Salutations. Greetings from the Queen City of Cincinnati. I'm a few blocks from the ballpark, where last night was a lot like the night before and the day before that and the day before that. The Cardinals have become the NL Central's loss leaders -- or lead losers, I guess. Not the best of times for the club that calls St. Louis home. I just went and got an extra cup of coffee. I figure it's going to be that kind of chat. Enjoy the chop.
It was a strange play, absolutely. There were two plays like. DeJong's run home -- as ill-advised as that was with Carpenter coming up and a chance to hit with the bases loaded -- at the same field. Our angle from the press box is just up the third baseline and thus somewhat in the direction of left field when the left fielder has a play like that. In each case, Duvall got the ball quickly, got his feet set, and made a good throw. So, what stands out to me on this is a) bad scouting reports on Duvall's arm or accuracy or b) a bad angle on how deep those hits have gone. GABP is called Great American Small Park for a reason, and the left field is pressed in, even claustrophobic, and maybe that's giving the players a different view of the play -- objects in left field are ALWAYS CLOSER THAN THE APPEAR. Either way, both were bad reads.
Flaherty is putting himself in that conversation. Carson Kelly, of course. The Cardinals would like for Delvin Perez to assert himself as a core player in the coming 18 months, and he has the ability. If you want a cornerstone pitcher who could be a reliever or maybe a starter, Dakota Hudson is your guy. Magneuris Sierra has done enough to encourage the team that he's the leadoff hitter of the future, and we've seen that here recently definitely be considered a core player. And a sleeper pick or that spot is already in the majors: DeJong. I don't think he should be discounted, given the positions he plays and the kind of hitter he could be. There are a few international signings in extended spring with Perez that are also interesting.
Top 10. His peers believe he's built one of the best run organizations, top to bottom, in the leagues. And, yes, other GMs are going to grade him high for consistency, year to year contending, and also for the fact that they know how low the Cardinals have picked and still have a top-third farm system. That's how the peers see him, inside the division and even in the American League. Believe it or not, this is a question I've asked around about -- and sometimes GMs just offer their opinion to me on the Cardinals' front office, especially after the hacking scandal.
Thanks. My role in the post-game pressers is to get an answer, and sometimes that means different taking approaches, and the approach must change depending on the manager (La Russa was different than Matheny; I've learned Craig Counsell is different than others, etc.) and also must change depending on the game and the trend. ... There haven't been any midseason coaches changes in my time that I can remember that weren't health related. Reassignments would also be something the team could consider. They have done that at times, again when brought on by health or time missed for personal reasons (baby's birth, graduations, etc.). The other day, I mentioned to Matheny that we spend a lot of time talking about mistakes made by players and even mistakes made by him, and we always ask "Are you going to talk to the player?" "How are you going to approach that the next time?" and isn't it fair that we ask the same thing about a coach? So I did. I asked about Maloney. And Matheny said that during the game he and his staff actually address things that go awry, and it was Maloney that came to him during the game last week and said it was a bad call to send the runner. Last night, there was not that candor. Matheny repeatedly said that he had to trust his staff's "instincts." Maloney saw something. I think the answer to this question will continue tonight.
I agree that teams are also in the business of developing coaches. Kissell did it. TLR did it.
A player cannot be put on the 60-day DL until the 40-man roster is full. The 40-man roster was full to start the year, but since moves have been made to clear spots and it is now longer at 40. When the Cardinals need another spot they can make the move with Reyes, but until then, by rule, they cannot. There has been internal discussion about Voit, the first baseman, and when and if he's ready for a promotion and into what role. Vogt, the catcher, there has not been talk of acquiring him.
Sure. He's 22 years old. He turns 23 next year. He'd be a starter at age 25.
A hefty one, but it's increasingly becoming clear that it's the kind of package that the Cardinals are going to have to stomach if they're going to make a transformative move to reanimate this roster. If the Marlins go to market with their talent, the Cardinals ought to camp out in Miami and talk Ozuna, and if the Marlins will take offers definitely talk Yelich. Christian Yelich, as mentioned in the chat before, would be a jackpot. As much as Pollock or Eaton were discussed as fits in the past, Yelich is that plus+. It's part of the reason why I'm skeptical Miami would move on from him -- young, cost-controlled, All-Star, can be the focus of a lineup -- but if they were then it would take a haul. Sale-like. That kind of talent. And in the past few years, mostly with the White Sox but leaking out elsewhere, you hear teams talk in terms of how many Top-50 prospects it will take, how many Top-100. They're not talking within a system, they're talking about within baseball. And the Cardinals have four players who could rise to that kind of conversation at this point: Kelly, Hudson, Flaherty, and Alcanatara. Not saying all four would be Top 100, but all four would get consideration.
I do not agree. That's what makes the press box a fun place to be. Healthy debate. Sometimes it even reaches the pages of the paper, and here's hoping it informs as well as entertains.
Strike-thrower in Chief at Class AA Springfield. Texas League Pitcher of the Month. Cardinals pitcher of the month for May. He has a solid changeup and a moving fastball. Has mixed in a breaking ball that's mostly a slider. He fits the profile of pitchers we've seen arrive in the majors and do well as a reliever, like Bowman and Maness and Brad Thompson.
I cannot crawl inside his head and know. I do believe that he is saying things publicly to support his players and coaches -- and that the support is genuine. What he says publicly is definitely what he feels privately.
As part of the press game, there are things that the managers and officials on all teams tell the media because they think a) it's what the fans want to hear or b) they don't respect the intelligence of the media. When it's the latter, I try to avoid using that quote when I can, and if I can't I use the quote and the next paragraph write what actually happened or what that person actually means. And I don't forget the person who said it. Professionalism is a two-way street.
Maybe. It would be better to have the planned top four hitters all batting .270 or better and getting on base .320 or better. That would work regardless of who is where.
Not really, no. He seems alright.
I'm not sure what you mean. He's been back about eight days, and he's started three games in that time. He's got 13 at-bats and he's got a .154/.154/.154 slash line in that limited scope overall but more than others in that span. Part of the reason why he hasn't started more games is Tommy Pham.
An empty Busch Stadium in September would be ... unusual. I wonder how fans would respond to a fire sale. Sure, sure, everybody is all a-twitter on Twitter about the young players, the outfielders in Class AAA, the lineup in Memphis, and the Redbirds success, but what happens when that shows up in St. Louis. Yeah, I think the excitement is definitely a case of backup quarterback syndrome.
Haven't really heard his name bandied about, and the Cardinals have seen him a lot in spring.
Price stands out. That seemed like a perfect match for team and player, and on the eve of his decision there were people in the Cardinals' organization who felt that they were going to get Price the next day. Scherzer is another one, though not because they were close to a deal, just that they seemed so reluctant to engage in any sort of offer that would come near enough to get them in the conversation. I get the distrust of aging power righthanders, and maybe the latter half of that deal will be trouble for Washington. But so far the first half is so good, so dominant, so worth it in the long run that it stands out as a miss.
I did. Watched it live on the phone with my family. Bases loaded. It was an easy homer to call. I bet 59 percent of the people watching that moment whispered that he was about to hit a home run. Pujols never lacked for timing.