I can't think this team is as bad as it has looked through its first 12 games. I don't think Dexter Fowler forgot how to hit, for example. But there are some serious warning signs, like Adam Wainwright's struggles. He's supposed to be the No. 2, and he can't get to the sixth inning. At least he hasn't yet. One of the problems is, if the streak does come, how deep of a hole will they have to climb out of?
You're right about the buck stopping at Matheny. This team is tense. It looks like it's playing to not screw up. He needs to press the right buttons to bring a sense of calm. It hasn't happened yet. He has plugged different guys in looking for a spark, and no one has caught on. I don't blame him for trying. The only move that, in my opinion, is really indefensible if it continues would be cutting into Grichuk's playing time for Adams to spend more time in left. Adams hasn't shown that his bat deserves that. Grichuk showed last season an extended run can produce results.
Beats me. I blame Hochman.
Mo's tune on Wong changed during spring training. This offseason he said defense was the priority and that he wanted Wong to get more consistent time at second. Late in spring training, he said Wong's offense needs to add enough to justify his spot.
He's actually a decent first baseman, defensively. His bat is intriguing, but certainly not reliable. He's a pretty good pinch-hitter, too. What he is not: a left fielder
If the mix and match in search of something, anything, continues, it's hard to imagine anyone with offensive upside being locked in Memphis.
I don't think it's hot. Mozeliak has been very vocally supportive of Matheny. Said last season he would walk the plank for him, basically. I don't think that's changed 12 games in. If Busch Stadium attendance dries up to a crisp, maybe something changes. But again, I don't see that happening.
Fowler was brought here to hit leadoff. I think he's going to get a long run to figure out his slow start. But at some point, maybe you look at it. .143/.222/.163 is rough, man.
There are a lot of issues. For me, the biggest one is the lack of offense -- beyond solo homers -- and the unreliable defense and the struggles of Adam Wainwright. All of these can be traced back to last season, too, which ramps up the concern. I still think this defense should be better than last season's. They just look tense, afraid to screw up. One clean game can lead to another and another. Thought they were going to do it last night, then Garcia botched that double play that probably should not have even resulted in an out at second base.
He looked frustrated at times. A lot of Cardinals did. He also homered. Have not heard anything about an injury. Molina told reporters -- some would say mediocre reporters -- in New York that he needs to play better.
Great question. One would think with all of the plug and play he would get a few more chances. I'd rather see him out there in left than Adams. Or put him in right and let Grichuk play in left, where he has been playing since Fowler came aboard. Sometimes Martinez seems stuck in this weird spot. He was good enough to beat out Pham for the roster spot, but doesn't seem trusted enough to start? Find spots for him until his bat cools off. Maybe it won't.
Yes, it's too early for that.
One impact bat doesn't fix defensive instability, unpredictable pitching, and struggling star players. It's not a one-player fix at the moment. It's the feel and play of the entire team.
I'm with you. I'd like to see Martinez over Adams in the outfield, especially. Adams is a better first baseman than Martinez. Martinez is a better outfielder than Adams.
Fowler speaks his mind. He's off to a rough start. He's adjusting to a new place. He's adjusting from winning a World Series to a 3-9 start. He's trying to live up to the contract, find a new place to live, and help get this team out of a rut. I'm not making excuses for the guy. This is what he is paid to do. But he's simply being real about what is going on all around him.
I said going into the season that it should determine what is best for Kolten's future. Twelve games in, I wonder if the end result will be a conclusion that he's better off elsewhere. Still time to turn things around, but the guy has been jerked around and, to be fair, his inconsistent play has not made things better. This team is at its best defensively when he is playing second base with confidence.
I don't think Heyward can predict the future. Inspiring rain delay speeches on the other hand ...
I don't think Mo makes decisions based on public sentiment. Pujols is an example of that. I think the Cardinals legitimately value what Molina brings to the organization, from what he contributes in games here in St. Louis to the things none of us see when he is working with catching prospects on the back fields in Jupiter. Also, Molina set the deadline and remained adamant about agreeing to something or exploring free agency. That, not public perception, influenced the negotiations more.
I'm guilty for pumping up the healthy and optimistic vibe that showed this spring. Matheny seemed to be looser than last season. The clubhouse seemed more inviting to all players, too. But they were also winning. Winning cures a lot of things. Win, and the manager doesn't seem so stressed. Matt Carpenter said it best when he said spring training doesn't mean much.