Again, he seems pretty happy with what he's doing. We will all undoubtedly ask him during the spring just to be sure, but for the 17th time and for the third or fourth consecutive spring he'll likely tell us that teaching and working with the young players is something he wanted to do.
Odds favor one of the outfielders from Marlins, but it's difficult to know right now as teams are processing not advertising. When we convene from the GM meetings in November there will be a far greater sense of who will be on the move. Right now the Cardinals are sort of the shoppers lined up outside waiting for the midnight sale to go on. They're not sure what will be stocked or what will be left on the shelves when they get through that door -- but they want to be ready to pounce.
Sure. But let's not lose sight of the fact that the "regulars" you saw were playing well in many facets of the game beyond batting average, which candidly has had an odd starring role in this chat. It doesn't dserve this much attention. Not at all. Gyorko had a strong spring and hinted very much at what was ahead with how he played and hit during spring training. Wong had a good spring by many measures, especially when it came to sorting out communication with the manager and finding a groove defensively that made him one of the finest fielders in the majors. The Cardinals had a tight, sharp game when they left spring training and there was reason to believe that top three batters in the order were gelling and ready to go. Didn't happen.
Yes, some changes to spring training should always be considered. And like the team perhaps there's one change the fans could make as well. Don't look at spring stats, especially batting average.
Very challenging is a tame description for the offseason ahead.
A few minutes ago, during that little break I took, I joined a local radio program and mentioned that the Cardinals are offering the fans and pundits a chicken-and-egg question. Which problem came first? The bullpen or the offense? Count me on that latter. The offense, especially early, put the bullpen in such a bind because so often it was coming into a game with a slim lead or not lead at all. Your numbers add fuel to that argument. The starters had fewer decisions because a starter like Lance Lynn had so little run support to work with. When pitchers are going shorter into games (true) and an offense is lacking runs (true) then you're going to see few decisions for the starters, far fewer wins for the starters, and more weight on the bullpen to be flawless. There were some elements of the bullpen that did well, and for awhile the Cardinals had a fine bullpen ERA (overall) and fewer innings from the bullpen (a strong point) than weak and wheezing teams. To me, the bullpen needs to be improved. But it should not be scapegoated for this season.
Deadpool 2, no question. Not for children. But the first one was a great movie. A great movie. One of the greatest superhero movies of all time. Seriously.
I used to. Things have changed. Reporting used to matter. Now speculation does, evidently.
Thanks, C-gifs. You had an MVP-caliber season.
He has value. Teams have interest. He's got a skillset that appeals to teams, and there will be several teams who see him as a guy they can help blossom with power and athleticism they cannot find at his price tag elsewhere.
Not sure about Clapp joining the staff. He did have a certain prominence this past week as he visited throughout the final home stand. Matheny said Clapp was brought into meetings and that he would play a role in running Sunday's game. Matheny also mentioned how Clapp offered insight on how Diaz had played at third (and then they saw it) and how Tuivailala had thrived in certain uses (and then they saw that). I think I've mentioned a few times before how a couple scouts who reviewed Memphis for other teams raved about how Clapp handled the bullpen and the intuition he showed for a roster that was constantly changing. Hard call there: Seems like he has value in development as much as he does for deployment. Clapp has experience as a hitting coach, so you could see how the Cardinals could move things around to clear a spot for him, in the same way that Derrick May joined the major-league staff from the minors a few years ago and brought a lot to that role.
There has been no clear indication what direction the coaching staff decisions will go. Part of that is the discussions were ongoing. A lot of that is the Cardinals keep such things close to the vest. But earlier in the chat I outlined what we know, what has been said, what contracts are in place, and so on.
No. Alas, teams always talk about the team they have as if it's the golden answer to all their questions. That's beneficial because it positions them as not urgent to add -- leverage! hey, agents are you listening! -- and also it sets it up if they are unable to add any of their targets for them to say they were happy with what they had all along. So, take what they say as the opinion that day as they prepped for that game and as they tried to reward a player who had an excellent year. But here's the reality: They're going to go into the market and look for an upgrade. They don't know where that upgrade will play, but pretty much any position is in play.
There are many. From what Charlie Blackmon does at the top of the lineup to what Mike Trout does with a bat in his hand to what Bellinger can do in the middle. Check out Ryan Zimmerman's season sometime and you won't wonder what happened to the Washington Nationals -- they got a bounceback season from a bona fide star hitter from the middle of the order. The Cubs have two transformative hitters: Bryant and Rizzo. Joey Votto, over there in Cincinnati, could win the MVP for his work on a losing team. He is THE TRANSFORMATIVE HITTER. They're out there. Hard to find. Often developed. But they are out there.
Entirely possible. And exactly the kind of pitcher they need to turn that they have into another 100-win-style contender because of the quality start monster they'd be adding.
Oh, hey, a little Radiohead on the iPod. It's a low-flying panic attack. Though, not sure that applies today. Haven't seen much panic, honestly.
Not speculate. These names are coming from reporting, not thin air. Promise. I honestly thing there are plenty of places for folks to go and get guesses. Here's hoping the chat continues to be a place where you can go for information that is tethered to reporting. At this point, discussions with Juan Nicasio could get to a point where there's movement on a deal there. Usually, the Cardinals clarify their coaching staff first, though sometimes Mozeliak has used the GM Meetings to hold interviews for positions or even scout out options. Still, the idea would be to complete that in the coming weeks, if not days. The 40-man roster moves will be address in late November, as that deadline approaches and after the Cardinals can explore some trades that would alleviate some 40-man jams. Free agent signings and trades tend to play out the same schedule every year, around the fixed points of the GM Meetings (November) and Winter Meetings (December), where work is done toward a deal and then that deal is finalized in the days after. In 2014, the Cardinals worked on the Heyward deal at GM meetings and finished it a few days after. Ditto with signing Jhonny Peralta the year before. A year ago, the Eaton trade and Fowler courtship got resolution at the winter meetings with the signing of Fowler being finalized the night the winter meetings ended.
Yes. A favorite target of the chat continues to be a guy who starts the season as the fourth outfielder and ends it in the postseason as a starter. Go figure.
Money. That usually does the trick.