Salutations. The Milwaukee Brewers have come to town for three of the most important games in Busch III history -- outside of October, that is. The Brewers are going with a bullpen game, starting Jennings. The Cardinals have worked their rotation schedule to assure that Flaherty starts one of the games against the Brewers. If the Cardinals go 3-3 in their remaining six games, then the Rockies have to go 5-2 to tie them and the Brewers have to go 2-4 to stay ahead of them. That's the simple math. Let's get to the hard questions.
Don't forget buoyant nausea and incandescent angst.
There is probably something to this argument. A scout recently remarked to me how the Cardinals' ability to develop pitching almost got two teams to the postseason: the Cardinals and Seattle. There was a time when the Mariners seemed to be taking a pitching staff populated with former Cardinals toward a playoff berth, while the Cardinals explored their depth of pitching. The Cardinals have earned their reputation as a factory for contributing players, especially pitchers, for sure.
I have seen no evidence that this will happen, no.
Some of this will depend on health. The trends right now tell us that Martinez, Hicks, Hudson, Brebbia, Norris, and Ross will be in there. Webb likely. Cecil and Shreve are really tussling to be that second lefty, and the Cardinals could decide that the leftover starter (Gant?) would in there, casting Norris as a lefty neutralizer. Not sure how Shildt will play that eighth spot, but it would Leone then. I bet they go with eight, and for a wild-card game they'll go with even more, so you're talking about Poncedeleon and possibly Gallegos being added.
That's just you. It would be off brand for Cardinals.
You have to balance that anger with your feelings about Harrison Bader in center field. Pham said it himself. He told me the day of the trade that it was difficult to be frustrated when he had been "in those shoes." What he meant is that he had been the young player trying to find playing time and blocked by a veteran, or blocked by a preferential contract. So, how could he fault the Cardinals for moving him to make room for Bader. He had been there. Recently.
Alright. The questions are rolling in. I'm ready to speed up. Sorry for the delay.
That's likely what would happen. Major League Baseball wants to come just shy of the NHL to create the kind of playoff races you're seeing and you're enjoying this week.
He's happier, for sure. I asked him that question -- about whether he was enjoying this, even limited to the bench and trainer's room as he is. And he said he has found "a fit." He feels like he "fits in." And that the issues he had -- he used the pronoun "we" to be fair -- have been "overcome." Any discussion about his no-trade clause is going to happen between him, his wife, and Mozeliak, and that conversation could come later this winter. What Mozeliak wants to talk to Fowler about is his vision of how he fits and what they want to do for him, and then see if Fowler is comfortable with that. The two have generated a really strong working relationship. It's akin, really, to Rolen-Mozeliak, and that allowed Mozeliak to have some candid conversations with Rolen before he agreed to be traded for a better situation.
Rhapsodize away. But then remove Jose Martinez from RF.
Communication that lined up with action. Not words that didn't line up with action. Same kind of communication you or I are entitled in our places of work.
The Cardinals will listen to offers on both players this winter. It's not clear if they will actively shop either -- though it's rare for the Cardinals to take that approach. They are far more likely to canvass the other teams to see what value those two players have and then decide if this is a good time to move them. Jose Martinez's move to an AL team could make a lot of sense for all parties.
Matchup has a lot to do with that. Flaherty has started three games against the Brewers. He's allowed 17 baserunners in 18 innings pitched and he's struck out 29 Brewers. He has a 1.00 ERA. Few pitchers have been as good against a single opponent as him, and Mikolas has had his struggles vs. Milwaukee. That's a big part of it. If the opponent is different then the choice would be too.
If you had said Top 5 -- I'd take that. Top 3 is tougher to see. Yelich has strong support. One of the Rockies is going to factor into that Top 3. I cannot get a good read on whether Baez is a popularity vote at this point -- or if he has actual support from the 30 people with ballots.
Both. I wouldn't cross them -- in either galaxy. They shoot straight.