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 at 1 p.m. Monday..




    Derrick,

    I won’t call you stupid. I’d suggest a higher level of civility. Here is the genesis of his/her question:

    Would you agree the Matheny era failed in obtaining the goals the Cardinal Organization stated? Kinda’ a Capt. Obvious question.

    Quick answer would have been, on balance yes.

    He did his best; but couldn’t win a championship. Like all teams, save the annual champions.
  • Of course the Matheny era failed to win a championship. Period. He inherited a championship team, was given additional talent to win a championship -- Wacha arrived for 2013, there was Oscar Taveras in 2014, Wong and some others -- and they did not. In fact, they backslid. In fact, and he did not like me pointing this out, every October ended with a three-game losing streak. They would lose -- and come undone. They spent those games scrambling. You watched it. What really stood out in the final two years was the erosion of the teams bedrock "way" -- the defense splintered, for example. There were other things going awry, many of them described in the "Spring of Discontent," and those became even clearer and more difficult later.
     
    Why is this today's litigation? The 2019 Cardinals haven't given you enough to chew on?
    3 reasons why 2019 won't turn out like '16-'18?
    1. Paul Goldschmidt will be Paul Goldschmidt by the end of the season.
     
    2. Jack Flaherty will ascend, find his grip and take over the lead on a rotation that gets a needed reinforcement from -- wait for it -- within, at first.
     
    3. The Cardinals do not bow out of the trade deadline. They make a substantive move. This should be expected from the team.
     
    If those things happen, the team will perk up all around.
    So Waino was pitching compromised when the Cubs took the lead? Was Shildt aware of this?
    DG, what about something akin to the Rockies' experiment from about five years ago, almost like "tiered" starters? One guy starts; the next guy (pre-planned) enters when the first guy is no longer effective, the first sign of trouble, etc.
    That's effectively what it would be. Dave Duncan talked about it in that way -- sort a carousel rotation. Where it has three starters, and then three or four "Secondaries" or something like that. This has been a non-starter with the Cardinals before, but then they are looking for starters, the rotation needs some sort of supplement, and there are a few pitchers out there that this would make sense. It is highly difficult to pull off. They may not have the consistency in the QS starters to pull it off at this point.
    Do the Cardinals have enough chips to actually trade and make a run? As you mentioned middling middle, they haven't had good returns in the recent trades and we are stuck with what appears to be .500 talent. Based on the IL move with Gyorko you have to imagine he's on the block, but that return would be a minor leaguer. Is Dex a chip given his better play? Ozuna?
    I don't connect the IL to the trade block. Quite the opposite, usually. Now, Gyorko already was on the trade block in the sense that they explored what offers they could get for him before, and they went into spring knowing that might be the time to move him, if a deal came up. Remember, he was hurt then too, so that put any talks on ice at that point, and then they needed him. Think the other end of the spectrum. If the Cardinals bail on the season then you're talking about seeing what could be had for Fowler and Ozuna and maybe Jose Martinez. Maybe Andrew Miller, too,if the Cardinals really decide to take a step back. But the kind of substantive trades that would better serve this team would be on the other end -- younger players, a team that wants to play O'Neill everyday, a team that demands Helsley be a part of a deal, or down in the minors like Junior Fernandez, whose is going through a breakout possibly. They have the pieces for a trade, sure.
  • Do you know how the Pham trade happened... did they go searching for a trade partner, or did the Rays reach out to them? And could they have gotten more in return if they had valued Pham more than they apparently did?
    The Cardinals made it clear that they were open to talking trade for Pham. They had done this before and knew what teams were interested. Cleveland and Tampa Bay had been on the hunt for outfielders at the time, and they also had talked to the Cardinals before about Pham. Before a streak of playing time in STL a few years ago, Pham was convinced he was going to be traded to the Dodgers because he kept seeing their scout rolling video of him. Cleveland was really interested, too. Tampa made the push and had what the Cardinals wanted in returned: lefthanded options. They wanted a lefthanded hitting outfielder because they didn't have one for the high levels and they wanted a lefthanded pitcher with upside because that depth chart, too, was thin. That's how the deal came to be.
    My questions must not have enough snark today. Otherwise one surely would have been answered. Right?
    There are actually more than 400 questions still in the inbox. It's a remarkable deluge today, and only some of them are ... um ... caustic.
    Do you think MLB is becoming a three outcome sport; home run, walk, or strikeout?
    Yes. Too much so, and it's shame. The players have never been better at playing this game, and yet the game maybe has never been slower paced because of the lack of action. It's a terrible dichotomy because we should be watching the Golden Age of skill in the game -- so much power, so much velocity, so much agility in the fielders -- and yet how the game is computed and how the game is conducted sucks some of the life out of it. Frustrating.
    Follow-up to Voit question, please Mr. Goold. The Yanks fans are crowing on Twitter, blogs and elsewhere that the Yanks secret weapon now is superior analytics, the type that enables them to find diamonds in the rough like Voit and Gio Urshela. And the Yankees FO is not denying it, maybe even egging it on. Do you think the Yankees had a different "algorithm" or something for evaluating Voit than the Cardinals had? After all, the Cardinals didnt even bother to get Voit a dozen ABs last year. They saw that little potential in him.
    There's probably plenty of revisionist history going on there, but this fact from the time, from the moment of the trade does support some of the crowing: The Yankees thought that Voit's swing was going to do damage at Yankee Stadium. They felt that while it may not be a fit for Busch Stadium or that Busch might muzzle it a bit, Yankee Stadium would not. They nailed that. They also liked how highly he rated when it came to exit velocity, what he did against velocity at the big-league level and the overal swing dynamics. Credit the algorithm or scouting there. For sure. Doesn't change the fact that they're not out there shopping for Voit if not for injuries. Even at the time the deal was described as necessary to clear spots on the major-league roster for the Yankees (Happ, Britton joining) and not for some lasting impact. It was appealing to the Yankees that Voit had options. Didn't take some magical algorithm to figure those out.
  • Hi. Going to have to speed it up here. We're running out of time, and I need to turn the web site back over the Hummel for game coverage.
    Follow up to my three outcome question, is it possible for a team to play the game the right way in spite of the rest of the league doing it this new way?
    I honestly have no idea what "the right way" is. The game should be played to win, and this is the way teams play now to win. So does that make it the right way?
    It seems to me that a woke take on the cards rotation before the season would have gone:
    Mikolas - due for a huge regression
    Flaherty - not a #1
    Hudson - unproven as an MLB SP
    Reyes - fragile, question mark
    Wacha - stick a fork in him
    Martinez - No longer trustworthy as a starter
    Waino -nice story, but too old/injury prone.

    Yet they were cavalierly trading Weaver, and staying out of the free agent market ... even now. What do you think, Derrick?
    I'm not sure what "woke" means in this regard. It seems more like you're going along the lines of "worst case" views. And that's fine to do. It's OK. Every team should. They should discuss worst-case. They should discuss best-case. And they should lean toward pragmatic case. A pragmatic look at the rotation would not have been all that rosy. But it wouldn't have worst case either.
     
    Regression was expected for Mikolas.
    Flaherty had to be more efficient to be a No. 1, but had the talent to do so.
    Hudson is unproven. He's the definition of unproven.
    Reyes had missed two seasons. He was a question mark.
    Wacha had an oblique injury. Hardly the shoulder issue of before.
    Martinez no longer trusted his arm, and that's a big concern.
    Wainwright had the chance to be more than a good story, he could be a good savvy pitcher.
     
    In going through your "woke" definition, I don't really see anything that the Cardinals didn't consider a possibility coming into the season. Actually, another look, and a few of yours are maybe even more optimistic than worst-case. 
    I stopped caring about the St. Louis Cardinals. I don’t care when they win. I don’t care when they lose. My love for the franchise has been drained away by how DeWitt and Mo have decided to run the franchise the past few seasons. I haven’t watched a game in two months. I don’t go on my yearly weekend trips to games anymore. I just don’t care. Do you think DeWitt and Mo will eventually realize that their business like way of running this franchise with their formulas and algorithms just isn’t working and try a new path? Thanks.
    I don't get that sense, no. This is the baseball is run these days. There are not outliers. There isn't a Philly or an Arizona out there trying to rock it old school. Teams will change their "formulas," tinker with their "algorithms," but we're in the data day and age of baseball and that's likely here to stay. There's a lot of money at stake. There are a lot of egos, too.
    Why haven’t the Cardinals had a veteran LH starting pitcher since Jaime Garcia left? The Cubs have 3. Remember back in April when the Brewers started 7 LH batters against the Cardinal RHs. It’s sad if the answer is we take the best 5 pitchers as starters and they happen to be all RH. Saturday was frustrating to get 4 runs in the top of the first only to have the rookie starter walk the first man in the bottom of the first and have their lead cut in half right away.
    Mostly because David Price signed with Boston. That's why. It's a hole in the depth chart that the Cardinals have noticed, have wanted to address, but haven't wanted to just add a lefty to add a lefty who is not better than any of their righties. They're still looking. They'd like to make that addition, but again on their terms as to what would be an upgrade.
    I enjoyed your podcast with the gentlemen from England. My apologies for not recalling his name. Did he ever mention why he started doing all this traveling to stadiums across the world? Was it just to learn more about the game or was there a bigger purpose for it? I remember him talking about all the places he’s going but can’t remember the why.
    Trying to promote the game to people in the UK and countries beyond the reach of baseball. He's trying to draw attention to the game -- expand the community he's joined and share his fondness for the game. He's Johnny Appleseeding. Thanks for listening to it. Anyone else who is interested can find the podcast with Joey Mellows (@BaseballBrit) here: https://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/best-podcast-in-baseball/best-podcast-in-baseball-the-one-with-baseball-brit/audio_75da8b7c-8884-11e9-83d0-ab75789a1ef6.html
    I think this team needs more than one SP, provided none of the currently rostered players separate themselves over the next 45 days. Add Greinke from AZ and MadBum/Gott from SF.
    Today they definitely need more than one. A stool lacking legs at the moment.
    Every year, Mo announces during the winter that we have “enough”, that if everybody has a career year and nobody gets hurt, we can compete for a playoff spot. Then, every year, a few players get hurt and a few more have an off year, and we miss the playoffs. How does this cycle get broken?
    I must have been on vacation when he made this pronouncement this past winter. Sorry.
    Hello, Derrick thanks for the overtime. I am looking at the Tampa Bay attendance problem. What percentage of the attendance at Tampa/St. Pete area Spring Training games is locals and what % is snowbirds from the North would you say? Maybe they get their fill of MLB in Feb/March??
    No clue. Sorry. I haven't seen it broken down that way. I get why you would ask, and it's an interesting premise -- that baseball fans flock back to their homes for the summer months. I'd recommend you'd check out some of Marc Topkin's coverage down there about the stadium location and see how that relates to where the population centers have gone. I know that the argument for the downtown Tampa location is that it would be closer to where people live and live year-round. Maybe that fits into -- and would better answer -- your question.
    What would have been the downside of waiting til closer to the end of the season to see how Goldschmidt and Carpenter performed before lavishing so much money on them that we now have the highest 2020 payroll. Anytime a player gets around 32-33 yo, you have to watch out for premature drop-off of skills. If you have a free year to do that, you take it IMO.
  • That is an entirely fair stance to take, and there are teams that do that. They also run the risk of it costing them more in the end -- if there isn't that decline you expected. That's the beauty of it, really. A team can wait to see how the player does in that year and really want that player to do well for the benefit of the team, but then recognize it will be more costly in the end because the player did well. Or, see the player struggle, see the team struggle, and then save all that money by not signing the player and phew having October free to figure out what to do next, I guess. I like that dilemma,and it definitely plays a factor in the negotiations. Players have to take less on the cusp of a year where they haven't proven themselves, but they get the security of added years in case there's one that is a downturn.
    Derrick, bottom line - this team isn't entertaining.
    And I've heard that for a few years now. That should concern the Cardinals.
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