Greetings, chatters. Thanks for jumping in. We will be back to our normal Tuesday chats next week. Thanks for rescheduling with me this one time. We are going to blitz it hard until 2 pm, so get your questions in and let’s get rolling.
There have been some voices calling for it, but I gotta tell you, I don’t see it happening here — unless there is a motivated owner who wants to take care of the funding entirely. There’s a pretty strong anti sports funding movement at the moment, unless you are the Cardinals.
I think Georgia wins and covers. The spread is 14 when I last looked. That’s not alarming, considering how massively talented Georgia is. Bulldogs might be the second best team in the country, not just the SEC. UGA hasn’t played its starters in the fourth quarter yet. Averaging 45 points per game. Have allowed 24 points, total.
I’ll do my best to serve you, Ron. Please proceed with your questions.
Indeed. I am still curious what a fully healthy Ozuna looks like. Cardinals could see that in 2019. That’s the hope. I’ve seen enough from Yelich to admit he can be the hitter I wasn’t sure he could be. He will get MVP votes. Leads NL in average and slugging with an adjusted OPS that is just absurd. I underestimated him.
At this rate he will go to the first team that needs a QB. Those teams are usually not in great shape. But, they pay well. Lock is leading most mock drafts at QB. Some have him projected as first overall. NFL types have loved his arm for years, and now they get to see him in a more-complex NFL style offense. He’s going to benefit from the Dooley system. Might have been downgraded some if he finished his career in Heupel’s. Some of those numbers were viewed as fluky.
Chatter asked if Cards can grab a postseason spot and wanted a straight up yes or no. The question disappeared on me. My answer is yes. I think they grab the second wild card. Don’t expect them to go far, but that bodes well for next season and beyond under Shildt.
The biggest regret will be not making the managerial and coaching changes sooner. Cardinals have won more games than any other team since the change. Harder and harder to argue that the old regime was getting the most out of this team.
It’s too early to judge the prospects received in that trade. We will see in a couple of seasons how they turn out. That said, Pham would look pretty good in right field now. If he stayed the Cardinals should have made the in-season move of switching him and Bader. They were hesitant to do that last season, choosing instead to let Dexter Fowler struggle in center when Pham would have been better there. Pham has bounced back incredibly well in Tampa. No one should write him off. Ever. If he’s healthy, he’s dangerous.
Will they? I don't know. I think they should, though. For a lot of reasons that I mentioned in that piece and more. Hits left-handed. Lineup needs that. Plays a position in clear need of an upgrade. Betting on an aging Fowler to return from multiple foot injuries doesn't seem smart to me. If you go defense first in Bader in center, which is good, you need offense even more, as he matures as a hitter on the fly. Plus, Harper would be a legitimate star here. Those who have criticized him here would become his biggest fans. He would eat it up. Kids would cut their hair like him. It would be a thing. And it would send a message that Stanton and Heyward were wrong about the Cardinals' chances of competing for World Series. It makes a lot of sense.
Yes. I'd want to see what he can do as a full season as starter in center before giving him an extension based off that.
I think your argument glosses over the players' responsibility too much. Believe it or not, the team cannot run into the locker room, grab a player and strap him down to the MRI machine. There has to be communication both ways, and baseball like most sports glorify "playing through it." Sometimes it makes sense -- see Yadier Molina playing with a hamstring injury; the guy can't even run the bases right right now, but he and the team (and the rest of us) agree that 85 percent Molina is better than no Molina. When it comes to Marcell Ozuna, though, it seems the play-through-it approach was a mistake. You can see how it happens, considering it was a new player who was added to hit cleanup. He wanted to deliver. He wanted to impress. He was not familiar with the organization's doctors, etc. But it seems clear now that something should have been done sooner. The notion that his shoulder was only affecting his arm, not his swing, was always impossible to believe. He wanted to keep pushing. The Cardinals could point to enough surges to justify allowing it. Looking back, addressing the issue at the All-Star break would seem to make a lot more sense. But it's not just on the team.
Agree. He's been undervalued for quite some time now. Just solid. Maybe it's because he doesn't talk too much, or because he came from outside the organization? Maybe it's his funky delivery or his start as a reliever. Mozeliak is a big fan of his and has been vocal about it for some time now.
At least. Tennessee and Florida are bad. Arkansas is terrible. Memphis is homecoming. There are four should-wins right there, and we haven't even mentioned Vanderbilt. Gotta beat Vanderbilt if you want to matter in the SEC. Same for Kentucky, though Mizzou hasn't done that in a while.
I can't speak to that. Have no intel there. That said, I can't imagine Machado signing with the Cardinals. For multiple reasons, including location and the fact that he seems determined to play shortstop. Paul DeJong is a better shortstop than Machado defensively (of course) and the Cardinals are prioritizing strengthening the middle of their defense under Shildt. I don't think he wants to come here, and I don't think the strategy under Shildt makes him a good fit defensively at shortstop. His bat plays anywhere, of course. But again, I would put the Machado hopes to bed.
I figured they would fall behind because of their rotation, not their bullpen. But when you have a loaded lineup and a locked-down bullpen, you can work around some thin starting pitching.
Ozuna was a trade, not FA. The Cardinals have not been burned on all of their free agents. Miles Mikolas? Bud Norris? Limiting the free-agent focus to Dexter Fowler and Brett Cecil focuses on in the flops. I do think a case can be made that because the Cardinals have succeeded on some fringe signings with high upsides and flopped on some mid to upper tier free agents (Fowler, Cecil) that they should go for the elite and high-upside FAs. Go big, and go low with high upside. Tread carefully on anything in between. That's an approach I would like to see. The Cardinals should not get a pass from competing in a free-agent offseason that is supposed to be one of the best in a while. Expect better.