Greetings, from Boston, just footsteps away from Fenway. Let me get me feet planted here. Fill the hopper. And off we will go ...
The questions are coming in fast and furious so let me get a handle on them here, sort them, and then we'll gain some speed here. Sorry. Was hit with a deluge just as I was trying to choose a few. Thanks
Welcome! Happy to have you join in. I'm not sure why Molina keeps his mask on for the TV interviews after the game. It may be because he's a catcher, it may be an inside joke, it may be that just int he rush of the postgame run-off he didn't take it off. He doesn't wear it in the clubhouse when we have a chance to talk to him post-game. As for the hand signal, it's something that Adam Wainwright suggested during the team dinner they recently had. He said that all of the players kept talking about playing "together," being more "together," and so he said they should show that they are "together" with that hand signal. They do it the dugout and the bullpen when they reach base.
They have looked at some relievers and whether there is a way to fortify for the bullpen for now -- for any playoff series they may reach. Justin Upton is going to get some chatter from the outside about a fit for the Cardinals. Sure he's another righthanded hitting outfielder and the Cardinals have an abundance of righthanded hitting outfielders, but his production so far this season suggests he'd be an upgrade and a way to further deepen the lineup. I don't get the sense that the Cardinals are content with the roster they have -- just reassured with how the roster they have has played recently.
Sticks with the fixtures that work. That is: DeJong at third, Fowler at cleanup, Wong higher up and Grichuk toward the back. Carpenter of course at first and Pham at second. Those have been the contributors from those spots that have given the offense flight and showed a variety of ways they can score.
Oh continues to learn and practice English, and he speaks it more with his teammates than he does with the media. Though, he does say hello and ask us how we're doing and other pleasantries in English. He does spend time with teammates, yes. He obviously comes to the majors with a schedule that has worked for him in Japan and Korea, so he does keep to that. He's not always one to explore the cities they visit as a result because he is getting ready for the game or getting rest for the game. Eugene does go everywhere with him, yes. During the All-Star break, Oh went exploring New York City and Eugene went with him.
He is a free agent. There hasn't been any indication from the Cardinals directly (of course), but I've asked around a bit about him, and the push back I get is that Hosmer would be the better fit for the Cardinals, the better get. Either way, you're complicating the infield. If Hosmer is at first, where is Carpenter. If Moustakas is at third where is Gyorko, or DeJong or Diaz? The play the Cardinals seem more likely to make is a trade that brings clarity to where a new addition would play, and that they would look to the outfield for that player's position.
There is mutual interest to have a discussion. Oh let the team know he'd like to talk about coming back and that he enjoys it in St Louis. (That was part of the previous question that I forgot to answer. Sorry. Yes, he does enjoy learning about and living in the U.S., and he has found comfort in St. Louis, enough to entertain returning to the Cardinals.) The team was open to engaging during spring training, and a deal didn't happen. As with most everything, cost will be the determining factor.
There isn't a specific plan to do so, no. His assignment there doesn't have a timetable -- so it could be sooner or it could be later. He could be there for the Redbirds playoffs with the way the major-league roster is playing. The health of the other outfielders will be a big factor, and so of course will be theirs and his production. But, no, he did not go down to Class AAA Memphis with any promises of a return date, not to the best of my knowledge.
Going to depend on Jedd Gyorko's health.
Only in the sense that Randal Grichuk is getting the additional playing time, and the confidence and routine that comes with that.
Been telling folks in the chat for years: DeJong is legit. And that's not just because he's from Illinois State, the proud alma mater of my mother. (Alma mother?)
Tommy Pham is an everyday player. He's the Cardinals best outfielder at this point. He's their most productive hitter over a long stretch. He's playing well. He's playing at his best. And the Cardinals aren't in any position to sit their best player.
He would, and you hit on all the reasons. He really stands out as the free agent with the most obvious match for the Cardinals. During the course of reporting on players and heading into the trade deadline, there wasn't any sense that the Cardinals coveted Martinez ahead of other options, including ones that obviously didn't get moved. That helps us all understand where Martinez ranks for them in their evaluations. Obviously, the cost is different in the offseason, but we've seen slim interest at the trade deadline (the price turned them off, as did the rental) turn into slim interest in the next winter (the length of the deal becomes a factor).
Dexter Fowler's daughter was apparently lobbying her parents to do so. But other than that there has been no indication that someone from the clubhouse is going to adopt the cat. Will check again, of course, just to be sure. The Cardinals are selling stuff animal #RallyCats at the team store already, Of course.
He can play those positions, and yet there has been little movement toward getting him playing time there. Seemed like Gyorko's injury freed up a way to get Kelly some starts at third, but this wasn't even talked about -- or wasn't much. There are a few reasons for this. One, the Cardinals -- like so many other teams --- are reluctant to put their backup in the field and leave that spot on the bench exposed if there is an injury. Two, the Cardinals have Kelly going through what can only be called continuing education at catcher. He's out there working regularly on different areas of the game, and doing so with Matheny and Molina both standing nearby, offering help. He also has a schedule now during the games he's not playing that involves catching bullpens at full speed, with cleats on, etc.
At last check, they were trying to avoid that.
Wisdom is not on the 40-man roster. So it's unlikely.
If there is a trade involving either of those two players, it is far more likely that it's Pham than Kelly. Their ages. Their positions. The spot they are in their careers. All point to Pham being the more likely player of that duo to be moved by the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are not in Boston. They are flying later today, during the evening after trying to take an off day at home. I flew in early because that's when the flights were best, direct, and reasonably priced. The Cardinals have a charter and don't have to worry about such things.