handed.

    Considering Pujols and Ludwick can hit RHB, and Ankiel as backup, I don’t think it’ll be a big deal. It’s far worse to have too many left handed batters. I’m reasonably certain that RHB are far more used to facing RHP than LHB are to facing LHP, given the ratio of right handed players to left handed ones.

    Comment by Cardinals645 — July 25, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

  34. welcome to the world of one Tony LaRussa, where gut feelings rule the day and logical lineup(and roster) construction goes to die

    Comment by VolsnCards5 — July 25, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

  35. If today and yesterday’s games are any indication, Ankiel may be taking a serious portion of Colby Rasmus’s playing time. That. Would. Be. Horrible.

    Comment by Pete — July 25, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

  36. “Ankiel is playing over Rasmus? What? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of trading for Matt Holliday?”

    Yes, yes it does.

    But then again Tony La Russa has probably been waiting around all year for Rick to have any kind of blip of good play so he didn’t have to play Rasmus. He’s convinced that all young players need to be babied and coddled and cannot handle being put into positions where they have to start. He’s really lost it IMO. 13 man pitching staffs, while only using 12 of those guys, were just the beginning I’m afraid.

    Comment by Pete — July 25, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

  37. Per

    2008 Brewers team split:
    v. RHP OPS+97
    v. LHP OPS+113

    2009 Cardinals (as of 7/25/09):
    v. RHP OPS+106
    v. LHP OPS+76

    2009 Holliday (as of 7/25/09):
    v. RHP OPS+141
    v. LHP OPS+105

    2009 DeRosa (as of 7/25/09):
    v. RHP OPS+97
    v. LHP OPS+169

    The Cardinals are significantly improved, especially when considering the defensive improvement at LF and 3B, in the present with these two trades. Dave was probably just ignorant of the cardinals proclivity for hitting RHP…and their total difficulty handling LHP.

    Comment by Ken — July 25, 2009 @ 4:22 pm

  38. I’d rather see Wallace at third and DeRosa in left than have made this last deal giving up the top third base prospect in baseball for 2 months of Holliday. Wallace is MLB-ready right now, and who knows what we’ll get for Holliday’s draft picks. Meanwhile, Ankiel is just turning around and could platoon anywhere in the outfield. Mortensen could join a weak rotation tomorrow, and Peterson is a solid CF prospect. Eventually, people will learn Billy Beane never gets the worse end of a deal (RE: Let’s go after Mark Mulder!). Look at the seasons Haren and Calero are having right now and Daric Barton’s potential and it lands itself in Brock-for-Broglio territory. Btw, this deal’s worse.

    Comment by Will — July 25, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  39. wd it be so hard for Cameron to post “sorry, Cards fans, you know your lineup better than me, my bad?” he’d earn a significant amount of respect and it’d cost him nothing….

    Comment by nick — July 25, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

  40. why don’t they just put ankiel at 3rd? tony larussa would love nothing more than to be the only manager in the majors with a lefty on the infield. that would be sweet.

    Comment by dj — July 25, 2009 @ 10:18 pm

  41. Batting the pitcher 8th is almost always the best lineup if you go by the numbers.

    Comment by Alireza — July 25, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

  42. Actually, what I’ve heard is that it really doesn’t make that much of a difference.

    Comment by Nick — July 26, 2009 @ 1:41 am

  43. Funny to see this here, I was watching the Cardinals-Phils game on Saturday and I was distrubed by the abundance of right-handed bats…I mean isn’t something like 75-78% of starting pitchers right-handed?

    In all fairness though, Pujols might as well be a switch hitter, because I do not think he has much of a platoon-split to speak of.

    I am too tired to look up the other righties numbers .vs. righties…but maybe they also do not have bad splits…?

    Still, it is troubling for sure, I always think a team needs at least 4 lefties/switch hitters in the starting line-up.

    Comment by Matty B — July 26, 2009 @ 5:37 am

  44. Oh Matty my friend. Did you read the other coments before postong? Everything you just said has already been said or was debunked…
    Pujols, Holliday, Schumaker, DeRosa, Ludwick, and Rasmus have no trouble hitting righties. Just b/c they arent lefties or swtch hitters doesnt mean they cant hit righty pitching.
    The Cards had your 4 lefties/switch hitters. It wasnt working.

    Comment by D Wrek — July 26, 2009 @ 11:58 am

  45. Three games in a row for Ankiel.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — July 26, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  46. this is funny just because of the fact that the cardinals were marching out a nearly all lefty craptastic lineup against most righties for a lot of the first part of the season.


    I will take the one we have now thanks

    just for the fun of it a list of lefty 3rd baseman or people who could play 3rd and maybe be available just for the sake of his argument

    Russell Branyan, Aubry Huff(played some 3rd last year not this year), Mark Teahen, Hank Blaylock, Bonifacio(switch), Felipe Lopez-switch(already traded- that would have been funny though), Ian Sewart(likely not available), Chase Headly, Adam Kennedy (F that), Chris Davis, craig counsell

    chipper, sandoval, figgins are switch hitters but are not going anywhere

    I know they all wouldnt have made sense for them to trade for just a list

    Comment by Daniel — July 26, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

  47. The Cards problem on offense has come against Left handed pitching, so I don’t see any problem w/ what they’ve done. They’ve got a great lineup now.

    Comment by Bert — July 27, 2009 @ 10:33 am

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