I see what you're saying, but I just think he's too valuable of a bat. And a base-walker. To me, the problem is third base. I've been perhaps the most vocal person in town about disliking Jhonny Peralta -- be it in the paper or on the Best Podcast In Baseball -- and sure enough, he's been irrelevant offensively at that position that demands offensive slugging. Now, it's funny -- a lot of this season, so far, has hinged on the potential of Matt Adams' left-handed power bat. Fans went NUTS about him missing those two balls in left. But the reality is, if Adams had hit better, it would've made the move seem less absurd. But he didn't, and now the move looks dumb (as do I, as someone who said it made some sense to get Adams some at-bats, even if he's in LF). So long story long, I wouldn't trade Matt Carpenter because I feel his OBP is just too valuable, even if his iffy glove means he has to gobble up the first base spot. As for third base, STL will have to do something soon, whether its play Jedd or Garcia every day or call up DeJong ...
Yes, my "2 Bens In A Benz" counterpart Ben Frederickson has been vocal lately about his disdain for Peeps. I don't necessarily love them, but I don't hate them -- they're kind of like the replacement player of candy. Questions, right off the bat -- is it me versus one Peep sized Ben Fred, and then I fight 99 more in a row -- or is it me versus 100 Peep sized Ben Freds? Either way, I think I'd rather take the eating 1 Ben Fred sized Peep.
I'm with ya. Jori Lehtera has been frustrating for much of the year. It's almost astonishing how few points (22) he had, considering often played on the line with star scorer Vladimir Tarasenko. And he finished in the minus for the season. But yes, I'm with ya about the decision to go with Fred Sanford. As I wrote about in my column after Game 3, the Blues coach has just found a way to make this work -- he's melding the right guys on the right line. Zach Sanford isn't a proven player, but he proved he can battle in the playoffs, and he pulled off a couple of eye-popping scoring chances on the ice the other night. So I'm with ya, props to Yeo.
I think John Mozeliak was very honest in his assessment of the Cards when he spoke to the media yesterday. He's not going to publicly rip the manager, but I did sense there was frustration with the Adams-in-left stuff, because of the quotes Mo said. Again, it's funny -- let's say Adams' "Game 2" swing against the Cubs goes eight more inches, and the CF can't catch the homer like he did. Suddenly, the storyline is -- Adams' power bat is worth the occasional mistake in left. Instead, the ball is caught, it's 8 on your scorecard, Adams proceeds to slump at the plate and messes up those two catches that Statcast said a life-size Ben Fred Peep candy could've caught. But the reality is, the Cards' skipper made major sacrifices to get Matt Adams at-bats as an outfielder, while sitting the guy (Jose Martinez) who proved to be your best spring training hitter (oh, and he PLAYS OUTFIELD). So yeah, I think after Monday, the team (AKA manager) has probably learned a lesson and we won't see Adams anywhere in the outfield for a while.
Thank you Ryan for your kind words (and the creepy image of 100 miniature peeping Ben Fred Peeps).
I disagree, because the front office has consistently put out winning teams or contending teams. It's actually rather remarkable. I mean, consider that last year's "down" team was a day away from the playoffs. I'm from St. Louis but used to be a columnist in Denver -- if the Rockies had won 86 games and barely missed the playoffs, the whole offseason would've been optimistic; here in STL, it was "how do we avoid a disaster of a season like that one?" I see what you're saying about those couple seasons. Yes, the ERA of the 2015 Cards was absurdly good, nearly impossible to duplicate. But then again, that team also excelled with the glove. But I don't think, even in the wake of 4-9, it's fair to say "they're not as smart of everyone else is convinced they are." They've built quite a system here.
If I were a St. Louis Cardinal fan, I would hope that Dexter doesn't put on a Cubs jersey during the pregame ring celebration. It's just a weird look. Take the ring, take in the ovation, but don't put on the jersey of an opponent (let alone the hated opponent).
Yes, if Paul Stastny is available at all, that should help the Blues even in one lone aspect -- faceoffs. The Blues have struggled SO much at the dot, and it was most conspicuous during the final few minutes of Game 3, when they kept having faceoffs in the defensive zone, and kept losing them, giving the six-man Wild offense a chance to shoot. As for Game 4, I sense that the Blues win this thing. Jake has proven to be fantastic between the pipes, even of short-range shots, and he's faced his share of them. Only two humans on Minnesota have scored this series. It just must be demoralizing for the Wild to be practicing all these days off, and then have to hop a flight, knowing a loss means a flight back but into the offseason. The Blues proved they can stick the knife in the eye, as seen in Game 3's gritty win -- here's thinking they close it out Wed and then it's off to... Nashville???
(Yes, the Blues would have home ice in the Blues-Preds series, so it wouldn't be "off to Nashville" until Game 3)
You can't demote your high-priced CF, but you can move him down in the order, and if this continues -- and he DOESN'T accumulate walks - then I could envision that. Two things to consider. One bad -- Fowler and Jose Martinez have the same amount of hits (7). One good -- some of Fowler's outs yesterday were hard hit outs.
I think this is an interesting debate. Right away, you want slugging from third base (as a corner position), so you'd think the answer is -- just gimme a buncha Gyorko at third and Aledmys at short. But Garcia is an OBP monster (even if he's not going to get many extra base hits). I say, for now, platoon the lefty-hitting Garcia and the righty-hitting Gyorko and keep Peralta on the bench.
Only if Tony Orlando plays too.
An interesting take, though let's consider that he basically made the play that won Game 1 (a game they should've lost, if it wasn't for Jake keeping them in it).. And Tarasenko had a fantastic first period in Game 1. Obviously he hasn't put up huge numbers, but I think he's been pretty productive, win or lose.
That would be fun! ... But, the reality is, he's under contract with the Pirates, and I can't see them moving him to a contender within the division. I love Longoria, even with his hefty contract and age. Perhaps the answer is winning the Manny Machado sweepstakes in the offseason...
Per my buddy Jeremy P Rutherford B Hayes, Paul Stastny has been practicing today with the third line and the first power play unit, but the curveball is -- Steener isn't out there today. So it's hard to gauge if Paul is just filling in, or if (assuming Steener can play in games) both guys would play in Game 4.
Thanks! I love covering the Blues. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though -- yes, they'll likely win the series, but Nashville is looking goooooood
Wainwright will be a fascinating storyline as we go forward. He's the People's Champ, the fan favorite, the guy everyone seems to be pulling for. The Cards coverage in this town has been very pro-Wainwright in recent years. So we'll see if he can grit his way through the next few months. He's finding new grips on pitches and trying new things, but the hope is that he can be a stable starter, or else you wonder when/if Tyler Lyons gets some more shots
It's April 18. There are, approximately, eleventy billion more games this year -- I don't think we can write off the 25 year old just yet.. but yeah, maybe by trade deadline we'll have a better gauge!
I think the key will be Kevin Knox and or Tilmon. If they get either of those dudes, that's a top-4 tournaments seeded team... with just MPJ, I say around 20 wins.
Mizzou is reportedly visiting Knox's home tomorrow, btw.
OK I gotta go film this week's Two Bens In a Car.... see ya next Tues!