Feldman: Examining Mozeliak’s big “problem” over next couple months

Feldman: Examining Mozeliak’s big “problem” over next couple months

Credit: Getty Images

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: General manager John Mozeliak on the field before Game One of the 2013 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 23, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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by Brian Feldman/ BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 4:41 PM

(BaseballStL) - If having too much talent is a problem then I’d fathom all Major League Baseball teams would love to find a way to solve it.  Unfortunately, not all clubs have the luxury of facing such difficult issues as the trade deadline moves to within two months away.

The Cardinals, however, are one of the only teams in baseball that can quality.

Make no mistake about it.  GM John Mozeliak has his hands full over the next several weeks in trying to figure out how to successfully integrate 1-2 players from AAA-Memphis who is just flat out tearing the cover off the ball.  Outfielders Randal Grichuk and Oscar Taveras are hitting well over .300 this season and aren’t just knocking on the big league door.  They’re pounding so hard it might just fall over.

Fellow AAA outfielder Stephen Piscotty is playing really well, too, but isn’t dominating to the level of Grichuk/Taveras.

Finding spots for these two guys is not easy.  First, you got to clear a roster spot.  Shane Robinson and Jon Jay currently occupy bench spots in the Cardinals outfield and have their own value to the club.  In fact, Mike Matheny even said recently to reporters that Robinson has a spot in that clubhouse.

Then there’s the issue of playing time.  Where does it come from?  If one of them has to play (as long as it isn’t center field) then either Allen Craig or Matt Adams has to sit.  That’s okay to do every once in a while, but not regularly.

So then if Grichuk or Taveras weren’t to play much then there isn’t a real need to have them in St. Louis.  But we just established the fact they’re dominating in Memphis.  Thus, the problem Mozeliak faces.

You can only hold these guys back in the minor leagues for so long.  That’s especially true when the Cards offense is not exactly firing on all cylinders.  They rank 23rd in MLB with 183 runs scored and they’re 25th in slugging percentage (.367).

The options to integrate these guys are small.  They can either take the at-bats of an established veteran like Craig or a .300 hitter like Adams while giving Mike Matheny the difficult problem of finding at-bats for everyone.  Or they can trade someone. 

The more you look at it in every which way, the more the second solution seems the most likely.  I have little doubt Mozeliak is searching high and low for an impact player that can come in and make a big difference to this team.  If the Cards could find a way to deal from a surplus of outfielders to help out in other areas (starting pitching?) that could be a big win.

Nothing is easy when it comes to the trade market.  And Mozeliak is going to do his best to make things work for the Cards in 2014.

 

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