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

    What do you think about a modified universal DH where the DH is tied to the pitcher, and has to come out of the game when they do (or double switch)? I think this would preserve both pitcher health as well as some of the NL strategic dynamic, while providing another incentive to try to leave your starter in longer - it could be the difference whether your top DH makes 2 or 3 ABs in the game.
    I'm intrigued by it. Jayson Stark has really brought this idea to the forefront and its creative and I like the strategy aspect of it.
    Has anyone ever suggested to Matt Carpenter that he might close his stance some and stop hitting everything to the right side? His stance is wide open. I would love to see Matt get it back again!
    Yes. That's been discussed. Asked him about it in spring training. He has not traced what went awry with his swing to his stance.
    Is ONeill starting to turn the corner or is it a mirage? It also looks like he has opened his stance some—has that made a difference?
    Yes. That is the case. Lower. Open. Shorter swing. Lays off those breaking pitches sweeping away from -- mostly. Really accessing all of his tool, honestly. I think we've seen him use his speed more on the bases than we have before, and that coincides with him being on the bases more often.
  • Miami pitcher Trevor Rogers edges Dylan Carlson for the NL Rookie of the Month award. Surprised by that. Carlson had some support, as did Marlins infielder Jazz Chisholm. They finished high in the voting. Rogers' 3-1 record, 1.29 ERA was enough to vault ahead of an everyday player. Still, Carlson poised to be in the conversation all year for the NL rookie award.
    Is Griffin Roberts still on the doorstep of the bigs? What's his status and can he be part of the bullpen mix come August/September?
    Not ... exactly. Not as expected. It was noteworthy that he wasn't really a factor 'round spring training. So he's going to have to go with impressing from afar, not from March. It can happen. Griffin is inching into the prospect rankings, and with success and that slider he could move swiftly. He's got the stuff. He really needs the innings and the chance to be consistent, and just like needs reps. He's on the speed dial for the majors at the moment, but once he gets there he could rise fast. That's the sense from scouts, who continue to give him positive reviews as a rising reliever.
    Considering his production and that this is his third year with the team, Tommy Edmond seems like the type of players the Cardinals usually give an early extension. Yet, in Tommy's case, the team's top prospective -Gorman- is being groomed to play second after the team acquired Arenado. Tommy's bat doesn't really play in a corner outfield spot, and, if he continues to hit and get on base at his current clip, it seems unlikely that he'd sign on for a super utility role unless the team pays him starter money. All this to say, is Edmond in the Cards' plans long term?
    Too early to tell for all the reasons you say. And there are many many months ahead of twists and turns ahead before they have to make that call. I think you rightly point out about the extension, and how Edman being a man who plays many positions but may not be the future starter at any of them makes his situation different than Wong, DeJong, even Craig ...
    Can Knizner play LF when Yadi comes back? His bat should play.
    Not in LF. I don't want to take anything away from Knizner here because he's a strong offensive player, but the Cardinals should expect more from LF. Knizner's bat plays at catcher, and he deserves swings as a PH. But the Cardinals should aim higher for production in LF and not take the defensive dip in the process.
    Derrick, I am an 80 year old baseball fan whose memory might be fading but it seems to me that in the 50s-60s-70s most regulars were at least hitting in the 250s and above or is that just the way that i wanted it to be.
  • They were. Batting Average has followed the win in being minimized over the recent years. In the 1950s-1970s you weren't going to see a pitcher with a 12-11 record winning a Cy Young Award. Now you might. We've improved when it comes to understanding the numbers and stats that tells us all the ways a player impacts a game, and it's allowed us to put Rock Raines in the same Hall of Fame as Tony Gwynn because he did reach base more often than Gwynn, just not with hits and batting average. Batting average has been diminished as a stat, replaced by OPS and slugging, and it has also been replaced as an approach as hitters aim for damage, damage, damage. They want the high slug, and they'd rather get a home run than flair a single. They're going for a .450 slugging percentage, not a .250 batting average. And that is part of the questions swirling around the modern game. Whether it would be better if batting average was valued more, or if the game could be altered in such a way that would reward batting average ...
  • As I’ve become a Shildt skeptic for the overprotection of players and less truth telling, I’m wondering: He says he would have taken Cabrera out after one pitch to the face if given the option. Why would he not use that rationale to take Carlos out after a similar pitch to the face?
    Way different situations. Not even in the same conversation. Carlos Martinez hit a batter when he was working on a shutout and had already gone through the Pirates' lineup almost two times. He was breezing through a start. He'd thrown -- what 60 pitches at that point just. Cabrera had thrown -- checks notes -- zero pitches.
    His first pitch hit someone in the face.
    He was bothered, clearly bothered by it.
    His second pitch hit someone in the ribs.
    He was bothered -- and the Cardinals could do nothing, by rule.
    That was the situation that faced Cabrera. He was two pitches into an appearance and both had left welts, one had been scary -- and he did not know at that moment how scary or what the results would be. Martinez watched the batter he hit take his base. Martinez was deep into a start. These couldn't be more different situations.
    If Andrew Miller and Tyler Webb continue to struggle could we see Libertore or Thompson get called up this year as another lefty option out of the pen?
    That's not in the plans right now. But anything's possible. Thompson ahead of Liberatore at the moment if it's going to be a relief role. I don't think Webb has struggled, though.
    (Here comes a new fresh rush of questions ...)
    Any new exciting food additions to Busch Stadium this year?
    No. Limited menu. Really limited menu. By design. Limited attendance.
    You really should not answer 2 or 3 questions from one chatter when the rest of us are ignored.
    OK. I'm doing the best I can. Right now when I look at the window of questions there is one long one -- and it is in there several times. I'm trying to read it, but it's lengthy. And I know that each minute I take to read it I'm irritating someone who isn't getting their questions answered. I read the name to see if there's a curse word and I move on. I'm not keeping score on who I answer and who I don't. If I did that, the chat would be 20 questions long over two hours. It would have a pace of play problem.
    Which of the new MiLB rule changes holds the most promise for increasing the running game? I know they changed some of the pick-off rules and made the bases bigger.
  • We've already seen how the new pickoff rule has led to an increase in steals. Forcing lefties to step off, and limiting the throw overs really does rev the stolen base attempts. They spiked significantly in the Atlantic League.
    Should the MLB create an exception to the three batter minimum rule that allows a manager to immediately pull a pitcher that has hit a player in the head? Or should there just be an immediate, no-fine safety ejection in those cases?
    Yes. That rule should change. Yesterday. Or be gone entirely.
    I know you picked the Brewers to win the NL Central. You've said "follow the pitching," and we've all seen the quality of their front-line starters. My question is whether they will have staying power over the course of the season, especially given limited innings last year. The Cards seem to have an advantage there with their abundance of quality young pitching. Can the Brewers match the Cards here?
    That's an edge that the Cardinals have -- but they must use it, and coming out of spring training there wasn't the indication that they would. Miles Mikolas is still not in the rotation. John Gant is, but there's a question how many innings he or Kim can contribute this season, and when they'll need a break for their protection. Ponce de Leon has been moved to the bullpen. The Cardinals have the names and numbers to have better depth than the Brewers, but will they have the production. The Brewers have, so far. The Cardinals are now getting it. And it should be quite a race. I think you ask the key question -- can Milwaukee keep it going. If not, the Cardinals have the greater depth and can cover more issues. We just don't know if the Brewers will have any issues.
    I think Steve is referring to the league standings on the stltoday.com site. Example: Milwaukee at 17-11, St. Louis at 16-12 and shown 1.5 games back.
    That's interesting. That's automated. So it's not a writer or editor that is running that. I checked on it. That comes from the wire and goes into the coding, so whatever the issue is with the GB it's an issue at the origin not StlToday.com. Still, thanks for point it out. But that's not an element of the site where any writers have access, not that I can figure out. And this is the first I've heard of it.
    I am LOVING having Arenado, don't get me wrong, but I think this is a fascinating question: let's say the Cardinals had the choice between the Arenado deal they got, and a deal for Fransisco Lindor (let's assume it came at a greater cost in talent - say Gorman was included - since it was less of a long term contract hit). Which would have made the team better in your opinion?
    Can't go wrong with either of them, so I'll stick with keeping Gorman and getting Arenado, and either having Gorman as a ferocious young lefthanded power hitter -- the Cardinals' answer a few years later to Schwarber (but at second base?) -- or having Gorman to trade for someone else, maybe a starter. Again, can't go wrong with it. But given the contract, given the open position, given the personality and the longterm chase of the player, and the cost of talent to get him -- Arenado every day of the week is the better fit here.
  • I'm not a fan of the extra-innings runner on second rule - to me it feels contrived. But I also understand wanting to create an ending to crazily long games. So ironically, I came up with an even more unconventional idea. What if extra innings proceeded normally through 12 innings...and after 12 innings, there was a sudden-death home run derby? Now, I know this sounds crazy, but I think it could add some exciting things to the game, so hear me out: people go crazy about the derby every all-star game, so it's clearly popular, and this would add a fascinating element to the game comparable to soccer or hockey shoot-outs. It would preserve normal extra-innings baseball for most games while providing an exciting and different ending to the few that go longer than 12. I'm not exactly sure how you would set it up, and I'm not sure I'd be in favor of this in the LCS or World Series, but what do you think?
    I just ... I just am the wrong audience, I'm sorry. I don't mind 14-inning games if they're good compelling games. Baseball at its best is amazing, and baseball at its best in extra innings is riveting. I covered a 20-inning game. It was not great leaving the ballpark at dawn, but it was a compelling game, and it was the kind of game only baseball give.
    I don't want The Masters decided after four playoff holes by a long drive contest. I don't want the NBA after two overtimes to turn to a three-point contest to decide a champ.
    I like extra-inning baseball when we see baseball that's familiar.
    We need to see baseball that's familiar in the first nine innings and stop worrying about what it looks like after the nine. Extra innings aren't the problem. It's the four hours it takes to play the first nine that should have our attention. If we fix the pace of play there -- get more action -- then we won't have to bother with changing extra innings because we'll want more of the kind of baseball we're seeing.
    It's all misdirection. How many games really get into extra innings, and yet there's so much discussion about the silly rules in extra innings. Let's talk about the first nine.
    A follow up on the BPIB batting approach convo (and thanks for talking about it more, it's so interesting!). It seemed like both of you agreed that any change should be aimed at rebalancing the incentives around batting approaches away from the 3 true outcomes approach, and that you also both agreed that one driver of that is how power is valued like saves are for closers. Are there changes that can be made to make a more diverse range of playing styles valuable, whether that be to the rules of baseball, or the economics? I'm specifically interested about whether there are any changes that could be made to the rules that would make baserunning more exciting and tilt that balance a little back toward the baserunner/stealer, and how that would play with your expanded strike zone idea. There would be more singles in your hypothetical future - if the odds of successfully stealing second were to also change, you could change more singles into "doubles" via the steal, which is also one of the most exciting plays in the game. I could imagine more players who are fast but have less power building productive careers that get paid well if the odds of that outcome were to improve. Are their dials that could be turned to improve those odds?
    Yes, we're seeing some of those. As mentioned in a previous question there are the changes to pickoff rules being experimented with in the minors. Already we've seen how those increase the use of steals, steal attempts, and steal success. And that last part is key. The rate of success must increase for the risk-management front offices to give the green light to more steals and start to prioritize speed as part of the acquisition portfolio. I think we're seeing other elements slowly slowly creep into the game. More and more teams are going run prevention when they cannot get run creation. So there is more athleticism, there is more of an interest in carrying and paying players whose elite tool might be their glove at an important position (say, Harrison Bader, for example) and trusting that a run he steals from an opponent has the same value as one he provides at the plate. And we'll see agents and arbitration start to get rewarded for that, and the economics will tilt to meet the style of the game that some teams have to play. I do think we're seeing that.
    You're exactly right -- a game with more balls in play will lead/should lead to more singles. That will increase batting averages, and also put runners on base for them to try more steals. And we'll start seeing singles become doubles that don't show up in the slugging percentage, but will start showing up in the salaries. 
    Hope this isn’t too silly of a question. Are there any rules or limits on who can be involved in a mound visit? I was wondering the other day whether Yadi, whether he’s not in the game or on the IL, could participate in a mound visit. I know you don’t want to show a lack of confidence in a young catcher or your pitching coach. Just curious.
    Has to be a coach, translator, or active player. I guess there is the rare exception when Jeter and Pettitte went out to get Rivera for the last time, but they were on the roster. Teams aren't going to send out a player on the IL for a mound visit because that player, especially these days, isn't always going to be around in uniform, and is also not considered but of the active roster.
    As far as pure population on the mound, the cap is the coaches and active players, plus trainer, and the translator. 
    It’s quicker to take 70 through Columbus and Indy than go through Chicago. But I presume you know that. Did you have a craving for a Polish sausage?
  • Thankfully, I took a plane. That was the quickest way home, and it's possible this year, unlike last year, where it was so unsure. But direct flights are rare it seems this year, and there was no way to get from Pittsburgh back here for the chat/assignments unless I slipped through Midway this morning.
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