Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

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




    Greetings from Jupiter, Fla., and Roger Dean Stadium, where the Cardinals currently trail the Detroit Tigers, 2-0, and Paul DeJong just lofted a ball down the right-field line that hooked foul and just right of a home run that could have tied the game. Marcell Ozuna is on deck, and so are your questions. We'll get this chat going, but first I want to point something out.
     
    The San Diego Padres signed Manny Machado.
     
    Manny Machado received the largest contract ever in U.S. sports history for a free agent. As I've tried to say many times in this chat -- teams have money to spend, it's whether they want to or not. The San Diego Padres just signed Manny Machado. It is possible. 
     
    Onward!
    When is Cecil taking the mound in ST?
    It won't be Tuesday. He has not been set for a Grapefruit League appearance, not in the pitching lists that have been printed and available to us to see or to the players to read. Cecil got sick during a round of Live BP, and it's not clear whether he'll have another one of those in the coming days. It would be tomorrow or Wednesday given the current schedule. The Cardinals don't seem to be making that big of a deal out of Live BP this spring. Starters aren't going through the usual up/down progression. Many pitchers got one Live BP session in and then saw games. And all of that is with the extra workout day before games. Cecil is doing work on the back fields, and that has been the focus with him and Maddux to this point.
    Birthday boy Rick Hummel posts the lineup every morning from Jupiter here at StlToday, and when I'm on the road with the Cardinals this spring, I'll do the same. It's a great place to check for all the lineup details and morning schedules: 

    Fast-rising Cards righthander Woodford will oppose Tigers

    stltoday.comTampa product has been an All-Star twice in Cardinals' and has pitched for two league champions.
    Comment: the BPIB podcasts with you and BenFred are by far the best
  • I'm partial to the one with Peter Gammons from a few weeks ago. That was an enjoyable conversation. Thanks for listening.
  • How did Woodford look for this two innings?
    Woodford touched 96 mph, and he was strong in the first inning. He threw 11 of his 14 pitches for strikes. He was good with his slider and he was ahead in the count to the hitters at the top of the Tigers' order. Second inning was less productive. Velocity faded. Relied a lot on his slider. Pitched a lot off of the off-speed pitch, less aggressive with the fastball, and that cost him. Could be the first start of spring training. Could be that he has to get in the habit of trusting the fastball and going from there.
    Is Ozuna’s shoulder ready to go.? If not will it be 100% by opening day? Hoping he is fit from day one and see if he can produce closer to his 2017 season than what he produced in 2018.
    It is not ready to go, no. He is still throwing at less than 100 percent. He is still working through some mechanic changes in his arm. He's building strength and retraining his arm, and the Cardinals are openly asking whether he's progressed fast enough this spring. As I was just told moments ago about this: "The clock's ticking." The Cardinals want to see him in games, and they want to avoid what they had last season -- which was a question mark on whether he could throw at full strength or not come opening day. They've got a month. Spoke to Ozuna this morning and he stressed that he feels better, not completely back, but better. He's not had any limitations at the plate.
     
    He's leading off this inning as I type this.
    Not only is it The Commish birthday. But it is George Harrison's birthday. Do you have a favorite George Harrison song?
    Here Comes the Sun. And I have many favorite Rick Hummel stories.
    Visually, Ozuna looks a little pudgy. I’m sure there’s no issue there but he looks a little “out of shape” for a Left Fielder. Maybe he’s always been built that way. Am I just crazy? Thanks for the chat.
  • He's reported to camp heavier than he was last year and the Cardinals have talked about how he needs to improve his fitness in addition to his shoulder health this spring. And, actually, so has he. He added some strength this winter he says, and he did report about 20-25 pounds beyond what he was listed at this past season.
  • It seems like Ozuna's future with the Cardinals beyond 2019 is rarely discussed. So, with that being said, do the Cardinals have any interest at all in signing Ozuna long term?
    It's rarely discussed because there's nothing much to discuss. At this point, he and the team expect him to become a free agent at the end of the season, and the Cardinals have made it clear their goal is to re-sign Goldschmidt and get an extension done with Mikolas. The depth to replace Ozuna is already on the roster, if the Cardinals need it. So, there's a reason why it's rarely discussed.
    Do you feel that this is the season where the rubber truly hits the road regarding the Cardinal's commitment to their young pitching. It would appear that this season would be the referendum on this strategy regarding both absolute performance and innings load managed by this group. With all the stewing over Fowler, Ozuna, Wong, etc., I feel that this is probably where the largest delta exists in the ultimate win total. Thanks for the chats, podcast, and coverage, I enjoy them all!
    I'm not sure I agree with this premise. But there is clearly room for debate as we'll have all season in this chat, I bet. For me, the delta doesn't seem all that much for this Cardinals team. Not like last year. I didn't think last year's team was a playoff team, and said as much with my predictions in the newspaper. If everything went right for them, maybe they were. Maybe. If everything went wrong, the were a losing team -- and they almost were if not for Flaherty, Gomber, and Shildt, for example. That was a wide delta. This team is narrower. It's hard to see this team being a losing team without a catastrophe happening.
     
    The Cardinals are a pitching development organization. They do it better than any other team in the division. That is where they have had success, that is by design, and that is not changing. They feel it's where they can create depth, create stability, and create a team that can contend -- or a stockpile of arms they can trade to get the bats they need. This is their identity, and that's not changing in the near future. It's worth noting that they also leaned heavily on young pitchers in 2013 and again in 2018 in that August run that was so successful. The rubber has met the road.
    Paul Goldschmidt...not quite enough to win the division but enough to get 3.4 million in the seats. That's the bottom line anyway..right? The Cards are always saying their interested in the long-term. What happens when Goldy and Ozuna walk after this year? Back where they started. Next year, there are no Harpers or Machados. I guess they have to trade away their young prospects anyway. But for who?
    Going to be a long year, isn't it? There is a simple way to send a message that you don't approve of the team's actions or inaction with Harper and Machado, and that's not to send in a question to the chat. Just don't be one of the 3.4 million tickets sold. See how that adds up. They'll get the message.
    Thanks for the chat, DG.
    What's the latest on Delvin Perez? Should we stop thinking about him?
    Nope. This is the season to determine that. He's got to get stronger, got to fill out. He hasn't. He's young enough that he's going to mature into some strength and that's going to be clearer this season. He's got good action in the field, lively play at shortstop, but if the strength isn't there the durability and the bat won't be. The Cardinals want to make something from their investment, and this will be the year that reveals if they can.
    Are the Cardinals really all in for 2019?
  • They say they are. They have a lot of contracts that expire or can expire at season's end. I get the feeling it really depends on what you're definition of "all in" is. For me, if they're all-in then they'll really reveal it with a move in July. That hasn't happened the past few years -- not a move of significance. And if they trade control/prospects for the now, then we'll have evidence that they are "all in" based on a definition I'd use.
  • Hey Derrick. You have any Rick Ankiel updates?
    Same as it ever was. He's recovering from elbow surgery. He wasn't expected to start throwing this month. The Cardinals are still interested. He's still interested. There hasn't been any change on this for a few months because he's rehabbing.
    Do the Cardinals view O'Neill as a big part of their future? He's been highly rated as a (just barely) prospect, but the team doesn't seem to value him as highly.
    They want him to be, yes. Could be the starter in LF next season, for example.
    I think its safe to assume that Carlos Martinez can not be relied upon for any kind of significant inning this year. With Wacha, Waino and Reyes status also in doubt, why not sign Dallas Kuechel. At least he's reliable.
    Years of commitment at this point. Cost. Those are the reasons. The Cardinals are also going to sort through their options here for another week or so, looking at Dakota Hudson to start Wednesday and Austin Gomber will get a look and of course Alex Reyes has forced his way into that conversation. The Cardinals have sided with quantity, and they think they can find quality in quantity. What they don't have is certainty at this point, and that is valuable and something that they lack.
    Has it ever been stated why Ozuna waited so long to have surgery, and do you know if the front office was frustrated by the lack of urgency?
    It has been, yes. Multiple times, including before the surgery and after the surgery. Let's go through the timeline: Cardinals visit Los Angeles and agent Scott Boras talks with Ozuna and urges him to see a doctor there in LA, with the blessing of the Cardinals. To that point, Ozuna was not forthcoming about what he was feeling, and he later told me that he would feel his arm go numb after throws and he did not tell the Cardinals this during the first half of the season, preferring to keep playing through the trouble. Boras pointed to a pitch that Ozuna didn't drive in 2018 that he obliterated in 2017 and the player understood that the shoulder was sapping his power, so he saw a doctor. He received a shot and the possibility of future shoulder surgery was discussed. The Cardinals, Boras, and Ozuna all told me that he would revisit LA or a specialist at the end of the season or sometime in late October in order to explore the possibility of a surgery.
     
    After the season, Ozuna was prescribed rest to see how the shoulder responded. At a point later in the winter -- they would reverse engineer that date from being ready for opening day -- he would have a consultation and possibly have that impingement in his shoulder addressed surgically. The idea that he would rest first and then re-evaluate is not unusual because players and teams usually do all they can to avoid surgery -- waiting till the moment it would intrude on the season to make that call.
     
    Consider other examples:
     
    -- Yadier Molina had surgery late in the winter so that he could go with MLB on a tour of All-Stars in Japan and continue on with a family vacation around the world. His surgery was, likewise, set up to get him ready for opening day, not Grapefruit League play.
     
    -- Kolten Wong expected to have surgery on his knee after the end of the season. He was prescribed rest. He was re-checked -- and voila, no surgery. He was encouraged to find that out after bracing himself for the possibility.
     
    These examples are often forgotten when the focus is on Ozuna's timeline. Ozuna did return home to start the offseason. He also did not take the Cardinals invitation to do some of his physical therapy and work at the team's facility in Jupiter. The timing of the surgery wasn't the frustration for the team -- the time spent in Jupiter or with the Cardinals' training staff was. Mozeliak flew down to the DR to see Ozuna in person. He was encouraged, and he urged Ozuna to report to spring training early. Ozuna did. The same day Paul Goldschmidt arrived was also Ozuna's first day on site, and he has been almost every day since working with trainers and coaches on his arm.
     
    Hope that helps.
  • Who do the Cards get more from this season as far as production- Waino or C Mart?
    I don't have any clue. Adam Wainwright has a head start because Adam Wainwright is going to appear in a Grapefruit League game Tuesday and has a spot in the rotation, as of now.
    Any chance Edman makes the team out of spring training?
    Not likely. He'd have to leapfrog Munoz and Robinson to do so. But he could leave camp as the de facto backup shortstop. That person will be at Class AAA Memphis.
    What were your initial thoughts on Baseball Prospectus comments about Mo (that his comments about Fowler were racist)? And if we admonish Joe Schmo for hiding behind his computer screen when he says things on social media, why wouldn't a national publication have to put a name to those kind of comments?
    I was disappointed by them, in part, because I'm only a phone call away. In 2018, I wrote the Cardinals essay for Baseball Prospectus, and honestly it was one of those things that I always wanted to do in my career. Along with, just for example, write a comic book (check), appear in the KMOX Christmas Show (maybe someday!), and draw a logo for a 2nd Shift beer can (anyone?). I have great regard for the work of Aaron Gleeman, the editor at BP, and hope that they would know I'm available to check stuff. I try to help any writers with that, especially when it's making sense of what was a confusing series of events in St. Louis and ones that are often conflated or spliced together inaccurately. That said, yes, there should be accountability for writing such things, and a name should be attached to it. If you're going to write, make the words mean something, and if you're going to write something that means something, own it. Take the accolades. Take the credit. Take the blame. That's part of being a pro. It would be a big step for the writer of that passage to step forward and apologize -- or defend his work, defend his statement -- and not leave his editor to do so on his behalf.
    With Mo being the clear leader in the front office, both title and exposure, how has GM Girsch contributed thus far?
    He's done many of the negotiations that have resulted in some of the recent deals the Cardinals have made. He's been involved. He was part of the group that work toward and gathered info for the Goldschmidt deal. That's an example.
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