Tyler Greene Gets SCREWED

Justin HulseyCorrespondent IMay 25, 2009

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Third baseman Tyler Greene #67 of the St. Louis Cardinals can't stop a single by Robert Andino #11 of the Florida Marlins in the eighth inning during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on February 25, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)


Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel, who suffered a bruised right shoulder and an injury to his left side when he crashed  into the Busch Stadium wall on May 4, was removed from the 15-day disabled list today. Ankiel is playing right field today and is batting fifth against the Royals.

A week ago, Ankiel was scheduled to be activated this past Wednesday. But after waking up sore after BP, La Russa decided to let him rehab a little longer in hopes of Ankiel being back this coming Friday.

Before Saturday’s game, La Russa indicated that Ryan Ludwick would likely be back before Ankiel. However, after a good workout after the game on Saturday and waking up feeling good, Ankiel was activated and made the start in this afternoon’s game.

La Russa said this morning when asked why not wait until we start the Milwaukee series, “If he’s ready tomorrow, then he’s ready today. So why not do it?”

Ankiel has played center field exclusively this season but will play right field, at least for the moment, “so he’s only got one direction he’s got to worry about,” said La Russa.

In wake of Ankiel’s activation, shortstop Tyler Greene has been sent down to AAA Memphis which has proved to be a very controversial with Cardinal Nation.

Green had just started to heat up went he got the call this morning. In only 38 at bats, Tyler hit .263 (.275 in May) with two home runs, four RBI, five runs, and two stolen bases. In the past 10 games, he has raised his average an incredible 83 points. You could make the case that he WAS the Cardinals hottest hitter. So why send him down?

You’d be naïve to think that he has only made an impact with his bat. In my opinion, he was the Cardinals best defensive infielder. He was a huge part of the excellent defense that has been a major role in out five-game win streak.

With Greene playing the best he ever has and other players, such as Thurston, REALLY struggling I do not understand the logic. But to be fair, I have disagreed with numerous decisions so far this year.

Thurston has had 102 at bats so far, and is rocking a .235 average (.188 in May!!!) with one home run, 14 RBI, 14 runs, and two stolen bases. If you think those stats are better than Greene’s, you are sorely misled. If you convert Tyler’s stats to the 102 at bats that “Triple-A Joe” has had, Greene would have six home runs, 12 RBI, 15 runs, and six stolen bases. For somebody who wasn’t supposed to have any offensive potential, that is pretty good.

Remember when I told you that Greene’s average was on an 80 point incline? Well, Thurston’s has plummeted 26 points in his previous 10 games. In his past 10 STARTS, Thurston has gotten two hits!

It’s not just with the bat either, Thurston sucks in the field too. Triple-A Joe has screw us over multiple times with four errors in 48 games. Tyler Greene hasn’t logged an error yet in 15 games.

La Russa commented on how we could not afford to send down Stavinoha because we need a fourth outfielder. I totally agree with that, you always need 4-5 outfielders on the roster, but we now have five infielders. With only one INF on the bench, we have zero depth after the starting four. By the way, that bench infielder is Thurston. There’s no way I would start him.

Talk about depth, we still have 13 pitchers. Most thought that we would send down one of those guys today with Ricky coming back. I was one of the people that thought that, especially when some of those 13 rarely pitch.

The perfect example is Brad Thompson. In a previous post, I explained why Thompson is a complete waste in the ‘pen and I am sticking to that. The last time he pitched was a week ago. He has had two outings in the past 20 days. The dude is a career Minor League, so why is he still here?

IF I was John Mozeliak, I would have sent down the rarely-used Thompson to bring in depth in the outfield… while still having a few guys to rotate in the infield.

Sending Tyler Greene down may mean that Khalil Greene is ready to start again. Khalil is currently struggling with an anxiety issue that has kept him off the diamond lately. La Russa may think he is ready though after Khalil’s last two pinch hit appearances that resulted in two RBI.