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The All-Cardinals 2012 NLDS…

How significant are injuries and depth to the Cardinals’ roster? Consider this…if all of the Cardinals players who have spent time on either the 25-man MLB roster or MLB disabled list (DL) this season were healthy and available for St. Louis, the team could play itself in an NLDS round best of five series with the following lineups:


1. Rafael Furcal SS (.343/.403/.458)
2. Skip Schumaker 2B (.309/.377/.436)
3. Matt Holliday LF (.269/.337/.480)
4. Lance Berkman 1B (.333/.429/.571)
5. Yadier Molina C (.299/.350/.493)
6. Matt Carpenter 3B (.288/.356/.519)
7. Shane Robinson CF (.242/.288/.323)
8. Adron Chambers RF (.333/.500/.333)
9. Adam Wainwright P

Additional Starting Pitchers for the 5-Game Series:  Kyle Lohse RHP and Jake Westbrook RHP
Bullpen Pitchers for the 5-Game Series:  Victor Marte RHP, Jason Motte RHP, Fernando Salas RHP, Kyle McClellan RHP, J.C. Romero LHP


1. Jon Jay CF (.343/.395/.438)
2. Daniel Descalso 2B (.216/.326/.351)
3. Carlos Beltran RF (.293/.404/.607)
4. Allen Craig LF (.373/.424/.765)
5. David Freese 3B (.259/.318/.469)
6. Matt Adams 1B (.200/.333/.200)
7. Tyler Greene SS (.241/.308/.470)
8. Tony Cruz C (.133/.133/.167)
9. Chris Carpenter P

Additional Starting Pitchers for the 5-Game Series:  Lance Lynn RHP and Jaime Garcia LHP
Bullpen Pitchers for the 5-Game Series:  Mark Rzepcynski LHP,  Mitchell Boggs RHP, Eduardo Sanchez RHP, Brandon Dickson RHP

Shared Pinch-Hitter:  Erik Komatsu OF (.211/.286/.211)

The sad truth is – as much as Chicago, Milwaukee, Houston, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh would hate to admit it – either one of those lineups could, possibly, win the NL Central. And that would be an interesting showdown in the subsequent NLDS. Unfortunately, manager Mike Matheny will do well to field the following M.A.S.H. unit lineup against RHP Jeff Suppan tonight in St. Louis:

1. Rafael Furcal SS
2. Skip Schumaker CF
3. Matt Holliday LF
4. Carlos Beltran RF
5. David Freese 3B
6. Yadier Molina C
7. Matt Adams 1B
8. Daniel Descalso 2B (or perhaps Tyler Greene)
9. Lance Lynn RHP

The above starting lineup includes 2 back-up utility men in Descalso and Schumaker, one pure-and-true rookie in Matt Adams (only a few games under his belt), and a starting pitcher only starting because the team’s best pitcher is out indefinitely…and let’s not pretend the May version of Lance Lynn is the same as the April version. On the bench in case someone needs a breather…Adron Chambers, Greene/Descalso (depending on who starts), Tony Cruz, and Shane Robinson. Matt Carpenter is likely unavailable – at best – with a right-side injury sustained last night.

Or…just for fun…what about a lineup constructed entirely from 2012 Cardinal players who have spent time on the bench and/or DL due to injury…

1. Jon Jay CF
2. Skip Schumaker SS (I know – scary – but oddly enough, Furcal/Greene/Descalso are healthy)
3. Carlos Beltran RF
4. Lance Berkman 1B
5. Allen Craig LF
6. David Freese 3B
7. Yadier Molina C
8. Matt Carpenter 2B (see: comment on Skip above)
9. Chris Carpenter P

Even with the above lineup, only Freese, Beltran, Molina, and Matt Carpenter have managed to avoid the disabled list…and Matt Carpenter’s fate is yet to be determined after today’s evaluation. (and honestly, if everyone else was healthy, Beltran may have been DL’ed just to give his knee a 15-day break)

However you slice it, the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals find themselves attempting to overcome their biggest obstacle – and it’s not the loss of Tony La Russa, Dave Duncan, or even Albert Pujols. It’s injuries. Simple, straight-forward, irritating injuries.

Only time will tell if Matheny’s Redbirds can hold off the charging Reds with all the crutches, bandages, and braces littering the clubhouse.



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