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.

  • I bet the rat had pizza and they were arguing over who got the slice.
    Where does the Cards pitching staff rank in walks? And whatever happened to pitch to contact?
    The Cardinals' pitching staff currently ranks first in walks allowed, at 144. No other team in the majors, as of this morning, has walked as many batters as the Cardinals. That is helped of course by the 11 walk game vs. the Mets. They also rank when it comes to walks per nine innings. At 4.24 per nine innings pitched they rank fifth in the majors. Interestingly, they also rank third in the NL Central. So two division teams are even more charitable.
    Pitch contact is still the goal. See Wainwright, A., and Martinez, C.
    What do you see the attendance looking like as the restrictions are lifted? Do you think the Cardinals eventually come back to the 3 million plus model?
    They are banking on it. Not this year, though. They'll want to back at 3 million tickets sold as soon as possible, and it's going to take some ingenuity to get there. People may have found alternatives for their entertainment dollar, and so that means what else are the Cardinals going to offer at the ballpark to enliven that ballpark experience, and make it a destination again. Absence of the game made the heart grow fonder for some fans, and we see that when we're at the ballpark now -- lots of folks have hungered to be back at the ballpark. Still, baseball, and as a result the Cardinals, are at a fragile point if a pandemic year with now tickets sold is followed by a year of limited capacity and then a season of labor issues. That could set ticket sales and the Cardinals' hope of getting back to the 3 million they've clearly set their payroll around (see: Arenado, Nolan) back a few years to reclaim the lost sales and reignite the interest. We'll see.
    Which third basemen had the better throwing arm? Rolen or arenado? It always seemed like rolen was hitting pujols in the chest with 100 mph 4 seam fastball but my memory could be off.
    Interesting question. Rolen did not throw that hard, not 100 mph. He threw plenty hard, but not 100 mph. He threw true. Arenado throws hard -- and often true. That's the line I try to draw when talking about arm strength. Hard is something. We can all put the mph on the throws from the outfield and know that they throw hard. But is the throw true. Dylan Carlson doesn't have the best arm strength of the outfielders. He throws true. That's the distinction. Rolen threw true. Arenado is more hard and mostly, a lot true. He likes to do everything he can to get the throw over there ahead of the runner, and he told me this spring that having a glove like Goldschmidt on the other end might make him more eager to try some of the throws. Get it there fast, and let Goldschmidt make the scoop or play. One of the things that Rolen had to do was be true because of the buttonhook routes that Pujols would run to the base.
    Paul DeJong- is he as good as the FO and Shildt seem to think or is he only slightly above average?
  • Aren't those the same thing? The front office and Shildt see DeJong as an above average fielder and a power source at shortstop. Is there an alternative on the roster that they're not seeing? It seems like your question captures their view, too.
    Would an agent get paid anything additional by a player for helping to negotiate a major trade e.g. Nolan to STL? Or is navigating a complex transaction just one of the services that a player pays an agent for anyway?
    One of the services. Anything beyond that would be part of an contractual agreement between the player and the agent that is beyond the usual fee of services. It's possible something like that exists. Keep in mind some players leave agents, find news ones, for that service, to get where they want. Ozuna did some of that. He switched agents in part to try and remain a Cardinal, if you remember. That was on his mind. We've seen that with other players, too. So, the service rendered is part of staying employed.
    For the MLB umpiring crews, are they uniformly assigned so that a team wont have the same crew more often than another team? Or will the Cards have some crews far more often than others this season?
    They are not. The Cardinals recently had a crew for 11 consecutive games. That is unlikely to happen again, and that was just the process of the schedule - and the fact that the umpire assignments were made with limited travel, being on the team planes when possible, and done under the auspices of COVID-19 protocols set before we knew how widespread the vaccine would be or what state the virus' spread would be. That's why the Cardinals ended up with the same crew for 11 consecutive days. Even in normal years, there is not a balance of umpiring crews.
    Hey Derrick, Baseball Reference has that info on first-batters, in the "Pitching Splits" breakdowns. Reyes has walked 5 of the 16 "first batters" he's faced, Cabrera 4 of 16 (plus a HBP), and Hicks 4 of his 10. All have a low batting-average-against, though. Miller and Webb aren't walking the first guy, but the batting average is at or above .300, and Gallegos has been overall excellent against the first batter, as we'd probably guess.
    There you go. I knew someone would have it at their fingertips. I did not. Thanks for the research.
    Limited Carpenter recently and none since Friday, including Sunday which has been a popular spot to squeeze him in for a start. Is there a move in the offing?
    Huh? He's on the bench. They have an off day today. I don't see how you'd take two and two and add them up to nine, sorry. These are tea leaves that aren't worth reading.
  • Derrick: First time write in, long time reader. Somewhat off topic but still in a baseball vein. I recently read the Author Al Stump was not as truthful as seemed in his depiction of Cobb. Actually tried to sell fake memorabilia and fabricated the extent of his racism. Have noted any revisionism given the current social climate?
    I think we seeing questions being asked about a lot of legends, sort of taking the coin and scrubbing off the gilding to see what was beneath through modern eyes. It's tricky. Hard to hold a person to the modern standards without knowing their circumstance, but it does seem fair to revisit these stories so that we don't perpetuate falsehoods, legends, etc, when they're not as shiny as once thought. I'm not familiar with the full details of the story you're referencing here, but I do know that when it comes to talking about past players the conversations are different, have been for the past decade or so, because we often look at the context of the playing time -- well, it was before integration? OK, so really was it the best players he was constantly going up against. Well, Random Player Y was a jerk, a racist, a sexist, a brute -- so maybe let's take note of his performance, but while conveying that the numbers were great and the performance was great let's not confuse that for the player being great.
    OK_quick hit:
    % probability Carlos Martinez is moved at the break?
    % probability Matt Scherzer takes his rotation spot? (Note: Washington in last place)
    -- Low.
    -- Low. See above. They can share the same rotation. Isn't that the point?
    If they made a strikeout equal to 1.5 outs they would speed up the game and get more balls in play.
    It would indeed. It would also fundamentally change the record book in ways that I cannot comprehend in this moment.
    Where does an offensive upgrade at the deadline come, positionally, if things continue as they are for individual players? I know they are not going to go get a SS but that's where it would make the most sense today, right?
    What were you meaning by 'throws true'. Do you mean throws accurately?
  • Accuracy is part of it. So is throwing to the right base. Not all that tricky when it comes to third base on a groundball with no one out. But when it comes to the outfielder, as in the example, a true throw is to the right base, and accurate as well.
    If no other team offers him more regular playing time, do you think Pujols would choose retirement over returning to the Cardinals in a primarily pinch hitting role, if those were his only two options?
    I've yet to hear those are his options at all. We'll know more this week, and won't have to speak in hypotheticals.
    I am not suggesting this as a rule change, just a thought exercise.
    What if any ball over the wall in fair territory, weather in the air or on a bounce was ruled a ground rule double. Actually, home runs are fairly boring as baseball plays. A long fly ball, a trot around the bases then resume the game with the bases empty. Home runs are exciting for 10 seconds then nothing. Is a solo home run a more exciting play than a bases loaded walk? After the walk, the bases are still loaded.
    I may be wrong but it seems like without home runs batters would be less likely to "swing from their heels" and maybe more contact would be made. More hits, or at least more plays, fewer strikeouts. More action. If there wasn't the artificial value given to long flies, more plays might involve catching & throwing and running and sliding.
    I think Ty Cobb once led the league in homers and they were all inside the park. That seems exciting.
    If I were to right an ode to baseball and try to explain the reasons I adore the game and have for so long, I would begin here: It comes loaded with sustained tension. There are many reasons for this. It's one of the few sports where the defense initiates play. That right there gives the first stretch of tension -- the defense is about to decide the pitch that is coming, where fielders are standing, all before the offense gets a say. And then in that moment -- anything can happen. Think of the possible outcomes, so many of which are exciting:
    -- A hard groundball that becomes a dazzling play.
    -- A deep line drive to the gap that becomes a diving catch.
    -- A ball down the line that maybe possibly could be fair ... or foul.
    -- A hard shot into the corner for a triple.
    -- A double.
    -- A curveball for a strikeout.
    -- Or, a ball over the wall -- and fireworks.
    You want to see someone who is at their first baseball game go wide-eyed, watch them after they see their first home run and what happens and the commotion after that. I am not keen on removing that entirely from the game. I know you brought this up as a thought exercise, and it's cool, but David Freese' ground-rule double to put him on second in Game 6 of the World Series doesn't have the same majesty of David Freese's walk-off homer to see you tomorrow night.
    And it's all of those possibilities that make the game and that sustained tension so fascinating for me. We're just not seeing all of those possibilities with the same regularity because hitters have changed. Pitchers are overpowering. So the game has to shift a bit, and it's not by taking away more possible outcomes, it's by restoring some. When the defense has the ball, sets its fielders, and gets ready to throw the reason we watch is because there is a kaleidoscope of options and the change right there, right there as as the ball slips from the fingertips of the pitcher, that we see something we haven't before.
    You mentioned the Cardinals insuring contracts, and it reminded me of a question I had a few weeks ago. Since the Cardinals are paying most of his salary, do you know if they get any insurance relief from Fowler getting hurt?
    They would, yes. But it won't be much. Insurance on contracts works like insurance on anything. There is a deductible and it covers only a portion afterward. You're talking about a sliver of a single season.
    I have a hard time understanding the mental lapses that occur - getting hit with a batted fair ball while leading off third base (Williams) -- not tagging up from 3rd on any ball hit to the OF (ONeil). These are things every high school player knows. Is it completely not paying attention or does the 3B coach not remind them.
    I get where you're coming from, and I've given this a lot of thought. Here's where I come on it. High school players do know this, and I still see them mess up when they play a schedule of 15-20 games. Why? I don't know why. They've got a Biology Exam. They're taking the ACT the next day. The coach is in their ear. They're stressed. They're the winning run on third in an elimination game that moment gets the best of them because they've never ever never never never been in that moment before and they're thinking about everything else at that moment than the one thing they've been years learning to do.
    Now, Major League Baseball players have to do it 162+ games a year. 
    We're not being fair if we don't allow for the fact that Justin Williams got hit with a ball in fair territory while leading off of third base and may never have that happen again in the 10s of thousands of innings plays, in the hundreds of major-league games he gets. 
    I write thousands and thousands of words a day, and I've covered pro sports now for 23 seasons, maybe more, been at a newspaper and on deadline for more than half of my life, must more, honestly. And sometimes I still type NOW when I mean NOT because I'm thinking about something else on deadline and I know better, but it doesn't stop from making that mistake once every 40,000 words I type.
    Doing something every day, even your profession, is going to invite a hiccup every once in awhile. And in baseball the hiccup is remembered. Not the 9,965 times it didn't happen -- and that's the measure of instinct and knowledge of the game. It didn't happen in those times.
  • Have you heard anymore about the banned substance on the balls? Wasn't Wainright's name mentioned w it and if so shouldn't he have not been using it for the last few years?
    Wainwright was mentioned in a memo/letter was filed in a civil suit in Orange County that has been dismissed. He was mentioned with many other pitchers that also happened to be a who's who of the best pitchers over the past decade. Go figure. His name was not mentioned in regards to any recent use. And he was only mentioned as someone who reached out about the goop the Angels' clubbie made, and there's no indication he used it in a game, and there's no allegation of such, or any evidence of that either.
    There is a lot of talk about banned substances on baseball and both sides wrestling with what to do about it. Yes. This is an ongoing thing for the game. 
    Not a question just a comment on how good Waino has been over his last 4 starts. I was not a '21 believer based on last year's success in a limited workload. And maybe it tails off later in the year but he has been superb as of late.
    He has. I'd like to echo what Ben Frederickson wrote. At what point is he just a pitcher pitching well, and do we not have to add the qualifier that he's 39 years old. Isn't he just a pitcher pitching well for any age? It is OK for someone in their twenties to go out and throw a complete game. Baseball can allow it, you know. Teams don't have to protect the younguns.
    Was meaning to ask previously, but didn't get a chance soon after it happened, re: Cabrera control issues - couldn't Shildt have just gone out and told Genesis, "hey something hurts, right? You are hurt and we are taking you out." When it so obviously becomes a player safety issue I have a hard time thinking that the enforcement of that rule will cause issues?
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