Greetings from Roger Dean Stadium, where earlier today Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson met new Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler for the first time. "Glad you're here with a real organization," Gibson joked. At least we all think it was a joke. It's hard to tell. He later turned to me and Hummel and said, "You writing any better now?" So, maybe he wasn't joking. Doesn't really seem like a chatter, so I'm probably safe from his criticism here. Probably. It's a chat-filled day here at StlToday.com. Trying to carve out my little corner of the site. Away we go ...
Benjamin Hochman is only here until March 15, so we're already halfway through his month, and thus he's anointing people Mr. March already. He called me Mr. January 2021. Whatever that means.
I'm not sure what they're basing that on, but Tommy Pham is not a rookie. He's long since exhausted that status -- both with appearances in the majors and days spent on the roster. He does, incredibly, have one option year remaining. So he can be sent to Class AAA this year if the Cardinals want to do that.
One scenario would be a new one for the Cardinals -- dropping down to 11 pitchers. There are enough off days to do that, it just hasn't been something they've done in the past. It's tricky to see all three making their way onto the roster.
I don't ever see a scenario where Wong goes to Matheny and asks to bat in a certain spot. I also don't see a player going to a manager and volunteering to bat ninth. I'm not sure who a manager would react in the NL to a position player going, "Hey, skip, yeah, I hit worse than a pitcher." Not literally, but between the lines.
Adam Wainwright's line 44 p/28 strikes. Three innings. No runs. Three hits. Cardinals lead, 3-0.
It's happening. Announcement coming Thursday.
I will continue to appear on KFNS/590 AM in St. Louis, and those shows will also put together podcasts that feature the reports from Cardinals camp and the road throughout the season. Also, you can catch all kinds of audio storytelling and debate with the Best Podcast in Baseball. A new episode posted this morning, and in the next two days there will be a longform interview with one of the standout prospects of spring posted. Next week, we open the fifth season (!!!) of Best Podcast in Baseball.
They are scheduled day to day, not scheduled for the day. Sorry.
The answer, as of now, is Peralta. That is going to change through the year. The starter there for opening day may not be the starter there come July or come August. That position is in play all season.
True story: I didn't play Little League baseball. It's one of the great regrets of my life. It's still an issue around the table at Thanksgiving.
Lance Lynn is going to be a free agent. He is eager for it. He's made that clear to the team. The team knows that. They knew that from the moment he signed his current contract. Oh is another story. There is going to be some conversation when he returns from the World Baseball Classic about an extension. There is nothing other than a plan to talk at this point, but at least both sides have acknowledged an interesting at looking into a way for Oh to remain with the Cardinals. Stay tuned.
Jose Oquendo's official title is special assistant to the general manager, and his role will fit some of that title. Oquendo will work with the young fielders down in Jupiter, Fla., and that means infielders with the short-season club and the High-A club. There is also going to be a discussion about him traveling some, and that could include time with the major-league team. The team wants to see him in a position to teach, teach, teach. He's being set up as the next George Kissell.
It was written by a presence on Twitter: @StlCardscards. And, yes, it's genius.
Sandy Alcantara, but you know him. So, let's go with Dakota Hudson, Jack Flaherty, and Jordan Hicks. They will be big climbers in the organization and in the rankings.
However the season breaks, you're going to have one of the standout prospects there. Could be Delvin Perez by the end of the season. The aforementioned Hicks. Good bet to see some of the top draft picks from this past summer there, and that's an interesting group.
In the rankings I did for Baseball America, Sierra rated higher, yes. He can play defense in the majors today. He's a skilled defensive center fielder.
They've played better. They've played crisper. There is a great sense of how this team fits together. There is a style of play that the team recognizes. I cannot stress how important that is to cohesion.
I'm not sure we know that yet. Hold on. He had two strikeouts, and I know one was on the curve.
Going forward in spring training? That doesn't matter. The stats won't matter at all. It's not like he's got to bat .300 or reach base .400 in spring training to win the job. Spring training stats don't mean much, and they're no litmus test for a player in his position. They want to see him look right. Have good timing. Have a good sense of the strike zone. The usual. Whether he bats .200 or .700 they'll be looking at something more than the number.