Looks like the Cardinal front office was awaiting the conclusion of my preview as well. Perhaps they resigned themselves to moving once I passed the half-way point on my preview, because today the club announced the signing of 2B Adam Kennedy, SP Kip Wells, C Gary Bennett, and the recently declared dead Eli Marrero.
As I said earlier, I didn't think Kennedy was the best fit for this team and I still don't. True, he was a serviceable second baseman for the Angels, and as vivaelbirdos pointed out, his paltry .193 average against left-handed pitching is probably an aberration vice a trend. But if Jocketty is really ready to go to spring training with these 8 starters (Pujols, Kennedy, Eckstein, Rolen, Molina, Duncan, Edmonds, Encarnacion) I think he's rolling the dice. Rolen hasn't played a full season since 2003. Edmonds' offensive numbers are declining. We can't expect Molina to hit next season the way he did during 16 playoff games, in all seriousness. So who carries the load on this team if AP has an off-year? Not Encarnacion. Not Duncan. Not Eckstein or Kennedy, two Punch and Judy hitters. Yikes.
I'd have been a lot happier with Loretta at second - good hitter, can drive in a run - as another bat in the lineup to provide offense.
I will say this, though: Kennedy is an upgrade overall over Aaron Miles, who is better suited to be a bench player and provide the occasional off day for the middle infielders.
I guess Eli Marrero didn't drop off the map. Good. Glad to see him garner an invite to Spring Training.
Gary Bennett re-signing is a good move, too. I thought he did well enough last season as Molina's back-up that there was no search for a new #2 catcher necessary. On board that signing as well.
Kip Wells? 57-74? The next Jeff Suppan? We'll see. Dave Duncan has had more projects than Tim Taylor in the starting rotation, with some notable successes (Ken Bottenfield, Suppan, Jeff Weaver, Darryl Kile) and some notable failures (Sidney Ponson, Jason Marquis, Dustin Hermanson, Garrett Stephenson). I don't think Kip Wells is the next Jeff Suppan. I think he's the next Neil Allen - all promise, no results.
I guess time will tell. Until next time.
3 hours ago