Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday

  • Has a "pitchers and catchers report" date been set yet?
    Yes. Covered here: 

    Could spring training be delayed? Cardinals prep for on-time start, announce ticket sales for Grapefruit games

    STLtoday.comArizona leaders have asked MLB to postpone Cactus League play. Cardinals have worked with St. Louis officials on a plan allowing a limited number of fans at the home opener,
    Will Cardinals -- or other teams, for that matter -- operate on a 6 man rotation this year? Given the short season in 2020, I doubt many arms will be ready for a full 30-35 starts this year. I suspect MLB as a whole will have more injuries this year to pitchers than we've seen before. Depth is going to be necessary and tested.
    That kind of setup is being discussed by the Cardinals. They have also expressed the possibility of going with a piggyback approach to cover middle innings. They'd have the five starters and then a mix of long relievers to fill in the middle. Innings are definitely a concern for all teams as they come out of the shortened season and wonder how much of an increase is too much.
    Good points.

    I was questioning why is it soo hard for MLB and the players association to share a lucrative pie?

    It seems they have more work stoppages than the NFL or the NBA.

    I’m sorry for the previous ambiguity
    It's all good. Thanks for clarifying. Owners rule in the NFL, so they get quite a good deal there. They don't even have guaranteed contracts in that league.
    The NBA and the NHL have salary caps, and those caps are set in part by the negotiated split of that pie. A key part of that is the league and the union determining what counts as revenue. How to define revenue. You have to define the pie before you can cut it. MLB and the players' union have had a hard time defining the pie long before they choose how to cut it up. And we could dive into the rabbit hole on what -- it has to do with how they define revenue, local revenue, national revenue, and even revenue like owners get from some of the tech and cable advancements from, say MLBAM, etc. MLB Network is another example.
    That's part of what makes it so hard. If they cannot agree on that definition how are they going to move forward, and what trust is there. There's also frustration on the union's side for that unintended consequences of the recent CBA which saw free agent freeze long before a pandemic came into play, especially for the middle-class and aging players. Teams got younger. Teams got cheaper. Teams moved on from players as they aged into bigger salaries, flipping the model on its head.
    I hope this helps explore some of the fault lines that make MLB different than the other sports, and even then, let's look at the last time the pro sports had work stoppages, working backward from here:
    2012 -- NHL, lockout
    2011-12 -- NBA, lockout
    2011 -- NFL, lockout
    2004-05 -- NHL, lost season, lockout
    1998-99 -- NBA, lockout
    1995 -- NBA, lockout
    1994-95 -- NHL, lockout
    1994-95 -- MLB, strike.
    MLB has gone longer without a work stoppage than any of the other four major pro sport in North America.
    If a universal DH is announced, could you see a Braun, Moreland or Encarnacion signing? Carpenter is fine as a super utility guy but I wouldn’t want him as the every day DH
    The Cardinals like the idea of him at DH at the current moment.
    How many innings will I pitch this season?
    You told Benjamin Hochman that you could go for 200. Guess somewhere between 160-180 would be really helpful for the Cardinals in 2021.
    Will the Cards be wearing their light blue Saturday uniforms this season?
    On the road, that's the plan. Those are the official road Saturday jerseys.
    Trades, Salary Dumps, and Luxury Tax considerations between the Cardinals and Dodgers are NOT without historical precedent. Seems to be a good time to look/shop for Flaherty compliment post-Wainwright. Once upon a time we offered a guy named Price significant money. But a few years and an injury has passed. If you had the reasonable opportunity at a May, Urias, Gonsolin, .....Who would you target ?
    I just don't see the purpose of such a trade unless you're getting a position player back. Cardinals have done fine developing pitchers. The Dodgers have a handful of position players who could bring impact. How you trade one of the best young pitchers and not get a bat back is beyond me, and I don't see the rush to trade Flaherty anyway. Cardinals should get an exceptional year out of him, if possible, and see where things stand.
    It seemed as though KK was done last year after 5 innings and close to 100 pitches in a game, which he would get to quickly because he would get fouled off a lot. He does not seem to have that put away pitch. In other words, I think he fits in a relief role. Am I missing something?
    Maybe not. I saw a pitcher with a funky deliver, a few different looks to his slider, and one of the better breaking balls from the left side on the team. He works quick, sets a good pace, and invites contact. That mix means an efficient pitcher who can get deep into games when there isn't a scrambled schedule, a pandemic, and that initial move to have him throw fewer innings and then suddenly stretch out again. Seems like he should get a chance to start and see what he does with it. Lots to like about the movement on his fastball, the groundballs he can get, his athleticism, his pace on the mound, and that first look at him for teams is uncomfortable.
    Derrick, I appreciate your decision to remove war analogies. I'm a veteran, Vietnam '69-'71. Our local sports writer used war words that struck me wrong. I emailed him my thoughts. He wrote an apology in his next column. You don't have to select this but I want to say thank you.
  • Thank you, Jeff. I know not everyone agrees with the idea, but I'm happy to have the conversation, and I appreciate the detail you gave here.
    Hey, Derrick.
    In your last chat you stated that Hank Aaron was perhaps the greatest hitter in MLB history. While Hammerin' Hank was great, and surely in the top 6 or 8, I don't think he can be placed at the Ruth/Williams level. The Babe changed the sport because of his dominance, and Ted Williams -- if we replace his 5 missing seasons with his typical production at the time -- would've smacked nearly 700 homers and plated roughly 200 more career runs than the all-time RBI record that Aaron accrued. As for total bases, Hank would have remained first but Teddy ballgame would have easily passed Musial for 2nd place.

    Best position player all time is Josh Gibson. We know from their respective available Negro League batting numbers how much better of a hitter than bat-first Hall Of Famers Monte Irvin & Larry Doby & Buck Leonard he was. Josh Gibson played a solid catcher while hitting like Hank Greenberg, Dick Allen, Johnny Mize, or Frank Thomas. Best OVERALL ballplayer, easily Babe Ruth. Because during the 4 years he was a full time pitcher (age 20-23) he threw over 1,000 innings and had the 3rd-best ERA in baseball, trailing only Walter Johnson and Pete Alexander. (All they did was combine for nearly 800 career wins.) And then just for fun there was the Babe's World Series shutout streak, which lasted until Whitey Ford came along.

    You're an excellent scribe, Derrick, but take it from a guy who chronicled sports history for a living. I know whereof I speak. Thanks for letting me ramble on.
    I appreciate your argument. The sheer quantity of total bases that Hank Aaron put up makes it hard to ignore him. I get that Babe Ruth changed the game. Aware of all that, and he definitely has the pitching edge against Aaron.
    You can't go wrong with any of the choices, honestly. 
    I brought up Aaron because I think he's underrated as a hitter. Yes. Underrated. Again, look at his total bases and look at No. 2 on the list -- and see how many seasons (plural!) of production he is ahead of other elite, Hall of Fame hitters.
    As far as history goes, I have a hard time replacing years that didn't exist. I appreciate the argument -- but years that happened matter, and so do years that didn't happen. Ted Williams lost some prime years for sure because he was fighting for the country. I have a hard time guessing what he would have done in those years. I'm going to tread lightly here because losing years to service and years to injury are different things, but they share the same base discussion: Replacing lost years with theoretical production. We cannot guess what Bo Jackson would have done if he had stayed healthy -- Hall of Famer in two sports?! We don't know. Those years didn't happen. 
    What's the situation with the Cards minor league teams? Which did we lose? How many do we still have and where?
    Here is the current setup:
    Memphis -- AAA
    Springfield -- AA
    Peoria -- High A
    Palm Beach -- Low A
    GCL -- Rookie Ball
    DSL -- two teams in the Dominican.
    Cardinals lost Johnson City and State College.
    Peoria and Palm Beach swapped levels.
    The Cardinals saw such little change in their affiliates because they own Springfield and Palm Beach, have an ownership stake in Memphis, and have a long standing relationship and geography on their side with Peoria. They have also invested in the infrastructure at their affiliates to give the facility upgrades that MLB sought for teams.
    I get the feeling that Jack Flaherty will not sign a contract prior to free agency and the Cardinals will have to trade him or pay him significant money. Do you agree?
    I don't know. A lot can change. I seem to recall this same hand wringing about Michael Wacha at one point -- were they playing with his service time, were they angering him by going to arbitration, on and on and on -- and then time played out and things changed, and he became a free agent and there wasn't much angst at all.
    Do you Cards going after a starter like Tajuan Walker or Jake Addorizzi?
    They have had talks with the agent for at least one starter, Odorizzi, and have explored that market.
  • Minor league pay. I have several thoughts on the inequity of pay for minor leaguers and especially for those on a shuttle from AAA to majors. Have you put together a structure (or general principle) in your mind on an equitable pay system for minor leagues. Thanks
    I have not, no. I'd like to see the players who are shuttled between the two levels on a yo-yo rewarded with service time or a major-league salary -- and now they get neither. That was especially apparently this past season as a player like Daniel Ponce de Leon could be the taxi squad and not getting MLB service time while he would on the days he pitched. So because of the doubleheaders he could be the extra player on the roster, get the one day of service time, and then go back to the taxi squad. He could make three starts, spend all 15 days with the big-league team, and score only three days of service time. That's just ludicrous.
    If the DH is a no-go this year, what are the chances of Kinzer getting some at bats by playing left field?
    Minimal. The Cardinals hope they have better options there.
    If Hicks is healthy, who is the closer and who are the set up men this year?
    Hicks could be the closer eventually. They have a host of setup men available -- from Gallegos to Helsley, Cabrera to Miller, and then there's Alex Reyes, who could be a starter, who could be the closer, who could be the setup man. That's before they figure out how to utilize Oviedo and Fernandez too.
    Oh, and Whitley. He'll be the firemarn.
    Then there's Gant. He's been setup before ... 
    Do you expect we'll see an increased number of pitcher injuries this year given the oddity that was 2020?
    Entirely possible. Baseball, as a whole, is braced for this possibility, and teams have been making decisions all winter and going back to last fall to avoid them.
    If Colorado didn’t make Arenado available, what was the cardinals plan to improve? Were they interested in any other particular players beyond due diligence?
  • They sure seem to be pot-committed to Arenado. The fallback ... seems ... to be ... goodness. A lottery ticket move of some sort.
    With the acquisition of Arenado, my current concern lies with the pitching staff. I know we have a lot of depth, but do we have enough quality behind Jack and Adam? seems like it could be dicey if Mikolas struggles.
    Depth is a great solution to have.
    With Miles Mikolas coming off of TJ, what can we expect his workload to look like?
    Miles Mikolas didn't have Tommy John surgery. He had his forearm repaired.
    Not questioning your intent. Take it at face value you mean well re: words & phrasing you use or choose not to.

    I do question effect.

    Yes, words have meaning but usage alone doesn’t dictate meaning. Authors or speakers do using context or analogy to convey a thought or action.

    IMO, you way over read into words and in doing so let words and how others choose to use them control, if not prevent, you from using them for a greater good.

    Usage alone doesn’t equal meaning. Moreover, usage isn’t stationary; words and their meanings change over time.

    Best to actively control and contribute to those meanings than simply to cede them to those who otherwise actively try and use them in harmful or hurtful ways.

    To be sure, whether you do or don’t is your choice and I truly respect that.

    But, language is ever-evolving. Best to be part of its evolution, not extinction.

    To do otherwise only results in keeping certain words and phrases weaponized and that, it seems to me, is a self-defeating proposition.

    BTW, ‘push back’ originates from an Old French word ‘poulser’ and from the Latin word ‘pulsate,’ both military in usage, meaning to forcefully push a person back physically.
    It's almost as if you're making my point for me. I appreciate that you respect my choice and the thought I've given it -- and I agree language evolves, language changes. My son uses a lot of shorthand for words, and while that makes my skin crawl, I recognize that's just advancing the language. The word "sus" is a great example. It's been shortened to mean so many things -- suspect, suspicious. His shortcut with words has broadened its usage. Incredible! So, while I may not choose to use that word, I respect the legs a new generation has given a word.
    There are many words like that come from newspapering and war. I'll use words like phalanx and fleet and armada and the like. Push back is actually descriptive of what you're doing, after all, so that's the word. 
    I'm all for using the word that is right.
    You've spent a lot of time here point out how words do matter, and my only counter to what you've had to say is that it's OK if some words vanish. I don't think we should strip the meaning from some words -- barbed, hateful words -- just by using them until they evolve. Just as we shouldn't dilute words like "hero" by using them to describe feats that aren't "heroic." They're just timely. Or dramatic.
    If we call everyone a legend, then no one is.
    What happens if we get to the middle of the season and the rely on the improvement of the young outfield is failing dramatically? Does the FO look to make a move at the deadline or do they let the things run its course through the year as they have stated publicly?
    That's one thing the Cardinals have outlined, yes. The improve as they go model. Earlier in the chat, someone asked what the backup plan was if they didn't get Arenado. This would have been a better answer -- the evolve as they go. It was something Mozeliak outlined at one point during the winter, detailing how they would know more about their budget as they went, would know more about the ticket sales as they went, and would know more about the place in the standings as they went. A few teams have also adopted this approach. You're seeing it with the Cubs who have gone out and made moves as they get more clarity on what the coming year's revenue could be like. 
    For the Cardinals, it would mean making a move in the middle of the season that they haven't in recent years, that they've actively talked themselves out of making as recently as 2019. But performance would make it harder and harder to ignore the need.
  • I know there is enough contract stuff going on with Flaherty right now that is admittedly over my head. But have we ever engaged in extension talks with him? It’s a good thing I am not in charge of the money, I’d give him anything he wants.
    They did finally have some talks about a multi-year deal. That was something that lingered past the deadline to swap salaries. It did not gather momentum, as you can tell. But it something that the Cardinals are willing to discuss still at some point.
    When a reporter tweets about a breaking trade or signing, they refer to "sources", who exactly are these "sources"? People that work for the team?
    They are from people who wish to remain unidentified, often because they are not empowered by the team or player to speak publicly on the matter. They are not always people who work for a team. Sometimes they are people who don't work for a team or an agent or the player at all.
    The term "source" is used differently by different reporters. Each media outlet has a policy on unnamed sourcing. That is true of the Post-Dispatch and that is true of the New York Times, KC Star, and local TV stations, and all of it. And not all outlets have the same standard when it comes to sourcing. Some outlets can go with one source. Some can go only when there are two sources. Some can only use unnamed sourcing when the source is in direct possession of the knowledge.
    I'm glad you asked, because it's important that people know that the use of source varies from outlet to outlet and what one outlet can put on Twitter or in print is different than another because of those standards of sourcing.
    I don’t feel there’s enough attention on Alex Reyes this off-season. I’d be shocked if he’s not a starter this year. And I think the decision is going to be a hard one when he and Flaherty become free agents as to whom the Cards pay. Thoughts?
    There is a group within the Cardinals' decision makers that agree with you.
    What is the current level of interest from the front office for pursuing a starting pitcher? Is it a "testing the waters" of the market while assuming the role will be filled by Elledge, Oviedo, Gant, Helsely, etc.?
    It's looking for the right fit at the right price. I believe the word they use around the Cardinals office is being "opportunistic." If they can score a Lohse-like move that gets a Lohse-like addition to their rotation, they'd like to do that.
    Are you at all surprised the Cubs haven't traded more players away? They could get a decent return for Contreras and Hendricks.
    It's only February. Give it time.
    Now seems like a good time to point out some Mozeliak/Jocketty numbers. (Both HOF-worthy GM's in my opinion, just to get that out of the way.)

    During Walt's tenure the Card ranked 4th in MLB in wins, behind just the Yanks, Braves, and Carmines. During Mo's reign they've ranked 3rd in victories, trailing just the Yanks & Dodgers as you probably guessed. So anyway, to put you on the spot, would you call both GM's top 3-5 in the sport for their careers versus their peers? Or more like top 8-10, given the Birds have had above-average resources? Thanks for your time, DG.
    Whoa. The chat took a turn. The Arenado Trade really has changed things around here -- Mozeliak ... as Hall of Famer? The Cardinals have two pennants and one World Series championship under his tenure. How does that compare against the other GMs/POBOs that get the HOF rep -- well, Dombrowski has done it with multiple teams and so has Epstein. That seems to be part of the resume that gets attention as an executive. Did you do it at multiples places -- regardless of how you left them when you did leave them. This is a topic that came up recently: Would Mozeliak have to go somewhere else to burnish his resume, or would another title do it in St. Louis? Would it take two? Would he need to go back to Colorado -- he calls St. Louis home, now, keep that in mind -- and lead the Rockies out of the rubble, through the thin air, and to the heights of a title? Would that do it?
    I don't have a good answer.
    It's just amazing how the conversation changes in a few weeks.
    What awaits us in two weeks -- when there's actually baseball on the field, movement in Jupiter, Fla., and games on the horizon.
    Talk to you next week -- the first week scheduled of spring training.
    Same chat time. Different chat place.
    Stay tuned. Stay informed. Stay healthy.
    Baseball, ahoy!
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement