He had stiff neck. Couldn't swing a bat. Probably couldn't throw. Could only run.
Wowser. That would be a turn of events, wouldn't it? One of the best hitters of his generation surpassed by four other first basemen in his own division. Bell is on the rise. Rizzo could win an MVP award. Goldschmidt could win an MVP award, a Silver Slugger, and the Gold Glove. And then there's Milwaukee. I'm not going to put Votto that far down the list just yet. But you are right -- the competition is fierce in this division. And people don't want to hear it but that does mean something for the Cardinals here and their first baseman. Paul Goldschmidt is the only player in the NL to be selected for the past six All-Star Games. Now, Cardinals Nation could get out there and rock the vote and make sure it's seven consecutive because in this division the production could mean few 1B get picked. Keep that in mind. It's been awhile since the Cardinals voters showed up in force to vote for a player and this year the Pauls could be worthy -- and Cubs could oust them. Just saying.
There's something to this. It's related to him getting back to a swing and success that he had not to long ago as a doubles machine -- a gap power hitter. He could drive the ball to left-center field and right-field field and rack up the doubles, not sky fly balls to left and look to crack homers to right. He's done well to find his pull power, but he's also running into approaches and shifts that are used to combat that. So he's adjusting. He's seeing fewer fastballs. He's adjusting. They're giving him so much open space to the left side of the field. He's adjusting. I think that's what we're seeing.
A lot do when they have the leverage to negotiate a no-trade clause. It's a really smart thing to do, and you'll see that many contracts have variations of no-trade clauses. Some start small and then widen to a full no-trade (especially as 10-5 rights arrive), and some have a curious no-trade that shrinks from blanket no trade to toward the end of the extension the team starts to regain some ability to trade the player by having a 10- or 15-team list. No trades are fascinating. But you can bet they're set up for strategy not just for blocking trades.
Gomber has pitched well and put himself in the discussion as the Cardinals audit their rotation in the coming week(s). I don't necessarily agree that Hudson did it with smoke and mirrors yesterday. He did it by throwing the sinker more often, getting it lower, and the grounders followed. There's an ability there with that pitch to pull of strong quality starts, and what's interesting about this is that he's doing it on the job. A decade ago, 15 years ago, he's doing this in the minors.
For trade? He never was. They just preferred to hold on to him. Thought he had the higher ceiling and he definitely had the more years of control when compared to Luke Weaver, for example.
Shildt has pushed back on this idea pretty hard, several times. We've asked. He's said it's not something that they intend to try. Not with the rotation they have.
They had no reason to believe otherwise. They were far more bullish on Reyes than they were on Martinez. No one around the team was expecting it to "magically" heal. If anything, they got to a point where they believed getting any return from Martinez this season was going to have to be considered a bonus, not a guarantee. You could probably tell that by their comments in spring training -- and their actions since. Yes, the Cardinals saw their rotation and saw the Cubs rotation and liked their chances.
Fair. I guess if you're going to go, might as well go out in a blaze of dragon fire.
The starting rotation not handling innings, not providing quality night in and night out is the undoing of this team so far. It catches up with the bullpen. It eventually exposes the lineup on days it cannot produce five, six runs. And so on. The rotation needs to be the engine of the Cardinals' consistency, and it has not been. The most encouraging? Probably the power from Ozuna and all-around play from Paul DeJong, the quiet MVP.
That seems like a curiously short list. They explored trades. Didn't get the return they wanted.
Quite well. Relievers, pitchers, and other hitters have all described interactions they've had with Goldschmidt. They spend a long time to talking to him, getting info from him, answering questions from him. He's a good fit. As advertised.
I care to tell a good story. I took great care to try and tell their story. And some of the best ones I've heard involve moms. You are welcome not read the story. It wasn't like the newspaper was lacking for coverage that day. The response from the article says you, Jon, are the outlier. And that's OK. There's plenty of content out there for anyone's taste.
Please. Please. Please. I've only been trying to say this for half of my adult life.
They probably should be, yes. That would make a lot of sense. Forty games is forty games.
It was a break to get his swing and get some rest and maybe heal an ache or two. That wasn't clear. But that was a possibility. It was not related to his batting average, strictly.
First, thanks for picking up the book. I'm not sure how much I should promote it in here. I'm bad at that. But maybe I'll mention an event coming up later in the chat. Second, great question. The answer is -- not entirely. Carpenter's K-rate is up. His walk rate his down. His fly ball rate is up, but his home runs off of those flyballs are down. His pull rate is less. (We've discussed that earlier in the chat.) And he's going more to center and to left -- and more often in the air and not with liners. All of that is from publicly available stats that I looked up in the past minute. A deeper dive -- which the Cardinals are going to be able to do, and have the time to do -- is probably going to give him a better sense of the heat map this season of the strike zone and how it varies from previous. That will would telling. He's getting fewer fastballs and far, far more off-speed pitches. Check out his slider rate: It's up from 12.4 in his career to nearly 17 percent this season. Three out of every five pitches he saw in his career before this year were fastballs. Now that number is shriveling toward 50 percent. The numbers are telling a different story.
Give me 2-3 minutes to relocate here. Apparently, the battery on my computer is tired.