Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 1:30 p.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 1:30 p.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 1:30 p.m. Monday

    In the last chat you mentioned that the one change that would make the most difference re more action in the game would be lowering the strike zone by the size of 1 baseball. I think you are on to something because getting low strikes back in the equation will result in more balls in play on the ground rather than pop ups & strike outs. But I do think the biggest impact on more action would be strike zone consistency. Now the zone varies from ump to ump and even, all too often, within a game from the same ump. At least with a tech called zone it should be same in a given park & relatively close park to park. To have what is arguably one of the most important factors in the way a game is played be subject to such inconsistency/randomness seems wrong. And eventually tech will call balls & strikes so the sooner the better.
    Eventually, sure. That's likely to happen. They are definitely invested in testing the tech to do so. Several leagues have used computer-called zones, and I know a few years ago MLB ran the numbers on whether the tech or the umps were more reliable and what point is the threshold for when tech is better.
    It's like the Turing Test -- but for baseball.
    And one argument is that the tech needs to be 100 percent, foolproof, because why else use it for an incremental improvement that doesn't negate the need to have an umpire there calling along, or calling with the support of the tech. The idea is to do what you suggest -- get it standardized, get it foolproof, then let it go. But the tech isn't there yet. It's closer. It's coming. 
  • I feel like that MLB baseball is going to need to do some things to get fans back after the pandemic. I don't think the equivalent of a McGwire/Sammy Sosa battle will do it. Derrick Goold bobble head giveaways won't do it. They are going to have to make the games more affordable, not less. Do you think they know that, or are they primed to raise ticket prices the minute the "all clear" is given?
    There are Derrick Goold bobbleheads? What is the world coming to? First there's a baseball card in Topps packs, and now bobbleheaders? I don't think there are. I don't think there should be. But if there are --- goodness, I hope they came out before I shaved my head. I'll never get that hair back ... 
    You are right. MLB needs to do more. Something. And ticket prices are only a part of it. They need to liven up the game. Some places need to liven up the game-going experience. That's for sure. I get the sense teams are aware of this. 
    Now that the cardinals are in rebuild mode, who is the favorite in the central next year?
    (Pssst. They aren't in rebuild mode. Trust me I've tried to ask if they were going to finally do that, to move in that direction, if not now, then when? And I get rebuffed. They don't like that question, at all.)
    Did you study abroad at Oxford? I thought I heard you did. Anyway, my wife studied there for a semester and said it was the greatest decision she ever made. I can see why because we visited Oxford last year and it was amazing. A couple of her stair mates flew over the pond to be in our wedding too. Anyway, was just wondering what you thought of your experience there.
    I did. Summer school. At Wadham College. Not sure how you found it. It's something I don't advertise all that much because I went for a summer, not for the honor that folks usually associate with Oxford. It was an amazing experience, one of the most incredible of my life, and something that really taught me a lot, and I continue to rely on the lessons learned there. I got to take my son there and show him around, too, and that was one of the most wonderful times I've spent with him, just talking about the experience, the opportunity I had, and the opportunities I hope he has. It was the most rigorous studying I've ever done, for sure. It was part of my political science interest, and I took a class on civil liberties there. Our papers had to be presented as speeches, almost like a debate, and classmates or the teacher could interrupt at any time and force you to defend an assertion, debate an assertion, offer attribution, or surrender that they were correct and what your grade -- poof. 
    I guess it helped prep me for these chats, eh?
    When do you expect the MLB to finalize the DH for 2021? It would turn up the hot stove to a room temp stove if teams knew what to plan for in 2020? Or is MLB withholding that decision to suppress the market? Only sort of serious on the last part
    Wouldn't surprise me if we get that clarity soon, one way or the other. MLB was telling teams in the NL not to expect the DH in 2021. That's what several teams said. And I know the Cardinals have sought finality on that answer in the past week or so.
    With a slow moving FA market do you expect teams to be more protective of players in the R5 draft with knowledge that passing through waivers in two months may be easier?
  • Interesting question. No -- but I do expect teams to be more protective of prospects, because the hunt will be on for loose talent that can be had for a minimum salary, and there will be teams looking to use the Rule 5 draft to fill out bullpens, for example, or benches, for example because that's a salary that is going to be the lowest, and away they go.
  • Happy Monday, DG. one item for you. We all heard or read that Mo took responsibly /blame for the trade of Randy A. But isn't Mike S as much to blame? He had the opportunity to play Randy, when NO ONE else was hitting in the OF, and didn't' do it. I do not recall Mike every hearing /reading a succinct answer as to why he didn't play him.
    I get where you're coming from, and sure the manager is absolutely part of this discussion, and should be. He had Arozarena on the bench, he had open playing time in the outfield, and he made a different choice. The reasons for that were explained at the time, as you might recall, because there were a lot of us asking about Arozarena -- Kevin Wheeler was president of the fan club on the radio show -- and he had to explain why others were getting playing time, especially after Thomas was injured.
    That said, this brings us back to something I mentioned when asked about the lawsuit coming out of Houston.
    Mozeliak was saying the buck stops with him.
    He hired the manager. He runs the roster. He is in charge of baseball operations and how baseball operates for the Cardinals. He was taking the blame. That doesn't mean others don't have to take the questions.
    How do you think LaRussa will do in Chicago?Will he have past players on his team,or coaches?
    Never underestimate Tony La Russa. That's my rule of thumb. He has been a big fan of Shelley Duncan and Andy Green, and I wonder if one or both finds a way to his staff. Green is in Chicago as the bench coach for the Cubs, so it would have to be a promotion of sorts, but title inflation creates that. Skip Schumaker was the assistant manager in San Diego, and that's now a title in play.
    On a different note, thanks for these chats and engaging with even the more combative commenters. What is the status of Mikolas and Hicks for next year? Do the Cards expect they will be 100% recovered from surgery by spring training?
    Hicks, yes. Mikolas is an unknown at this point. They are hopeful. But they should know more by the start of January.
    Mr. Goold: Fans should understand the Cardinals aren't adding payroll. They're cutting payroll. That's why they declined Kolten Wong's option. Besides, they needed the $11.5 mil for the abitration-eligible players.
    I can only say it so many times, right Bruce? I'm trying, pal.
    In declining Wong's option, the Cards must have done an analysis of his production, both offense and defense, against Edman. Is it safe to say that Edman would not match Wong's production but the Cards were willing to accept the difference in terms of reduced costs? Did they also analyze how another player they acquire (a bat) and use the money saved from Wong increases the value to the team over just keeping Wong? Or is it more simple?
    I wouldn't overthink this honestly. Yes, they did this analysis because that's their job, and they often do such things to apply a price tag for what the "value" they will get on the return. They are also constantly doing this. They are constantly looking at the value in the market, value on their team, and comparing the two for the purposes of getting better value and better production. It's one of the real issues with baseball, honestly, that teams are looking to get better value and sometimes not sticking with the better player.
    What do I mean by that? Well, teams are more likely to be thrilled with a 3.0 WAR player for the minimum than a 4.5 WAR player for $8 million because of the value play. Now, some of that is necessary to maximize a roster, but some of it is also limiting because a 3.0 WAR player is not the same talent as a 4.5 WAR. Does that make sense?
    With Wong, it is, as you suggest, more simple because the situation is. They needed to cut cost, and they could with his contract and with Edman on hand at his salary. There is another element to this that gets back to your analysis. They are also playing the market. They clearly think it's going to be depressed and that market factors are going to make it possible to sign a replacement, re-sign Wong, or spent less dollars elsewhere on a player that has a salary that is shaped by the current market. Again, value. But that's the strategy in play.
    Any rumblings if Simmons 23 will be retired. He is the oldest living Cardinals player in HOF now
    The team is discussing that, and then the season wasn't what they imagined. This is something I imagine we'll see in 2021.
    Would you trade Flattery for Arendo? I get the felling Jack sign elsewhere when he is a free agent?
    I would not. Even if Flaherty is going to go elsewhere as a free agent. That's still years from now.
    There is no bargaining agreement in place, right? Is there a significant chance that the 2021 season doesn't happen at all?
    The virus will determine 2021. The season in jeopardy due to the CBA is 2022.
    Derrick, am I crazy for thinking that the cardinals would be better off not resinging Yadi? It would be weird to see him in a different uniform (A reunion with TLR would be cool), but I think the cardinals need to see what they have in Knizner. I don’t think the production will be different from what you would get from a 38 year old Yadi and the savings could be used to address the offense.
  • This is a fair opinion. It's not one I can defend as well as the one that says they should re-sign him.
    Over the past week or so, several catchers have been mentioned on MLBHigh Heat TV. But not Yadi. Why .... age?
    No clue. I don't have any inside info on that show's production. Could be age. Could be fly-over country. Who knows.
    Your thoughts, please. Cards sign JT Realmuto who will stabilize catching for more years vs. signing Yadi. Realmuto has a gold glove, silver sluggers, a good bat + speed that won't clog the bases. He will come at a high price, but we are saving money and will get money to contribute next year.
    I do not see the Cardinals getting into the feverish bidding for the best all-around player available on the market, not with a team like the Mets lining up to make a big splash. That seems like Realmuto is going to hit the lottery, and it's not with the Cardinals, not with Knizner around and Herrera on the way.
    I agree, dude. Bogus Journey soundtrack deserves more love. Wild Stallyns forever!
    Who says we don't get along in the Cardinals chat? See?
    The thought of seeing a two time gold glover walk and play second for another team...doesn’t sit well with me, Mr. Goold. I get it’s a business but it just makes me sick to think of Wong, Waino, AND Yadi possibly gone.
    I think there are many who share your view, Mr. Creed.
    Forgive my lack of clarity on the contract question. Are contracts only based on 162 games or a pro-rated percentage?

    I get the answer on the signing bonus, but are those limited by MLB rules?
    All contracts are based on days of the season (not just games, but the length of the seaosn in days, around 180), same as service time. There is more elasticity to signing bonuses.
    Are we going to see surprise non-tenders (kinda like not picking up Wong's option?)
    Any on the north side of Chicago ? (Bryant? )
    Any comments...will the non-tenders generate any larger contracts than the mid-tier free agents?
    Absolutely. Yes. That's what teams are waiting for, and that's what agents are braced for, and that's where teams that are smart can find talent, for sure. I don't know about Bryant, but nothing would surprise me. The Cubs are in a precarious place, for sure.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Goold. I just wanted to thank you, Mr. Hummel, the two Bens, and Mr. Gordon for another year of outstanding baseball coverage --particularly in light of the many obstacles that were presented by the coronavirus pandemic. I grew up in St. Louis and our family subscribed to the Post-Dispatch for many years. Now that I'm retired and living out of state, I have a digital subscription to the paper primarily to get your coverage on the Cardinals. I've lived in a number of cities across the country over the years, and the Post-Dispatch has been by far the best in covering baseball. I hope your subscribers realize how fortunate they are to be able to read the Post-Dispatch. Personally, my favorite baseball writers are you and Mr. Hummel, Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci. I look forward to continuing to enjoy the top-flight coverage the paper provides. Thank you.
    Thank you so much for the kind words. I hope that my colleagues see this, and I know that it sets forth a challenge for all of us to maintain that quality you expect. That is definitely something I keep in mind. Today's compliments are tomorrow's expectations.
    Good afternoon Derrick,
    I am a Missourian who has been displaced in California way too long. I am a subscriber and rely on your great coverage for my Cardinal info. It seemed to me that the young Cardinal outfielders took a lot of called third strikes. I would have thought they would have been more aggressive as they tried to prove themselves. Do you think that is a result of teaching more patience at the plate by Albert and his staff?
    Interesting question. I'd have to check the numbers to know the difference between what we remember (anecdotal) and what we can count (statistical). I realize now that I've gone 30 minutes past end time of the chat, and didn't know. I just have been swimming in the great questions and forgot to check the clock!
    That said, the Cardinals spoke about how they did take too many hittable pitches. This was something that Shildt brought up toward the end of the season. He, too, was searching for reasons. He mentioned the exhaustion of the schedule, and said that we, the critics, shouldn't dismiss that, especially the performance the day after the doubleheaders. I did check those numbers. And he's right. The offensive sag was pronounced the next day, but they were still less than average at their best, and they aren't getting the power exchange for the strikeouts. Is that an approach thing? I don't get that sense. I do know that several of the outfielders have been working on their strike zone discipline, recognizing pitches, etc. And that was a big step for O'Neill in the past 12 months, and it was an area the team wanted to see improvement from Bader. To me, the called strikes probably more related to the fact that the Cardinals saw so few fastballs. As a team. That's an issue, and that is a response to approach, but not in the patient way you suggest, just in the damage they do against fastballs. Either way, I wish I had time to dig into the numbers more to see what the called strikes looked like and how they compare across the league, and I imagine armed with that info we would still come to the conclusion that the Cardinals did: More aggressive within the strike zone is the approach, and they need to execute that better.
    Not any votes on the poll this week. Interesting.
  • Thank you all for the time this week, and the really interesting questions. There are many more to get to, but the egg timer has gone off, and I need to move onto another assignment at the moment. This has been great. Really. A lot of thoughtful questions -- and the questions that get me thinking, too. Those are always the best. I'm going to go find out if someone is making unlicensed bobbleheads.
    The chat will be back here, at the same place, at about the same time, on the same day. I believe you'll have Hall of Famer Rick Hummel at the keyboard. And plenty of awards to discuss.
    I'm off to plot a special episode of the Best Podcast in Baseball. Cannot wait to share it with you if we're able to pull this off!
    Stay healthy. Stay informed. Stay tuned. 
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