Nothing outside of him playing at Johnson City. Had a recent six-game hitting streak. Got his average over .200. Chugging along.
The worst thing a "narrative" can become is a self-fulling prophecy. We might be there. It's silly.
Doubtful. Highly doubtful.
I remember those Mark McGwire days. He had 10 playoff games with the Cardinals in five years. A grand total of, what, 15 at-bats in October. Something tells me you wouldn't be satisfied with that. I mean, goodness, he hit a lot of home runs, and that was fun, but isn't the idea here to contend, to win, to be in the playoffs, to take aim at championships, to annually appear in baseball's postseason. Cardinals had two losing seasons with McGwire around. That what you want?
And this is happening when he's playing better and getting on base more regularly. It's a fascinating regression. Some of it could be -- and apparently is -- where he's batting in the order. When he's batting eighth we don't see the same attempt-rate at stealing, not when there's a pitcher there to bunt him over. He's more apt to go when he's batting second and there's the middle of the order coming up. And he just hasn't been there all that much this season.
Thanks, Robert. I think reality is somewhere in the mix of all the things you described. There are more moves the Cardinals could make this winter than the two you described. Yes, Fowler has a no-trade clause. But that just means they have to ask him, not that he'll say no. He might say yes. He might say yes to one and only one team. He might want to get closer to Las Vegas or to spring training in Arizona. Anything is possible. The no-trade just means they have to go to him first and that they might have a lot of leverage because there are limited teams that he'll accept. They could move a host of outfielders and accomplish change, as well.
You strike at the point that the Cardinals must change. They have not made a package-prospect deal since 2009. The market has moved way beyond that, and the time has come for them to meet it.
They say they do. They say they will. They say they've wanted to. We'll see.
Every time they try, the division says, no, no, come back join us. They keep pulling the Cardinals back into the race, despite the Cardinals best effort to let someone else run away with it.
He who plays best, ought to play most. I mean, if you're in the race.
Yes. Actually this has been something that Girsch and Matheny have talked about in the past, too, as Matheny has sought out some data about lineup construction, etc., bullpen management, and such stuff from the teams' analytic department. This has been something discussed in the offseason as well. Like back in 2014, in the wake of the Wacha decision in the 2014 NLCS, it was discussed internally.
Let's take Gomber out of the discussion, because I think he has a place and may even be too high of a price to pay. After that ... A legitimate one does not readily spring to mind. I suppose they could contend that their internal view of Bruce is that they already have a guy like him on the roster and it would just create more confusion. Since they're readily handing over that internal evaluation it would be something they'd say and not have to prove. If he just costs money then there is less of argument there.
That does add a nuance to the situation -- and really is where the discussion should start. If they want to save Fowler's legs and feet and arms from the injuries he's had this season then LF makes sense. So start there. It's all about the approach, and the analogy still fits. If he defines himself as a CF, but to maintain his health for this season and production for this season in LF then it becomes a far better conversation for him to have and an easier choice for the Cardinals. You are right. It's all about the pitch.
It does, through no fault of their own.
It shouldn't. But it does influence that decision. His opinion might vary from yours. And that is a commitment that the Cardinals have made to a player -- and they'll want to keep him as comfortable as possible because they've got four more years from him and they expect production.
Yes. They would qualify as stars. Even burgeoning stars.
No kidding. That was a downright quaint time around here. Pre-Twitter.
Eventually, they're the boy who cried wolf with this running talk.
They have yet to really do anything with his option/contract, right? When I joined a group of Pittsburgh writers to talk with Huntington he was asked about his contract and he seemed pretty confident about just having to sit down with ownership to discuss it. But in my experience that doesn't mean it's a given. A conversation can go both ways. As it did in 2007. One person can think it's about an extension, and the other can announce it's a termination. I think the next few steps they make will be interesting.
Eight, I guess? Maybe 10. It's going to take a package of four- or five- really good players.
Stephen Piscotty headed to Class AAA.
As I mentioned before, it was something that the Cardinals have discussed.