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.

    What a game last night as the Cardinals and Cubs played a scoreless duel deep into the night, testing the fortitude of the bullpens and the focus of the defense as the Cardinals sidestepped trouble in the 12th, threatened to walk-off in the 15th and kept playing past midnight on ESP--- oh wait, that didn't happen?
    The did what with a runner at second base? Started an ... inning?
    Huh.
    Probably made for good TV. Not sure it made for the best game, or the best story.
    If it's Monday, it's Cardinals ChatDay here at StlToday. You've got questions, concerns, criticisms, and I'll do my best to provide answers. Could be a turbulent day here at the chat, so keep a life vest close by as we plunge in ... 
    Does the players union have any say in rule changes?
    Great question. So, in a way they do. There are rule changes that the commissioner's office must present to the union, due to collective bargaining. The union can then resist, deny, or offer to negotiate changes to the rules. Or they can accept them, as we've seen. But the commissioner has the power to impose some rules one year after he's pitched them to the union. The three-batter minimum is an example of this. The commissioner's office said they wanted to do this -- presented it during spring training. The union said, "No thanks, that's not cool. We'd liked something else." The next year, the commissioner imposed the three-batter minimum.
    What do the players think of the three batter rule and extra innings rule?
    Some are fans of the extra-inning rule. Most are not fans of the three-batter minimum. Not that they've seen it in action and the unintended consequences of it, I have not talked to a player, privately or on the record, who is a fan of the three-batter rule. 
    I have spoken to several players who enjoy the extra-inning rule because they don't want to play all night. They like the swift finish to the game, even when it works against them.
    cards need help by deadline. SP and OF help. need more bench help too. Thomas and Williams not an answer
    They definitely need a starting pitcher. But I've been saying that since spring training, so I feel like a broken record. Doesn't make me wrong though.
    Why does MLB have strange starting times for games? Yesterdays Cards game was scheduled for 6:08. I've seen a lot of 7:14, 6:43, etc. Guess I'm not real smart because I cannot figure it out. Thanks
    It's all about the TV. All about the TV. So, ESPN has a 6,08 p.m. start because they come back from commercial, introduce the game, and away it goes. Other start times are 6,43 p.m., for example, to allow for a 35-minute pregame, commercial, intro and away they go. It's all based on starting the game around that initial commercial and intro from the rights holders.
    What happened to Tre Fletcher? He was highly touted coming out in 19 and thought he finished that year in A ball but I don’t see him currently assigned to any roster?
    He is still highly touted. He is still young and getting experience. And he is at the Jupiter, Fla., extended spring training camp. That was expected. At any point down there he'll get a cameo in the Palm Beach games, so keep a look out for that. Fletcher is getting reps and watching a lot of baseball, and that was the development plan for him because he had so few innings of baseball to build on. More on that plan here, along with details on Jhon Torres ... 

    From imminent to impact, Cardinals have Carlson on deck and duo with 'raw' potential for future outfield

    STLtoday.comIn an eight-part series that begins with outfielders, Derrick Goold will examine and identify the future at every position for the Cardinals.
    Has anyone noticed Bader’s concentration is on how his gloves look and how his bat looks rather than on the job of hitting? Some tell him to think about hitting!
    I've watched all of the games this season, and I have not noticed that. If anything, I've noticed how Harrison Bader has done well batting eighth, improved his approach for that spot and reached base in 16 of his first 17 games back from IL, and now is suddenly asked to bat fifth, which speaks to the available hitters on the roster.
    The Cards have several major needs. With Mikolas one and done, the starting pitching is woefully thin. The bench and middle innings bullpen are made up of minor league players that mostly don’t impress. With so many needs, does Mo just roll the dice since he has few options to improve the team at this point?
    I'm not sure what that means to "roll the dice." It should not be a surprise if the Cardinals go shopping for a starting pitcher by the trade deadline. They'll count on the returning health of players DeJong, O'Neill, and Dylan Carlson to improve the lineup, and thus improve the bench. Having "minor-league players" on the bench, is kind of the way baseball operates these days. The Ty Wigginton/Mark Ellis off the bench days are over, if that's what you're yearning for.
    When Dejong comes back is he assured of getting his job back? Sosa is much better defensively and if he keeps hitting like this why bench him for someone hitting 170?
    Sure. He's assured of getting the starts. All the starts? Well, the Cardinals have been looking for a way to spell DeJong in previous years because of how taxing that position is, and they haven't had or seen or tried a viable alternative. Sosa is making that case, and he'll get a good run here as DeJong had not started baseball activities this past weekend and is still recovering from a broken rib that really limits anything he can do. You've got a quick first step there to announce that he's "much better" defensively. Sure seems like that might take more time to judge, as DeJong has been an above average fielder at shortstop for several years now, and while Sosa has a good ability and a strong reputation for defense, consistency is what is going to set DeJong apart until Sosa gets a chance to show it, too. It should be noted how well Sosa has done to adjust to the speed of the major-league game at this point. That is a noted improvement from previous appearances in the majors.
    Good morning and thanks for the chat. Is there no better OF option on the 40 man than Justin Williams. He is clearly over matched and swings at every pitch.
    Here are the outfielders on the 40-man roster:
    Harrison Bader
    Lane Thomas
    Justin Williams
    Austin Dean
    Dylan Carlson
    Tyler O'Neill
    Scott Hurst
    O'Neill is on the injured list. Hurst and Dean are both on the minor-league, seven-day IL. So every healthy outfielder on the Cardinals' 40-man roster is in the majors. 
     
  • I’m curious Derrick about other team’s bad contracts. Seems Cardinals have had their fair share in recent years with Carpenter, Fowler, Webb, some departed relievers and others. Is this unique with St. Louis or do other teams have their own issues. Also, my assumption is the the reason Cards do not eat contracts is because there is no one pushing for that roster spot. Right? Thanks for the chats.
    This is an interesting question. Albatross contracts are not unique to the Cardinals -- though they memorably have had a handful in recent years that stand out, really ever since the big-spending on free agents after the 2016 season that brought in Dexter Fowler and Brett Cecil. A massive contract that a team didn't get the return on it expected was big news in St. Louis for the past several weeks -- and that was the Angels. Baltimore has been carrying Chris Davis' big contract for awhile. The Dodgers at one point had spent like $250 million on international talent that didn't pay off for them. David Price is making $32 million this season and has another year left. The Cubs have Jason Heyward's contract, as you know, and there are three years left on it. Does winning a World Series erase any pinch from that contract, even as the Cubs shed quality players this winter in cash dumps? How does the $200 million and seven years remaining on Giancarlo Stanton's contract look at the moment. And those are three players with ties to the Cardinals who are elsewhere with those contracts.
    What I find most interesting about your question is that second part -- "no one pushing for that roster spot." We have readily available evidence that this is not the case.
    Randy Arozarena was pressing for playing time (by roster spot I'm assuming you mean playing time, ok?). The Cardinals gave Adolis Garcia a bonus that should have given him the chance to press for a roster spot. In several cases, the Cardinals had other options but went with the bigger contract, the more established player who got that bigger contract. Why is that? There are several reasons that leap to mind:
    -- The Cardinals don't have the business plan that allows them to paper-over big contracts with more spending, like the Dodgers do. 
    -- The Cardinals are betting on their ability to assess the production they'll get from that player, and they are stubbornly confident in this. They put money where their belief is on production, just as they do when it comes to the outfielders they've kept, the outfielders they've committed to. They're betting on their expertise in ultimately getting that production.
    There is the other factor here that is worth mentioning and is a big part of this. If the players were performing up to their contracts, why trade them? The Cardinals aren't dumping cash like the Cubs did with Darvish. So, the other side of that coin is true: If the players aren't performing up to their contracts, who would trade for them? That is the question that really is the answer here. It's not that the Cardinals don't eat contracts. They've eaten more contracts in the past four years ...
    Mike Leake
    Dexter Fowler
    ... than they did in the previous, well, at least 15.
    It's that no team wants to take on a contract without the production, regardless of how much the Cardinals are going to "eat." And they don't just release a player and pay out the remaining of his contract, ala Jhonny Peralta, until that's the last possible option. And if the player was performing on contributing in some way, the Cardinals would just want to keep him anyway.
    Any chance that we are shopping for an outfielder or are they just waiting for everyone to get healthy? Starting pitching possibly?
    Not at the moment, no. There are a few outfielders that they'll check on as the trade talks start to develop, but they want to see what their full health outfielder looks like, and they've had that for about a week.
    I’ll take a 5-5 road trip and consider it a success they better 3 of 4 in Arizona cause the White Sox and Dodgers are just better
    Might depend how they get there, right? If they win a series against the Sox, sweep the Diamondbacks, and get swept by the Dodgers that's a 6-4 road trip, but does it look like a 6-4 road trip when they limp back from LA after a sweep by the very very very best team ever assembled ever ever possibly ever, and now with Pujols!
    Hey DG, thanks for the chats, seems to me the Cardinals are woefully short on the bench with one backup C and 3 guys under the Mendoza line, seems to me they could have added a veteran in that mix
    They're missing three players due to injury, and that has thinned the bench. I'm not sure that a veteran would really add much to that depending on the veteran. You're not going to find too many .360 hitters on the bench because baseball has a word for those kind of hitters. They're called everyday players. Imagine if the Cardinals had a player who was rocking a .900 OPS -- and kept him on the bench. The chat would be in an uproar. Better to judge the bench when there is a full complement of health, if the Cardinals get there.
    any news on when O'neal, DeJong, and Miller will be back?
    A good place to check for updates each day is the Cardinals notebook at StlToday.com. There are pretty much daily updates in it about each player, and there's a chance to get more info in there than you'll find on Twitter. A quick recap:
    Tyler O'Neill (broken finger) -- Baseball activities. Progressing. At some point in the coming days it will be a tolerance question and a grip strength question. He could be back on this road trip, if he passes those tests. Making strides.
    Paul DeJong (broken rib) -- Limited. Has been limited because of the soreness in his torso and how everything baseball related pretty much requires the twisting of that area. So he has not advanced as quickly as the team and he hoped to baseball activities.
    Andrew Miller (toe) -- Could start a rehab assignment as soon as Tuesday with Class AAA Memphis. He will go there, get in some competition, and if it goes well, join the team on this road trip, possibly as early as Arizona.
  • What’s your opinion with the Sinclair network, aren’t they really doing a dis service to their subscribers?
  • Derrick - did Arenado (or anyone else) explain what happened on that foul/fair ball down the 3rd baseline in the 9th inning Friday night?
    It was foul. Period. Umpire had a bad angle. Arenado had the only angle that mattered. He's not going to mess that up. He's quite good at defense and baseball.
    How do you think cards will do against their former manager that won us our last world series
    Lance Lynn has a say in this, and that will be fascinating to watch. Forecast calls for some Tony Time Drama.
    Best defensive cardinals team since 1985?
  • Nope. The 2015 was one of the best run prevention teams of all time. They were the '85 Bears of Baseball. This might be the most flamboyant defense and aggressive defense the Cardinals have had since 2004 with Rolen, Renteria, Pujols, Edmonds, Matheny ... That's a strong group.
  • can the cardinals settle on O'neal being their starting LF knowing that he'll hit the IL 2-3 times every year?
    Nope. Durability is one of the unwritten tools of baseball.
    One of my favorite things in baseball are when career minor leaguers or AAAA kind of guys are discovered and become really good players. Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano, Yermin Mercedes, etc. Cardinals had that recently with Jose Martinez, but overall there haven't been many of those discoveries. Is it something they actively scout and look for, or is all their focus on homegrown talent now?
    Are you kidding me? The Cardinals had a reputation throughout baseball for finding those kind of players pretty regularly. Ryan Ludwick was one of those players, and he became an All-Star with the Cardinals. Abe Nunez took over at third base for an injured Rolen and contributed to a remarkable team. Dave Duncan made some pitchers millions when it looked like they were going to spin their wheels in the minors and voila found a role with the Cardinals and took off elsewhere. This is an area where the Cardinals have done well -- in the past 20 or so years -- finding talent. So, yeah, they actively scout for them, scour the analytics for them, and try to identify them.
    They believe they have two in the organization right now, if needed: Jose Rondon and Max Moroff. We'll see if they're called up with any sort of chance, and there's still a sense within some corners of the team that Rondon will contribute to this year's team.
    The focus is not only on homegrown talent. Not at the moment.
    But we're going to see this change. The shrinking of the minors means fewer job opportunities in the minors, fewer innings to fill, fewer at-bats to give to someone, and that is going to squeeze out the late-bloomers the long-time farmhands because supply will exceed demand, and with fewer innings and fewer at-bats teams are going to invest those in younger players who they've given larger bonuses to, and the players who bloom late won't get that time. The minor-league reorganization is going to erase patience and thus some of these stories from the game.
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement