Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cardinals questions and comments, and talk to Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold in a live chat starting at 11 a.m.




    Whats happened to greg holland???
  • Fresh start. Less pressure. Better mechanics.
    Derrick: I get the allure of Jordan Hicks become the long-term closer at some point, but I would be disappointed if that happened. It seems pretty clear that closers whose main ally is velocity rarely have sustained success. On rare occasions, you get a Craig Kimbrel or Aroldis Chapman, but it seems in most cases, it seems you get a couple of years of quality, and then injuries come, velocity dips. Given what we've seen happen to Siegrist, TR, and others, why wouldn't the Cardinals be wary of taking perhaps the best young arm in the game and putting him through the bullpen meat grinder long term?
  • I am starting to think I'm alone in this chat in feeling this way: Hicks is not a finished product. Hicks will improve. Hicks has already showed the mix of fastball and slider that makes a sizzling-good closer, and he's got more horsepower than anyone else in the majors. This is a mix that made Chapman an elite closer, and Chapman wasn't yet Chapman as a rookie or as a sophomore, but then when he was, as he got experience and got the role, and then took off he was a dragon in the ninth. That's Hicks.
  • Can a team afford to have Paul DeJong and Tyler O'Neill in the same lineup? Also why does O'Neill get put into the 3rd/4th spot when he plays?
  • All the reports concerning Waino’s rehab starts make it sound like he is ready to go. I hope this is a legitimate ML start tonite and not a thanks for the memories start for him rewarding his years in STL. They are still in the pennant race. I’m oK with starting him whenever if they are eliminated from post season to give him a rousing farewell.
    Do the Cardinals have an interest in Nick Castellanos as a free agent, after seeing him hit against the Cards?
  • They didn't have much interest in him when it came to trading for him this past winter. Part of that was where to play him -- at third? Same thing here as a free agent. Where to play him? Third? The Cardinals are not enamored with his defense at third base.
  • Are you aware of which players do not need signal from the dugout to steal a bag? Molina was thrown out stealing second in a situation where it seemed like he shouldn't have attempted and got me thinking who, if anyone, can steal freely. Thanks DG
  • I am aware that the Cardinals have a few different signs when it comes to steals. They have a STOP sign which is a no-go. They have a sign for if the player has the green light to go, and then it's up to the player whether he goes or not. And they have a MUST GO sign, and that means no matter what that player has to go, go, go and seriously he has to go. There were times in recent years -- and you could see the result of this -- when the player had a MUST GO sign and didn't go. In Molina's case, he has probably the same latitude as other players -- but just is more aggressive when he has a read. No hesitance from him.
    Thanks for the response! BTW I would like to say on a personal note for me and professional one for you I honestly don't think I've ever read more enjoyable game recaps from any writer. Ever. I know it might sound silly but you create when you write those and it's awesome! Thanks for writing here in St Louis about my Cards!!
  • Thank you, Patrick. This means a lot. I have had the chance to work with two of the baseball writers who are regarded far and wide for their ability to write game stories -- Rick Hummel and the late Joe Strauss. If anything, I learned what I could.
    Good afternoon Derrick. I had a question about some of the scouting grades that are used for prospects. Are these 20-80 Grades given by the team, or are they more an industry look at the player. Looking back at the 2017 MLB Top 100 Prospects – Harrison Bader was ranked #90. His overall scouting grade was a 55, but what was interesting to me is to look at his Run grade of 55 and his Field grade of 50. These rankings seemed to indicate that Bader was a guy who did everything well, but nothing great. It sure seems like his speed and defense look stronger than these initial grades. Did these tools not stand out for Harrison early on in his career? Is it just a maturation at the big league level? Are those ratings Industry wide?
  • The team has internal grades that are guarded and not shared with the public. I'm not sure what specific ranking you're using -- MLB.com? Baseball America? -- but the same is true in both places: Those grades are assigned probably by the writer of that list who uses sources and reviews from scouts and other evaluators to shape a score. I know when I wrote the prospect scouting reports for Baseball America for many years I would have to assign the 20-80 scores for players, and I would do my best based on conversation with scouts, coaches, managers, and executives about those players -- both for the team and for other teams. 
     
    In Bader's case, the field grade was going to be low because not much was sure about him as a fielder. He was a corner outfielder that was going to get a run in center because of how his bat best fit into the team. So he had to learn some of the position, some of the instincts, and he took off, in part because he's competitive and he was pitted against some fine, fine fielders for playing time. He had to keep up with Mercado and Sierra, after all. The speed is curious. But still it's better than average. 
     
    Those rankings are not from teams, though. That's the important part here. They are not from MLB, or the "industry." They are from writers reporting on those things.
    I understand from a player's perspective how a DH can lengthen a career and why many players would want to have it in both leagues. Isn't the bullpen the same thing for a starting pitcher? In your interview with Wainwright, he talked about John Smoltz being a Cardinal and I'm wondering if Wainwright has thought about/talked with Smoltz moving to the bullpen to lengthen his career?
  • Wainwright has at least explored that as a possibility, yes. He's aware of that potential.
  • A Wainwright question seems like a good place to call it. We're about 45 minutes away from his first pitch since mid-May and the first pitch of an important start for Wainwright and the Cardinals. With Michael Wacha out for the season because he re-injured the oblique, Wainwright's role in the rotation takes on greater importance for the team and its chances of surviving this month as a playoff team. The Cardinals have the next pivotal series of the season later this week against the Dodgers. We'll have unleashed the keyboards on coverage all week. Tom Timmermann is at the keyboard for tonight's game story. Hummel and I return to game coverage later in the week. Next week, as the scene shifts to Atlanta, I'll be there for coverage of the Cardinals-Braves series -- all of this speeding toward a showdown with the Brewers at Busch and then the Cubs at Wrigley. That's not to discount this series against the Pirates. It's importance goes beyond Wainwright's appearance. While the Cardinals are playing the Bucs, the Cubs and Brewers are playing each other so the equation is simple for the Cardinals:
     
    Win and gain on someone.
     
    Check back next week for the Cardinals chat here at StlToday.com. Thanks for the patience and the time and all of the questions today. A variety to be sure. Talk to you soon.
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