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.

    It is. It could be. Or, stay with me here, pitching is about feel, and that takes what Mike Maddux calls touches, and that takes innings, and innings come in games when competition is available, and we're talking about hundreds of pitchers who did not appear in any competitive situation last year and now asking them to be pinpoint, when, let's be honest, they weren't at that level when last they played. I think it's too be expected, honestly, that some of the rust needs to knock off this early in the season because pitchers just haven't had a baseball in their hand with adrenaline boiling and a batter sneering and the backlog of recent performance to count on when it comes to getting a feel for the strike zone and command of the pitchers.
    If the Oakland A’s move, where do you predict? Vegas?
    Seems like the best bet.
    How come almost no team tries to bunt the runner to third in the tenth inning?
    Because the opponent gets the same free runner at second, so the goal is to score as many runs as possible in the top of the inning and not give up an out with a bunt.
    Thanks for the answer and the insights Derrick. Your comment about people looking for answers that will validate their beliefs and invalidating those that don't is so sports and in politics. If people would only seek out the truth and accept it at face value...we would all be better for it. Thanks again and have a great day!
    Thanks, Eric. I agree. We can all use the facts to arrive at different opinions. What's dangerous is how increasingly we settle on a belief/opinion and ignore or shape "facts" to fit that. It's the tail wagging the dog. Not great for conversation, community, empathy, tolerance, acceptance -- or growth, honestly.
    You mentioned the crop of available FA starters out there and I am genuinely curious if this is a matter of them still holding out for higher dollars / more years, or if there is just a sense that all of them are done. I mean, the Giants had Scott Kazmir start a game yesterday. He has not pitched in MLB since 2016. Were they really convinced that he was a better option to start a game than Hamels or Samardzija?
  • It could be myriad of things, and is at this point:
    -- Dollars, sure. The year is pretty much set, other than options, I guess. But they're all going to be short-term deals at this point.
    -- Opportunity.
    -- Location -- in the country, in the standings, etc.
    -- Evaluation. Not all teams are going to agree on the readiness of these pitchers and sometimes a team needs someone faster than some of these pitchers will be at full speed, so that is a factor, a big factor, a leading factor.
    -- Health. Teams are leery of making a commitment when health is a question. 
    Observation: Don't be condescending to readers who ask repeat questions. Just disregard. Often, probably due to oversight or laziness, your answers are tardy and not in order / with the questions. Please remember well as most readers have jobs and aren't monitoring your every pulse and can be pressing. Your answers are often interesting and insightful. We buy tickets.You don't. We care if the team is successful. You do not per your own admissions. Best!
    It's important for me to use repeat questions so that people either revisit earlier in the chat and know it was covered or visit to see the coverage. It is my goal here to interact and have exchanges and provide answers for the readers -- but also to promote the coverage of the newspaper. If I have a chance to point that out, I will welcome it. If I see a question coming up time and time and time again in the in box (today's example: Tyler O'Neill's health), I will use that question, point out that information has been covered, and do so in hopes that other questions can get in the inbox, other topics can be addressed. If there are 20 questions all about the same topic, then there are 20 questions I'm not seeing about another topic, and the chat slows down.
    So, again, I have two motivations for using repeat questions and pointing out that it was covered elsewhere:
    -- Urging people to check out the coverage.
    -- Forwarding the pace and breadth of the chat and available questions I see.
    I'm comfortable with those being the motivations, and I'm glad you asked me to explain them. If you find this "condescending" then I'm not sure what to say. You control the tone of how you read it. You could read this in any voice you want and it might change the sense. But it's also the nature of the exchange, right? Once in the chat I was accused of coming off as a "know it all." 
    Isn't that the point? Don't you come here hoping I know most of the answers?
    A chat with questions and me typing "I don't know" for every one of them wouldn't be much of a chat at all. It would feel like the SAT.
    I can't remember a Cardinals pitching staff in the last 20 years that has been so erratic. How much blame do you assign to Maddux and to the player?
    Some. I think the circumstance of not pitching much over the past 20 months should also be a factor. But so too is the schedule that the team and the players have adopted where there is some proactive protection, there were some curious moves in spring training where a pitcher didn't get many games against opponents. And also there were times when a pitcher didn't get to work out of jams in spring -- so they never saw what they had to do in a mess. Spring had an escape hatch. The regular season doesn't.
    Does KK make it to the fifth tonight?

    Sox are -250 a huge delta for 2 first place teams

    The Desert does like like the Cards
    The world continues to discount Lance Lynn and its own peril.
    What are the chances that the veteran committee inducts Curt Flood into the Hall of Fame? Would you vote for him?
    I'm hopeful that the Hall finds a way for Curt Flood to be inducted in a way that may even circumnavigate the veteran's committee. I would. But I'm not on that committee, so how I feel is academic, at best.
    Lance Lynn is definitely a different breed but isn’t that match up favorable for the cards? He throws like 90% fastballs (different variations of course) and the cardinals hitters struggle mostly against off speed pitches.
    It is. It should be. But we also saw the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies bedevil the Cardinals by throwing aggressively in the strike zone, commanding the inner-edge, and dancing away with victories. I would be reluctant to discount Lynn. I also would suggest that we could check how the Cardinals are doing against different pitches, and tells a story that you might find surprising. From Fangraphs weighted success metrics vs. individual pitches, where positive is above average production, and minus is bad:
    Cardinals vs. Fastballs -- minus 5.1 (25th in MLB)
    Cardinals vs. Sliders -- 3.7 (5th in MLB)
    Cardinals vs. Cutters -- minus 1.0 (18th in MLB)
    Cardinals vs. Curve -- minus 6.1 (25th in MLB)
    Cardinals vs. Changeup -- 5.2 (4th in MLB)
    What was the situation where Kantrowitz nearly returned to the Cards and took a job with the Cubs at the last second? Is there bad blood there now? Should we be worried that the Cubs may now be following the Cardinals pitching drafting playbook with Kantrovitz at the helm
    Dan Kantrovitz was the front office equivalent of a free agent back in 2019. He spoke with the Cardinals about a return to the baseball ops there, and the Cardinals had set in motion his return. They had an adviser position in mind, something that would not tread on any of the directors within the department and still integrate Kantrovitz into the brain trust. A memo had gone out that Kantrovitz was about the be hired. Within less than 48 hours he had been offered a job directing the draft for the Cubs. That was more of the job that he wanted, had more power, had a title, and was where he had done well with the A's and the Cardinals. 
    So, yes, there's reason to think that the Cardinals' success drafting pitching is now something that the Cubs could replicate. Development is the next question. The Cardinals do that well.
    Last night the analyst on CNN said that Goldschmidt looked anxious to bat in the 9th inning, that he was “chomping at the bit.” That was a bit presumptuous of him, as Goldy rarely shows emotion, especially before a bat. I think he was trying to create emotion that was not there.
    Probably. Unless he had a chance to ask Goldschmidt. I think there's probably a lot of this -- a lot of projecting on players without asking them. I try to keep that in mind and ask when possible. That said, in the seventh inning, when Goldschmidt popped out, he definitely expanded his zone, reached from it, and was out of sorts with it. Was that the situation or was that in response to the strike zone being called -- I don't know. I didn't have a chance to ask the motivation, but his manager agreed and we could see that he expanded his zone and ultimately popped up.
    You said earlier in the chat that the Sosa's 1 week of results would not change the Cards view of him. But DeJong has been below league average offensively since 2019 and only average in 18. When does this change the Cards view of him.
    Fair question. It is a fair point that you make that maybe it's not Sosa's week, but the confluence of it with DeJong's months. The Cardinals are going to dismiss most of all that happened in 2020, as you probably can tell. DeJong was exhausted by the workload in other seasons, and like a scout or an official the manager does point to the fact that DeJong was an All-Star and he has the record for homers by a Cardinals shortstop and that that ability is in there. So they are banking on what he's shown in the past being what he provides in the future. What Sosa has done -- but not with a week, just with the past year -- is given the Cardinals an alternative so that DeJong doesn't have to carry the same amount of innings in the field. That's where this meets at the moment. It's possible that the best option for the Cardinals is finding the blend of both shortstops, no?
    What did Albert end up signing for with the Dodgers? I don’t wish the Cardinals got him, more of just curious how much money matters to him at this point
  • By rule, the Dodgers -- or any other team that signed him -- could only pay him the prorated minimum for the number of days he's on that roster. That's all. That's governed by the CBA. The Angels are on the hook for the rest of his salary.
  • Could Tommy Edman use a day off?
  • At DH? Sure makes some sense, yes.
    You mentioned in your podcast that sometimes pitchers will put their hand on a catchers back for a specific reason. Were you implying the catcher has pine tar or other substance on his jersey that the pitcher is trying to pick up? I’ve never heard that before. Any other amusing tricks you can share?
    Shoulder, too. Yes, that's what I was saying. I hope that it wasn't so much implying and just out and out illustrating what some pitchers will do. Watch for it in games. As probably everyone in St. Louis knows, catchers can put some stick on their pads. There's pine tar in the dugout for hitters, and that can be delivered to pitchers any number of ways. Rosin is available on the mound. Sweat is provided by nature. And sunscreen can be caked on the arm to allow for a mix of gunk that becomes a sticky substance.
    two quick comments--

    I thought the strike zone box yesterday was very informative...they kept showing a called strike that was just wide of the zone....for both teams. as college official in a different sport, I really admired the consistency. be consistant....that is all you can ask of the umps (officials)

    second---I believe I remember a podcast with you and Bernie talking about a "wheel" rotation of 6-7 pitchers...perhaps you put j.flare in ink every 5 days, and wainwright in wet erase marker two days later, then the other 4 guys fill in the holes. so, sometimes they pitch on 5 days rest, sometimes 6. thoughts
    1. While large, I agree the strike zone was consistent. One thing about the TV strike zone box is that how it never changes. It's the same when Altuve is at the plate or Judge is at the plate, and I find that interesting when you're walking a telecast.
    2. That's right -- the shadow rotation. It was a thought exercise, I guess, that Dave Duncan and I talked about many years ago, when a team has about three starters to turn to, and then a mix of four or five that are hard to pick from, or count on for much more than a few innings. This was a solution. It could work here, but as Shildt pointed out the other day doing so would put a strain on the bullpen that if something goes wrong it will get worse before it gets better. It's not a move that has a lot of margin for error, not with the setup the Cardinals have.
    Also, the Cardinals have made it quite clear their goal is not to get Flaherty as many starts as possible this season. They want him to get his rest, too.
    Any idea when announcers will be broadcasting in the city where the game is being played?
    Some teams are moving in this direction, yes. Unsure of the timing, but things have moved fast once the conversation starts in other questions about media access.
  • Worth noting: The dude who called you condescending is probably the same dude that you openly mocked last time for daring to ask you about the likelihood of seeing something happen in 2021. Because, you know, you decided we were having that particular chat in 2020.
    I think it's somebody different. They can unite in their frustration with me.
    I’ll try this one again because I’m interested and value your insight. Mozeliak did really well making team changing (for the better) trades when pushed by LaRussa. He seems less competent making trades when it seems he is trying to build on his own volition what he perceives as what the team needs. Does he need a more aggressive and more in the trenches baseball mind to push him to make trades that matter significantly? Does Shildt have enough lead in his pencil to be that type of guy at this point?
    I think this might be a question worth exploring in an exchange rather than a chat, because I'd like to know what moves that Mozeliak made were "pushed by La Russa." The deal to revamp the bullpen and remove Colby Rasmus from the outfield was clearly one the manager had signaled by the moves he was making with the lineup, and I could see how that would be one that TLR gets some credit for urging, and that led to a World Series title. But there was also the deal that TLR lobbied for that doesn't get as much attention -- Pedro Feliz. That was the trade that changed how Mozeliak looked at trades. TLR's relationship with Rolen forced that trade for Glaus, which was odd because how does the whole world know that Mozeliak has to move his All-World third baseman and he still get an All-Star third baseman in return? 
    Do you give TLR credit for Holliday, even though his request was for a cleanup hitter, and he had other lefthanded hitters in mind as he said that, and it was Mozeliak that was the one who identified and pursued Holliday for about nine-10 months? I don't have a bulletproof answer for that, other than it shows how many deals are done in concert.
    Maybe the best deals are done in concert.
    I'm always intrigued by the disconnect between the fan base and the front office, and this is an example of it. I wonder if it exists elsewhere that the perception of the front office from other fan bases is that they aren't "baseball minds" when really there's more baseball experience there than they get credit. Theo Epstein is widely regarded by peers as a "baseball mind," but does the Cubs fan base dismiss him as an Ivy Leaguer? I find that interesting.
    Regardless, the Cardinals adopt a conserve approach to well about everything. They acknowledge they are data-driven, and one criticism I've offered about that approach -- to them in person, to you in the chat, to readers in print -- is that they talk themselves out of trades and deals by calculating risk ahead of imagining benefit. That's their model. Can the manager put a thumb on the scale so that the imagining benefit gets a little added weight -- sure. Want to know how that's done? We saw it recently. Who do you think Shildt was talking to the other day on the Zoom when describing the current setup in the bullpen?
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