They can be one and the same. But I tend to side with the Matt Holliday line: "Producer, not director." Baseball isn't golf or pool. Hitters aren't always in control of where they get to put a ball or where the fielders are to get that ball. Sure, Carpenter could swat a few singles the other way -- but he better get the pitch that's right to do it, and he may end up just floating fly balls that are easy to catch because he's not able to hit that area with authority. It's an improvement to make -- or a skill to be aware of. When in doubt, hitters should do what they can to hit the ball as hard as possible. That seems to be a good rule of thumb. And defense is going to steal hits. The opponent wants to win too.
I would lower the strike zone. Immediately. I would lower it to the top of the sock area, just below the base on the back of the knee. Get more balls in play.
They have gone that route. It's been their most successful route. It's the lefties they haven't been able to find with that approach. Neshek. Norris. That all worked. And well. But the lefties haven't been as fruitful, so they have to find a way to spend.
Spend wiser, I should say.
Not yet. That's something the Cardinals toyed around with in spring training and it's a look they want to have -- if everything is humming as best as possible, and yes that means a monster OBP from Fowler. But as of now the Goldschmidt batting second and DeJong hitting third is working well.
Bader is going to have to win back some of that playing time. Martinez has hit well and Fowler has held his own in center to give the Cardinals comfort in this look. It's not going to be one they trot out there everyday with Bader healthy and available. They like his glove. They like his speed. They like what brings to the bottom of the lineup. But the Cardinals aren't going to dismiss this as a sometimes option and look at the three outfielders, two position rotation that we've seen in the past from them.
I appreciate the leap you're making here, and there's something to it because this is exactly the spot that the Brewers could argue they were in. I asked Stearns this exact question: Could they pursue Yelich because they were comfortable delaying their contending a year if they didn't get him? Stearns told me that they made the choice to go after that specific player, and if it delayed the building process a year so be it, they could be patient, they could wait, they could have some young players grow and improve and look toward 2019. That was possible. I've asked the Cardinals similar questions and they don't see rebuilding as true to their brand; they don't see it as part of their contract with their fans. They haven't sold at the trade deadline in years, and whether they fired the manager earlier or not -- that wasn't going to change. For the Cardinals to sell as you suggest would take a first half that is cataclysmic. Look, they fired their manager a year ago -- and still didn't tear down the roster and make moves that could have been for the future. They insist they cannot have the patience that the Brewers could. And I do find that fascinating -- right there at the heart of the Ozuna-Yelich dilemma.
It was to save money. Did I miss something? Skip Schumaker was traded. Daniel Descalso was set free. Greg Garcia was lost via waivers. This isn't new. This is what the Cardinals do.
I have never heard that before. But OK.
And that he's an outfielder. A center fielder. Those three things.
Maybe. But it does speak to the cost of doing business with the Rays. That's where the Cardinals always seemed to fall short with that deal for Archer. They spent a lot of time talking to the Rays about Archer -- so much so that sources were telling me that they had to be talking about something else, like Colome or Longoria. Heck, there was a time during that stretch when Longoria thought the Cardinals were in on the talks for him, and he was wondering what it would be like to play in St. Louis. It was Archer that was the focus of the conversations, we later learned and confirmed. But the cost was high. Same with Price. And, as we can see, so too with Pham. The Rays win deals. That's the trend.
Because it's volatile. Because elite, consistent relief is expensive and the Cardinals haven't made that reach -- or they've been burned when they try. Because it's volatile. Because the Cardinals are better at developing pitching than signing it. And because it's volatile.
He plays a lot of position. He's here today. There's a move tomorrow.
Alright, speaking of moving, I need to relocate to the ballpark. The chat will be up and running from there, complete with some coverage from the access time there.
Daniel Ponce de Leon is present, ready to start Tuesday.
Austin Gomber is the PCL Pitcher of the Week.
Those are some good details. Interesting.
Last week's player du jour for the chat, Brad Miller, has signed with the Yankees.
Thanks for your patience. Got a few videos from the access time to show you the topics discussed with the manager. As you can imagine there was a lot of Yelich, Yelich, Yelich. And how to get Yelich out. And whether getting him out of Miller Park is the start. That kind of thing. Let's plunge back into the questions in 3 ... 2 ...
I'm not sure about soon. But the Cardinals are going to be open to Dylan Carlson being part of the conversation with O'Neill for LF in 2020. That's what they would like to see happen -- that Carlson pushes and shoves and hits his way into that conversation and then gets to compete for the job next spring. Thomas is in that mix as far as the fourth outfielder and center fielder competition goes. There is playing time for those two outfielders to win in the coming year, coming years with production, and they can leapfrog the players or plans ahead of them.
That doesn't seem likely. Shildt did just echo the explanation I've given again and again in this chat: Bader returns to a situation where he has to compete for playing time due to the production that has happened in the outfield during his absence.
Make the strike zone larger. Good point. I should have made it clearer. Extend the strike zone down.