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Cardinals Links for a Lazy Saturday, Lazy Links

Cardinals Links for a Lazy Saturday: Wacha’s Debut and the NL Central Race…

Wow. It sure is a lazy Saturday today. Still trying to recover from that 3 a.m. finish time the other night – not to mention a late night on storm watch last night – I slept in a bit longer than usual. That means a late start time for your lazy links this week, so let’s get right into it. Here’s a few discussion-worthy stories from earlier in the week…

The Cardinals are racking up wins at a torrid pace, but how are they doing it? What was a feast or famine offense last year seems to be more consistent but perhaps a bit less power-driven in 2013. Throw in baseball’s best starting rotation, and that’s a winning recipe. But what about the bullpen? And where are the Cardinals most vulnerable for the next four months? Click here and read about it the Cardinals’ formula success and areas of concern in my piece on Yahoo! Sports.

The Pirates and Reds are pushing hard to catch the Redbirds. For years the NL Central was known as baseball’s worst division simply because so few teams found a way to be competitive. Often a two-team slap-fight, 90-win seasons were usually enough to take the division while feasting on perennial losers like the Cubs and Astros. But this year, the NL Central may be baseball’s best division with the National League’s top three teams locked in a dog fight for the NL Central title. Click here and read about how the Pirates and Reds are stalking the Cardinals and how each may be vulnerable later in the year.

But not everyone in the NL Central is headed in the right direction. The Brewers were a team many thought would push for relevance in a suddenly crowded division, but things certainly don’t appear to be heading in that direction now. Click here to read about changes one Brewers fan feels must happen after a horrific month in Milwaukee (via Yahoo! Sports).

Michael Wacha finally made is major-league debut after the pressure to promote the right-hander finally reached critical mass. Strapped with starting pitcher injuries, GM John Mozeliak found himself backed into a corner. Hesitant to call up the big righty too early but also needing to maintain a narrow lead in the Central, Mo finally reached into his barrel of prospects and retrieved the crown-jewel of his minor league system. Click here to read my piece about Wacha’s debut representing an odd convergence of last-ditch call-up and highly-anticipated prospect (via Yahoo! Sports).

Many fans may have already forgotten that Michael Wacha was the pick the Cardinals received as compensation for Albert Pujols’ betrayal – uh – I mean departure. Bill Ivie of I70baseball.com reminds us that for Wacha to arrive, Pujols had to leave. Click here to read his piece about the Albert Pujols departure finally coming full circle with Wacha’s debut in St. Louis (via Yahoo! Sports).

BONUS LINKS:

*Corey Rudd tells us why the Cardinals should bring Carlos Beltran back – a major piece of their 2013 success – to St. Louis in 2014. Click here to read about it on Yahoo! Sports.

*Pete Kozma is making a home for himself in the St. Louis starting lineup. Click here to read about his journey from worst draft bust ever to starting shortstop for baseball’s best team (via Yahoo! Sports).

*Wow. This one really upset a lot of people. Just remember that when you read it, I clearly said the Royals deserved to win and the rule should be changed. Oh…and Frenchy’s statements, to me, were suggestive of the tone of West’s thought process – especially considering the insight (inside info?) he may possess based on the multiple conversations the Royals officials and players had with West regarding this very thing. Click here to read it and see what all the fuss is about (via Yahoo! Sports).

That’ll do it for today. Enjoy the double-header and continue to stay safe in storm season.

GO CARDS!!!

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