That's not the short answer at all. Other teams don't have Yadier Molina. Other teams -- at least a few in the majors -- would have Carson Kelly in the majors, now, playing, starting. I'm pointing out his age, Bruce, and this notion that he's withering on the vine. It's just not the case.
For awhile, entirely possible. Team is exploring other options for his next start.
His contract has value if the Cardinals want to move him. He'll end this season and not even be arbitration eligible yet, at the expiration of this contract. That means the team gets to set his salary for next season, and then he'll enter arbitration for 2019, 2020, and 2021. Then he'll be free agent. Teams like deals like that -- and they also see what he's capable of doing offensively, not just what he's doing at this moment. In May, Diaz hit .294/.342/.402, and while that slugging percentage is low wouldn't you take that line from him? That was 26 days ago. And that's more in line with the 400 at-bats he had last season and not the 92 he had in April. You're right: Keeping his glove at shortstop relies on his bat producing above average at the plate, and in the past window he's not doing that. But keep in mind teams are going to see the stats, at large, not the stats in a sliver here.
No. Pham might have the highest grade, for sure. Bowman would be better than average. Wong certainly would be better than average. Fowler would be, too. Gyorko absolutely would be. I think as you go down the roster there would be more Cs than you'd think because in the end that's what this team really is. A C- in reality -- mediocre through and through -- and a D based on expectations.
It's theirs to lose, for sure. They are capable of losing it.
Encouraged. Lots of safe best early and then they took some reaches late. Fuller intrigues, of course, but is a raw hitter. So high-ceiling, but high risk. That was the kind of player the Cardinals had to find, and then they had to take their share of seniors and sure-sign players early because they were so constrained financially this season.
I don't think defensive shifts should change. I think hitters should. That's the game. Should we stop pitchers from throwing sinkers because they increase the groundball rate of hitters? No. That's the game. The shifts of today are more common and more dramatic, but we used to see individual players shift all the time based on their instincts, and we applauded that. So let's applaud the ingenuity of defensive shifts and expect hitters to find a way to get better and work around them.
They would. Few teams could meet that price.
Greg Garcia is out of options. He would have to be passed through waivers, like Miguel Socolovich was earlier this season.
Increasingly encouraged and fascinated by his defensive play, his speed and eagerness on the bases, and what he's done offensively this season at Texas League. On the fast track to a highly regarded prospect.
Sure. They could. Not sure how often we see that kind of many moving parts.
Entirely possible. But, per usual, given that they've already sold more than 3.2 million and are going to come close to that 3.4 million if not hit it here in the near future, then it will be no-shows. And while that's alarming and should send a message to the team -- let's be honest, the tickets were already sold.
Good value. All under control. All have talent. All could start for Cardinals. They like those players.
I guess they could trade him, sure. He's going to be throwing in games by the end of this month, and if you think of it in spring training terms that means he's headed into his "March." The Cardinals could see him in the majors after the All-Star break then, or midway through July. Is that enough time for him to prove his strength and readiness and get a team interested? Maybe. If they're going to move him, another way they could do that is in August. They could float him through waivers. He would get claimed. And then the Cardinals and the claiming team could work out a deal for him. That's possible. The Cardinals spent heavily to get Cecil into that role for 2018 and beyond, so a reunion with Duke would have to be something that the player takes an active role in pursuing.
I don't see the similarities between what the Dodgers have done -- splashing cash on the Cuban market -- and what the Cardinals have done. Dodgers have been far more financially aggressive when it comes to acquiring amateur free agents, and this past year LA was the team that spent more on free agents than the Cardinals. If you're talking about drafting and developing while contending, there are a few more similarities in that regard. It's worth noting that the Dodgers got Corey Seager, a player the Cardinals liked, one pick ahead of the Cardinals in 2012. They took Michael Wacha then at No. 19.
Sure. You bet. But I bet he could start at SS, Diaz at third. That would work.
On a scale of "good riddance" to "angst that leaves them rocking and crying into a pillow alone in a dark room with cello chamber music on repeat" .... I'll go with a strong ... "meh."
They've done OK since his departure improving on things he helped steer them toward with guidance from John Mozeliak, input from Michael Girsch. It seems like there is a lot of revisionist history going on here, not the least of which is giving Luhnow credit for picks that Dan Kantrovitz made. But, hey, don't let me get in the way of a narrative. That time the Astros out-thought the world and didn't draft Kris Bryant was sheer genius.