Some more bullpen work would make sense, sure. But sitting back is exactly what the Cardinals have put themselves in a position to do. They named their needs --middle of the order bat, strong southpaw reliever, LH hitting bench guy -- and filled them while a ton of free agents are still on the market. The benefit of that is that you can sit and see who gets itchy for a deal as spring training approaches.
I agree. My fellow sports media types rolled their eyes at me when I suggested the Tigers' season did not end when Jontay Porter's did. And here are the Tigers, with their longest winning streak under Martin. He's good at rallying teams after adversity. Saw it with MPJ last season. Seeing it now. I'm amazed by the progression of Jeremiah Tilmon. He is becoming more confident and impactful by the day. That's a direct correlation to how he is coached. Many teams and coaches would have decreased Geist's role after some of the mistakes he had last season. Zo not only stuck with him, but defended him, became his advocate. It's paying off. Mizzou should be a tournament team every season. That should be the standard. It's a heavy lift for this team to get there without Jontay, but I would not write it off after it beat Xavier and Illinois back-to-back. The SEC is good, but maybe not as good as we initially thought -- beyond Tennessee, a legitimate national championship contender.
Probably not what he should, considering there would be questions beyond baseball based off of last season's headlines.
Knowing Drew a little bit, no. He is as Tiger-striped as they come. I asked him about this after the last game, and he looked at me like I had four heads. He had not even thought about not playing. Nine wins means a lot to this team, and Lock especially. I don't knock guys who don't play in the bowl games. They have to do what is best for them. And Drew, perhaps more than any other player in the country, has more to lose and less to gain by playing in this game. But I'm not surprised he is playing. Remember, his dad played for the Tigers and never got the chance to experience a bowl game. Drew has never won a bowl game. This matters to him.
The Cardinals expressed interest in him and Miller before the Miller signing, but I have not heard much there since the Miller signing. I would be surprised if they got both. It would be a nice surprise.
The Cardinals have traditionally been against the six-man rotation idea, but they do seem more open to new ideas (like shifting) since the switch to Shildt. He wants to do what gives them the best chance to win, period. And they have to find a way to maximize all of these arms. I like the idea, but I won't hold my breath.
The Cardinals made Carson Kelly part of the Goldschmidt trade package in part because they see Andrew Knziner as a realistic option after Molina. He's on a better track to replace Molina than Kelly was. Kelly, it turned out, was too close, because Molina continues to kick Father Time's tail.