It was important to ride out Carlos Martinez as much as possible, in order to preserve the bullpen, following Waino's start. But I'm with you about Sam Tuivailala, who got more action playing ping-pong in the Cards spring training clubhouse than with the Cards this season as a relief pitcher (to be fair, he was an excellent ping-ponger, Bjorn Borg-esque). When the trade deadline came and went, John Mozeliak was on local radio and I believe in our paper talking about Tuivailala being thrown into the fire. He repeatedly said -- we need to find out what we have with this guy. But I'm afraid there might be a disconnect there, and the manager will stash him away and only allow him to pitch if there is a huge lead. That could hurt Sam and it could hurt the bullpen overall, because of usage.
You make a good point, but the devil's advocate says -- something in his rehab said he was ready to hit as a big leaguer. The Cards NEEEEEEDED offense. They believe in the Pisco Kid. They paid him seven boatloads of money. Why not get him with the big club and see. The bad publicity will fade away... remember how it was the biggest news ever last year with Kolten Wong being sent down. Not much talk of that this year when he's hitting .294 and all that. Publicity comes and goes, but those wins and losses are permanent on your record. They were just trying to maximize each game.
Hello FunBobby! You're on one of my favorite Friends episodes. I like your thinking. The 27-year-old Simmnons, obviously known for his glove, is getting on-base big time for the California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. His slash line is .304/.359/.458. He's under contract for three more seasons, 11 mil, 13 and 15. Not a bad value. And yeah, it's hard to believe that Diaz and Jedd are your 500 at-bat guys going forward, so why not consider what you suggested? But it's still all going to come back to the main issue -- you can get guys on base, but you gotta have a masher to get them in. Who is that man, that masher? Where arte thou? Miami? The minors?
Ha I hear ya Shirley. Also, I wonder what an Uber would cost to Memphis from St. Louis. Wait I suppose I can check on the app, one second ... it says $381.78 hahahaha. But yeah, Randal is maddening. He has 14 strikeouts in his last 10 games. I want him to be good, I've put my eggs in the Randal-will-be-good basket in The Post-Dispatch, but I'm afraid he might just be one of those free swinging guys that hits 20-25 homers that, these days, are common in the "launch angle" MLB.
I remember thinking about that when I visited Memphis a couple weekends ago to write some columns and devour the free ice-cream sandwiches in the press box (four in five innings, if I recall correctly). He's 27, so he's not this budding youngster, but yeah, numbers are numbers -- .351 in his last 10 games, overall a slash line of .305/.394/.442. Strikes out some, though. Yeah my guess would have to be that they try to get something for him at some point -- if he was putting up those numbers at a different position it would be different, but as we all know, the Cards have all these OF prospects. And how about Tyler O'Neill? Though, he hasn't homered in EITHER of the past two games.
A real shot? I don't want to say they have a real shot, if only because the Cubs have a pretty easy schedule coming up, a lot of Reds games, Arrieta is pitching like Cy Arrieta again and it's the Cubs, this loaded monster of a ballclub. Look, I think it's is fair to make the declaration that the 2017 Cardinals are a flawed offensive club. But their amazing starting pitching, their Memphis infusion and the Cubs rough early months keeps STL in this thing. So -- what I'm getting at is this: We can still acknowledge the flawed club, but still enjoy the division race. And it could be fun for a few weeks at least (maybe more).
Sonja Henie's out. I'll take Carlos Martinez.
Christmas in Shreveport!! That's the mantra (well not the team's mantra), but this is a team that should win 6-7 games and, thus, be right in the mix for that Whatever It's Now Called Bowl that's played in Northern Louisiana around Christmas time. The one thing that worries me a tad about Mizzou's schedule is that some of their "easy" non-conference opponents are still big schools (Purdue, UConn, for instance). So I just worry a little bit that the big schools still might've attracted some talented players who just didn't produce last year. It's hard to gauge the whole thing. But yes, I have a feeling that the black and gold will be bowling this year.
I love alliteration, but I hate forcing it.
The Memphis M_____ isn't always great just because it's easy
But how about this for the Memphis players: Jong Guns?
My caveat is this about Piscotty-- we've seen his swing, we've seen his smart approach to the game, we know he's got some good MLBing in him -- the Cards paid him with that in mind. But this has been a hurricane of emotions for the young ballplayer. At spring training, there was stress about the contract negotiations that he said effected his sleep and such. Then came the absolutely devastating news that his mother has ALS. Then came some injuries. No, I'm not using these things to excuse him from his disappointing statistics, but I'm simply pointing out that they probably had sooooome effect on his performance this season. So perhaps a "restart" button-pressing, like on an old Nintendo, could be good for Pisco in '18. I was thinking about this, though: the Cards put all their eggs in the Piscotty-Grichuk basket, hoping they would be mashers. Both have been busts this season. I think back to our Post-Dispatch special section from 2016, when the headline said TIME TO SHINE and had those two guys on there. The photo reminds me of another photo from a previous generation -- when the Mets promoted "Generation K" -- three pitchers that they thought would be All-Stars.All three stunk with the Mets (Izzy of course became a great closer elsewhere). So I think of a team putting all their eggs in a basket -- and then getting the egg on their face.
I mean, this is going to be obvious but I feel I have to say it: The majors are hard, man. Like, I get what you're saying, but it's literally and figuratively a whole other ballgame in the majors. Numbers don't translate the same. OK, I feel better saying that. Now I will point out that, yes, clearly, some of the minor league coaches work some magic. Budaska/Buddha, the Memphis hitting coach, has had his fingerprints on numerous big-league swings. And clearly we've heard about hitting guru George Greer and all that. And I agree that it's weird that the Cards, over the past 2 years, have shown such poor fundamentals -- baserunning, fielding, awareness. That's on the big league coaches. But I don't want to make a crazy proclamation that, like, replacing the coaches would change everything.
I keep forgetting -- BUT, I'm gonna be at the park for the Royals game, so I'll ask the Cardinals Insider folks.
I love that dang movie. Coincidentally, the Post-Dispatch has allowed me to write a book about the Cardinals in my free time, so watching that Cards video makes me super-excited to tell some stories of those awesome moments from our lives (and even before)
I've actually never seen it in any capacity, so Angela and I will have to check it out! Meet me at the Muuuunyyyyy, the Muny in Forest Park!
Also, if anyone from STL theatre community is watching this chat, please alert the Hamilton folks that I would like to play the King George role. Thanks you.
A great question and one worth discussing. I think clubhouse dynamics are fascinating. Players will say "winning takes care of everything..." ... but sometimes, it's the clubhouse attitude that affects the winning (or lack thereof). Leadership is interesting, because a team seldom can do well without it, but it's also not something that can be forced or square-pegged. I know others disagree, but I thought it was wrong for Yadier to post all those passionate feelings on Instagram because he is a leader and looked up to. Some might say it wasn't a distraction, but I completely disagree -- you know that everyone in that clubhouse was talking about Yadi's posts, as were their family and friends. Anyway, as I kind of ramble here, the other thing is -- MLB leadership is not like High School baseball leadership. You don't need that rah-rah guy to pump you up. That stuff backfires in the bigs. Leadership in the bigs is based on accountability and effort and friendliness and dedication to team-ness. The problem is, sometimes "leaders" get in the way of themselves by being too much of the person who dictates how a clubhouse will behave. A lot of scattered thoughts there, but it comes down to -- accountability. And winning, instead of, you know, losing.
The thing is, we in this Cardinals world are so passionate and intricate and analytical, that every single sneeze by a Cardinal gets scrutinized ("Carlos normally doesn't sneeze THAT loudly!" ... "And Lynn didn't say 'God Bless You!!'"). But heres the thing -- when they're winning, we all gloss over mistakes WAY more than we do when they're losing. And since the offense has been so offensive this season, they're losing more. And when they lose more, we complain about every little mistake, on the bases, in the field. And then we take one little mistake and use it as the example of a team's personality. It's rather exhausting really. OK, all that said -- the Cards are an average team with an inconsistent offense and no mashers in a mashing era of baseball. But their starting pitching is stellar, so at least try to enjoy the division race, acknowledging that it ain't 2004 anymore.
GREAT question. I don't have the answers at my fingertips, but that is definitely a topic we'll jump into in the offseason. I remember Dexter being miffed when I asked him if he would ever play LF. It's a badge of honor thing, and he's a career CF (a champion CF, no less). But yes, the Cards have signed Dexter for like eleventy years. And Maggie Sierra will probably be 150-big-league-games-ready by 2019, if not even 2018. And he's a fantastic fielder. So what do ya do? (You move Dex to left is what you do)
Sonny Gray is a stud starter. And he's cost controlled for a few years. It would've been a great get.
I'm struggling answering this Q, so I'll take suggestions.....
I suppose the Cardinals are the Last Season Of Cheers. Average. They have had past glory, and they still have some stuff in the tank, but every game like every episode is unpredictable. One's good, one's bad.
Probably Koo. JK fair Q, and the problem is, that answer varies by the week.
OK, my man Gary Hairlson for the Post-Dispatch is here at my desk (well, Jim Thomas' desk that I'm borrowing). About to go shoot the weekly 2 Bens video (except the other Ben is out of town, so this'll be interesting.) Thanks everyone... mark 11 am Tuesdays on your calendars ... that's the weekly chat time!