Ok, suppose the Cardinals pick up AJ Burnett or someone else via free agency or trade. With Anthony Reyes likely to take Morris’ spot, this would mean that one of our current pitchers would have to go… either Marquis or Suppan. The question is: who goes and who stays?
It is a tough choice for me. Marquis had a tough middle season on the mound, but pulled out of it with a few great pitching performances at the end of the regular season. What I really like best about him is the fact that he can hit. He won the silver slugger in ’05 for pitchers. He even had a few pinch-hit appearances where he really came through. There’s just something about a hitting pitcher that demands a lot of respect from me. I mean, how many times this season did the heart of the order go down in flames, only for a few of the bottom-feeders to step up, get on base (Yadi, Grudz, Gooch, & the other usual suspects), and threaten a rally? Then the pitcher is up and makes an easy out: inning=over, rally=dead, me=very upset. But when Marquis is starting, he can hit a single or a double (or even a HR), knock a few RBIs, or at least keep the inning alive for the always productive Eckstein. Not to mention that you have a extra pinch-hitter on your roster for free. Little makes me happier than a scary bottom of the order. The opposing pitcher never gets to relax. I love that.
I guess, personally, I would keep Marquis only because I think it is harder to replace a good-hitting decent pitcher than it is to replace a better-than-average cleanup pitcher. However, I think the young, slugging Marquis is a more attractive trade for other teams, so I guess it depends on what I’d get in return.
Who would you keep?