By far the Reliever Under Glass. It's not even close. That's the most befuddling thing -- and has been since I was here covering a Cardinals game at Fenway. Perhaps Mozeliak is on this trip and we can re-enact the animated conversation we had down the third-base line, a few blades of grass from fair territory as I tried to make sense of why in the World Series they would willingly be playing with a 22-man roster. Much to his chagrin, I'm sure, I asked that question probably seven times. Maybe eight. One for every reliever.
Preach. I've tried to make that point. Sometimes it's spitting into the wind.
He or Bader. Sierra more likely unless they want to get him playoff experience with Memphis, and that is something that the Cardinals have done with priority prospects before.
I think the roster has more ability that it's shown, and perhaps I'm putting stock in a Red Herring. The team we saw in spring training -- and not just in the games, but around the fields and in drills, and so on -- was a far sharper team than we saw in April and May. Now, a big part of that was the struggles by three key members of the lineup: Fowler, Diaz, and Carpenter. They also just happened to get the most plate appearances, and thus their struggles were more likely to become team struggles and .... yep, that's what happened. How could the manager have covered for or shortened or avoided such slumps? Not sure. I have heard the Cardinals described as a three-leg stool, right? And I think this is a season where you definitely see what that means. The players (leg one) did not have the production expected; the front office (leg two) had roster that had more redundancy and overlap than they expected and that left it with little flexibility at times and didn't simplify choices for manager; the manager (leg three) and his staff was not able to get that sharp, clean, fundamentally sound game into the season like they saw during spring training. That's why the whole thing seemed wobbly. All the legs wiggled.
I don't see how that wouldn't just invite more of the same issues they've had this season. He's not batting third. He's not batting cleanup -- I guess until he's moved there later and becoming slugging Cain, or whatever. But no, back to on track: He's just more of the same of what they have. Seems to me, you'd rather see Harrison Bader or Magneuris Sierra playing than having Cain just come in as another redundancy.
That is a trend we've seen with other pitchers, yes.
I hope he just sticks around, to be honest. Think he'll do it voluntarily? The local chapter of the BBWAA funds the internship that he has, so many we can take it to Kickstarter and keep him around. He's done an excellent job. Frederickson-esque in how he's taken to the internship and really made the most of it with his energy.
It's all posturing to me. A need is a need is a need. It doesn't go away.
That's certainly in play. But they would be moving outfielder(s) to get outfielder. That's part of the idea. Deal from a strength to acquire an upgrade. That's how they must think of these things.
Sure. But that's not a bad thing. It's also something the Cardinals invite. It's part of the brand that they sell and the promise that they attach to ticket sales. They feel contending is in the soil at Busch Stadium, and there is a style of baseball that fans come to see. They cannot sell that and then get mad when they're held to it. That's what I've learned in 14 years of covering the team. If you set the bar -- or the brand -- then the fans and media should say, well, what are you doing today to reach that bar? Look, I know that BFIB has become this pejorative, like "narrative," has but where we all really see the knowledge of the fan is base is an awareness of how hard it is to win year in and year out and how long and grueling the season can be, and yet even though the fans clearly know these things they still expect the best from the Cardinals. To me, other fan bases should be so in tune. The Cardinals are the Yankees of the Midwest. Their fans should hold them to that history, and you don't need to apologize for that.
You are jumping way ahead.
September callups must be on the 40-man roster, yes.
Today he would not be, depending somewhat on the opponent. He's got a few months here to pitch his way back into a role. But Lyons and Duke have moved ahead when it comes to high-leverage lefty assignments, and then there is Kevin Siegrist recovering on the DL, and at his best he can be the crossfire lefty to shutdown lefthanded hitters. At most, you'd see Cecil as the reliever under glass and then we'd just have that whole discussion again.
That will certainly be discussed at the end of the season. They have a few things that they want to reconsider and look at with the coaching staff, especially given the change during the middle of the season. More defined roles. New roles. New coaches. All on the table.
Not as long as the Dodgers remain in the NL. If they suddenly move to the AL for some unforeseen reason, then I like his chances.
Next season is the last guaranteed year on his deal.
He's got 383 2/3 innings at shortstop. That's no small amount of work, unless you're trying to compare it to, say, a career. He's a plus-5 at the position, per Bill James Online. He's got one defensive run saved, and that ranks 13th in the majors. So, he's qualified for that list, too. His range is good. His first step is better than expected. And his arm is true. If you want something that separates him from Aledmys Diaz it's his arm. Diaz didn't have a healthy arm at times and that meant he had to adjust his positioning to compensate. DeJong has a strong arm, true arm, and he can make some of those backhand plays that Diaz used to move over to cover. DeJong has an arm like Peralta, range Tyler Greene, and instincts for the position that are rapidly gaining on Eckstein. Just to put him in perspective.