The Morning After STL

Rick Hummel Talks Carpenter’s Continued Struggles, Says Cards Should Promote Piscotty

Brendan Marks, Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:26:00 GMT

Hall-of-Fame baseball writer Rick Hummel joined The Ryan Kelley Morning After on Monday to discuss several Cardinals topics following the team’s 18-inning loss to the Mets on Sunday.

We typed up some notable excerpts from the segment, which you can listen to by clicking the audio player below:

On the Cardinals’ 18-inning loss:

“Luckily the Cards have a day off today. It will be fairly simple to plug Michael Wacha into tomorrow night’s game, and Lance Lynn into Wednesday. (John) Lackey would play Thursday and then you have a choice of Cooney and Martinez, so they should be alright.”

Matt Carpenter now hitting around .250. What’s going on with him?

“I talked to him yesterday…and he seems OK. He knows he’s 0-for-17 right now…Anything under .260 is cause of concern because he was way over .300 for much of the season. He says he’s not fatigue. You’ll have to play him in the field at least one game at Chicago because Holliday will probably DH to preserve his leg.”

More on his struggles:

“He can’t let it go. Maybe that makes him the player he is. But there is a time you have to shrug your shoulders (and tell yourself you’re better than this). And he is better than this. He set that incredibly high standard after his 2013 season, it’ll be hard for him or anybody else to match the year he had then. He doesn’t have to be that good, but he needs to be better than this.”

On Cards maybe not needing to make move for a starting pitcher:

“Maybe they don’t have to go get a veteran pitcher…to flush out their rotation. (Tim Cooney) may be the guy. Or it might be a combination of him and (Marco Gonzales). If Garcia comes back from this latest injury, they may have to update their offense a little. Their pitching may be fine.”

On the Pirates getting swept by the Brewers, giving Cards a 4.5 game-lead in the NL Central:

“I’m not surprised by the Pirates getting swept by the Brewers. The Brewers have handles the Pirates in the last six to eight years. Furthermore, the Pirates now start a three-game series in Kansas City tonight and no one wins there.”

What do you think the Cardinals would look for on offense if they were to make a move?

“Ideally, you’d like to have a left-handed hitting player who can play first base. But I want to see Stephen Piscotty. If he’s going to be developed as a first baseman and he’s the hot hitter…they’ve been calling up hot hitters all year. So that’d be the piece I’d want to see soonest. Let’s see what he has.

Does he look like he could be an impact player in the Majors?

“Maybe. He’s tried to develop more of a power stroke this year. He had 11 home runs last year and he’s already past that. I don’t know if he’s going to be a 25-home-run guy. He might be a .285 or .300 guy, and that’s OK too. If you think he’s a good enough hitter to be here, then put him out there.”

“I think he’ll be up by the end of the month – let’s put him out there and he’s going to have to play – if you bring him up as a spare part, that does you no good because you have plenty of spare parts. You have to use him if you bring him up.”

You think there’s any way the Reds would deal with the Cardinals?

“None. Not as long as Walt Jocketty is the general manager over there.”

Rick Hummel Talks Cardinals on The Morning After