Salutations. Touched down in St. Louis, fresh off one those rare direct flights from the bridges of Pittsburgh. The scramble for baggage is on. With Rick Hummel covering the series in New York, I'll be your chat host this week as the Cardinals near the 10 days that will determine a lot of this season (coming seasons?) will be viewed. That hunt for a bat is on. The bullpen is a-jumble. But, hey, Sierra is back. Let's dive into the questions.
I kid. Great question, and it's likely one they will have to confront as soon as today. Not that Rosenthal is getting traded, just that use in three consecutive eighth innings likely makes him unavailable today. Cecil may not be available either. That leaves Oh (again) or turning to Bowman. Entirely possible that no Rosenthal means an ad hoc ninth that leans heavy on matchups. Duke could be a part of that if he does well. Or maybe a subsequent move for a placeholder. Neshek could close, eh?
Sure. The New York Post recently advocated for the Cardinals to trade Carlos Martinez. (To the Yankees, no less, I imagine.)
A day like today. No set roles. Limited available arms from within the Circle of Trust (h/t Chris Gardner). Opens up a classic supply-demand opportunity for a player to shine in a role outside usual use.
Middle of the bat, for sure. That Would have such a ripple effect through the roster that it would create a bounce. It's the transformative move for the Cardinals. Everything else would be cosmetic --- putting gloss on the team they got, that we already know.
Probably. Everybody saw Aaron Judge coming as the next Albert Pujols, right? Or we will say we did now.
There are more direct deals to be done without the third party participation. Not sure why Cardinals would involve Nats in a deal.
That was discussed just last month as an option to keep available, yep. Then Wacha went on a tear into the break.
Nope. Readers will have the pleasure of Rick Hummel's coverage for a few days as I head Back to St. Louis to work on another assignment, or three. Will be back on gamer duty when team arrives at Wrigley.
It's similar to outrun or outhit except it involves the act of pitching, most often from the mound and performed by a pitcher. In a sentence: "Due to his hastily improvised one-seam sinker, Joel Pineiro was able to outpitch Blake Hawksworth for the spot in the Cardinals' rotation."
This is really a Mad Lib for our times, right?
When will ___________ (reliever) have earned enough cred to be used in a higher leverage spot?
The answer could be forced upon them today. If the game plays out close they will need a reliever they studiously avoided over the weekend to help them win. That will allow __________ (reliever) to rise to the occasion, earn a new station, and give these fair questions vindication. Or, just offer Cardinals more complications.
That's the thumb on the scale, for sure.
Got it. An "out pitch" is the one used to get an out --- a guarantee, a pitch that when a strikeout is needed that's the pitch that's used. Wainwright has the curve. Wacha has the change. Lynn has the gas and he has been working on getting an off-speed out pitch for lefties. Oh has struggled with his slider and that has left him without the out pitch.
Not as good as they'd be giving up.
Yelich was the first that I was able to confirm, but that doesn't mean he's the first in their preference. Ozuna also has his advocates. Yelich has an appealing contract. Ozuna has pop, and either is viewed as a fit for the Cardinals' lineup need. What I have heard is how Yelich is viewed as a rising star, a player on the brink, while there's no question Ozuna has defined himself and produced like he can. But I have not heard a consistent answer on who the Cardinals prefer. Could be the cost. Could be they'd not like to show that hand while exploring what either would cost.
Hard to tell. Scouting takes place all the tine. Scouting could be part of a fact-finding mission, and that means that they're in the process of seeing with their eyes what they have already determined via stats/analytics checks out as a reasonable deal. That varies from team to team. The Cardinals, for example, did not have a scout at Justin Masterson's rehab starts a few years ago, and yet that deal happened soon after. There was a team a year or two ago that had a scout trailing the Cardinals' minor-league affiliate for a bit -- and no deal ever happened. Look at the most recent news about a Cardinals scout attending a Quintana start. I was told bluntly they weren't there shopping for a starter. The Cardinals had a scout at a Phillies game about 10 days ago. Neshek isn't a Cardinal today. So, reading the scout tea leaves can be tricky.
Not sure what you want me to do here. I have outlined this situation to the best of my reporting and ability here in the chat. And, yet, because it's not what some folks want to hear I'm a killjoy. But if I play along then I'm being dishonest to the truth and don't give you a sense of reality. Please advise.
That is true. I did. On purpose.