Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold takes your Cardinals questions and comments in his live chat beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

    I disagree. Don't have to "eat" Ozuna's contract. It's nothing. They can move it if they want. They would have to take on a portion of Fowler's contract to move him, and he has a no-trade clause. But there is room for Bader however the rest of the outfield sorts out.
    Do you think that Matheny's message with the players has gotten stale? After seeing it with the Blues several times in recent history, the on the field execution has a similar feel to when the note made coaching changes.
  • This is a good question. It's TLR's Rule of 10. Tony La Russa often told the late Joe Strauss and the rest of us that he was worried about staying in his role longer than 10 years. He heard that from one of his other coaching pals (football coach, I believe). His point was that after 10 years, no matter what you try to do the clubhouse has either heard it before or the generation of players has grown past it. He worried as each year ticked by that this was going to be the year his voice was lost in the clubhouse, and it was something he said he would research and explore and do the whole look in the mirror thing each offseason to determine if, yes, the clubhouse still responded to him.
    Matheny could very well be in that spot. A handful of these players have been with him for seven years, and they know his tendencies, know what he's going to say, and know what he's going to do. In a story for yesterday's paper, Jedd Gyorko and Kolten Wong both talked about how they know that they have to "get hot" to get in the lineup and that Matheny is going to play the "hot hand." They both know that hoping for playing time to work out their struggles isn't going to happen. They aren't afforded that same luxury as other players.
    Fowler is now in that same situation, and he's aware of it, too. He has brought up how the Cubs allowed him to play through his poor first half in 2015 and what that commitment -- from the front office and the analytics staff, as well as from Maddon -- meant to him and his strong second half.
    Anyone who has watched this team closely has noticed the same trends that the players do -- and also how the manager has attempted to adapt in some cases. Both he and Wong will tell you that their conversations/communication is better than it was -- what? -- at the start of 2017. Bud Norris is going through that same thing right now as he tries to make the point about his usage and what has happened a few times this season when he's been called upon several days in a row to warmup, and not always gotten into the game. Norris told me this past week that the conversation has gotten better, clearer, and he feels in a better place with it now.
    When this came up most recently was after that putrid game in Milwaukee. The Cardinals played one of the worst games I've seen them play in more than a decade, and certainly the most lackluster and unacceptable of the Matheny Era. If his voice didn't resonate still in the clubhouse -- two players told me -- then you would have seen it in the days that followed. He held a team meeting that night. Immediately after the game. It was brief. It was pointed. And the team responded with one of Yadier Molina's best games (no surprise) and then one of their sharpest games as a team all year. Again, two players pointed out to me how that doesn't happen if a clubhouse is disenchanted. 
    How clubhouse responds to a manager is always worth watching, especially through the prism of TLR's Rule of 10 and standings that are disappointing.
    you left Pham off your poll. hes got my vote.
    Fair vote. I wasn't sure whether to include him or not. Yours is logged for posterity.
    Is it time for the Cards to pull a Yankees style re-build? We have an interesting mix of breakthrough young talent (Bader, Hicks, Flaherty, Weaver, etc.) and seemingly aging veterans (Fowler, Carpenter, Wainwright, etc.). As we flirt with mediocrity, I am beginning to get the sense that the Wild Card is quickly getting out of reach....and if that is truly the case we need to lessen the time this club spends in the valley and re-tool....this time has struggled for far too long. Thoughts?
  • It has to be on the table with one glaring absence: No Chapman to move for those super-watt prospects like the Yankees did. Michael Wacha would have been an interesting talent to move to a contender in need of pitching, but his injury muddies that possibility. Norris, maybe. He's been very outspoken about wanting to stay a Cardinal. Holland? Could pitch his way into that conversation, I suppose. If the Cardinals want to pull off that quick-turn rebuild, their options are really to consider moving Gyorko, somewhat Jose Martinez (part of a deal?), and, yes, Carlos Martinez. Because Gleyber Torres don't get offered up for just anyone.
    Did MLB scouts get it wrong a year or two ago when they saw Harrison Bader as a 4th OF type? Now I believe he's a Gold-Glove caliber CF. I see a Peter Bourjos with more pop. However, he's still not fundamentally sound and don't see a player that's a centerpiece. Can bat .260 or .270 with 15 to 20 HRs. Nice player, but over-hyped.
  • No. Scouts talk floors and talk ceilings, and a lot of the talk was about Bader being "at least a fourth outfielder," and that's actually a high compliment because it means he has a role in the majors, and some even went so far to say that he could be a fourth outfielder on a contender. That implies that he'd be a starter elsewhere. Tilson and Bader had similar scouting reports, for example. You can see how they both made good on them.
    Derrick, I hate to slow down this Cards bashing, but has anyone notice what Nolan Gorman is doing at Johnson City? The Cards #1 picks are notorious slow starters but the kid had 6 home runs in 17 games and hitting .305. Also Delvin Perez is hitting .279 in A ball. Hopefully the kids can continue to mature. Thanks.
    I have noticed. In Arizona, where Gorman is from, two people who know the amateur scene there well and talk to scouts who canvass that area volunteered what a steal the Cardinals got -- when it comes to power. That kind of power does not usually linger late into the first round. Heck, the Cardinals have been searching for late-arriving power, power indicators in players because they figured they wouldn't get power like Gorman's and finish where they want to finish the standings. Rising talent. And Delvin Perez has given a reassuring performance so far this season. Credit should go to the coaches who helped him over the past four, five months, when he could have wilted in the Groundhog Day heat of extended spring training -- and instead got better and better and better.
    Please give me a brief moment here. Going to get a refill on my cup of ambition.
  • I am tired of boring baseball. I really enjoy the way Memphis plays. What do you think
  • I don't think Memphis would do as well in the National League. It might be exciting -- for the other teams. Memphis does have some standout talents that play a brand of baseball that is appealing. Mercado, Wisdom, Hudson, and others just have a good winning vibe about them. More than anything that's what the Cardinals are missing. Winning is fun. The Redbirds do that.
    Why is there no love for Patrick Wisdom? I realize he's not on the 40 man roster and passed through the Rule 5, but how would his K's be any worse than anyone else on the roster? Give him a shot!
    He's in roster purgatory, and it's awful and not ideal and another team should come along and save him. He's caught in the vice of baseball as business. There have been many times when he could have helped the Cardinals -- defensively at third or first, maybe offensively with a jolt -- but never dire enough to get him on the 40-man.
    Do you see the Cards making a move at the deadline to help not just this year, but beyond this year (like the Lackey trade), or do you think they wait until the offseason to make big changes?
  • They would prefer to do that. Harder to pull off. One area they are looking at in that regard is lefty relief, and they are possibly looking at starters in that realm. A Cole Hamels, for example. The lefty reliever who that added year of control is particularly appealing to the Cardinals.
    Was Andrew Benintendi available to the Cardinals when he was drafted by the Red Sox?
  • Andrew Benintendi, pride of Cincinnati, was taken seventh overall in the 2015 draft. Five teams had the six picks before Boston: Arizona, Houston, Colorado, Texas, Houston, and Minnesota. This is a good example of how Boston has benefited from the on-again, off-again contending they did there for while. Last place one year (draft high), AL pennant the next. Rinse. Repeat. It's a sine wave the Cardinals have not ridden and thus haven't had access to players like Benintendi in the draft.
  • The Cards may not want to wait too long in trading Bader before he turns into a Matt Adams or Randall Grichuk and loses all trade value.
    Or, maybe that won't happen. James Ramsey. Charlie Tilson. Those are other outfielders you could have listed.
  • Chances Waino sticks around next year in a non-player capacity? Front office role?
  • Minimal. His plan is to retire to work on a farm. He's purchased a lot of land with the intent of growing crops there and feeding the hungry. He has really found a passion for gardening, and he's taking some of the things he's learned from his mission trips abroad, especially to Haiti, and looked for ways he could set up a co-op of sorts that provides food for those in need. That and his daughters will undoubtedly become his focus when he retires.
    I realize that competing for the playoffs should be the emphasis, but couldn't Matheny adjust the rotation a bit and include Gomber, so Mikolas can pitch in the All-Star Game?
    Didn't need to include Gomber at all. Could just have kept the five on rotation. Mikolas started Tuesday. The Cardinals had five games left in the first half at that point. They could have just gone in order from there and Mikolas would have been available for the All-Star game. Instead, they're going to try and squeeze one more start out of their All-Star on Sunday.
    what was it that happened with Riggleman in Washington?
    It's a good story. The gist is his quote: "I'm too old to be disrespected." Tells you a lot about him and a lot about Washington.

    Jim Riggleman resigns as Nationals manager immediately after a win

    Washington PostManager Jim Riggleman’s abrupt resignation puts bizarre end to a day when the Washington Nationals reached their highest point in six seasons.
    How does the club view Oscar Mercado? Trade asset or future fixture? Seems like he could be a Carlos Gomez-type late bloomer
    Yes, they see him as an asset who could be traded and as a legit prospect, a multi-tooled center fielder who can handle the position as an above-average fielder. One of the fastest players in the organization. And perhaps the real, true base-stealer they have. He wants to steal bases -- and that's something Lou Brock says not many want to do anymore. Mercado does. Late bloomer? He's 23 in Class AAA. He's not late anything. He's young and rising.
    Name the free agent the Cards will go hardest after this winter, and the free agent most likely to sign with STL (I realize the first part of that answer probably isn't the same as the second).
  • I honestly don't know. Neither do they. What does Ozuna's season look like? What do Cardinals think about his future here? Do they move Gyorko at the deadline, or early in the offseason? What about Jose Martinez? What position can he play -- or do they want him to play -- and is that in the American League? The answer to those questions will inform their pursuits, as will the health of a handful of key players that still have to play games or recover from surgery. For sure this coming winter does offer a smorgasbord of options, and we do know some of the players that would fit onto that Cardinals' shopping list, and we can start with them doing their "due diligence" and engaging in talks for Machado to whatever extent that takes them and then possibly for Harper until they're told they're not in the running. Some others that will be connected to the Cardinals, are likely fits, or active reporting has revealed as possible targets include Brantley, Pollock, Corbin, Keuchel, Brach, Britton, a few other relievers (left side), and I wonder if there are moves that the Cardinals make that LeMahieu becomes interesting to them. A third time out of the playoffs, and changes will be made. That has to happen.
    I've never felt that DeWitt was an absentee owner, in fact, I have always thought he was a very committed and passionate owner. But right now I feel like he likes being comfortable and this team needs a scare from the very top down, because the usual scarecrow, MO, is not innocent in all of this mess.
    Bill DeWitt Jr. this past week plunged into the team's situation by reaching out to Dexter Fowler and making it quite clear where the team and ownership stood with him. He did not equivocate his feeling about the comments made -- nor how he views Fowler and his place with the team. If Mozeliak is trying to make the point that he understands the fans frustrations and that the performance on the field isn't good enough, you can bet that DeWitt has shared that same opinion with him. This is going back a few months, but DeWitt agreed when I asked him if the urgency to win/reach the playoffs had reached its peak with this group -- and yet here they are in the same spot, idling, not going forward.
    Should we have spent more money to keep the Houston departures in St. Louis
  • It's not money. It's power and titles and contracts (which I guess is somewhat, money, but not the way of just splashing cash). That's how front offices work. Luhnow had a chance to be a GM for a team -- a promotion in every way -- and the Cardinals' OK'd the interview. Mozeliak, in the midst of the Pujols' negotiations, even met with Houston's owner Crane personally about Luhnow and, by all indications, gave Luhnow a rave reference. Same, Mejdal. Elias, too. Luhnow was able to offer them greater titles than what they could have with the Cardinals. And when you saw Correa get promoted with the Cardinals that was in obvious response to Houston trying to poach him, too. Which the Astros did. Several times. Seriously. Several times. So, just offering more cash wouldn't have done it. Promotions would have been necessary, and how would that have happened?
    There is some serious revisionist history going on about that era in Cardinals baseball. I guess sometimes people just want to print the legend. Too bad.
    Can you think of any other bad contacts that you could see the Cards could swap Fowler with?
  • I'll open this up to the floor just because in the time it takes to do a little research maybe I'll miss some. But there aren't many that leap to mind. Robinson Cano finds himself somewhat without a position as Seattle plays well, Dee Gordon plays second, and Cano is injured. Still, not a move that you'd think they'd make. Toronto has Troy Tulowitzki's deal. He's on the 60-day DL and has spent a lot of time injured the past few years. He's got $54 million-ish left on his deal, including this year, and it goes through 2020. Fowler's goes one beyond that, and has more money left on it, but not much more. That would be an interesting swap because it would bring Tulowitzki to the Cardinals years after he expected to join Matt Holliday there, and it would send Fowler to Toronto, one of the other teams interested in him. Oh, and it would do so for that extra year that Toronto and others didn't offer and the Cardinals did. Which brings us to the real issue. Fowler has a no-trade clause. So, not only are you asking to find a contract swap of similar dollars, you are doing so with a team that he would allow to make happen. That's going to be tougher to find -- unless he just wants to get out. Asked that multiple times and multiple ways this past week, and he said he is not looking for the door.
    Would you like to be traded? I asked him.
    "I signed up to be here," he said. "That's what I intend to do."
    How big would a package for Brad Hand be? More or less than Ozuna?
  • Less. Way less. Less. Less.
    Biased fan here looking for a more objective perspective. Where would you rank Kolten Wong in MLB among defensive second basemen? Leads all of MLB with 13 DRS, if we like that metric at all.
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