At last check -- a little bit ago, after landing in STL -- yes. He's preparing to start tonight vs. the Mets. The Cardinals feel he has cleared all protocols, and they took a conservative approach with him. Also allowed the righthander to be home with his family.
(Insert "Why Not Both?" GIF here.)
I wish I could help you. But you what the Blues chat later in the week. It's been a good 17 years almost since I laced up to the skates and ran the forecheck on that beat.
We are expecting some sort of update today -- because that's the team's plan to get one too. He has been removed from the team, as you know, and that means he's mostly been assigned rest and recovery. They don't expect to plop on the couch and wait it out, though. He's been receiving treatment, but the goal was to rest, see how the foot recovers, and give him a test today to see about the progress. At last check, they expect him to miss the 10 days, and may one or two days beyond just if they try to be careful.
(There are a handful of hockey questions in here. Am I doing the wrong day? Did I oversleep for my flight?)
Interesting question. He might be able to throw 80-percent sliders, but I get your point, he's got to keep the hitter honest and part of that is having a wider variance in velocity than he's seeing now. His velocity this season is down 3.0 mph from last year, from 90.3 to 87.2, and from 2019 till today it's down 5.0 mph, from 92.5 to the 87.2. This obviously is something to watch, and acknowledge that he's only had a handful of fastballs so far this season, so it is a small sample size at the moment. He talked about building arm strength on the go this season because coming out of spring training he didn't feel his fastball was at the speed it would find later, during the month, with more innings, more time, more "touches," as pitching coach Mike Maddux said. He's now the IL with a foot issue, so he'll have some time to do that building, finding of the mph away from the game, and it would not be a surprise at all if that's what he and the Cardinals use this time to do.
It's start with the pitching. Fourteen consecutive games with at least five innings and no more than three earned runs from the starter -- 14! -- and the offense always looks a lot better when it doesn't have to stay ahead of a track meet. So, yes, the outfield production is noteworthy, and now it's coming mostly from the corners, which is what the Cardinals want, but it looks better because the pitching has been better, and if the Cardinals are going to contend they need to continue to get the consistent pitching that makes the offense look better.
Thank you for the kind words. As far as the taxi squad ... It gets tricky. So the alternate site camp closed this past week. The minor-league season starts Tuesday. And the taxi squad still does exist for major-league teams this season. But only when they're on the road. They can continue to carry a catcher on the taxi squad who can help at home games, but the taxi squad like the Cardinals had this past weekend in Pittsburgh is not available when the team is in St. Louis -- and those players are returned to Memphis. Jose Rondon is an example. We're already seeing how teams will handle this to avoid the development question like you asked. Not seeing to many prospects on the taxi squad. Seeing depth players, for sure. Like Rondon. Heineman will likely stay with the taxi squad. Whitley, Woodford, and Elledge are the examples that you could draw on for where are they going to get their innings consistently and how will that shape their development. They'll cycle in and out of the majors and the taxi squad to make it possible to get their innings and stay on track. Sanchez might see some time on the taxi squad when Molina returns, and that will give Ortega time at Class AAA as the featured catcher there. Sanchez is around for reliable depth, and he's on the 40-man roster, so there's not the emphasis on development for him. He's with the team because of who he already is ...
I, too, do not like the extra-inning rule. Feels forced. Play a game one way for nine innings, then change the rules for the extra innings. We don't see the NBA lowering the hoop for overtime.
I'd take either. The livelier the chat the better. It's the weeks where there's a lot of pollution and vulgarity you never see that gets exhausting.
Huh? Where have I used that phrase ... ?
I did. It was not ideal. Tough start to the season for replay and for some of the calls. Melancon didn't throw a pitch in the zone the other night for the Padres and struck out a batter on three balls. It was ... odd. And the hitter's body language said it all. Why'd he bother going up there?
Yes. I do believe it is. And it's something that we've seen evolve over the past 15 years in baseball as pitchers arrive younger, throwing harder, with less experience throwing a lot at all. Consider how rapidly Jordan Hicks scaled the minors and made it to the major-league bullpen. Again, going back to an earlier example, Dave Duncan talked about this a lot when he was considered about baseballs being thrown harder and zipping up and in and out of control. He attached it to experience more than velocity. But it takes experience to know how to harness that velocity. Joe Girardi brought this up this past week as he talked about the pitch that hit Harper. He said that all of the focus in the game is on velocity, velocity, velocity, and spin, and that maybe the conversation needs a correction and teams should talk about more control. You have an ally in Girardi, and a good point.
I really wish I could be of help, but I don't know what this is, I'm sorry. The standings area on my computer is ... fine? I'm not sure I'm going to the right place or even understand what you're referencing here.
I don't know where you read that, so I really shouldn't comment on the accuracy of that report or that guess without more information. I can only affirm what we've reported on thi. The Cardinals sold the same amount of tickets for May games as they did for April. That was the report several weeks ago as they let season tickets know. They are in constant review for attendance, but a Cardinals official told me recently they didn't expect to have incremental changes -- they didn't expect to go 28 to 32 to 35 to 40 to 50 to 75 .... They started at the 30-32 percent range, and they might an in between before opening up full. How the county/city policies for restaurants will influence the next decision on the ballpark will be worth watching.
Health. It starts with health. He has pitched hesitant in past years -- not rearing back, not using all of his pitches, not consistently throwing with conviction or velocity. He looked like he was tentative and even once mentioned that he was considered that he would get hurt. Last year was upended by COVID-19. I was really struck -- so much so that I hinged the entire game story around it -- that he is back to using his cutter. He ditched it for years. He threw it more Sunday than he had total from 2019-20. That was a strong pitch for him, and it sat on the shelf. Now it's out. Now he has the velocity when he needs it. Now he can sink it, cut it, drop a changeup and that's a good mix for getting meek contact.