Grab a handful of curds. We are about to get started here, live from Milwaukee, the Good Land.
Interesting way to phrase a key question, and this has been a topic of discussion around the ballpark. One school of thought is they must hold serve. That means breaking even on road trips and finishing a game or so up at home. This road trip for example already has a series win in Pitt, so a 1-2 turn at Milwaukee would be that break even that the Cardinals thought was strong on the SD-Minn road trip. (Brief aside: I’m not so sure. That series in SD sure seems like a missed chance to win a series or sweep an inferior team on the road. Opportunity was there.) With the way the Brewers are playing and Cardinals are hampered a 1-2 here makes sense. I want to offer one caveat: the Cardinals pitching should be good enough to steal a game they shouldn’t win and do better than hold serve. Even with the injuries to the lineup, Wacha and Reyes can take this series — with help from crisp play. The Cardinals don’t need to overwhelm a team offensively, they just can’t underwhelm fundamentally and that seems like a fair expectation. The pitching is good enough for the Cardinals to expect more than holding serve through this DL time.
Not without an injury. I don’t think today he’s the first man up for a spot unless that spot is long relief. I find it interesting that he was promoted — and not used. Almost like they don’t know his role at this level unless it’s mopping up innings.
Ben Frederickson has been kind enough to let me have this day because of yesterday’s holiday. Also, he got married this past weekend to the lovely Cassandra and will be taking some time off. It was a gorgeous wedding and Frederickson set the bar high by writing his own vows. They were excellent. Thank goodness I’m already married. Wouldn’t want to try and top that. Besides we’d have to live-chat and there’s no way the chat will forever hold its peace.
The hint is that Jedd Gyorko will be at second. That’s what the lineups are telling us.
This is the question several of us had after the game -- and there really wasn't an answer because Jose Martinez was offering up his view of how he should have made the play the begin with. As it happened, how it appeared to me was Gyorko was yelling that he had it, that he would get it, and when you think about that moment it makes sense -- he was already moving in that direction, so could continue on a line to it. Martinez did not have the most direct route to the ball as he would have to turn his back, pivot, and then start running again. And, Gyorko has the truer arm to make the play. We went back in the press box to try and see if it was clear that Gyorko was yelling that he had the play and thus Martinez peeled off, but the angle of the review wasn't clear. That would make the most sense.
No. Because the alternative is carrying pagers and half the players don't know what those are.
They have been entering the season, yes, and in recent years the Cardinals have taken to value-added and deep-discounted tickets to reach their ticket sales goals. They're not alone. Look around baseball at the proliferation of THEME NIGHTS and giveaways. The Brewers are one of the leading teams when it comes to such things, and they do well with attendance as a result. The Cardinals saw some sag in season ticket sales and ticket sales as a whole, and what they're doing via giveaways (value-added) and the dynamic pricing that leads to cut-cost tickets is goose sales. Baseball as a whole is seeing this trend -- and that also feeds upon itself. Fans come to expect the giveaway with a ticket-purchase. So there's no going back now.
Extended spring training, awaiting the assignment to a short-season club.
Even without the Cubs being interested, the Cardinals would remain involved in talks with the Orioles to see what the asking price is now and whether the deal is more feasible than it was in the winter. The Cardinals would of course have that conversation -- will have that conversation, probably have had that conversation. Baltimore has wanted elite pitching talent in return for Machado. Elite pitching talent with years of control. The Cubs don't have that to offer. The Cardinals do -- but are obviously reluctant and now you see why. What the Cubs have that the Cardinals do not is Addison Russell. To me, that makes Baltimore's approach real interesting because how they can leverage the interest into offers that will allow them to drive up the asking price. They can use the pressure of the standings and the demand for one player to score a strong return from some team. Maybe. We'll see.
Patrick Wisdom is a solid defender at the corners. He's not on the 40-man roster. The more likely late-game move would be Matt Carpenter to 1B, Gyorko to 3B, and then Kolten Wong in at 2B.
I asked about this yesterday, and manager Mike Matheny had an explanation that touches on a few questions already entered into the chat. Yes, it has to do with Jose Martinez's defense at first base. Yes, it has to do with something of a platoon developing at second base with Wong/TBA. Matheny said that after conversations with Carpenter in recent weeks, he and the team is encouraged by how his arm feels and how comfortable he's been at third and how consistent he's been there. It is the position that he's most familiar with, and if his arm feels good then the team is more likely to play him there -- and take advantage of Wong and Gyorko's better range there at second base to help cover ground with Martinez at first. Matheny said Gyorko has been moving well and that's a way for them to also maximize his glove while helping them on the right side of the infield.
Hardly. I don't find this team boring at all. Hicks. Reyes. Flaherty. There's a strong group of young pitchers here who are certainly moving the needle and make this team interesting to watch. Bud Norris' reinvention has been a compelling story. Can't imagine anyone would describe Yadier Molina's play before his injury as "boring." Yeah, I think recent teams have deserved that tag. Not this one.
I'm not sure what you're listening to, or where you're reading. But it's certainly not here. Because they should be better. They'll need to be better if they intend to overtake the Brewers.
If it gets to a point where they're considering that, then it is time to move him to another team. Bunts don't keep a guy out of the minors. Bunts don't get a guy into the lineup. Bunts aren't going to change his situation -- not when his glove should and the player they saw last year should. If this is how the conversation goes it should be a short conversation and it should end with the realization they should trade him.
Baseball draft doesn't work that way. They don't draft for "need" in baseball because the player taking isn't coming straight from the draft into the majors. So, you take the best player -- the best upside, the highest ceiling, or the most predictable talent. In this case, the Cardinals' trend plays into the hand of the predictions. They take pitchers. They're good at developing pitchers. They like pitchers. And they have a type when it comes to pitchers. There are a handful of pitchers that stand out -- Stetson's Logan Gilbert, for one, and lefty Shane McClanahan, of South Florida, looks like one of the Cardinals-type picks. They have also had eyes for some of the shortstops available in this draft, including Brice Turang from California.
I cannot offer a satisfactory answer because I have not been provided one. Wong, as much as any player in the past few years, has come to personify a hot-hand lineup and how the performance of others will lead to decisions that cost other players service time. You're right: If Wong is viewed as a glove-first player and the Cardinals are going through offensive woes -- which they are right now -- then we've seen how they make decisions based on getting the better bat in the lineup and that's how you get Carpenter and Gyorko at second base. There is a huge self-fulfilling prophecy here. Every side agrees on it. Wong is a momentum player. A lot of times the more he plays the better he plays. The corollary to that is the less he plays the harder it gets for him to play better, and one way to assure than that the team is looking for more production from that position is to give someone else that playing time. You can see how it would be maddening for Wong and frustrating for the team and familiar to Randal Grichuk. Wong has never had his playing time determined in a vacuum -- where they just stick with him in the No. 8 spot and defensively and see where it goes. It's always been dictated by the play and performance of the team or other players, and you're right the contract seems to suggest that he was signed to be an everyday player, for him to get that commitment. Hasn't happened, and there really isn't a tangible, fair, or satisfactory reason, just a lot of what-ifs or self-fulfilling moves.
He's in the Hall of Fame for a reason, and, yes, he's an excellent story teller with so many stories to tell. We should all be that good at recalling tidbits and spinning yarns, and I think that Dan McLaughlin brings out the best in McCarver. They have a strong chemistry.