Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday

    Not when Edman could go out there, as we've seen. At the moment Gorman will continue to be a priority third baseman in the minors, and he'll get regular starts each week or multiple times in a row at second base. They were still working on that schedule at last check, but he will see time at second base. His bat plays up there. And he's said he wants to do everything possible to "stay on the dirt." He's got the arm too that will make him an asset at second base. Seriously. His arm may end up being the best at second base for the Cardinals since Schumaker, who used that arm to compensate for his inexperience at the position.
    Derrick - no question, just a comment. I liked your response to Izzy being a case of selective memory because if you ask 100 Cardinals fans (me included) how often he walked the bases loaded before getting a save, 98 of us would say "I don't know, just about every time?"
    Yeah, data has a place. It helps us clear the fog of anecdotal memory. I seem to run into that a lot when people are critical on Twitter. I appreciate that you say this, because not everyone is receptive to the facts that detonate their opinion. They just want confirmation, not fact-checking.
    I was thinking the same thing this weekend re: John's questions about current vs former Cardinals pitchers. To me, the middle tilts to former Cardinals, but Flaherty perhaps tilts the whole thing to present Cardinals.
    I think your opinion can be supported, for sure.
    I think the point of the former Card pitchers vs current was made—many of them should still be Cardinals. A more revealing comparison would be an analysis of the production of the former Cards pitchers and who we got for them.
    Correct. And there's been articles that have done that. You can use WAR, for example. Or some kind of mix of WAR and control. This chart from the start of the season looks at the hits and misses on Mozeliak's watch and how some players did not perform to WAR expectations. The Ozuna trade, for example, has populated two other pitching staffs with one All-Star and another starter who could be an All-Star.
    Derrick: Jim Edmonds brought something up early in the season that I had been wondering about, too, regarding the evolution of spring training preparation for pitchers. He questioned the decreased innings that pitchers have been throwing in spring training, noting that starting pitchers across baseball were struggling to make it through five innings. I think we can see how the Cardinals' staff is just now rounding into shape. I'm wondering your thoughts or observations about this. I don't know that saving innings in ST really translates into getting more innings in the regular season. If anything, it seems to lead to fewer given how slowly pitchers have come out of the gate.
    I did not hear what Edmonds had to say, so I feel like it would be unfair for me to push back or even agree given I didn't hear the statement or the context.
    I'll give you my view. There are two major factors that are in play for short outings by pitchers so far this season:
    1. Shorter spring training, especially for teams in the Grapefruit League's Treasure Coast division. They played fewer games than the other teams in the majors. That meant that many pitchers did not leave spring ready to throw 100 pitches as they normally would. I spoke to Mike Maddux recently and he said that they had internal pitch maxes for the starters and that they had not 'taken the cap off' so far. He mentioned how the pitchers came out of spring at 80 pitches and the idea was to go to 90 in their first round of the regular season, but that 90 pitches in the regular season is not the stress or strain or effectiveness as 90 pitches in spring, so they adjusted.
    2. Smaller workload the previous season. We are seeing teams take different courses with the same concern. They don't want to stack on workload early for their starters given how few innings pitchers threw during the 60-game season a year ago. Teams are ultra-cautious, and we're seeing conservative decisions made all around baseball as a result. We'll see how some teams pivot and change around the All-Star break and if some teams take off the governor on their rotation, or others shift to six-man rotations for the dog days of August.
    There has been a change in spring training that I think will have an impact on pitchers -- and that's the rollover innings. Spring has become about volume and raw pitch count, and now it's not about situation and pitching through stress or a spike in adrenaline. If that's missing from spring, if it's subtracted because of rollover innings and B-games, then the first time pitchers encounter that is on the job, in the crucible, and not in a dress rehearsal to know how they'll handle the spotlight at its brightest.
    I think that is something to watch in spring as the schedule caters to the best-case scenario, not to preparing pitchers for any scenario.
    Dunno. I do like Flaherty better, but in terms of young rising aces I'd have to put Alcantara in his comparison group, not CMart's. If you put Carlos up against Lynn it's not much of a contest.
    You can definitely make that argument.
    Joe West recently won a defamation lawsuit vs former catcher Paul LoDuca for comments made in a podcast, which West said damaged perception of his integrity and affected his chance to get elected to the HOF. The Veterans Committee nominates umps-- do they also vote on them? If you had a vote, would West be elected to HOF?
  • Writers do not vote on umpires. The committee does. I've never thought about how I would vote for an umpire, honestly. Longevity and time given to the game would be a factor, for sure. Numbers of country albums released would not be a factor. A tiebreaker might be that once Joe West asked to take a picture with me. I have no idea why he asked. He was doing a Flat Stanley for a grandkid I believe, and he was having photos taken with anyone he could find and Flat Stanley. So, it went from Joe Maddon, Flat Stanley, and Joe West, to me -- and I can imagine the disappointment on his grandkids' face. A writer? Really??? 
    I imagine that Joe West for all the time he's spent in the game, and how he's respected by his peers, and yes by people in the game will be elected to the Hall of Fame. I would not take his longevity lightly. That's an incredible achievement.
    I have had this thought swirling in my head over the recent days. I have been driven crazy lately with Reyes and Hicks walking batters, not controlling counts, etc. And I have wondered if the way their deliveries have been shortened over last year has played a part in this. What say you?
    I don't have a good answer. I'm not sure if they're related, or it's just how little they've pitched over the past three years. You're talking about two pitchers who have been seen in short bursts and have missed a lot of time for injury. Their feel for pitching just isn't as sharp as it could be and that's usually something tied to actually pitching. They need more innings to get that feel, to feel that health, to be efficient. Sure, some of that is their delivery. But both have really simplified their deliveries. I bet is just has more to do with not having the amount of touches due to injury.
    What did you think of David Bell’s reactions yesterday while being ejected? Did he really think Flaherty hit someone in the head on purpose? Seems like the Reds are always fighting or mad at someone the last few years
    I was OK with it. I covered Tony La Russa. He was consistent -- not at the head, not above the shoulders. That's a dangerous game. Bell saw one of his players -- a young, talented rookie -- hit in the head with a 95-mph fastball. I would hope that he wouldn't take that well. A serious injury is possible. Everyone on the field knew it. Bell expressed it.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Izzy compromised physically near the end of his Cardinals career? I seem to remember him getting booed frequently. Maybe that is what people are remembering.

    Given the change in your writing style philosophy, away from combative/militaristic words, would Dueling Banjos now become Two Guys Playing Banjos Really Fast?
    1) There was a reason why Adam Wainwright was the closer in 2006 for October. Isringhausen had a hip injury that compromised him. So Wainwright was out on the mound vs. Beltran, and his slider was the one that got Inge. 
    2) I adore all these things attempts to play word-gotcha with me. It's great sport. Hope you get some entertainment from it. Dueling, according to the Webster's Dictionary I have at my desk here has two definitions:
    a -- "A premeditated combat between two persons with deadly weapons."
    b -- "Any two-sided contests."
    Given that banjoes, even when wielded with the sharp wit of Steve Martin, do not qualify as "deadly weapons," it is safe to presume that the second element of that definition is in play. Same with pitchers or pianos. A duel is a contest between two sides. 
    If the trade deadline was this week, what move(s) do you think the Cards would have to make?
    They would be rushing to figure that out. They haven't even scouted other team's minor-league camps or seen as many teams as they hope to see before the trade deadline. So, they'd go on what they clearly need -- a starter. Or they'd take the approach they have at recent trade deadlines and just bow out.
  • Re: Scherzer

    He will be a FA after this year, he's 36 but hasn't slowed down. Do the Cardinals make a run at him (finally!)?
    They should, yes. We'll see if they will. They'll have a spot open in the rotation, whether they say they do or not. And with him they could make one.
    What was the "conversation" between India and Flaherty after Flaherty's pick-off attempt following the HBP?
    I asked Flaherty about that and he said it was between him and the people who heard it on the field. India took issue with Flaherty throwing over. Flaherty shrugged it off. He uses throws over to reset himself. If he feels things are rushing on the mound, or he just wants to get a better feel before delivering the pitch he will throw over to first base. He wasn't trying to pick off India or keep him close, that was a move all about giving him a reset on the rubber before making a pitch. That's what he said. It was clear that India had had enough of any interaction with Flaherty.
    I can’t help but wonder why Jordan Hicks doesn’t get more strikeouts given his high-velocity sinker. Hitters seem to make a lot of contact, albeit much of it as foul balls, when I would expect a lot more swings and misses. Is it lack of movement on his stuff? Predictability? Need for another pitch for contrast? Would backing off 2-3 MPH increase the break on his sinker? Thanks, as always, for the chats.
    This is going to be counterintuitive, but it's not that much of a surprise. A few years ago I looked at the fastest pitches in the pitch f/x era and many of them were hit -- either put in play or fouled back. It's not a surprise. Hitters gear up for the pitch and can hit a fastball. It's that they cannot hit it with authority. They just don't miss it. They know it's coming. And Hicks' has movement on it, so it's getting that off the barrel contact -- fouled off, grounded forward, the like. Check back to 2019, and Hicks' had the top 23 fastest pitches, according to Baseball Savant. The second-fastest one got a strikeout, but a majority of them got outs in the field. Grounders. And some were just balls, not in the strike zone. Again, this is unusually.
    I looked at the fastest pitches in 2019 over all and of the top 300, only 24 got strikeouts. That's just a quick and superficial look at them, but this is something that Chapman also experienced when he was closing for the Reds. The fastball dazzled radar guns and got outs and overpowered hitters. The slider got the swings and misses because of that fastball.
    Did Flaherty's rough patch against Milwaukee last season play a role in shifting to a six-man rotation? As it stands, he'd go at Pittsburgh, vs. Colorado, skip MKE, then at SD. The Brewers could've caught him on normal rest in the series finale on May 13th.
    It would only be a small part if it was a part at all. The Cardinals cannot hide him from the Brewers entirely this season. Not from what I can tell as I match the rotation to the schedule. The real thrust of the six-man rotation is keep the off days in place and assure that all of the starters get five days between starts until later in the season, if they choose to tighten up the rotation and not "honor the off days." This is an attempt to manage innings, scale back the workload, and they've done it by prioritizing the rest between starts now, not skipping starts later.
    Should Cards go after Trevor Story at 2021 trade deadline or wait and bid on him after 2021 season ends
    There is no indication they're going to be players for Story at the moment. The Cardinals move to address the left side of their infield was trading for Story's teammate.
    It looked clear from Flaherty’s reaction that he did not intend to throw at India’s head. Was Bell arguing that it was intentional? Or is the argument that regardless of intent a major league pitcher should be able to control his pitches enough not to throw in that area? A strict liability (unspoken) rule?
    I never heard or understood that Bell's argument was that it was intentional. Only that given the context and the danger of that pitch, he was out there defending his player.
    Haniger, Peralta, Marte, Gallo? Who is your target for more OF production?
    We were talking about Peralta and the obvious fit yesterday in the press box. He'd play a lot, give the outfield a dimension a look it does not have at the moment, and give us all something to write about on how the former Cardinals' farmhand pitcher returns as the outfielder they've been searching for. Poetry. Don't discount Haniger. There's a conversation to be had between the Cardinals and Mariners there.
    Here is why we remember the drama with Izzy.

    Most Blown Saves 2000-2008, from the Play Index:
    Jason Isringhausen 54
    Francisco Cordero 52
    LaTroy Hawkins 46
    Todd Jones 45
    Billy Wagner/Armando Benitez 44
    So 10 more in an eight-year period than a reliever many people believe should be in the Hall of Fame.
    This list shows the list of most successful closers of the era. Was that your goal?
    (Quick aside: Adam Wainwright recently got his 100th loss in the majors. It takes pitching a lot of games to lose 100 games. It's one of those weird stats that nobody wants -- to be a 100-game loser, imagine! -- and yet it's an example of a remarkable career because you were around long enough to lose 100 games. Ty Wigginton would tell teammates that he wanted to strike out 1,000 times in the majors -- because imagine how good of a career he'd have to play for teams willing to get the at-bats to strike out 1,000 times. The previous stat about blown saves reminds me of that. Imagine how good Billy Wagner had to be to continue to get chances to blow 44 games, or Isringhausen -- for a contender.)
    There are rumblings that the CDC will soon be announcing we do not need to wear masks outdoors anymore (not sure if you need to be vaccinated or not), could this impact Cardinals games for fans or do you believe we will continue to need to wear a mask?

    Also, think we’ll hit 100% capacity this season? Thanks
    The Cardinals are following the guidance set by St. Louis health officials and Major League Baseball. Yes, that includes the policies of the CDC, but it's not entirely those policies. We can see that in the policies at the ballpark for fans and the policies for media as well. As of now, teams are still not permitted to have in-person interviews with reporters like me, even though I could now bump into a player at a coffee shop, and neither of us would be in violation of any protocols.
    So CDC policies offer guidance, but teams and MLB have veered toward more conservative approaches beyond the dugout and clubhouse and team personnel when it comes to setting policy for fans, etc.
    Some teams have talked about having sections for vaccinated fans, and allowing that to open up the seating. I'm not sure about that, or the mechanics of it. But at least some teams are exploring that possibility. San Francisco, I believe.
    Yes, the goal is to get to 100 percent capacity at some point. That's also the hope. It would mean a lot for how healthy the community and the country is getting.
    My first thought when I saw Bell on the field was of course that he was concerned about the safety of his players. There is not a doubt in my mind that was sincere.

    My second thought as he persisted and got run by Joe West was that he was a manager in the midst of a losing streak trying to find a way, any way, to change the vibe in his locker room. Did you get any of that feeling?
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