Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cardinals questions and comments, and talk to Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold in a live chat starting at 1 p.m.

  • A) Entirely possible. It's likely a conversation that was had so that Piscotty could get some work on his swing without the games counting toward the big-league standings. That's a big deal. He just needs a laboratory to do the work he wants, and that cannot be in the NL Central.

    B) I guess there's always the chance. Are you eager to dump someone specific?
  • Quick news flash for those who want Lance Lynn re-signed because he's such a reliable workhorse of a starting pitcher: Lance Lynn did not pitch in the majors last year, due to injury. Seems folks don't merely have a short memory; they have no memory at all. Here are the Redbird starting pitching prospects who've twirled at AA or above: Reyes, Weaver, Flaherty, Hudson, Gallen (all 5 have already pitched at AAA), plus Alcantara and Helsley in AA. You don't pay star money to a non-star like Lance (charming though he is) when you have tons of talent that close to the majors. This of course is the same reason it was clinically insane to give Fowler $80M+ and surrender a high draft pick; the Cards had loads of outfielders in the pipeline, ready to play for peanuts over the next few years.
  • One difference between these situations is there are five starters that a team needs on opening day, and it's likely they'll need at least seven (or, heck, likely more) during the course of a season. They'll need three outfielders for the course of a season, and could probably go a year with as few as five, maybe six. Big difference when it comes to measuring the depth at these two positions.
  • No, but I'm wondering how much longer we can give Grichuk. Feast/famine with that guy... and the famines seems to be longer than the feasts.
  • Well, you wouldn't DFA Grichuk. That's not necessary because he's not even arb eligible yet. You could option him to Class AAA. You could try to trade him (as they did). You could wait until the end of the season and non-tender him. If you think an open roster spot is more valuable, then I guess your opinion of the player is clear. Not sure the Cardinals would get to that point.
  • I think a Fowler & Leake discussion with the Snakes should happen this winter. I wonder what they have in AAA for a power hitter? Clears the clutter and get $ off the books and positions that can be filled internally.
  • Sure. I bet Arizona digs what they have, though.
  • Here's Rick Hummel's news story on Stephen Piscotty:

    Cardinals option Piscotty to Memphis

    stltoday.comRight fielder has been hampered by injuries, and by concern for his mother's health condition. Dexter Fowler was activated from the disabled list to replace him.
  • Would this lineup work in your opinion and would it be feasible in your opinion?
    Fowler LF
    Wong 2B
    DeJong SS
    Gyorko 3B
    Ozuna RF
    Voit 1b
    Molina C
    Sierra CF

    What changes would you make players or position in lineup?? Thanks for letting me pretend to be MM next season and making out a lineup
  • I think the Cardinals best lineup has Matt Carpenter in it. There seems to be a lot of sentiment in the chat and elsewhere that this is not the case. I'm not sure why. That said, Sierra has brought a verve to the lineup that really no one outside of Bader has, so I get the appeal there. Oh, and if the Cardinals were able to get Ozuna from the Marlins there is no way he should bat No. 3 or No. 4. This lineup isn't one where he would be in the latter half. No chance.
  • If Lynn is willing and interested to return to St. Louis for a fair-value deal, but the Cardinals elect to move on, do you believe it will be primarily a baseball based decision (wouldn't want him even at a discount) or will it be more a business decisions (like him as a player just want to allocate the payroll elsewhere)?
  • Can it be both? I'm going with both. It could be how they look to reposition payroll. Or it could be how they force change upon themselves. They don't want the same roster back. That's one quick way to assure it won't be the same pitching staff.
  • Going left to right, what is the best defensive outfield we can field with the current 40 man (after Fowler comes off the DL). How about offense? Finally, putting the two together, who composes the best balanced attackin the OF?
  • This is a tough question. I'll try to tackle it.

    (Though you could probably have a pick 'em of three in RF)

    (Though that's today, and it really should be Piscotty in RF here)


    That seems to be the best answer I can come up with, and it speaks to how there really hasn't been someone outside of Pham to really seize the opportunity in the outfield, consistently.
  • Darren Daulton also passed away today...certainly had his off-field problems, but was a fun player to watch when I was a kid. RIP Dutch & Don.
  • Agreed. Fun player to watch. Always seemed to have a strong baseball card, too.
  • Hey Derrick, On July 17, the D-Backs acquired J D Martinez for next to nothing....Best prospect is a Double A middle infielder (now ranked 13th in Tigers system) and 2 nobodies. Why in the world didnt the Cardinals beat the D-Backs offer, I heard Mo say the Tigers liked the D-backs offer better, oh really now....I think it's because an overcrowded OF, would truly show up Mo, and his faith in Piscotty and Grichuk borders on insanity......
  • My understanding, as discussed earlier in the chat, was the Cardinals weren't a) interested in the rental outfielder all that much and b) didn't have a chance to counter the Diamondbacks' offer like you describe. The Tigers had what they wanted from the Cardinals, and the Cardinals weren't going to part with the centerpiece prospect or two in exchange for a rental. It wasn't a situation where the Cardinals could got, "But but but but but that D-Backs prospect is ranked only No. X and we have number No. X-1 that we'll deal you instead." Nope. Detroit set a price for each team. Arizona met it. That meant the Az got close with the prospects it offered than the Cardinals were willing to do so with the prospects the Tigers desired. Not the first time we've seen this.
  • DG yes or no. Assuming Reyes comes back healthy next year, the Cardinals are a middle of the order bat and one top line reliever away from being a legit WS contender?
  • Would like to know more about what the infield looks like, but yes pitching rules and that pitching would give them a chance to win the division. Anything can happen in October.
  • Kind of an obscure question regarding waivers my friends and I were discussing. Apparently Bryce Harper cleared waivers. I understand why many names clear, big contracts you don't want to get saddled with. But with Harper, why would no one just put in a claim? I'm certain the Nats don't want to trade him, but might as well claim him in the million to once chance the Nats screw up the paperwork to pull him back. Is it as simple as teams not wanting to waste time with paperwork on someone that isn't going anywhere?
  • Probably. I also cannot stress enough that the recent attention given the waivers is confusing to me. I'm not sure if it's Twitter and micro-scoops that drive this, but I do think that the outlandish attention given to waivers over-dramatizes them. Because we see a breathless report about them we want to invest some sort of breathless importance in them. I get it. I find myself doing it. When I was told this past month that Stanton might go on waivers it took me a moment to go, right, yes, of course, that makes sense. OK. Makes sense. I shouldn't even have been told that. It's like almost a given. So, yes, it's a rather dull event that occasionally stirs Twitter and every once in awhile leads to drama like Randy Myers. But mostly it's just part of the process, and teams just churn their rosters through it.
  • I understand your confusion about the fans souring on Carpenter, but the more I see him play this year, the more I understand it.
    Let's start at the end - he represents to many fans why this team is stuck below .500. He hits well, or has in the past hit very well, but there are a lot of holes in his game. He doesn't have great speed, he is a very poor baserunner, and plays below average defense. That doesn't say 'teams best player' to me. If that is your teams best player, well, you have a very flawed team.
    Another reason may be the perception of poor talent evaluation. Which is to say, Matt Adams is all-around much better than Carpenter, yet the team chose Carp over Adams. They started with Carp and made decisions from there, instead of looking at everything with a blank slate and putting the best team on the field.

    Also, if you are going to really and truly change the culture and attitude of the clubhouse, Carp may need to go. He has been here a long time, has leveled off quite a bit in his overall play, and will only be the 3rd or 4th best bat in a true contending lineup.

    To put it in a bit of a nutty perspective, let's look at the early 90's Cards. Todd Zeile was the teams best player by far, but by trading Zeile they were able to get assets to build the team back up for the late 90's run.
  • I appreciate the time you took to explain this, and it is helpful to read a level-headed look at the issue. But if you'll allow me a point of order: "Matt Adams is all-around much better than Carpenter, yet the team chose Carp over Adams." I would like to know where the evidence that supports this statement is. Matt Carpenter had one of the best seasons in this generation by a leadoff hitter. Seriously. I can send you a link. I also, for kicks, dug into some statistics to explore if there's someway this is possible.

    From 2013 to this moment right here
    Carpenter's WAR is 18.6, 29th in baseball.
    Adams' WAR is 4.8, 207th in baseball.

    Carpenter has a 128 OPS+ and Adams is a 112 OPS+
    Because playing time is obviously a factor in some of this.
    Carpenter has a wRC+ of 132, for 23rd in the majors.
    Adams has a wRC+ of 112, 84th in the majors. does some fun stuff with that production as well, and Carpenter has a wRC overall of 475 for 11th in baseball. Eleventh. Bryce Harper ranks behind him with 461. Carpenter ranks with MVPs of that past few years, when it comes to that statistic. Fangraphs also assigns a market value to production and since 2013, Carpenter has given the Cardinals the equivalent of $159.6 million in production. Adams? Well, his wRC is 220 (164th in baseball) and the value of that production is, net net, $40.1 million.

    The fact that kind of production is willingly, even eagerly, varnished over fascinates me and might be why I have such a hard time understanding what is happening in these eddies.
  • I've heard about the Cardinals unwillingness to use their backup catcher has pinch-hitter or in any other role for years now. I've never once seen a situation where that would have caused the problem. Wouldn't it be worth the risk to really have to use a aanother player as catcher and make full use of the bench?
  • Yes. Like waivers, it's over-dramatized. Like the extra reliever, it's a maddening use of the roster.
  • Thanks for all your time, DG!
    Here's one. Highest career winning percentage for managers whose careers began after 1947 (min. 800 games):
    Al Lopez .584, Earl Weaver .583, Davey Johnson .562, Mike Matheny .560, Walt Alston .558, Bobby Cox .556, Billy Martin .553, and Joe Girardi .553.
    Those are the only guys over .550.
    LaRussa, Maddon, Francona, and Joe Torre: those guys are all in the .530's. That's how hard it is to be as successful as Matheny has been. And he's done so without Hall Of Fame rosters or bloated LA or NY-style player payrolls.
    Yes, he's done a mediocre job over the past two years -- but if he has truly good talent, he'll get more than the most out of it.
  • Another side of the argument heard from. This is a rare entry in the chat, to be honest.
  • Not a Grichuk hater, but I have Peter Bourjos flashbacks when he starts. Fair or unfair comparison in your opinion?
  • They are not at all alike, except that they came together in the same trade. That's where the comparison ends for me.
  • Can you tell Carlos Martinez to worry about getting outs tonight and pitching innings like he worries about how his hair looks?
  • You said one time you welcomed comments as well as questions. I guess this is just a comment.

    It seems like everyone is ignoring Pujols these days. I did a little math and found interesting results.

    Over the last six years, including all games so far this year, I computed Pujols 162-game average for HRs and RBIs.

    Here’s how he compares with these three “top” players:

    B. Harper: 32 HRs and 89 RBIs
    P. Goldschmidt: 30 HRs and 110 RBIs
    M. Trout: 36 HRs and 103 RBIs
    A. Pujols: 32 HRs and 109 RBIs

    I thought this one was very interesting, too.

    G. Stanton: 45 HRs and 112 RBIs
  • Albert Pujols will be forever compared to Albert Pujols. That's a losing proposition because he was so so good for so so long as a younger hitter for the Cardinals.
  • Is that Angels figurine Spiwack?
  • Jim Abbott. The Great.
  • Derrick: Thank you for the chat, it is greatly appreciated. I will try to not be too wordy: Accountability. We see fans complain about the lack of accountability for bone headed mistakes in the filed, on the base paths and at the plate. The angriest of us complain about the lack of it. Matheny grumbles that he does hold players accountable, but doesn't feel like he needs to share what he does after a game (many of us believe he does very little). OK, I get what happens in the club house stays in the club house. But have you ever asked him in a more general sense without mentioning names as to what he does to hold players accountable? What do you think defines accountable? Is it MCarp coming out and acknowledging he has been a bit lacking? What do YOU think should happen if a player, say Carpenter or Wong, make mistakes repeatedly? Maybe if we understood how that is enforced, most of us could take a step back. Or is it that we are just supposed to see spoiled millionaires make mistakes again and again because that is the game now?
  • This is an excellent question, and it really strikes at some of the changes that have come with both the definition/usage of "accountability" and how it's viewed around the ballpark these days. I have asked all of those questions. Sometimes I even get push back, and once already this season had the same question fired at me that you present here, "Well, what would you do?" To which, I did explain that we're talking about coaching, and outside of Boulder Valley Summer Swim Leagues I've really never done coaching at a high level, so I would yield to someone with expertise on the subject and not presume to have the answer. Hence, the question. If we were talking about accountability in journalism or parenting I would have a better, personal feel for it. Even an opinion. But I genuinely asked the general questions you present here out of curiosity and an eagerness to know. That wasn't enough to get an answer.

    It used to be that the media was part of the accountability equation. That's how I put it in a question a year or so ago. The media would be the one to ask the questions, or offer a platform for some honest, self-evaluation. A manager could be critical of a player -- if it was honest -- in the media, or send a message to the team or the front office via the media. Look, La Russa did that often. He would talk about how the team had "earned" a move at the deadline and that the front office should be responsive to all the work the players put in to "merit" that move. That was his way of offering a way to keep the front office accountable, and to let the fans know where he stood. When he benched players, he explained it -- first to the player and likely in greater detail, but also to the media because he knew we would notice. The media had a part in the accountability equation.

    If nothing else, the media was the bridge to the fans on which a message or explanation could travel. Sometimes even the bridge to the owner, who would read the media for insight.

    The current opinion, as stated when I asked the question, is that "things have changed." The manager does not see the media as part of the accountability equation, and that he will not answer and that really maybe even the fans/media shouldn't ask. He has been hired to get the most from the 25 players on the active roster, and feels that there are things that should stay within that group. Those are his charges. Those are who he answers to, and who he defends. And, in that way, he's a very modern manager. A very modern manager. These changes are happening all over. Look no further than the Cardinals taking their transactions directly to Twitter. Look no further than the coverage last week and how Yadier Molina decided to speak his side of the issue by going to Instagram. The media wasn't part of his accountability equation because he made his own. I get that.

    And coverage has changed accordingly.

    I agree entirely that if you understood how things were enforced it would take away the mystery, the speculation, and even some of the anger. I had this conversation recently in the dugout, too. If you answer a question honestly, in my experience, it takes away all speculation. It usually ends it. I was told that's not the case anymore. For the same reason the team can circumvent the media and take its unchecked message to the fans, the team can feel speculation will never die, whether they tell the truth or not. This is discouraging to me. An honest question should, for the most part, be given the professional courtesy of an honest answer, or an honest reason why an honest answer cannot be given. I think we all understand there are topics not to be discussed publicly. But events that happen publicly (mistakes, comments, Instagram) probably should be addressed publicly. Don't play us for fools.

    Coverage will change accordingly.

    I think the request you made here is fair, honest, and entirely within your rights as a fan who has spent money to support a product.
  • Why are the Cardinals carry 4 lefty relief pitchers and no lefty starters. I would guess 2/3rds of NL batters are right handed so 4 lefty relievers seems way toomuch.
  • The lefty starters is a simple answer: They are going with the best five starters they have in place. That's how a rotation should be defined. If you have five righties better than the next lefty, then go with the five righties. No question. As for the four lefties in the bullpen -- now there are three. And that's partially because again, who you got that's better? Some of it is role. Some of it is options (Lyons). Some of it is the lack of effectiveness elsewhere. It's not a big deal, to me, unless it radically changes how they're being used and leads to dust collecting on two of them.
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