Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cardinals questions and comments, and talk to Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold in a live chat at 1 p.m. Monday..




    So true. I needed a lozenge from saying that this winter.
    I do not quite understand the rationale for not playing Bader regularly. He is your best defensive outfielder, he has speed, and his hitting will come around. Also, does it not hurt a young player's development/confidence if he is the starter one day and because of an injury he is riding the bench?
    It's the gamble teams have to make at times: Bet on the bat coming around with playing time, or go with the bat that is producing and get the most from that playing time. I guess, if being on the bench for a stretch harms a players confidence, then what confidence did he have in his ability to begin with? That's always the question I have. This is what dooms a player? Being humbled in the majors? Goodness. That was going to happen at some point. It's a tough game. Development is a good question, and there's a hovering question around the team about whether Bader will need an extended amount of playing time somewhere, even Memphis, to get that rhythm going. Keep in mind, the Cardinals saw Bader at one point as an aces fourth outfield -- a gifted glove for all three spots who brought an element of speed to the ballpark and to late games. That's the role he has. Now, he pushed himself into a far larger role with offensive productive and elite glovework. Yes, he needs at bats and playing time to do it again. Well, some is on the horizon. And it's not unreasonable to think at some point he would need a tuneup or a rev in the minors, where he can just play everyday and sling shot back, similar to what O'Neill is doing now.
    Is this team really much different than what we’ve seen the past four year, not great but not bad? Another team that will compete for a wild card but likely nothing more which allows the organization to draw well and maximize profit. Seems like this kind of team is now what fits DeWitt’s comfort zone. Thoughts?
    I disagree. This team is better than the previous few years. It has the ingredients to be one of the better all-around teams the Cardinals have had in four, five years. The ownership has set the bar at winning the division. That came from Bill DeWitt Jr. and Bill DeWitt III. That is their expectation. Not wild card. Too volatile. Too much of an unknown. DeWitt, the chairman, said the goal must be to win the division and enter the playoffs as the best from the NL Central. He said that at the winter warmup, when asked, and he repeated that at spring training. He may have said it other times, too. That is what he instructed the front office to do. Build a team to win the division. The impatience is clear.
    I don't have a solution, but--ack!--what a horrible 10 days.
    (I wish this chat had GIFs.)
    Can we win with Fowler and Ozuna our starting outfielders?
    The Cardinals can, yes.
    It seems like O'Neil is wasting away in Memphis. I know he needs at bats but he’s proven at this point he can dominate this level. At what point does he become trade bait? What could the Cards reasonably expect in a trade for him?
    I guess he really always ready is "trade bait." The Cardinals wouldn't turn down a conversation about him at this point -- or at previous points. It just depends on the return. They're not actively trying to trade him because, you know, what they don't have to be. He's under their control. If he produces in Memphis while someone produces more in the majors, that's what the Cardinals want, and then if someone doesn't produce in the majors and he produces there in that person's place, all the better. They're really not in the business of populating other outfields with talent, unless they get something of need in return. They're in the business of collecting talent for when they decide it's needed. Cruel business. But that's how it works.
    I feel sorry for Schildt. He’s got quite a predicament going on with Jose Martinez. Jose is never going to be any more than a solid designated hitter. This is the time to sell high with him. You’ve never going to get more for Martinez than you are now. Bader needs to play every day. You put Carp out there every day with his pitiful .201 average and no speed and let Bader rot on the bench. If Bader continues to stumble then O’Neil gets another shot.
    Sell high? I'm not sure the trade market will give you want you want, honestly. Better to keep the hitter. Count me in the group that suggests that the Cardinals bench is rather thin without Martinez on it, and if they could get more production from the outfield -- remember all those chats this winter when I said that Bader wasn't in control of his playing time on his own (can get a nod? see what I meant?) -- then that's where Martinez would be, adding a threat like he was in April for that at-bat or two off the bench. That's a good roster when that happens.
    Does Ozuna have a deal with the devil to bat fourth? What about Martinez?
    Why Marcell Ozuna has a longterm lease on cleanup I've never understood.
    Question about “getaway day” lineups. Obviously team and manager think they will have better results resting everyone on the same day, rather than one at a time. Do you agree?
    I do not. I think it's a miscalculation. And I would suggest managers don't agree with your premise as you suggest. I've heard quite the opposite from some managers, including the current one.
    Your Mother's Day piece yesterday was outstanding. I look forward to you receiving a number of awards for it.
    Thank you for the kind comment. The hope was it told a good story that people did not know -- on a day when maybe some good news in the newspaper was appreciated. I wanted to tell it right for the families that trusted me to tell their stories at all.
    The game was on the line in the 7th inn yesterday with the middle of the Pirates order up, and yet our best bullpen pitcher didn't come in. I thought Shildt was going to be different from the traditional way a closer is used. Couldn't you argue that was THE moment for Hicks to be used?
    I absolutely could. And ... Great point. I don't think Miller was available. But that would also be an example of him being available. It does seem like Hicks has become a traditional closer a lot sooner and a lot more often than originally advertised.
    Any talk of the Cards trying to get one of the Indian pitchers, Bauer or Kluber?
  • I'm not entirely sure what these questions are asking. Do you mean is there talk --- between the Cardinals and Cleveland? Do you mean is there talk in the industry? Do mean is there talk with the fans, with the writers, with ... the chat? I'll try to take a stab at it. I do not know of any talks between Cleveland and the Cardinals about pitching. I do know that the Cardinals have had internal and ongoing conversations about what pitchers would be available and what pitchers would make a difference. It is my opinion that the most transformative move the Cardinals could make for this team is to add a surefire, top-rotation starting pitcher. When I present this notion to sources around and within the team, I get nods. However, finding that top-shelf pitcher is not a guarantee, of course. So, yes, the Cleveland pitchers are part of the conversation. So, too, would be Bumgarner, if he's Bumgarner, and two of the pitchers in Arizona as well, like Greinke. Don't overlook Greinke. But that's talk that's confined. I don't know of any active trade talks, if that's what you're asking about, and that's not a surprise at this time of year. Such things are in the early stages, at best, these days
    With Martinez and Reyes looking for ways back to the mound that maximizes their incredible arms while under innings and pitch count constraints, have the Cardinals ever discussed using them as “openers”?
    I'm sure they've discussed. And then stopped those discussions. This just has no traction with Shildt or the front office. It hasn't every one of the 20 or so times we've asked this season.
    I'm amazed by the number of people who take everything you say personally or just flat out accuse you of carrying water for the FO, yet they return here every week for these chats. Thank you for the quality of your work and continuing to do these chats (which I assume you don't HAVE to do?) each week. We're very lucky to have you.
    Thank you, JD. The chats are an important part of our coverage, and the paper and the writers, on all beats, recognize that it's something that we do, that we offer that helps set us apart from other outlets. So, we try to maintain their quality and their commitment, and we get the support of the editors to do so.
    Any news on Anthony Reyes' progress?
    Anthony Reyes is a firefighter in the Los Angeles area, and he was part of the group that fought the blazes there not too long ago. It's a remarkable thing that a former pitcher in the majors with a World Series win has returned home and followed in the footsteps of his father as a firefighter.
    DG, To not "underreact" means what?
  • To do nothing, evidently.
    You said Carp had some "clear winces at the plate." Are you implying he's dealing with an injury, like a back issue again?
    He had some aches. The severity, extent was not clear. But he was given a day to rest, in part, for that reason. Shildt dismissed it as nothing alarming or an injury at all.
    In your opinion, how does Mo stack up against other baseball execs? Who are the best?
    Oh, here we go. Let me first tell you a story. Not too long ago -- remember back when the Cardinals were rolling with the best record in the league? -- I sat in the Washington press box and listened to a call-in radio show because it was happening without earshot. And apparently one of the call-ins said something about Rizzo and the host of the show, sitting about 20-25 feet away from me, shouted that Rizzo was one of the five best GMs in the game. One of the best. I fought the urge to get up and ask him for the entire list to make sense of that statement. Zero playoff series wins. Lots and lots of big-time contracts. Two young, excellent outfielders, for sure. But how many division titles? How much return from having the best pitcher and the best outfielder in the National League for several years together? I wonder what the metric is these days, other than proximity. Maybe he thought Rizzo was nearby or listening. 
     
    That brings us here.
     
    I think it says a lot about a GM what other GMs/Presidents say about him. To other GMs, Mozeliak is one of the best when it comes to organizational structure in the game. Seriously. The Cubs, the Brewers, the Rockies, and a handful of other teams I have talked to through the years have all told me that they borrow from how Mozeliak & DeWitt built the minor-league system and organized it. Heck, the Cubs, when Dave McKay joined their coaching staff, asked him to help them put together a manual like the Cardinal Way for the Cubs. Why? For the story? No, for continuity. For consistency. This is something that other teams saw the Cardinals had in their development and have brought together. LaRocque and others credit Mozeliak as the "GPS" who gave the system its direction to be more collaborative and cohesive and consistent. That is a feat. Look at some of the other systems out there some time and how many different directions they seem to be pulling in. While the benefit of such a system was clear in 2013 when it helped the Cardinals in a pennant, I understand that success in the minors isn't going to sell many tickets in the majors, isn't to satisfy the sweet tooth that St. Louis has for a contender. And that's important. That is the BOTTOM LINE. Contend. And while his peers rave about Mozeliak's ability to run an organization and run a system and develop talent as well as any other team in baseball, they also see that there have been missteps with free agents, too many second-place finishes for elite talent, and some luck that players didn't accept their offers (Heyward, Jason). So, in that discipline -- acquiring elite talent on the market -- there were questions about whether Mozeliak could make such a move, or was too limited or self-limiting to make that reach, to take a leap of faith for a big deal. Did he overvalue the talent, or was he too set to get the big-return on a bargain move? Those are fair criticisms and they were out there. 
     
    And in the end those are the disciplines where a front office must excel, right? Developing talent, acquiring talent, building a successful roster, hiring the right coaches, creating an organization that improves talent, and yes, does it on the budget provided. Mozeliak & the front office he's created is in the top third of the league when it comes to the best blend of these things. Top third of baseball, too, and probably closer to the top five over the longterm than some in here want to admit. Cashman stands out, of course. The Cubs have a strong front office. Milwaukee is on the rise, and before the 2018 season definitely got the boardroom win in an upset against the Cardinals. No doubt. The Dodgers are good. The Rays. Boston, of course. And when you talk to peers then you're going to hear a similar list of the best, and the Cardinals are going to be on it. Because they, like ownership, take a more global view than just the standings in the majors. And, as of now, there are handful of GMs that shake their head and wonder how the Cardinals got Goldschmidt and then got him to sign they did. Lots of envy there.
     
    I'm not sure where the radio host in DC would rank Mozeliak.
     
    My bet? He doesn't know who Mozeliak is. That could be East Coast bias, that could be being out of October for three consecutive years, or that could just be the charisma of Rizzo. Who knows. But if Rizzo is one of the top five, then so are 10 others.
    i Have the impression that this team has not yet had any significant injuries, with a quarter of the year gone. Martinez, as you said, was baked in at the beginning, and Reyes would not have been on the big club by now. Greg Erwin was a spare part. Am I missing anyone?
    Reyes is significant. Bader's turned out to be a touch more than expected. But you're right they're not being challenged like some other teams with injuries. Relative injury-free considering the group they started the season with on opening day, if we accept Martinez as baked-in.Yes.
    No question, just count me among the many who felt the Mother's Day article was among the better things I read this weekend.
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