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Johanna's View
by Johanna Wagner
Around the League
This post was written by Johanna Wagner on February 6, 2013
Posted Under: Johanna's View

The St. Louis Cardinals have lost Chris Carpenter again, this time perhaps permanently to arm and shoulder problems. Rick Hummel is reporting that Carpenter may not pitch again.  When healthy, Carpenter provided the red birds with an Ace and many many playoff highlights.  But when not healthy, which was for four years that he was under contract, he gave the team little.  This time it may be over.  That is bad news for the Cardinals who compete in a very tough Central and need all the pitching they can get.  Somehow, I expect that they will be OK.

The Rangers, who have been a powerhouse the last couple of years, lost a lot of talent this off-season. Their rotation and their line-up are both missing some punch, though they do have some exciting young players to watch. TR Sullivan also reports that they have some intriguing options in their non-roster invitees this spring.  While no one on the list seems to replace Josh Hamilton, one never knows who could appear off this list to make a difference in a team’s season.  The Angels still are going to be hard to beat, and the Rangers will need every morsel of talent they can find to do it.

The Yankees are going back and forth about who will be their centerfielder this year.  Both Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardiner are healthy, but which one has the best chance of staying that way while also being a successful centerfielder?  That is the question that Bryan Hoch delves into with Yankees GM Brian Cashman.  The Yankees have a few questions looming, though I am sure they are happy to talk about anything other than Alex Rodriguez.

Lastly, Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is talking to Brian McTaggart about how his trades of his former major league squad has set up his young players to have plenty of time to play.  It also has stocked the Astros minor leagues.  Think about the Tigers 100 loss season, followed only a couple of years later by their trip to the World Series.   Perhaps that is the strategy.  And while it is a good one for a young GM- to see just how good his highly touted prospects are, it can be tough on those prospects to try to compete in a tough AL West division.  You never want talented players to learn how to lose.  This is a free year for Luhnow, who not only is in his first full year as GM, but also has a team joining a new, tough division.  That gives him a lot of latitude while he takes advantage of the learning curve.  Hopefully, the team has enough high points that the young players left have something to build on as they move forward.

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