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

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

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

    I agree with what you said about the new ST rule where managers can cut the inning off whenever they want. Another reason that's a terrible, terrible rule is that what if the guy on deck is fighting for a roster spot? He'd miss a chance to do something with bases loaded and bolster his chances. What's the point of this unnecessary rule?
    The reason for the rule is the same reason as a lot of things in spring training: To protect pitchers. Agree with you on the robbed opportunity from a player who might be on the cusp of making the roster. My hope is that all teams aren't going to make choices like that based on one anecdotal at-bat. But I know better ...
    My seven year old wants an Adam Wainwright jersey so I have searched all over the internet trying to find a Youth Adam Wainwright jersey or even shirsey. How does the Cardinals online team shop only have limited supplies of Yadi and Goldscmidt and expect to grow the game? No Waino. No Arenado. Again, I'm looking for youth not adult sizes. Also, any idea where I can find one online? I'm 7+ hours from St. Louis.
    That's really a better question for the team. You're not the first person to write me about this -- so clearly they are missing a chance to sell some t-shirts. I did see a young person wearing an Arenado jersey yesterday at the ballpark. Didn't have a chance to ask his age or where he got it, mostly because we're keeping our distance at the ballpark, of course. I'm not well-versed in Cardinals' souvenirs. I do know that they had to order more letters for the main store at Busch Stadium because they needed them for the Arenado orders. Also, I am aware that shirts had been printed for 2021 with Arenado's name on it -- it's just that they were all Colorado Rockies shirts. So there was likely a rush order to get them ready for the Cardinals, but the deal only happened a month ago, and if rules regarding number changes are any indication this process takes longer to go through than a month to having shirseys on shelves. I did check with the Cardinals a few weeks ago, and they were backordered -- though I think that was on jerseys.
  • Hi Derrick! Hope your well. How is vibe of camp? What adjustments have you had to make as reporter?
    Tons of adjustments. Instead of talking to players in person and having casual conversations give rise to greater understanding of the game or possible stories to share with readers, there's none of that. There's no accidental amazing. So it's changed how we cover the team. It's less about access and interviews and more about observation and instinct, which can be a good thing. And you're going to see that in the coverage -- if you haven't already. For the early days of camp, we had access to the camp at one point in shifts. So Hummel and I had to split the shifts so that we could cover the entirety of availability, and that meant going there with a plan to gather information for each other, too, and the stories yet to come. I could go on and on and on. There's more time on the phone. There's less expansive answers. 
    It's remarkable the work that Colter Peterson has done here to bring the photos back that he is. He too is working the fence and the watchtower for photos, and he's able to come back with some of the best photos you'll see of camp despite not having the access of other photographers covering the camp.
    His creativity and work ethic to find an angle is a good reminder for the writers, too.
    That's a long way to go to say I don't have any first-hand knowledge of what the vibe of camp is like. This is something that you usually get from seeing the interaction of players, chatting with them in the clubhouse, exchanging one-liners with them at the batting cage. That all has been vaporized from this camp -- and not just with the media. There aren't the alumni around for players to riff with. Coaches keep their distance. And so on.
    A few players say the vibe is good, and that it's different, and that it's still there. The chatter in the tents has been lively for the players who gather out there. The clubhouse banter doesn't exist they say. The Cardinals do seem to be drawing from the energy of having Arenado around -- that is clear. And they think they're a good team. That does come through in their actions as well as their comments, and their body language on the field.
    Why so much fan hate directed at Matt Carpenter? Doesn’t he seem like a potential comeback player? He has always had a great eye.
    I don't have a good answer for you. It's a riddle. I brought this question up on the back fields to the knothole gang: Is Matt Carpenter is a Cardinals Hall of Famer? He already ranks ahead of some of the team Hall of Famers in many categories? But the the reaction to him at times on Twitter and in the chat seem to indicate the fan base doesn't see him that way, and they get the first vote.
    How do you see the Cardinals approach to Gorman and his future position? Make sure he can still handle 3B in the event Arenado (god forbid) opts out, but still get plenty of time at 2B and LF?
    If that's the case, I'm curious of the longterm planning: if both Nolan Gorman and Tommy Edman both progress into the players StL project them to be (seeing Edman as a really good glove at 2B with some pop at the plate, and Gorman with really big pop at the plate but just average/playable at 2B) which do you think they prioritize to keep on the dirt vs find another position or get creative with their thinking? Obviously to try and guess this in a vacuum is impossible, but thinking about how StL approaches what appear to be opposite types of players for that position is kind of fun.
    Gorman will go as high as his bat takes him, and they'll find him a position. There are many directions this could go in the coming years.
    If Arenado opts out, Gorman is at 3B.
    If Arenado stays, then Gorman could be 2B.
    If Edman is riveted there at 2B, Gorman could play LF.
    If there's a LF already who has owned the position, Gorman could be DH.
    Or, Gorman could be the DH some days and 3B on the days that Arenado is the DH and then 1B on the days that Goldschmidt is the DH, and so on.
    He is not lacking options, because he does not lack upside.
    hi Derrick,
    short term for baseball as a whole looks to be filled with labor issues and financial questions. Long term I worry about this game I grew up loving. Do you think the game as we know it is sustainable next 10 to 20 years ? im 55 yrs old, I wonder if the younger generation will have their heart and soul in it. I don't follow like I used to for many reasons. some financial, some just being fed up with sports teams and players being to self important. is it just me or do you think MLB has seen its peak ?
    thanks
    Baseball is at a reckoning. It has never been a better time to be a baseball player. The guaranteed money available to players -- from Tatis to of the world to the younger middle-class players -- is arguably better than any other sport. The largest contracts in pro sports in our country are time and time again baseball players. Trevor Bauer is making $40 million this year. Trevor Bauer. In what other sport is the equivalent of Trevor Bauer making $40 million in a single season? And yet there he is in baseball. Guaranteed cash.
    Baseball has never been this athletic with pitchers throwing this hard and the game this well managed and the game being this hard to hit in. Period.
    And yet the reckoning comes from a game choked by its own metrics, where analytics have gone from evaluating and measuring the game to dictating it, and actually limiting some of the amazing athletes who play this game. Add in the fact that young players are having their salaries suppressed and future earnings evaporate by the system squeezed by risk-management front offices, and you have a labor concern to add to a pace of play/style of play concern. 
    That's where the game is. A point of inflection.
    And it's been here before and the game has survived and thrived.
    But it has to change to do so.
    I think Yadi should bat 8th in the line up. He appears to have the best bat control and could move runners along and help to protect some one, Bader, in the 7th spot. He might not be a bad number 2 hitter either. What are your thoughts?
  • Harrison Bader makes a lot of sense at No. 8 because he has the speed for the pitcher to bunt him over, and he'll be better at taking walks there if the pitcher lets him or tries to pitch around him. Batting eighth was a big part of Kolten Wong's development as an OBP hitter, and that same benefit could be found there for Bader.
  • How much, if any, will Mather's comments hurt MLB in the upcoming CBA negotiations? Not very good optics for the league when a FO exec finally says that out loud, giving more ammo to the Union and uniting the players even more.
    Plenty. He's given the union the evidence for what everyone knew, and he did so in a jarring, off-putting, and insulting way to several players. It wasn't just that he revealed what we all knew and have all written about when it comes massaging service time. Mather said the silent parts out loud, and the union only needs to put them on the table and smile.
    Could you explain the catching situation for me? They added Sanchez and Heineman, both of whom could fill in for Yadi, if needed. Herrera is a year or so away. What is the point of keeping Knizner? Why do they torture the poor guy? Just trade him for another prospect or as part of a package and let him pursue a career already.
    First and foremost, teams rarely give away talent just to give away talent. They like to keep depth. They're in a competitive business. Not a charity. I know there are a few other examples, but the Cardinals didn't move Carson Kelly to get him playing time -- they moved him to get Goldschmidt. So, the purpose of keeping Andrew Knizner is the same as it is for keeping Johan Oviedo or Daniel Ponce de Leon. Teams keep talent.
    Also, Knizner is the best hitter currently of that group. He's MLB ready as a hitter, and really MLB ready as a catcher too.
    Has someone said he won't be the backup in the majors to Molina?
    The Cardinals are certainly moving in that direction with their comments and their actions. They've talked about him being Molina's backup in 2021, and even have gone so far to say that they need to have a "succession plan" in place to get Knizner guaranteed playing time in the majors this season.
    The addition of Sanchez and Heineman is twofold. They have experience in the majors and they can compete with Knizner for the job. Sanchez is a strong defensive catcher who has options and is on the 40-man roster and can shuttle between Memphis and the Cardinals when the Cardinals want Knizner to get a stretch of guaranteed playing time at Class AAA, if they choose to go that route. Also, the Cardinals do need two catchers at Class AAA. They started the offseason with no one there, and now have two in that role -- both of whom have caught at high levels and can help pitchers.
    Ivan Herrera is set to head to Class AA, at the moment, and maybe finish the year in Class AAA. If Molina retires at the end of the season, here comes the Herrera/Knizner combo -- which is why you keep Knizner, too. And if Molina re-signs after a strong season, then look for the Herrera/Knizner combo in 2022 before Knizner gets a chance to move on to another team of his choice at some point. McCann made quite a lot of money coming out of a backup position ... 
    Why did Dennis Ortega not get an invite to Spring Training? He had over a 1.000 OPS in the Venezuelan Winter league. The Commish likes him too....
    He's here. Saw him line a foul ball down the third-base line today. I think it went foul.
    Let’s say Dean (or Williams or Nogowski) goes 15 for 30 with a .600 OBP and five home runs. Does the team say “Well, you can’t trust ST stats” and send him down, or does he make the team but only get three AB in the first ten games? Either way, guys on the bubble really have little chance to excel.
    All depends on what other people. They are not in control of their own destiny. There success must be accompanied by another player's struggles.
  • Hey Derrick, thanks as always for the chats! What do you think is the realistic timeline is for Gorman to be on the major league roster? If I recall correctly, scouts previously said he likely makes a September appearance this year, with chance to make 2022 opening day roster. Does that still seem to be the case, or is his commitment to trying 2nd base and the outfield change when we might see him on the main roster?
    He could contribute this year. No reason to think he couldn't be in consideration for a September callup, unless needed earlier because of injury or lack of performance elsewhere on the roster. That's reasonable. A year from now, we're writing about him and his spring like we were talking and discussing Dylan Carlson's spring -- with one significant exception. It's possible the Cardinals don't have that wide open spot for Gorman like they did Carlson. We'll see what position he pops up at by the end of this season, and we'll know more. Sure seems like a debut in 2021 is perfectly feasible, but vying for a spot in the 2022 team as a contributor is a solid bet.
    Speaking of both of them, I do find it interesting that their having the left fielder, Dean, get some experience at 1B, and the 1B, Nogowski, experience in LF. When it comes to bench bats, versatility is the name of the game! Actually hitting being the biggest, but versatility seems to be the next big question?
    How is the spring training clubhouse different in terms of player interaction between themselves due to COVID?
    The clubhouse is only used for dressing and showering, so for young catchers or some of the other Latin players there's no hanging around Molina's corner telling stories, getting advice, hearing Jose Oquendo give advice, talk baseball. There's no conversation like last year where Zack Thompson pulled up a seat and got into a talk with Jack Flaherty and Matthew Liberatore for two hours long after their lunch was finished. That all has to happen outside. Dressing and showering, the Cardinals say. No food permitted in the building. No long conversations ... Take it outside.
    Any chance we see any of the draft picks from last year make short appearances at the big league spring training? Also, who is has your attention for prospects AFTER the ones in the spotlight now like Gorman, Herrera, Libertore, Thompson etc.?
    That is not in the plan due to limited space and the late start of their minor-league season. Those minor leaguers from the recent draft will be arriving for their camp after the big-leaguers have gone to start their season.
    Jhon Torres is a prospect to watch this season, for sure.
    Luken Baker could do damage in the Texas League alongside Gorman, if that's where Nolan Gorman does start the year. 
    I had a question about the reduction in minor league teams. Will this lead to a reduction in the number of players in the development cycle? If so, has anyone talked about how that will effect late bloomers?
  • It will. And that has been my point all along -- we might see the end of the late bloomers. Had a long discussion about that on an episode of Best Podcast in Baseball this past year: Best Podcast in Baseball 8.16: Releasing the Johnny Appleseeds of Baseball

    Best Podcast in Baseball 8.16: Releasing the Johnny Appleseeds of Baseball - Best Podcast in Baseball - Omny.fm

    This past week, Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore explained his organization's plans to continue paying minor-league players a full stipend and not release any players, and he did so with an eloquent description of how the minor-leaguers of today are the coaches, scouts, and umpires of the future that help nurture and grow the fans and players of generations yet to come. Call them the Johnny Appleseeds of baseball. And there will be fewer in 2021 -- and possibly beyond. To better understand Moore's comments, Kansas City Star sports columnist Vahe Gregorian joins St. Louis Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold to discuss the Royals' approach, the Royals' place in their community, and, of course, the Royals' new manager, Mike Matheny, and what plans the team had for 2020. The conversation keeps revisiting the idea of baseball's place in a community as a way to connect people -- across states, across countries, and across divides. But that takes the game being a part of the community, not abandoning it. The Best Podcast in Baseball, brought to you by Closets by Design, is a production of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, StlToday.com, and Derrick Goold.
  • So I take it from your previous answer that there is zero talk among Cardinal coaches to have Jordan Hicks just dial it back from 100-102 all the way down to 96-98 MPH to (1)gain more control, (2)add a bit of movement, and (3)maybe just maybe preserve his already-surgically-compromised arm?
    1) That doesn't make sense. He hasn't lacked control at 102 mph.
    2) His pitch already has movement on it. It's a sinker. It's got crazy movement.
    3) Is there evidence of this? Or might he hurt himself by putting the brakes on and not letting his natural athleticism unleash the ball at the velocity it can.
    A pitcher who throws with velocity is not automatically a danger to his health. I'm not sure where this notion comes from. But we're seeing an increase in velocity throughout the game -- and have for years -- and while part of that is the openness to the elevated four-seam fastball, a big big big big part of why we're seeing more velocity and bigger arms in the game is because of the athletes making the pitches.
    Hello Derrick,
    I enjoy and appreciate your patience and thoughtful replies every week in the chat. I am in Florida this week and have tickets Thursday night vs the Astros. Do you know who will be throwing for StL and whether the game is set for 9 innings or something less? Thanks.
    Great question. We do not yet know. They have been going day-to-day with this stuff. The Cardinals' preference has been to play nine innings, and that decision is made in a conversation between the managers. Cardinals execs have said they hope to let fans know days before coming to the ballpark, but that has not been the trend just yet. Adam Wainwright is set to start Tuesday, and that puts Carlos Martinez in line to start Wednesday or Thursday, one of those two games.
    Derrick, are there any good GM type books you'd recommend? Along the lines of Moneyball and Smart Baseball (which I've read).
    The Big Chair, by Ned Colletti.
    Any chance of a position player being brought in from the outside to compete for a roster spot?
    Always a chance. Just slim at the moment.
  • After he retires, do you see Yadi coming to ST to do some instructing?
    He has purchased a professional basketball team and the building for his school in Puerto Rico. He has shown interest in being a part of Team Puerto Rico for international tournaments, and has even already managed a youth team in an international tournament. Sure seems like he's lining up options to be involved in Puerto Rico sports and baseball upon his retirement. We'll see what invitation the Cardinals make.
    Which ex-cardinal that usually shows up to help out at ST will be missed the most this spring?
    Every single one of them. They all help tie the current group to the expectations of the past, and they do so with stories only they can tell, experience they saw through their own eyes, and things that they pass on that allow for a player who never met Darry Kile to know about Darryl Kile, a catcher who wasn't born the last time Dave Ricketts ran a catching drill to know what the drill was, who started it, and why it's important. That's missing in some way. And it's all of them that brings some element of that -- from Jim Edmonds to Ryan Franklin, Lou Brock to Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith to Chris Carpenter.
    Willie McGee is the tether here to the past, and outfielders will benefit. Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are the torchbearers for that expectation and those stories, and they cannot hold court in the clubhouse.
    There will be something missing -- but it's not gone. Just on pause for the moment.
    Alright, I've run over time I realize and there are stories to get ready for tomorrow's paper. The Cardinals play the Marlins -- the visitor at Roger Dean Stadium -- on Tuesday. Adam Wainwright is set to pitch. He'll be followed into the game by
    Daniel Ponce de Leon
    Jake Woodford
    Tyler Webb
    Matthew Liberatore
    A swarm of pitchers threw in the sim game Monday. Miles Mikolas did not. Kwang Hyun Kim's throwing program is at least a few days behind the others. So that's worth watching in the coming day. Rick Hummel will have coverage of Jordan Hicks' outing against hitters for the first time, and I'll have a story that ties to the interview that made me delayed for the start of this chat.
    Ben Frederickson is set to join us in Jupiter on Thursday to really augment the coverage.
    The chat will be back next Monday. There will be two chats that week from Jupiter with Ben at the keyboard for his. And plenty of other coverage coming your way.
    Stay tuned. Stay informed. Stay healthy.
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