Any and all of those are options. At Miller Park, the nod would go to O'Neill, and you would see Robinson return, or Munoz. But, yes, the Cardinals would move into a time share that would likely get O'Neill the starts in a ballpark with less ground to cover, and then they'd ... improvise around that.
He as a .333 on-base percentage, and that's strong. His SLG is less than his OBP, and that's not something that he and the Cardinals want to see continue. The idea is for that to balance out, and then watch the OPS rise from the 6s to the high 7s and so on. However or whenever it does, Fowler's success will be best measured by OBP. That's what the Cardinals need him to provide from RF. Yes, that's that's a power position, but the Cardinals feel they can get that power in aggregate from other spots on the roster so that Fowler and his nose for OBP can add length to the lineup and a second ignition of rallies in the back half of the lineup. He's had a glass of water season so far -- you can see what you want to see. It's half full, half empty, and really it's a litmus test of your preconceived notions going into the season, not a tell-all on his production so far.
Unclear as of today. The Cardinals, like other teams, are going to want to see where Bumgarner and his health and performance is. If he's stronger, that's the kind of bump that the Cardinals would consider, if the Giants are selling. They have time to evaluate him, and the Giants have time for him to build a strong season to increase the price they'll ask for him. So much is unclear on that standpoint on Tax Day.
He has been sharper and sharper each time out. He and Maddux made a correction to his mechanics. I maintain that Miller has been pitching injured or sore for so many years that his body forced the mechanics to change to avoid soreness/pain and as a result that new mechanics became muscle memory and he didn't know what to do as a healthy pitcher. He talked about that a little bit during the home stand. This Brewers series will be a strong test, a good test at a good time.
Indeed. That theory, a good one that I stand by due to reporting, hinged around their expectations of when/how Paul Goldschmidt would sign. He proved to be more eager to sign long-term and that raised the big-top on the future. Carpenter was a surprise as far as the timing goes, but you could see how that fit into the timeline, and he pursued that possibility. And so on. The Cardinals still have their fair share of contracts they can move on from when the season ends and based on how the season ends. Keep in mind: For every extension there is an obvious and likely player who won't get one and will be off as a free agent come November.
Mike Shildt talked about this after the game. He said Mikolas was efficient, but his effectiveness was starting to wane, and the opportunity was there to move on, get an additional at-bat for a position player, and the call had to be made. He acknowledged that it wasn't a given as a move, but the immediate results and the sudden 4-4 game played a large role in that decision. They couldn't ignore that inning or the fact that Mikolas was going that third time through the order.
Both. The stadium was small down the lines -- and 360 in the gap -- and it was at about 2,200 feet above sea level. The air was hot. The ball flew during BP. Players galore expected high-scoring games -- or at least most of the runs coming on homers. They did. Bounders, too. It was that kind of ballpark.
Noted. I happen to disagree. For selfish reasons -- I adore London, seriously, probably my favorite city in the world, hands down, and I go there when I can; just love the place -- I am pro London Series, and I'm intrigued by the reception that baseball will get there. For obvious reasons, I don't see baseball as "uniquely American" at all. There is a higher percentage of international-born players in the majors than ever before in this era, and for the first time the opening day rosters had more than 100 players from a country outside the U.S. The game is uniquely global, if anything, and the style of play influencing the game is reflecting that. I dig it. Embrace it.
Wouldn't be too concerned at this point. He's had starts similar to the ones he had at the beginning of last season. He's had some quirky challenges to his starts. His stuff seems there, but a tick off on location. The league knows he's going to throw strikes, and now comes the adjustment -- which we are seeing in some innings, in some ways.
Jose Martinez talked to me about that first home run. He was describing how Ozuna has had such difficulty with that pitch and doing anything with it, and that his swing was off and his timing was off and he was searching. And then, Martinez said, over the past few days, leading into Monterrey, he saw Ozuna adjust and get more from that swing on pitches in that area. The opposite field home run, Martinez went on to describe, was the kind of thing he had to do with that pitch -- not a homer all the time, of course, but find a way, even with that swing, to hit it hard, not miss it or roll over on it. There was a lot for the Cardinals to be encouraged about by Ozuna's play in Mexico.
Sure. They're human. They get head colds.
Nope. Haven't really engaged him on that conversation, honestly.
Indeed. See that over and over again. Almost every game. He's the Scott Rolen of first base.
If that trend continues, the Cardinals will win the division. I'm a believer of run differential as an indicator of a team's longstanding success and potential future success in the standings. The Cardinals and Brewers scored the same amount of runs in that first series and the Cardinals lost three of the games. They've been in almost every single game. That's remarkable. That bodes well for the future. Run differential is a number to watch, even before Flag Day, the official Mike Claiborne-approved day to look at the standings.
Fair. He doesn't look anything like Babe Ruth.
Went fine. Twenty pitches. All fastballs. Set to throw another one today -- and probably already has back there in St. Louis. He recovered well. Early stages here. Like first week or so of spring training. He sent Shildt a "super thumbs up" emoji. I'm not sure what one that is, but I guess it exists.
I'm not sure why they would. Or why he would. That's not something either side would pursue.
OK. Gorman is a legit prospect. Rising fast. No surprise.
Honestly, don't have one. That would not be a good way to do the job. You interview the player that has the story -- not the one who you want to have the story. It would be a disservice to the readers for me to only chase an interview with one player or a handful because those are the players I prefer to talk to. I don't think in those terms. I try to find who will best answer questions with explanations that will serve the story -- and thus the readers. Who would they want to hear from?