Bobo's here at bit early this time, looking for ballplayers.
The Cubs have some bullpen issues, but their rotation is strong and we know all about that offense. Same power as usual. And the Cardinals wade in with Daniel Ponce de Leon, who has a lively arm but not much experience at this level and not much variety with his stuff. I am really interested to see if the Cardnials generate much offense. The outfielders are on the clock now.
I have not seen any plans to change the draft because of this weird season. And I do believe the Cardinals really want to make the bracket as long as they have Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina on the team. A some point -- like when Nolan Gorman and Elehuris Montero are trying to make the leap -- perhaps this team will be in more of a youth movement where it would take a step back for a year. But remember that Bill DeWitt Jr. has stuck to his goal of annual contention through the entirety of his ownership.
This is strictly an internal operation with simulated games and such. That means hitters aren't getting to see a great variety of pitching. It will be interesting to see how much damage the virus does to player development. MLB should be working right now to create bubbles where the top prospects can go in the fall and play a COVID-19 version of the Arizona Fall League.
Craig Berube is focused on winning, not player development. So I would expect him to play the lineup Sunday that he would use in Game 1 of the playoff series. He likes Mikkola and would not be afraid to use him. He would only use Walman if he had no other choice. We saw the result of his scrambling of defensive pairs Thursday and it was not pretty. It's time to settle on the lineup and restore order.
With DeJong's power and Molina's steady approach missing from an already suspect batting order, everybody is on the spot. I noted earlier that I'd like to see more Lane Thomas to find out if there is anything there. Brad Miller is a solid hitter and this will be his chance to play a lot. The same goes for Wieters, who may still have something left.
The Blues need a good game Sunday to settle in. If they can do that Sunday, then they can find themselves in a seven-game series when the focus intensifies on one foe. The showed signs of progress as the Colorado game wore on, but clearly the team left the rails against the Golden Knights. It was nice to see Colton Parayko asserting himself offensively and Ryan O'Reilly doing some of his usual good things to gain possession time, but otherwise . . . yeech.
I would have started Allen in Game 2, then used Game 3 of the round robin to give Binnnington some runway into the playoffs. But I'm not worried about Jordan. The team needs to find its defensive structure and offensive flow. Right now the team looks disjointed, which is pretty normal this soon into a restart. But as we now, this is not your normal situation and the Blues must fast-forward the process.
Maybe Berube likes showing off the fact he remains in excellent shape. But I agree, when the real playoffs start for the Blues the coaching staff should get its sartorial act up to postseason form. Something about coaches in athletic jackets just screams "practice game" to me.
Bill DeWitt Jr. just not going to eat more than $30 million in Fowler/Carpenter money just to appease some grumbling fans. And it's not like this team has an army of great hitting prospects being held back. Carlson is ready and I believe we will see him soon. The other guys are a few years away,
Carlson is universally regarded as an excellent hitting prospect. There is lots of independent analysis out there on Carlson and it's all positive. The other guys you mentioned are depth guys. They would be at Memphis is there was baseball at Memphis this season. Maybe they will get a fill-in shot if injuries decimate the outfield, but they are on the outside of the team's long-range plan looking in.
Their offense isn't THAT bad, even in a weird year that saw the loaded Reds get just eight hits and zero runs during a 23-inning span. How is that possible with that crew? We will see all sorts of oddities this season.
That is a pretty realistic view of things. Don't underestimate the economic impact of this shutdown. Bill DeWitt Jr. is not going to just shrug that off. I don't expect him to go all Miami Marlins with his roster, but I do expect him to lean even harder on his draft-and-develop approach while seeking some savings. Fortunately the team does have lots of cost-controlled young pitching, so I don't expect them to languish in mediocrity for years, ala the Reds.
The A's have a much better team today, for sure, but the A's haven't won a playoff game since 2013. They suffered three straight losing seasons from 2015-17 and they finished a combined 72 games out in those campaigns. So let's not rush that "Moneyball 2" movie into production just yet.
That has been a hot topic in the NHL circles. Some of these games have been downright nasty. Guys are suffering notable injuries. The league does have security in the bubbles, but does it have to bring in some retired linesmen to keep 'em separated?
No. The Cardinals won the NL Central last season and reached the NLCS. They have lots of good young pitching. We'll see soon enough which of these young outfielders will be part of the long-term nucleus. If they all flop, that would create a lot of stress given the tight budgeting the team will face next season.