The standings show they're an upper third team, with a better record than all but four teams in the National League. That's fifth out of 15, precisely at the bottom of the upper third. I do not consider the Cubs or Giants an elite team. That leaves only the Padres and Dodgers who might be better. That having been said, the Cardinals could use help in all areas--not a lot, but a little in each--unless Flaherty would be out a long time, which doesn't appear likely. .
Sample sizes on Thomas and Webb are sufficient. When you see Williams turn around Trevor Bauer at 115 mph last night, that's impressive power. There's some talent in Williams although no consistency yet. He also has the best throwing arm in the Cardinals' outfield, so he's a keeper, but probably not as a regular.
DeJong probably is a week or so away from starting a rehab option at Memphis. Bader perhaps a couple of days behind that. Both could be back in the lineup by mid-June and probably sooner in DeJong's case. I feel fairly certain that Hicks and Mikolas will try to pitch again this season but not until late July or early August.
I've thought a lot about Gant as a reliever but I've decided he's more valuable where he is. He is the Cardinals' third best starter and while he doesn't give you the six or seven innings, it is never fewer than five and usually with two earned runs or fewer. You never turn your back on an opportunity to pick up a starting pitcher although the Cardinals don't have a lot to give up right now.
The best way is for hitters to stop trying to hit home runs and pitchers to stop trying to strike everyone out. Easier said than done because that is where the money is. It may take a team winning a World Series where its hitters put the ball in play, run the bases with abandon and pitch to contact. Good luck finding that team but maybe it's out there.
The Cubs probably are playing better than nearly everyone thought, especially with all the injuries to their lineup. As long as prime free agents Bryant and Baez keep producing, the Cubs are obligated to go for it one more time with this group. Baez and Rizzo still seem to be the ones they would re-sign over Bryant, who may well want to leave anyway.
It is hard to imagine a team contending by issuing 15 bases-loaded walks but to be fair, the Cardinals have allowed only 14 bases-loaded hits, which isn't that bad. Some are three-batter-minimum situations but Shildt doesn't mind that most of his relievers face at least three hitters. Generally, you don't win games when you issue bases-loaded walks because those often come in the midst of an inning when there has been other scoring, too.
deGrom wasn't out that long with tightness in his left side so no reason to panic. Neither Liberatore nor Thomson is ready yet. Oviedo may not be ready yet either but he would be the one to fill in because he is on the 40-man roster and the others aren't. If Flaherty would be deemed to be out for weeks or months, then you look somewhere else.
When everyone is healthy, which almost never seems to happen, DeJong would hit seventh and Bader eighth most of the time, especially at the beginning, when they come back. Sosa has to be used, though, to keep him sharp but also as a No 7 or 8 hitter.
I don't see why not. That would give Molina 68 RBIs for the season, and he's surpassed that three times in his career. Plus, he's hitting fifth, which his higher than he usually has hit, and Arenado and Goldschmidt should be on base a lot.
I can see the Dodgers keeping Pujols the rest of the season. He is going to have be a "spot" player when Seager and Pollock come back but his leadership could be valuable. In all likelihood, there will be a DH in both leagues next year, which would give Pujols more of a chance to continue playing but he will have to be better than he's been to nab one of those jobs at age 42.
There is something to be said here. Williams has a lot of skills but no consistency. O'Neill was lost for a couple of years, too, but has found his way. Williams would be snapped up on a waiver claim if made available.
I do not think we're close to making Sosa a regular over DeJong. DeJong's average is low but his power is high. Sosa has shown little power so far but deserves to play a lot off the bench when DeJong returns--and not just at shortstop but at second base and even third base once in a while. DeJong still is the more polished fielder although Sosa has established himself as someone who could play a long time in the majors.
I would like someone to define "middle of the pack" for me. "Middle of the pack" teams aren't on pace to win 90 games. Yes, they will try to add a pitcher and a hitter later on but the Cardinals were in first place in the division for four weeks until Monday. "Middle of the pack" means .500 team. They are not that.
It's always risky to give pitchers long-term deals but the Mikolas contract, for a pitcher already over 30, gives one pause.