St. Louis Cardinals: One Ryan Faces Possible DL, Another Eyes Return

Justin HulseyCorrespondent IMay 13, 2009

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 06:  Brendan Ryan #13 of the St. Louis Cardinals sends the ball to first against the Pittsburgh Pirates during Opening Day on April 6, 2009  at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


Just when we thought we were going to get it all together, get healthy, and get back on our streak we were on when Carp went soon as we get excited for Carpenter’s potential start next week….as soon as Brendan Ryan says he will be back with the club this weekend, Ludwick dives for a ball that results in a pulled hamstring.

Just our luck, right? Just another day in the life of a Cardinals fan? Doesn’t it seem like we have these crippling injuries every single year? Heck, every single month so far. It is frustrating and heartbreaking.

Now, technically, Ludwick is not on the DL yet, but it will come. It was a pulled hammy, an injury that more times than not puts the player on the disabled list. I type this as the game is going, so I have not even heard what LaRussa or MO have to say about it. However, it did not look good when he was trying to stretch it out. I wouldn’t even go that far actually. He tried to work it out, but immediately grabbed his thigh in pain. So, I hope I am wrong, but it is very likely that Ludwick gets DL-ed.

In the case that Ludwick is “sidelined” for a couple weeks, what do we do? Most people would look at it and think, “Well…we lost an OF…we wanna keep at least four OF on the roster…so bring up an OF!”

Not necessarily. Let’s not forget that we have a natural outfielder playing second base right now. With Ludwick out, we basically have three options. Any way we do it, I think we have to keep up Robinson. He had another hit tonight, so that is consecutive games with a hit, and there hasn’t been a AAA player hotter than Sugar Shane.

The option beyond the naked eye that I kind of like lies in prospect Daryl Jones. Jones is an OF, he is young, and he is actually in double-A ball right now, but I think he is ready. Jones has been dominating so far this season in AA with a .325 average, and I think it is a real possibility that he could jump AAA and be brought up within the next few days.

Stavinoha is another guy that I like, he has done well so far this year, and he had a good chunk of MLB ball last season. Stav only batted .193 in 29 games last year, so that isn’t exactly bringing attention to him. BUT, when young players make their second round at the MLB after a bad first, it is usually much much better.

They learn what they need to improve on to take their game to the next level, and they simply mature with more Minor League play. Hey, the dude has 25 RBI this season, and that is very hard to ignore.

If MO wants to counter with bringing up another OF, and he doesn’t like Jones skipping AAA, then there is no doubt in my mind it will be Stavinoha. I would say this is the least likely scenario out of these three, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad one.

Those two are good, young players, but if I was the man calling the shots, I go a different direction. That is David Freese, who has already had a taste of the MLB this season. I think Freese was a little sidetracked at the beginning of the season, when I saw him on the news every night. His story is great and all, but I kind of think he was riding cloud-nine a little too hard. Lafayette’s own Freese had a hot spring. He made a spot on the team, and I think he may have been wrapped up in all the love.

When he was demoted within the first month of the season, it could have been a wake-up call. When he comes back, don’t expect all the hype. Hopefully, fans would treat it as a normal call-up and not give him a freaking standing ovation with his every at bat. Let’s let the dude play baseball.

For a young player, it is hard to handle 45,000 fans standing up for you…all while you are trying to get a base hit. With bringing him up, Schumaker will be starting in the outfield, Thurston will move to a full-time second base spot, and Barden will start at third, with Freese sprinkled in as well.


In other news, and there is some good news, Brendan Ryan is on his way back. He should be activated this weekend, which is GREAT.

If you remember, Ryan was just hitting his stride when he was injured. He had a string of about three straight games with outstanding plays, and had just smacked a ground-rule-double right before getting injured.

He will certainly help out in the infield that is currently WEAK without him. The way Khalil is playing right now, Ryan should definitely start over him. Ryan is a better defender and, so far, a better hitter. Why would there be a debate? Well, knowing TLR, Khalil would likely get just as much playing time.

With Ryan coming back, we need to send a brother down. We currently have two shortstops on the roster, and three would be too much if we were to send down somebody that isn’t at SS.

So, Khalil or Tyler.?

Khalil has been pretty decent all of his career, and he is proven—we know what we are going to get with him. It cannot get any worse than what he is at right now, and at some point, a six-year vet outweighs a rookie prospect.

Khalil is actually starting to heat it up right now. In the past 10 games, he has brought his average up 16 points. He has six hits in the previous five games, and has had at least one hit in all of those five. He is batting .235 right now, and Tyler is just struggling. It really isn’t a debate, but I figured I would justify my decision a little.

I’m just saying that if I was John Mozeliak, I would keep Robinson in St. Louis, promote David Freese, and send Tyler Greene back down to Memphis.

(Again, this is all based of if Ludwick gets DL-ed… which is highly probable.)