No one leaps to mind. Bowman could be given a look. Sure. He's valuable in his role, so there would need to be someone else that could do his current job.
Probably not. I think both sides came to see the benefit of him going where a DH was available after the hand injury of last season. That's when both sides considered life without each other.
This would be an entirely Mozeliak-like series of moves, yes. He has de-cluttered the roster before. I spoke with him recently about this, about whether he saw this year's trade opportunities like 2011 (Colby Rasmus) or 2014 (Allen Craig). There isn't that player on the roster right now that other teams see as marginalized by the manager or by playing time, ala Colby Rasmus. So many teams were in Rasmus, and Mozeliak had a chance to move an asset before Rasmus vanished from the lineups that Tony La Russa was running out there. Back in 2014, there was Oscar Taveras on the way and the lineup kept saying Allen Craig, Allen Craig, even as Allen Craig slipped into a profound funk. Mozeliak sought to clear a contract and beef-up a rotation while also making it obvious who was going to play and play a lot in right field. Taveras. If we're putting this year on the spectrum, it's closer to 2014 than 2011, though that Taveras-like player isn't really pushing his way toward the majors. Harrison Bader has had a strong year. Carson Kelly is a legit major-leaguer. Deals to clear spots for them aren't likely. Deals including them ...
Sure. Makes as much sense as anyone. He did pitch well. Real well. Season was headed that way all along.
Using Baseball America's preseason Top 10:
1. Alex Reyes, RHP -- recovering from elbow surgery
2. Luke Weaver, RHP -- solid in Class AAA, next man up if a starter is needed
3. Delvin Perez, SS -- struggled at rookie-level, sent back to GCL to get ABs, innings.
4. Carson Kelly, C -- career high homers at Class AAA, asserting himself as top catching prospect in the game.
5. Magneuris Sierra, OF -- you know.
6. Sandy Alcantara, RHP -- 4-5, 5.46 ERA with 72 Ks 36 BBs in 85 2/3 innings at Class AA. Not the breakout year imagined, but still a top-shelf arm with 102 mph off the fingertips.
7. Harrison Bader, OF -- leading Class AAA Memphis' offensive juggernaut
8. Edmundo Sosa, SS -- Dealing with hand injury, on DL. Class AA roster.
9. Dakota Hudson, RHP -- Has best slider in the organization and has been doing well as a starter, going 7-4, 2.77 ERA in 100 2/3 innings 69 Ks at Class AA. Gets internal nod as fast-rising arm.
10. Eliezer Alvarez, 2B -- an OPS leader in minors a year ago, he's recovering from an ankle injury.
Alvarez was the player who bumped Jack Flaherty from the top 10, and that was a tough call. Truth be told, if I had my way with the list above -- which was was done in conjunction with the editors at Baseball America -- I would have had Paul DeJong on, maybe over Sosa in that eighth spot. Or ninth behind Hudson. Flaherty and DeJong have both had seasons that stand out, a you've probably heard.
Could be. Would follow in the lines of Terry Evans and James Ramsey before him.
Hudson is starting tonight for Class AA Springfield. Keep that in mind. And, sure, there are other talents there. Oscar Mercado has had a Terry Evans-like rise as an outfielder there for the S-Cards. Look, Cardinals prospects aren't really a secret for the Marlins. They see each other almost every day of the season down there in Jupiter. If the Marlins are organized at all, they have lots of reports and lots of eyes on the best and brightest that the Cardinals have to offer. Not many secrets.
Too little, but on the right track. Look at Eaton deal.
They understand -- at least the DeWitt Family does -- that they are a public trust. I've had many conversations (and written several articles as a result) about their role as custodian for a civic identity. The Cardinals are an ambassador for St. Louis to the world. Arch. Beer. Baseball. That's what you'll get when you ask about St. Louis in Paris or Perth. Take a look some time at crowd shots from any city around the world, and count the hats that people are wearing. Yankees are aplenty. Cubs maybe now, too. FC Barcelona and a host of EPL teams will show up. So will the Cardinals. You'll see those hats there. That does not go unnoticed by the ownership. It also shouldn't go unnoticed by the fans, and it shouldn't go unnoticed by the paper either. That's the standard they should be held to -- as St. Louis' presentation to the world and, yes, a positive emblem, with the history that the team does have the present that is expected.
Of course. Next 10 days are pivotal. They're playing games and thus things can happen.
It's interesting because Brett Cecil brought this up yesterday -- though he didn't in the numerical terms. As he was going through the costly inning Sunday, he made mention of Matt Carpenter's scoop for an out and how Carpenter has done that three or four times for him this season. Cecil made reference to how there's not much attention given to that and he wanted to point out what Carpenter did for him. He said he also told Carpenter that during the game. I keep track of defensive splits through the season and here's how Carpenter's look through the All-Star break, per BillJamesOnline:
April, at 1B -- plus-3, 1 Defensive Run Save (ranked 4th)
May, at 1B -- plus-2, 2 DRS (5th)
June, at 1B -- plus-4, 4 DRS (6th)
at Break -- plus-4, 4 DRS (5th)
What we're seeing in these numbers and some of the more granular ones is a player who improved and who makes the routine plays. There aren't many plays outside of the bounds of the first base bag. (He's rather steady to his left and right, until this past month when he's plus-3 to his side.) It's a fair point that the Cardinals/writers cannot use these same stats to assert how well Jedd Gyorko is playing at third base or how much better Stephen Piscotty as gotten in RF without also acknowledging what they say about Carpenter at 1B.
The defense I have handy, having just looked it up for the previous question:
April: minus-5 (10th in NL)
May: plus-18 to be plus-13 overall (4th)
June: plus-15 to be plus-28 overall (4th)
All-Star break: plus-29 (3rd)
So, yeah, that checks out. Corresponds with some changes in the infield, much improvement in right field, and one of the best defensive spots in baseball, Cardinals' third base.
As far as baserunning goes, well, the Cardinals are still off pace from average.
That would certainly help, just as it would any manager. I'm not so sure that maybe Matheny does better with some flex to the lineup -- when it comes to position in the field, if not position in the lineup -- and that more of a paint-by-numbers bullpen would be welcome. That's certainly the goal. When it comes to bullpen, we can probably name the managers who are the best at improvisational usage. Bochy does well. Girardi gets a lot of credit in the industry for his inventive use and reliable use of the bullpen. Francona got a lot of credit last fall, as he should, but he also had Andrew Miller. Miller makes a lot of managers good at handling a bullpen. Maddon struggled last fall. He too would benefit from a plug-and-chug bullpen.
Why at that position? Could be any position. It's a sliding scale.
No there are a few others in the mix.
He could. He'll definitely be given a long look. I haven't started collecting evals of the players yet for the Top 30, outside of some visits I've made to minor-league games or other stories I've worked on. That will start in earnest in October or November, depending on what the Cardinals have in store for those months. Eager to see what some of the evaluators have to say about his season. Impressive numbers.
The Cardinals are taking into account the fact that he played at less than 100 percent for a stretch there, was not moving well physically and that contributed to his play in the field, and also has been dealing with the illness of his mother. They, as an organization, are not dismissing all of these things are contributing factors to his season. Nor should you.
It will be in the eye of the beholder. They could do a 10 and it would still be a 1 for some. So, most likely it will average out to be a 4.16 because the chats and online tend to veer snarky and pessimistic.
No kidding. But if you can get that power from elsewhere then you can do what you need at 1B. Traditionally, power comes from the corner outfield spots, and then there are the teams with CF who hit for power and can sometimes go for the defensive upside with speed or other talents in the corner. The Cardinals just played a team exactly like that. Look at the Houston Astros. They have 11 home runs from a guy who plays first base. How are they doing? They're getting production at other positions so that they can have a first base who contributes in other ways. That's how it works. Aggregate.
I'm not Jeff Gordon. He likes to remind me of that.
Of that group, Piscotty would because of his contract. Grichuk would be second because of his upside/power potential and the change of scenery dynamic some team will talk themselves into, if necessary. Fowler was just a free agent. Teams could have made their bid then.