Performance is part of it. Arozarena is also a part of that group. And O'Neill, too. There are too many outfielders for the spots that Class AAA Memphis has so some will return to Class AA.
They want to see games played from Perez. Lots and lots of games played. And at-abts. They want to see at-bats. They want Perez to stay healthy and stay durable and stay productive enough to just play and play a lot this season. He needs experience. He also needs to grow. He's a lithe, wiry teenager that has good movement in the field and more strength than his frame implies, but he's got to fill out, mature, like any teen becoming a 20-year-old. It doesn't take long to watch him play and see the raw, rubberband-like snappiness to his play, but there are a lot of rough edges and the Cardinals want to see growth from him --physically and when it comes to approach, too. That's on the field and off the field. Big year for him. It won't be measured in baseball card stats -- well, not only in baseball card stats.
He probably won't play there enough for it to be some thing to gnaw your fingernails about. His new throwing mechanic should help him, and Jose Oquendo's work with him should help. The team's preference is for Jedd Gyorko to get the lion's share of the starts at third, and for Carpenter to spot-start at the corner in order to free up a start or two at first base for Jose Martinez. First base will still be Carpenter's primary residence. He'll only sub-lease third.
Probably not. DeJong batting fifth.
It's not the sprints, it's how they set up the sprinting that has come into question.
They can use the 60-day DL, yes.
He's 19. That will happen as he, you knows, grows up. So, yes, they'd like him to add weight.
Starter in right. Starter at short. Setup man.
I don't know. Sometimes people see what they want to see, I guess.
Yes. Hicks will be in the majors at some point this season. The Cardinals see him as a potential future closer, and at some point this season they'll want him to get to work in their bullpen, like Rosenthal did before him, and Carlos Martinez and so on and so on.
I don't know. The team sure didn't seem to overlook him. The Cardinals felt that Gyorko was a better player -- and not just a better value -- than chasing after Moustakas. So, in-house, they are high on what he did at third base this past season.
Always. But with four more years of the current CBA, there is no movement on these fronts at the time, and we'll see how loud the conversation gets as the next CBA looms. There are far bigger issues afoot, obviously. Players have real issues with what they saw in the free-agent market, and there is a clash brewing between the union and leagues over issues far bigger than DH and extra spots on the roster. Though either could be a chip in the inevitable negotiations.
He's that good. I guess, if the Cardinals want to win a few more Texas League titles or the Pacific Coast League a few more times they could keep him there, chugging along as a starter, and dominating his level. They, however, would prefer to win World Series -- and here's betting a talent like him needs to be a part of any chance they have of doing so.
It wouldn't be the teams with depth that would win, it would be the teams with deep pockets that would. Those players would all make salaries, and the more players the more salaries that teams would have to play. So, you'd see the Marlins with their 12-man roster just to avoid paying and the Yankees and Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants with their 48-man rosters, and so on and so on. Essentially, you'd make baseball college football. Enjoy.
Multiple reasons. Yes, it was a function of how bad the Cubs were. It was also a function of how compelling the Cubs were/are. They are a good story. People like to read about them and hear about them -- and while that may not be the case in Cardinals Nation, that is definitely the story in the rest of the nation. The Cubs remain an appealing team on a national level. Some of what drives that is how big a city they come from and how big a following they have. Those amplify the interest in the team. Plus, the players you're talking about were mostly high draft picks, such as Kris Bryant. The Cardinals haven't had a pick like that -- not one that was hyped before the draft and, of course, after, not in a long, long time. That is by design. They don't want a pick that high. Finally, one other part of this is pitching vs. position players. Cardinals have had a run of pitching prospects rising to the majors. This was the talk of baseball in 2013. Now it's just Year 6. Of the same.
It was, yes. They finished with snappy, crisp play. That does not need to come with a caveat, however. They did the same thing last year and then saw it all crumble when the games started to count. I can think of some anecdotes. Several times we saw Matt Carpenter go first to third, and we saw Pham score from first on a double. There was more aggressive baserunning, for sure, but also more success doing it. There were some things that Maddux wants pitchers to do -- pitching up in the zone, for example -- and we saw catchers get used to that and how it would change their footwork when it came to making throws. That was sharp. Pena did well with that. The defensive pla was what it should be. Saw some plays that DeJong made that he could not a year ago -- well, not in that position. An example would when he comes in on a grounder and gets it to his backhand side to generate that momentum for a throw. He was working on that this spring, and quickly pulled it off.
I don't think it's some litmus test. Nor do I think it's some end-of-season audit. It's an ongoing audit. The front office thinks this team is good enough to compete for the division title. That's the measure that they'll use. Obviously injuries are part of the consideration, but so too is how they start, how they stay in the race, how they communicate in the dugout, how they play on the field, and on and on and on. This team has a wide spectrum of outcomes, but to think that the team will wait until the end of the season, take a breath, and then decide whether they need another course correction or not is wrong. They'll be doing that throughout the season.