It is telling, keenly telling, more telling than any comment could ever be. That was the whole thrust of the game story I wrote for Sunday's paper. That moment -- that moment against Schwarber or against Almora, if Schwarber was removed -- gave away how the Cardinals feel about their bullpen. They've got a $30-million lefty signed to get Schwarber or Almora out in that exact spot. Not used.
Flaherty would not be the first choice at this point, but he would be a choice they'd consider.
Cecil has quietly put together a good stretch. Still, as mentioned below, wasn't used when he signed to be used. That cannot be overlooked.
We'll see. Donaldson's hefty salary for 2018 still hangs out there. Not sure how appealing that is for the Blue Jays.
It would ruin the game. The tech isn't nearly good enough for such a thing, framing skills aside. The only reason to make that move is if the tech is 100 percent accurate -- more accurate than the leagues now know that the umpires are. That can be calculated, and the umpires are graded as a result of it. So, the only reason to go to "robot" umps for strike zones if the robot is never ever never wrong. And, sorry, that tech just doesn't exist right now.
Sure. Then I guess there's reason to worry. What stands out is how little he's been able to use his changeup. That's his best pitch. It's what makes him dynamic. If he cannot access it or cannot command it and hitters can just ignore it then he's going to struggle. That's what we've seen.
Not really, no. He seems to be a fine fit in Houston. Good team he's built there. Nice to have an owner and a city that would let him tear it all down, be historically and PURPOSEFULLY awful for a few years, and then bounce back.
It usually has its roots in the players. Sometimes it can be their health. Injuries, minor ones like foot injuries, can sap a player quickly of his production and still he'll appear in the lineup and possibly deepen the slump before he corrects it. What seems to have corrupted the lineup is a little bit like a virus, right, and it's spread in such a way that so many key hitters are slumping, including the two engines of the offense, Fowler and Carpenter. Now, either might be the kind of hitter to try and force the swing, force the production, break from the strike zone, and get themselves deeper into trouble. The rest of the lineup has followed. The players are on the field, and that's where the struggles begin.
Remember when we talked about Adam Eaton adding a needed edge to this team. Yep. I'm not sure about the theater of flipping tables, but someone with a rusty poke wouldn't be all that bad. Saw it in 2014 work.
Thanks. I did some back of the napkin math on this late last night for this morning paper. The Cardinals have been outscored by 50 runs in the seventh and eighth inning, and they have allowed the most runs in the seventh inning or later of any team in baseball. They've allowed more than 100 runs. They've scored somewhere around 40. It's berserk. And only part of it is on the bullpen.
They do, yes. Are they willing to part with them? That's the bigger question. Past history says no.
Yankees, maybe. Seems like the place for him to go. Washington does have the ability to keep him, and we've all seen how well that owner and Scott Boras work together to build a roster.
We can go off past decisions, right? And last year brought about several coaching changes, and that team didn't finish below .500. It did miss the playoffs. Years ago, under a different front office, there changes after the years they didn't make the playoffs, there were changes after a year when they struggled in one area of the game. The hitting coaches came and went with alarming frequency, in part because the hitting coach was usually the newest member of the group, and not part of TLR's core group. Not until McGwire arrived. Continuity is definitely something that DeWitt Jr. values, and thus so does Mozeliak, when it comes to coming up with a coach staff. That said, it wouldn't be a surprise at all if this season brought some changes to the staff -- whether they right the ship and win or not.
They do, yes. And some players leave agents when they believe the favoritism paid to another player at the same position cost them a landing spot as a free agent. We've seen that in the game. We've also seen the situation from a few years ago when a few of the outfielders, including Heyward and Fowler and Gordon, were all represented by the same agent and that agent was able to generate a market for several of his players by knowing the teams interested in all of them. So, it did benefit the players in a way.
One would certainly think so. Have to see it to believe it.
That kind of comment is something I'd expect on Twitter, Bruce. Stay on topic, eh?
Sure. He could be. Not really something that makes a lot of sense at this point.
(And I say that because his best contribution to this team at this level remains as a catcher, a defensively skilled catcher, and he's not going to have the best chance to impact the team in that role because the Cardinals clearly have an everyday everyday everyday catcher.)
No clue. I've tried to make that point multiple times. It cannot be dismissed.
(One second. Have to handle a phone call here.)
(OK, sorry about that. Important call.)
Back to the question about Gyorko and third baseman. That is what's happening. There is talk about third basemen because that's the position that the Cardinals entered the season knowing would be in flux. Remember, as we opened the season in these chats we talked about how the team expected Peralta to start the year at third, Gyorko to muscle his way into playing time there, and then perhaps at the deadline look outside for the thump there. Gyorko has done as well as any outside source could at third, but that does not limit the Cardinals from scanning the horizon. In fact, I would argue, it opens them up to look at other positions. I was recently talking with someone inside baseball and mentioned how the Cardinals could look to left field. The person replied that they had Tommy Pham there. Sure, but doesn't the lineup need to look for its upgrade at any position. Pham has played well, but is batting third? Fourth? If that guy can be found then if he plays left, you adjust. If he plays shortstop, you adjust. The Cardinals really cannot be so sold on this lineup that they can ignore a chance to upgrade, right?