He has just had that tendency in his first 20 or so games. I don't believe at all that this is some tendency that he will wrought no matter what rotation or what roster he has. It's just how he's approached these games with these players -- and we've already seen some shift to that based on the score, based on the pitcher (namely Flaherty), and definitely based on the situation.
Good question. Cardinals should start a short list.
I like to recommend the bridge week -- that is the week right when games start. That way you get to see full workouts, might get to see a scrimmage (good entertainment), and then see how it all translates to a game or two later in the week. That's the best time to get the full spring experience and see how one transitions to the other. You'll see the tail end of some pitchers getting ready for games and the first step of those pitchers into games, as well. Seeing the workouts is good because you're never going to get closer to the players and hear the chatter and hear the instruction.
They should. But the moves do speak to how they are willing to move it, you're right. I agree that actions speak louder than words and the eagerness with which the Cardinals have moved away from some athleticism -- especially in the case of Mercado -- is interesting. They'll argue that they moved redundancy where they had depth with Lane Thomas in Class AAA and Adolis Garcia there and then the newcomer from the Rays with the lefthanded bat going there. But you're right -- it's incongruous with the team they profess to want to be. Harrison Bader is the latest litmus. He should just get the run in center field at this point. His athleticism shines there, and he brings both of the things you describe. If they move him or limit his playing time then it's another reduction in the athleticism that they need.
I don't get that sense, no. Mike Maddux is the second pitching coach the Cardinals have had that is either the highest paid or one of the highest paid coach in the majors. Coaches have to be set free or at the end of their contracts to be open for bidding.
He does. That's why it was so shocking. It did seem -- and you can look back to the coverage at this time -- that a change was imminent, and a significant one, too. In my early-edition game story from that day I mentioned how the team Matheny kept describing the Cardinals could be was actually the team they were playing, the Reds. And the Reds made a manager change. It appeared like the Cardinals were moving toward a coaching change at hitting coach around the break -- but they went a step further, broke from character and fired the manager. It was for all of the things you mentioned. There was a general sense that the team was regressing, not progressing. That Ozuna, Fowler, and others had come in and stalled or backtracked in their performance. There was a feel that the team was out of games early or before they started, and there was a series of games -- starting with the one in Milwaukee -- that were eyesores. Honestly, in a stretch of two, 2 1/2 weeks I saw three games that were worse than any I had seen in the previous 14 1/2 seasons of covering the team. Maybe only tied by the White Flag Game in Florida from a few years ago. These losses were ugly. There were six consecutive at home. And the Cardinals' ownership saw no indication of them being turned around in a significant way, not without a significant move. It comes down to this: Ownership did not see indications of improvement, only more of the same.
They are paying part of his salary for that season, yes. We'll see who else once they address the roster in the open month of this offseason. Could be others. Mike Matheny also will be paid through 2019 by the Cardinals, per his contract.
Ross is distancing himself from arm issues and arm surgery. Next year is when, based on precedent, he'll be at his strongest.
Carpenter is signed through 2020. There's time before contract talks need to happen.
There is never a dull season covering the Cardinals because even dull is unacceptable for a fan base demanding of and devoted to the ballclub. Makes covering the team an event, always.
A fair view on what has happened, yes. I will also add that the Cardinals got tired of Memphis being the team that was winning and wondered if maybe some of that Memphis winning was ready to do the same thing at the major-league level. Remember, the Cardinals organization is not about winning another title at the PCL. That's not the goal.
That is negotiated at the time of the trade. The timing. The list of players. How the deal will happen.
We do. Reported in this morning's paper that he sliced it opening up a food container by removing the aluminum foil on the top.
Press box. Same seat as always.
I'm pro-shift and anything and everything like it. Let the hitters adjust.
There would be, yes. At least to have a conversation. He'd be considered. They aren't going to move mountains to get him, though.
Who would have thought on May 14th when his OPS was less than his SLG today?