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The Trouble with Scotty Scott
2002-10-08 15:24
by Mike Carminati

The Trouble with Scotty

Scott Rolen is apparently out of the NLCS that starts tomorrow in St. Louis. But it seems that the Cardinals have decided to leave him on the active roster should he recuperate enough to play towards the end of the series. If the Cards decide to deactivate him for this round, they will likely activate veteran utility man Wilson Delgado (even though a replacement player who was not active prior to September should play the same position as the injured player-Delgado did not play third base this year but did in 2001, and they should be given a little lattitude).

The question remains who should replace Rolen at third base. Miguel Cairo went 4-for-4 in the final game of the NLDS, but should the Cards opt for Cairo at third and not replace Rolen on the roster, this would mean that they would have no backup infielders available. This is due to LaRussa's decision to take 12 pitchers and three catchers (Marrero also plays OF), leaving 10 spots among the rest of the position players. The Cardinals can move Luis Pujols back to third, but they only are carrying 4 outfielders meaning that the only backup outfielders would be catcher turned outfielder Eli Marrero and Cairo. Actually, Marrero would be pressed in to starting OF duty should Pujols start at third, leaving Kerry Robinson instead on the bench. I would think that the Marrero/Pujols combination would be preferable to the Pujols/Cairo one. I would expect LaRussa to insert Cairo should they feel that a game presents a good pitching match-up and therefore a low scoring game.

Finally, Woody Williams may return this series, but as he said, will not return unless he is 100%. The reason for this is that rookie Jason Simontacchi took over Williams' roster spot (Simontacchi was in Triple-A on August 31, therefore ineligible for the playoff roster except as an injury replacement). Having a healthy Simontacchi to an injured Williams is preferable. However, given that the Cards' staff is bulging, carrying Williams to pitch later in the series (like they seem to be carrying Rolen) would not be too onerous.

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