Greetings. Welcome to one of the final off days of the season. A lot has happened since last we talked. The Cardinals have done what they needed to do against lesser teams, and the Cubs have helped by playing like a lesser team. With seven head-to-head games to go, the Cardinals are in control of their own destiny when it comes to the division title. Not sure anyone would have thought that in any other month. But it only matters in this month. Let's set the stage for the race from here. As always the chat is as good and as long as your questions sustain it ... Away we go.
Carlos Martinez. Unless he's needed in a tiebreaker to avoid the wild-card game, and then Lance Lynn gets the wild-card game.
Mitchell Forde's excellent turn as our intern did end, yes. And he brought a needed facet to our coverage, and we all were reminded how having updates like that are valuable. The question becomes how do we fit that into the coverage. It's one I intend to find a way to answer, because the response was so strong from readers. Thanks for that.
Aledmys Diaz will get the call to the majors, I've been told. Another candidate is Lucas, as he's on the 40-man roster. That is no small thing. Wisdom is not on the 40-man roster and he's been passed over a few times here. Actions always speak louder than words. O'Neill is an interesting case. So, he has to be protected this winter for the Rule 5 draft. So, adding him now really doesn't cost all that much except a 40-man spot -- which the Cardinals don't have. But will when free agents leave. It seems likely that O'Neill would be added after they leave and not the reason they displace somebody. They have plenty of outfielders at this point.
It means they played well when it matters and they got to their state goal. But that doesn't erase the five months of the team they were, nor the lessons they need to take into the winter. Consider that when they've played best, they've been their youngest. That seven-game winning streak earlier in the season, yeah, well Sierra was a part of that. This run right now? Flaherty, Weaver, and Co. are all major parts of it. So, yes, the Cardinals tromped on teams like the Braves and Padres and Giants and Pirates in those stretches, and they should be happy to see the Reds in the coming days. But the ends don't justify the means when the means are so obvious that they must be addressed, corrected in the winter. The team and roster that is winning now is not the one the imagined coming into the season, so keep that in mind. They should too.
Possibly. Even as a hitting a coach. Scouts took note, for sure.
I wasn't at the ballpark to ask, though it did look like there was an issue there. Rick Hummel had the news in morning's paper that Pham had a bad reaction to eye drops prescribed him and was having difficulty with his vision.
Yes, it's like a worker's comp situation. Where the injury happened, etc. The CBA does allow for the players and the agent to have a say in the treatment and where the rehab is conducted.
One way to do that is to measure the WAR of the players promoted, and then compare that against other teams. It would take quite a while of research, and it's certainly to dig into. I would have to step away from the chat to pull off the whole thing -- or even the division -- and I'm not sure you want the lag time. To look at the historic numbers you'd have to go through it year by year, unless there's a quicker way to sort that I don't know. It's the kind of question I'd have to research by hand.
But here's a look at the WAR from the Cardinals who started the season in Memphis, or lower:
Tommy Pham 4.9
Paul DeJong 2.2
Harrison Bader 0.5
Magneuris Sierra 0.4
Luke Voit 0.3
All the rest are either 0.0 or minus, so they're going to not add anything to the above total and only take away from it. So, let's look at that total: 8.3 WAR from the callups and consider that the Dodgers alone have gotten a 4.0 WAR from Cody Bellinger. So it might not be historic. But it certainly could be up there with the league leaders this season.
Nope. The calendar is pretty definitive on the difference between Sept. and Aug.
I do not. He has made himself valuable as someone who could complement or cameo at first base, but first is definitely a position in play for Carpenter or for an upgrade in the coming season.
Yes. Exactly. Bader or Grichuk would take over in center.
The Cardinals would have that conversation, yes. The deal would look like the Red Sox eating that salary and the Cardinals protecting themselves if Price does not take the opt-out.
It shouldn't, no. I guess we'll both see what the fans have to say.
His best is ahead of him. Absolutely. He's 25 years old and on the upswing already in his career. For the Marlins, in his career, has has a .293/.370/.435 slash line, and that's already pretty good and hits at a guy who adds length to the lineup and, yes, could bat anywhere from Nos. 2-5 without looking out of place. He'd be a fine No. 2 hitter if the No. 2 hitter is there because he's one of the best hitters on the team -- as it should be. On the road, he has a .845 OPS and he hits .304/.377/.469, and that is the kind of hitter you could reasonable expect to get in NL Central with its hitter friendly parks not named Busch. Oh, I could go on. He already has a career OPS+ of 121, and that's in his mid-20s.
I sorted all outfielders from 2010 to present by their OPS+ and looked at what they did in their 20s and look at some of the names that have popped up -- it's like the menu of players people have called and called and called for in this chat -- even this season ...
Justin Upton 123
Yoenis Cespedes 122
Michael Conforto 123
Carlos Gonzalez 126
Adam Eaton 116
J.D. Martinez 128
If you have liked, at any point, what any of those bats might bring to the Cardinals lineup or wished they were a part of the Cardinals lineup consider that those are Yelich's peers and he's moving into the peak of his career, just now.
Also, Tommy Pham has a 127 OPS+. Just saying.
Significant. A lot. The Cardinals would not just be willing to cover what they offered, that's for sure.
That is true. That is the case. They tried at least twice this season that I know of to try and get him from the Pirates, and were not successful either time. It took the Phillies outfoxing the NL Central for the Cardinals to finally land him. And, yes, they intend to look at signing him coming out of the season, if he's interested.
Every team already had the chance to take on Stanton's salary as it is without giving up anything. No one put in that claim. (And, honestly, it's not a guarantee that the Marlins would have just said, OK, take him.) So, any time you're adding layers and layers to that deal you're going to be adding talent and even more confusion.In the deal that you describe -- does Stanton opt-out? How does the opt-out factor into your calculus? If you get Yelich in that deal, you have 2/3 of your outfield, and you get some protection against the (unlikely?) Opt-out, but you're also taking on a huge risk that the money covered goes away when Stanton does. Again, more and more, you see how complicated the deal has become.
Any day now the 2018 schedule should be officially released. Most chat readers know what to expect. Opening Night in Queens on March 29. Opening day at home against Arizona on April 5. Visits from Twins, Sox, Royals, and Cleveland, and then visits to Twins, Sox, Royals, and Detroit. On the final/not released schedule I've seen that visit to Detroit is on the next-to-last road trip. The Cardinals end the season at Wrigley Field with a three-game road trip. What else stands out? Homes series vs. Cubs are on the weekend, which helps the Cardinals.
I'm not sure what "adventure" you mean. But the Cardinals have been a team more and more interested in being involved in international trips. And that would mean giving up a home game, yes. It could in the future.
Sure. But only if the Cardinals have five better starters and seven better pitchers. Flaherty might also benefit from a year like Adam Wainwright had 2006.
If a team is facing elimination and doesn't use the best team it has to stave of elimination, then it forever leaves itself exposed to first-guessing and what-if. If you had Vintage Clayton Kershaw at your disposal for a one-game playoff and you don't use Kershaw because you bank on winning that one-game playoff -- what happens if you lose. Then Kershaw never pitches.
One game of your best pitcher is always better than the zero.
Everything you have to avoid elimination is always preferable to regret.
Just my two cents.
That is the seminal question of the coming offseason. They will need certainty somewhere, somehow. They may cast their best on Wacha. They could count on Martinez. That leaves two more spots to fill to remain competitive. One of the spots will be by-committee. That seems likely. Still need to sign one, and get in a spot where Adam Wainwright is the bonus, Wacha is the bonus, and so on.