Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 1 p.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions at 1 p.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 1 p.m. Monday

    Does Jose Rondon have any options? Can Williams and Thomas both make the team?
    Rondon is on a minor-league contract. Options only matter once he's added to the 40-man roster, and if he's added to the 40-man the intent will be to put him in the 26-man roster and use him.
    Comments and questions, all my opinions:
    1. This chat is excellent. Your answers are almost too complete - to the point of erudition.
    2. The guy who left, whatshisname. If he didn't like your chat, he could have read Jeff Gordon's. That is a really good chat and entertaining.
    3. I know we are all supposed to be enamored of good pitching and defense, run suppression and the like, etc. but I would prefer it if the Cardinals were just a team who RAKED. damage being done from 1 through, at least, 8 in the starting line up. I feel if a guy can hit, he must have killer hand-eye co-ordination and can be taught to play defense if he can move at all. To me, it is more fun to see the opposition clubbed into insensibility than to parry their offense with good defense.

    Thanks for the chat, Derrick.
    1. Thank you. I'll take erudition. Seems like a good goal.
    2. Big miss on my part. I thought he was dismissing most of the chats -- and I should have made the offer of Gordo's. It's one of the liveliest we have. He's instant offense, as we've said about Gordo for years now.
    3. Offense can be fun. It doesn't have to come in homers -- but offense in bunches can be a blast to watch, excuse the fun. More baseballs in play and all of sudden this is a much more entertaining team to watch because it will have speed in motion (O'Neill, Bader, Edman), and doubles in the gap (Arenado, Goldschmidt), and it could have a high-wire defense, too. It has potential. But it starts with more balls in play, and there are times this spring when it looks like the approach is only to put the perfect pitch in play, not the pitch available.  
    Would you say that Bader is the kind of player that the club has such an affinity for that even if he doesn't take the next step forward offensive this year, they will find a way to keep him on the roster for the foreseeable future.
    I would not say that, no.
    Didn't Nolan Ryan deliver a beat down on Ventura?
  • Watch the whole tape, the director's cut, not the Texas propaganda.
  • Did Arozarena's live streaming of the Cards locker room celebration in 2019 have anything to do with him be traded to Tampa?
    Have there been any internal discussions about moving DeJong up to 2nd in the line-up? In his breakout season isn't that where he did a bulk of his damage?
    This has been tried this spring and is in consideration, yes.
    Thank you Derrick for acknowledging the Ventura takedown. As a former Oklahoma State baseball player....we often tried to convince people we are also a wrestling school and he scored 3 points on his takedown. There are no points for a headlock and a lucky hook.
    Exactly. Ryan didn't even land some of the punches. They were for show. Ventura got the two-point reversal and the three-point takedown. #TeamVentura.
    What's the deal with all these players batting so low in ST? Goldy.227,Carlson.208,Bader.176,Dejong.087,Williams.190,Sosa.091,Carp.50? How can those last 3 make the team this way/
    A) It's notoriously hard to hit at Roger Dean Stadium in spring. Though, the Marlins had five .400 hitters facing Ponce de Leon the other day. Still, this place is hard to hit and hard to hit consistently for power, and it annually lowers both the HR totals and the averages of players here during spring.
    B) It's early in spring for hitters. It really is. A week from now, I cannot say that. But the timing should come around between now and then, so this is the week to watch.
    C) Batting average is not the best metric to determine the production of a hitter during a regular season. It's even worse when it comes to spring.
  • Is there a discernible difference between this spring and last up to when everything got shutdown with balls flying out of ballparks last year vs seemingly barely staying in this spring campaign?
  • Not in these parts, no. Seems the same.
  • I disagree with Earl of Roy. Stingy defense and great pitching. Run silly and drive the battery crazy on the bases. With that one big stick to keep them honest . BOOM ! Jack Clark!
    Baseball has styles for everyone. Give me more baseballs in play for the plays to be made -- more action all over. That's the best kind of baseball for me.
    Did Tyler O'Neil actually figure something out in the offseason or is this spring training version of himself merely a fluke?
    He appears to have figured something out. Shorter swing. Better read of the strike zone. So far. And use of all fields. He's closer to the hitter that had a breakthrough in Class AAA and inching ever closer to the hitter he has been waiting to break out.
    I was watching the game yesterday on MLBTV (from the Colorado blizzard 2021)...either Zeile or Darling commented on the impact of the shift I hadn't thought about.

    They referenced guys moving into shift lanes and playing deeper, impacting the brilliance of defense of yesteryear. They specifically cited Ozzie Smith and trying to imagine what it would have done to his highlight reel. I thought it was interesting...though full confession, I do like the idea of "legal formations" for a defense at the onset of a pitch.
    I'm not sure I agree, honestly. Maybe I've been around spring too much when we could be near the players and hear Ozzie Smith talk with Oquendo about how they shifted, how got a read on hitters and how they moved, and how the great plays and the great instincts increased their range to its greatest reach. That's how it worked. I mean, I remember Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken Jr. and later Omar Vizquel and even Derek Jeter at times being lauded for their ability to move around based on the hitter, and I watched Oquendo do shifting of the infielders for years and years and years before the extremes of today. It was subtle. It wasn't always there, but it was shifting.
    Heck, it was 15 years ago that Ronnie Belliard won a playoff series for the Cardinals by shifting into right field as the second baseman.
    The Cardinals have a ring from a shift that would be outlawed.
    Count me against this nonsense of banning the shift.
    Every time I see Alex Reyes pitch I can't help but see the Cardinals making the same mistake as last year with KK initially out of the bullpen. There's no way they should waste another year of Reyes not starting, especially with their current ills and questions marks.
  • This is the exact same thing I've been saying here. I agree. At some point take the restrictor plates off and let's see how the car with the best engine runs.
  • Changing the size of the bases doesn’t get the running game going in my opinion. The main reason teams don’t run anymore is due to the risk of injury to players who are making so much money. That risk is still there even though the base is a few inches bigger.
  • That is part of the reason. Definitely a part. That is not the only reason, and we'll get to see. I am not thrilled by this rule either and shrinking the space between bases. It reeks of a rule that will have unintended consequences. 
    After the chat I'm going to go yell at clouds.
  • With analytics being such a big part of front office operations, why are managers still so reluctant to adopt a data driven approach for lineup construction? I'm sure that Goldschmidt or Arenado will be in the 3 spot, which by the book should probably be someone like Dejong or O'Neill as they come up the most frequently with 2 outs and the bases empty. Also managers still neglecting to put good hitters in the 2 spot when it is the most important spot in the lineup. And Tommy Edman at leadoff makes no sense given that he is allergic to taking walks.
    Great question. Short answer: The managers are. Longer answer: The managers also have to tread lightly to see how their players feel about it, too. There's definitely some of that in play. Arenado just spoke with us about how he's always been a 3-4-5 hitter, and how he's open to hitting anywhere, and just has familiarity with 3-4-5. Pujols once talked about how he wanted to hit in the first inning. That was something he preferred to do, and it was actually part of what led the Cardinals to hitting the pitcher eighth. That way, Pujols was the No. 3 hitter to start the game but the cleanup hitter every at-bat after that. Makes sense, right?
    There is something else however, analytically in play here. The difference between No. 2 and No. 3 in the lineup can be 14-17 plate appearances a season. It can be a similar gap between Nos. 3-4 and so if you're talking about Goldschmidt No. 2 or No. 4 then you have to wonder what about those 28 plate appearances left on the table. (Granted, it's going to likely be less -- say 22-24 -- given days off, etc.) How do you play those off the chances with runners on and two outs and chances to score runs with just raw plate appearance totals in which to do damage? Managers are more and more stacking their lineup with that as a considering. Shildt has been doing that, and that's why you're seeing Goldschmidt and Arenado at Nos. 2-3 -- it's about getting that tandem more plate appearances than if they were down Nos. 3-4.
    Is it merely a pipe dream to envision that Molina could still earn himself at least one more gold glove?
    Derek,

    thanks for al. you do!

    I was a huge fan of the BPIB--it is sorely missed(I'm assuming it is on Hiatus for lack of a sponsor). I ground out many a miles walking while listening to it---it may me appreciate you, and Benfred, so much more--gave me a glimpse into your personalities, and that made me understand and appreciate your writing more.

    I wish the PD would make more items like the chat and podcasts available to subscribers only!

    greatly encouraged by this team--with Arenado, and Goldschmidt---if Tyler O'Neill keeps the short swing and becomes an 120 OPS+ guy...don't the cardinals have enough offense to let Bader play a lot?
    Thanks for the compliment. BPIB has a generous sponsor, and it's good to go. It's been the timing. Covering spring training is a lot different this year -- even with less time driving. There's more time Zooming, or chasing those interviews mentioned earlier, and the days evaporate. Hoping to pull BPIB back here shortly. But in the meantime look for more videos from the writers here, too. That is something that we have been urged to do, and Frederickson has really been a leader in helping us think about ways we could do more videos from down here.
    As to you question: Absolutely. DeJong would be part of that assist, too. The Cardinals definitely look at the lineup in terms of aggregate production. As a group, what is it doing -- and not just offensively, but defensively, too. What do they give here to gain there -- what can they give offensively to get better defensively. There is always that question and if a position usually reserved for a glove (say shortstop) is also socking then it allows for a better glove elsewhere that doesn't have to carry as big a bat.
    I’ve brought this up previously in a few chats and it was never answered - which is fine but I mention to show that I’m not just reacting to the last week +.

    The Cardinals inability to add to the pitching staff is mind blowing. Banking on Mikolas, coming off major surgery, to be anything more than a backend starter is hand to understand. He has had 1 good year in MLB in his career and coming off major surgery. Expecting Kim to replicate last season is also unreasonable considering the Cardinals themselves last year thought he was a bullpen piece and not a starter (it took injuries/Covid to change their mind). The depth idea is fine expect almost of the rotation depth needs to go to the pen if not in the rotation. I just don’t understand why they didn’t add a starter
    This is a fair argument. The counter would be when does it stop -- especially when some of the starters available are also question marks in the same way you describe the pitchers here. If they could go get a certain starter, then it makes sense. That is certainly pricey. The way this has played out is interesting because the Cardinals have the third baseman of their dreams, and most everybody baseball is struck by how little it took the Cardinals to get Arenado.
    And, yet, Austin Gomber would look real good in the Cardinals rotation right now.
    It was as if the Colorado Rockies didn't even realize what they were getting.
    And the Cardinals sure knew what they were losing, and the pinch has already arrived.
    Who is the best all around player in the Major league?
    Lindor. Tatis. Trout. Bellinger. Arenado. Seager. These are the players who leap to mind.
    DG, How arbitrary was the 100 innings for Reyes? Why not say 130 innings? 100 means RP with possible starts. 130 has no possibility of happening solely out of the pen there has to be some starts. Both limit and somewhat ease Reyes. I find 100 a interesting number and in my mind you can manages throwing better in a SP role than a RP.
    So, 100 is a magical number for a reliever. It's a rarity in the game. Hasn't been done in the National League for 18 years. Hasn't been done by a Cardinal in almost 30, I believe. And yet there is this mystique about the possibility of being that reliever needed for 100 innings who maybe appears in 60 games and gives the team a chance to win. That's the genesis of it. And the reason why not 130 or more is because that's what the Cardinals have expressly said they want to avoid. It's a rule of 30, as Maddux said. Don't want that number to climb more than 30 if you've got a young pitcher who has never handled that amount of workload. So they've identified 100 as a hoped-for target so that with the postseason maybe adding 30 to Reyes' work in 2021 means getting 140-150 innings from him, and then you've got a full-fledged starter in that final year of control for the Cardinals which sets him up nicely to be the starter they've always imagined just as he becomes a free agent...
    Oh wait.
    I’ve heard a sportswriter roots for the best story.
    A sportswriter tries to tell the best story.
    That'll do it from Roger Dean Stadium. Solid game by your Local Nine. Impressive outing again from the next St. Louis native headed to the Hall of Fame, Max Scherzer. The Cardinals weekly chat will be back next Monday from spring training. Ben Frederickson is on the lede for tomorrow's newspaper, and we'll be working on stories for the forthcoming Special Section that previews the 2021 Cardinals season. Look for that in the coming weeks in print and online.
    Also check out the upcoming Sports on Tap -- from spring training. Details at StlToday.com.
    Check your local listings for the next host and time of the Monday Cardinals chat.
    Thanks for a lively talk today -- especially with the variety and breadth of questions asks. I really appreciate the ground all these questions have forced me to cover. At times I had to shift to get a head start on the questions.
    Because there is nothing wrong with shifting.
    Stay tuned. Stay informed. Stay healthy.
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