January 5, 2009

McClellan's gung-ho is good, but reveals Cards need more roster work

Yet another potential move I'd harped upon may yet get some serious consideration: Kyle McClellan to the starting rotation.

Tony La Russa probably doesn't like this option, and if I were manager, I might not, either. Although I like McClellan for the starter's role, it would most likely benefit this young pitcher to get at least another season or so in the bullpen.

Due to the Cardinals' roster needs, McClellan as 5th starter, perhaps, makes sense, but in the long haul, such a move is rushing things.

McClellan himself tipped his hand a bit recently when he reportedly mentioned he would be ready to have a go at the starter's role. But McClellan is a go-getter, hungry to improve, anxious to make a bigger impact than he already has.

If Mozeliak fails to secure the needed arms for both the pen and the starting rotation, McClellan may be toeing the rubber in the opening frames of games, whether he's ready or not.

But let's not forget how valuable he has made himself in the bullpen. Like most of the available hurlers, movement between the pen and starting rotation creates a hole either way you go. Mozeliak will have to work on curing this ill. The Cardinals can't survive another season with a bandage approach.

This leads us back into a very slow hot stove season, but there is still time to make any decisions on McClellan's role (if there are indeed any to be made). And you can't say the Cards don't have the resources, either.

There's money remaining, and/or that surplus of outfielders. The Cards should be able to fulfill the requirements of acquisition. That is, if anyone wants to play for them.

McClellan does, for now.
And it's not that I have any problem whatsoever with McClellan's desire to advance his skills. Maybe if the reaction to McClellan's offer only required a "I'll keep it in mind," instead of a long "Hmmmmm," followed by lots of deep thinking, we would all feel more comfortable.

The fact that it's oh-nine and we're still going around the room on McClellan's role is an early indication that the pressure is yet on the front office to get their portion of the work accomplished, whether that means a win-now attitude or a down-the-road buildup.
photo by Barbara Moore

NOTE: The United Cardinal Bloggers Radio Hour broadcasts its first show of 2009 on Wednesday, January 7, at 10:00 p.m. CT. chetthejet/4thebirds... will replace Tom/Cardinals GM as host for this show (Tom will take chetthejet's Jan. 21 show-hosting duties). Dan/C70 at the Bat and Brett/Busch Birds are slated as guests on the 7th. Show listeners are encouraged to call-in during the live broadcast with questions or comments.