There's no feel yet. Something to be discussed in spring training. One of the elements that will play into this decision is the youth, inexperience of the bullpen as well. So there are roster moves ahead that will shape this decision, and options to take into consideration.
That is something that the Cardinals would have entertained this winter -- trading Wacha. Now his health will play a part in that. It's an oblique strain and not some shoulder or elbow flare that's going to streak through baseball. Still, the Cardinals will explore deals involving Martinez and Wacha to see what the interest is, what they can get, and how that sets them up for 2019 and what they need.
He's still the pitching coach. His voice does seem to have a few more decibels added to it when it comes to decisions. But that could be that they're just more candid about the role he's playing. His fingerprints are more apparent, to me.
Major League Baseball uses technology to grade umpires and talk with them about their calls. They are given examples of calls that were missed, calls that were made, and all of that so that it can help with the constant learning and constant evaluation. Tech is used in that way, yes.
Kolten Wong does, absolutely. Harrison Bader now qualifies for the Gold Glove Award in center field. He recently skated past the minimum innings required. Now comes the harder part of getting his advanced metrics in front of the eyes of voters and overcoming the fact that some teams did not see him in person, may not see his highlights, and may not recognize his name. Bader, right now, has the feel of a player who might deserve the Gold Glove a year before he wins it because he'll see a season like this to gather the reputation and awareness that will win him one in the coming year, or a later year.
Francisco Lindor, of course. Christian Yelich does and did. Acuna, too. Albies, for sure. Lots of players have that ability.
I did not watch any. I have not watched any NFL games in here. Think I saw one last year. I do read the coverage and follow some of the scores for the Chicago Bears, and that was not ideal Sunday night but entirely predictable. I am in a Fantasy League in football -- and it's one that I've been in now for 20 years, I believe. It's a keeper league, for kicks, and that means that I had LaDanian Tomlinson for every snap of his career, and I've had Tom Brady for the entirety of his career just because I once picked him off waivers in 2000 (I think?) as insurance because Drew Bledsoe was my starter. So there's that.
The concern is inverse to the level of production from Ozuna. For so much of this season, Jose Martinez has brought the production the Cardinals did not get from Ozuna, and that has helped keep the lineup from cratering. So as Ozuna rises then Martinez's struggles are less detrimental to the Cardinals -- and his production becomes what the Cardinals wanted -- the boost, the depth, the length that turns the Cardinals from a steady offense to an overwhelming one.
Detroit played well. They pitched well -- and that was key.
First, let's dismiss the idea that the Cardinals need to move Gyorko to have that kind of payroll flexibility. The Cardinals can spend with or without Gyorko. Now, to your point, it's not just Wisdom. You could see Yairo Munoz make this move palatable for the Cardinals. If the Cardinals move some infield pieces around, you could see Munoz in the same role he has now -- which is a bit of an overlap for the role imagined for Gyorko. The team would then look for a backup shortstop or bring back Garcia as the lefthanded-hitting option, and either move on a new shortstop to bump DeJong to third base or free up third base for an addition from the outside. And that's without Wisdom entering the equation. It's all with Munoz elbowing his way into that possibility.
If he goes for four-for-eight, he won't get eight to go four-for-eight. If he gets eight, then that means he's gone seven-for-eight, otherwise you're looking at him going two-for-four, and Hicks or Norris or someone else getting the next four.
Chris Ellis has become a starter for Class AAA Memphis, and he's had a strong season. At two levels, he's gone 10-4 with a 3.93 ERA in 31 games (21 starts). He threw 132 2/3 innings and struck out 124 this season. For Memphis, he appeared in 16 games (14 starts), and he's gone 6-4 with 68 strikeouts in 79 innings and a 3.76 ERA. Another in the depth the Cardinals have from the right side, either out of the bullpen or for the rotation. Luke Dykstra hit .225/.267/.258 in 49 games at Class AA.
We can do the math. Let's keep it simple so that I don't vanish from the chat for a long stretch. If the Dodgers play at their current pace they'll go 11-9 in their final 20 games and get to 89 wins. To tie them, the Cardinals must go 10-9 in their final 19 games. So, that means the Cardinals need to go 11-8 in their final 19 games for them to stay ahead of and finish ahead of the team at their heels. That seems about right. 12-7 would eliminate any concern.
Yes. It's been a subject of press-box chatter how much sense that makes.
He'll be invited/assigned to instructional league play in Jupiter, Fla., in January, and he could see a week or so through the winter down there with the team, but the formal appearance will be instructs. Then, he's a fit for STEP camp early in spring training. Past trends would suggest he'll go back to Peoria to open the season in 2019 with an eye on being one of the offensive players that skips the Florida State League and heads straight from Peoria to Class AA Springfield, where he would finish next season.
Is that why they're doing it? I thought it was because they have four better starters, and they're giving Adam Wainwright a chance to show that's he's the fifth. If Wainwright struggles, Ross would be the obvious choice to take that spot in the rotation, even with his cost. It's a chunk of change, but getting to postseason is probably worth it, no?