Yes. Depth can help them get there. But depth alone won't win the division.
They're both. Writers seek them out and agree to be a part of them. In the beginning, the chat was hatched by Joe Strauss' interest in having a presence for StlToday.com, and while folks like me curated and wrote and kept a blog, the chat gave him a chance to interact in a different way and bring people to the Web site for his coverage and insight in a different forum, but in the same way I tried to do that with mailbags or the ol' 10@10 for the longtime readers out there. When my position changed, the chat was offered as something I could also do, and I took the opportunity. It's a chance to interact with readers. To field their questions. To answer their concerns. And to defend the work. I think that's more important than ever. Yes, the days and times and such are assigned by editors -- just like our assignments for tonight's game and tomorrow's game and Sunday's insider and coverage all week. On the whole, the chats are enjoyable because they're challenging and they have clear value -- they truly add something to our coverage that you cannot get anywhere else. Not anywhere. Period. They can be a grind -- and people see that I'm sure with the tone they sometimes take, and there are questions -- well, not really questions -- there are comments submitted that I wish I could un-see.
I don't think that's the case. Here's my cottage theory that I've asked around about and you can see -- the Cardinals, like so many times, are trying to work up in the zone and away from the Launch Angle Gang. The trick with that is finding that shelf of the strike zone that is too high to reach but not so high the hitter takes. The Cardinals haven't done that consistently. They pitch up in the zone, but like Mikolas and others -- not up enough. They throw quality strikes at the edges of the plate, but the height is right there in the good bat path. It's like they're telemetry is just off. You know who has done really well with this and is the pitcher to watch when you want to understand what the Cardinals are trying to do? John Gant. Check out his outing vs. the Cubs. That was filth. And that was where elevated fastballs are used and how they're set up and how they're at a spot that the hitter either misses or pops up. Other pitchers are trying to get there more consistently.
You're best bet is to check the coverage coming today from Jim Thomas, Tom Timmermann, and the hockey crew. We've got the Varsity Team poised for Game 7 coverage.
Dominic Leone can be optioned to the minors at any time. He has an option year remaining, and he does not have enough service time -- if my records are correct here -- to block such a move. I don't get the sense that he would think it's beneath him, either. That doesn't appear to be his style. He was talking last night with reporters about the work he's trying to do with Maddux and others to figure out what's gone awry and how things can feel right, look right, and seem to be right, and then go so wrong with the results. He had an interesting point about trying to check out things from the hitter's perspective and that maybe that video would reveal the issue.
Not really. I'm not really one to buy into the "pressing" thing, honestly. I get your point that he really stretched to attempt to make that diving catch on Sunday. Interesting how now it's a question on whether he puts too much effort on himself against the Cubs. Good to see the conversation changing, I guess.
He had three hits Saturday.
(And, um, he does practice bunting. It's been a thing this year.)
Well, one was not in the planning as of late last night as the Cardinals left Wrigley Field. Not from what I was told. What the Cardinals can do roster-wise with Gregerson is limited. Leone can be optioned, and that's not going to be ruled out, no. But they have to have an alternative they want to bring up, and that's not the point they're at today. That's going to change in the near future as Carlos Martinez appears poised to sprint his way back to the majors.
Help him get better. Pitch him. He's a good reliever.
Madison Bumgarner could be that guy. Cleveland has a few, though if they're in the hunt for the division then it's unlikely they make that move at the deadline. I am intrigued by Arizona. The D-Backs are off to a good start. They have a crazy amount of high draft picks coming their way. They could do quick a reboot, and moving a starter at the deadline would make a lot of sense for them to get the young players this summer that are going to be part of their team in 2020 and counted on for 2021 as all of the talent blossoms. Arizona has two starters that could change this conversation for the Cardinals.
Every manager I've covered has done this sort of thing -- the getaway day lineup. It's so common throughout baseball that there's a name for it. The Cardinals aren't alone. Matheny wasn't alone. Tony La Russa wasn't alone, and Shildt won't be alone either. It's a good way for teams to script days off and avoid packing too many games into to small of a window, and the timing of it this past week did give off some weird optics, yes. Wholesale changes to a lineup often do that. Until that point, Shildt had done that getaway day lineup less than previous managers and I thought it was interesting how he subtly sprinkled in those days off, meted them out, so there wasn't that one day a handful of starters were missing, not when there could have been.
(News flash: On the things of things that kept the Cardinals from the postseason the previous three years young pitching is waaaaaaaaay down the list. The reason why the Cardinals even contending late last year was the performance of Flaherty, Gomber, and Hicks in August.)
If only it was that simple. But O'Neill makes sense when you look at the two teams. Where it goes from there is where it will hurt the Cardinals even more to make a move like that.
No one has ever said that. Ever.
James Fallows is a remarkable writer, whether you agree with him or not. I guess it all depends on your appetite and interest in politics. I have enjoyed some of their coverage recently, and I read the issue with the cover story on America's anger. ("Why are we so angry?" January 2019) With most magazines -- Atlantic, New Yorker, Bloomberg, Wired, Harper's -- I tend to pick based on the stories advertised on the cover. If they're of interest or if I can learn something about the direction that journalism is going. Will Self had an interesting essay on the "peril" of the printed word in a recent issue of Harper's.
Within 10 days. Memorial Day seems like the latest, at this point, given how they were talking about his schedule this past weekend in Chicago.
That he got out there, made an appearance at all. That was not a given six weeks ago.
I don't think it's a handedness thing. To put it in oversimplified terms: It's a WAR thing. If they affix a WAR value to a frontline starter, then that's the WAR they're going to want to add. They're going to want to make an impact move. And, yeah, part of that is figuring out if Bumgarner is Bumgarnering or if Stroman is doing better. If he's the impact, frontline starter that would add top-level WAR to the rotation, then sure, he'd fit. Handedness isn't the priority. Impact is.