Warmest greetings. Busy day here at the ballpark and around StlToday.com. Joey Votto, who recently asked a reporter to think of him as "the Canadian Ichiro," is in town for a makeup game. Afternoon. Busch Stadium. And I've got the chat and a bevy of assignments at the ballpark. If you're game, I'll bring you along for the trip. Let's go ...
The first question in the hopper isn't a question at all. It's a warning. Hand me some shark repellent.
Has that feel. That doesn't guarantee playing time, doesn't mean he will start, but it means they want to see improvement and production in whatever role he has. And now. He will get a good run here of starts as Fowler mends. And if he cannot produce or show improvement, the Cardinals will move on. Their patience with multiple players could end come July. Forcing a rewrite of the roster, by trade or other transactions.
Alright. Maybe I ought to refill the coffee and put on some tunes.
The obvious ones would be Lance Lynn and Seung Hwan Oh. But the market for Lynn isn't going to be as robust as it could because of all the starting pitchers who will be available. If the Cardinals are going to trade Lynn, they would be better to find the right fit sooner before the deluge of starters really hits the open market. If a team, say the Cubs, needs a starter they will have their pick of options.
For me, and from asking around about this, the player with the most value at the deadline that the Cardinals could trade is Trevor Rosenthal. A few teams will be in need of closers and his velocity and experience will be appealing. So will another year of control. A team like LA or Washington could throw numbers at their bullpen -- acquire a Rosenthal or an Oh and acquire some other reliever and see who, by October, emerges in the seventh, eighth, or ninth as the go-to arm.
Cardinals didn't even consider promoting Sierra. They are of a mind that he has things he needs to improve on offensively at Class AA, and that this window offered a time to see, and judge, what direction Grichuk is going. They know Sierra needs the work. They want to see what Grichuk has done with his.
I could squint and see that future, sure. Sierra in center.
I don't have time right away to go through all of the hitters to check, but I can quickly check a few statistics for you that help answer that question. Molina has 42 plate appearances that end on the first pitch, and the only other count that is close is 1-2, where 43 of his plate appearances end. For reference, Fowler has had 36 plate appearances end on the first pitch, and Matt Carpenter has had only 18. So you can see how Molina is more aggressive on the first pitch than two teammates who have a reputation for being more patient, and that makes sense given Molina's contact approach and rare strikeouts. There's one more number to look at. And that's pitches seen per plate appearance. Matt Carpenter ranks second in baseball (again) with 4.48 pitches per plate appearance, and Molina ranks 136th with 3.64. The lowest P/PA of qualified hitters is 3.25.
There is a chance, yes. The Cardinals will look to see if there is an Allen Craig-like deal to be hand that reshapes the clubhouse. That is something they would explore.
Earlier in the chat, just a few minutes ago, I ran through the best of the Cardinals trade options. Matt Carpenter was not mentioned. Read into that what you want. There would be other position players teams would like to discuss before Carpenter.
You think they could build a ticket-sales campaign around Sierra? Hardly. A Sierra bobblehead, for sure. Now that would get people to the ballpark for a day in September.
Wong is set to go on a rehab assignment soon, either Tuesday or Wednesday and he could be on the road today when the team leaves. The Cardinals believe he could be ready to rejoin the team this weekend when it returns from Arizona for a series against Washington.
Of course. Using words deliberately is always my goal.
I bet if I asked 20 random fans at the ballpark today how old Carson Kelly is they would guess he's in his mid-20s. He's been around so long as a prospect that there's this view he's older than he is. Kelly is 22. Know how old Yadier Molina was when he got his first chance to be an everyday player in the majors? Older than Kelly is now. Buster Posey was 23 when he got his first full season with the Giants as their catcher. Oh, and he was 25 when he caught more than 110 games in a season for the first time. He's not starving. Neither are the Giants. I could go on. If Molina is the starter at catcher next season for 120 games and Kelly is around, he'll be 23. If Molina and him split the duties the next two seasons, he'll be 24 and 25. And, then if he's the starter for good, unquestioned, he'll be 26, entering what is widely regarded as a players peak. Kelly's age works for the Cardinals in this regard. It doesn't work against them.
That will be the question. DeJong has proven himself as a power option and versatile. He could easily handle the role the Cardinals had imagined for Peralta, where he'd move around and hit well and spell the starters. That said, it will be the classic decision, right: Playing time there vs. Being on the bench here. Development vs. Production. There is no indication yet what direction the Cardinals will go. I think there's a good chance that at some point DeJong plays so well in the majors, that he's something of a Paul DeZobrist-type, moving around, playing four games a week, and thumping.
He would binge on shrimp. Wipe out the whole ocean.
I am not. They were intrigued by the glove-first shortstop, and they checked in on the cost. Look, they're going to have other conversations with the Marlins in the coming weeks as well, and this could all fit into a larger ongoing discussion, just to see if there is a match somewhere, somehow between the two teams. But, in the end, the Cardinals need a bat, too, and they need to use the prospects they have to get that bat upgrade. A fielder like Hechevarria would change the look of the infield, for sure, but it would not alter the Cardinals where they really need to this season -- and next. The lineup.
That is exactly how it would work. True sellers want prospects.
That is correct. The Cardinals have a few outfielders who Bader compares to, starting with Tommy Pham, who is in the majors, in that role, and has been one of the team's best players.
Whatever sliver of percentage it is, it's one that he controls. The ownership has made a commitment to him. That is clear. And they have underscored it. So, if there's a move it would be because the situation hasn't worked out for him and there's a mutual parting. There are three years beyond this one on his contract. That's hardly something either side is going to walk away from without a significant reason.
Cordoba has played regularly for San Diego, starting even for a stretches in left field. He's batting around .250 with a sub-.300 OBP. But the Padres can continue to carry him and play and use this year to see what they have in him because they have no interest in contending whatsoever. He's going to remain a Padre unless something really unexpected happens.