Bill Mueller is not yet back with the team. He'll join the team in Memphis, and then the Cardinals will likely send a coach back to Class AAA Memphis. Mueller will resume his duties as assistant hitting coach, per Mozeliak.
Who is pitching well. Who is available. Who is on turn. Who is on the roster. In that order.
They felt they could count on one emerging from the crop of players they've turned to.
Look, it's no secret. This is no revelation. I'm not sitting here telling you that this chat is the one that uncovered THE GREAT NEED of the Cardinals. We've discussed it at length, and this conversation, yes, has been going on since the fall of 2014, right after the Travis Ishikawa moment. That is when the Cardinals turned in this direction. Oscar Taveras' death is part of that turn. So, for me to act as if this is some kind of new revelation is false hustle because it has been obvious the reporters, obvious in the reporting, obvious in the articles, obvious to the fans, and, yes, obvious to the organization for awhile.
You know what, ever since it went online, I stopped filling one out. I used to send at least one in every year, and now ... I just don't. I miss the paper ballot, honestly.
I don't know a Luke Voight. Sorry.
Thanks. This is what we're talking about here.
Flaherty. Hudson. Alcantara. Woodford. Hicks. That's the new Fab Five.
It's not hindsight if it didn't make sense at the time. If the Cardinals had any leverage with that move, it would have shown up in the return of a prospect ranked higher within Braves' system or a pitcher who was closer to the majors. Heck, the Cardinals got three players in exchange for Jaime Garcia's last year of control. His last year. And one of those players has already been in the majors, Gant. And the Cardinals have plenty of control over the other two. Two of the three players for Garcia were ranked in the Braves' Top 25. For Adams? Not one. That, to me, shows that the Cardinals lacked leverage and the motivation for the move was to simplify the Cardinals roster, free Matt Adams from the block, and not get a return.
It depends entirely on the correction that is made.
Let's hope he's just ahead of No. 3. If it's second behind Maguire, then that's not good for the future of the Spider-Man franchise and its tie to Marvel.
I don't, no. I honestly don't under the "Mike's Guys" memes at all. They're often wrong.
The Voit promotion was more than just filling an injury. It was adding a player at the cost of another in the same role. It was an MLB debut, a jolt that Mozeliak could make -- and maybe just maybe a bat that the manager might actually start to rest Matt Carpenter, as we're seeing today. As we discussed back when the trade of Adams happened. That was prelude. All of these moves are part of a greater concert, the type of which we saw more in 2009 as the minor moves set the stage for the bigger move. Now, that team was better than this one. That team had injuries and a willingness to move on players. And that team had a clear target in Matt Holliday, who they had tried twice before to trade for. Still, I see these moves has building upon each other to see what halts and catches fire -- and what leads the way to a move yet to come.
Pham is playing the best of the group, no question. He's going to play. I asked Mozeliak if the outfield now is a true meritocracy -- that is, he who plays best, plays most, and Mozeliak agreed that with Fowler on the DL that is how it sorts out. Pham has put himself in the lineup with his play, and as long as that continues they'll find a way to play him even if Fowler comes back. Maybe the discussion then is about saving Fowler's feet from the range of center, even. That could happen.
Tell me the day he comes back. Tell who is healthy, who is not. Tell me the future, and I'll do my best. There are so many ways this could go, and that does include shrinking by a pitcher as the All-Star break approaches. But that's not based on Wong. That's based on Wacha's performance and Lynn and Wainwright, and if you can tell me what they're going to do in their coming starts and whether the Cardinals can shrink to fewer pitches, then we have an answer. Or, they could make a move with another player who they want in the minors over the break getting playing time. That's possible too. So many options.
You had your chance to ask something different, and this is what you did? Odd.
I can honestly say that. I didn't say he was going to send the team on a 10-game winning streak and that his HBP was the Hollywood moment that was going to galvanize the underachieving team, unite it under a common cause, and -- after Mike Matheny's Herb Brooks like pep talk captured on leaked video -- send the Cardinals soaring to their 12th World Series. Calm down, Scorsese. It was a surface-level move. Yes. Part, as I said, of a larger network of moves to reshape the team and try to catch fire first, stay on fire next.
Interesting question. The Cardinals do not have that top-ranking catching prospect. In fact, Kelly was the only catcher in the system to crack the Top 30 that I did this past winter for Baseball America. Now, there are candidates to be in the top 30 when we resort at the end of this season. This was the depth chart at catcher that I provided for BA:
Carson Kelly (4)
Of that group, Ortega is going to stand out. He recently turned 20. He is State College, Pa., to start this short-season, and he earned raves during spring training from Matheny. He's a bigger catcher, tall, and still was able to move well, and he's very aggressive when showing off his arm.
Although I recognize that it could hasten the slow march toward the universal DH, I am increasingly of the mind that baseball should go to an NBA-like model where every team plays every team. It doesn't have to be home-away against everyone, but this year the Cardinals would play the Mariners at home, then Seattle away next year. There would be a greater balance to the interleague schedule that way, They could do the two-and-two against the natural rivals still, and that would allow more teams to get to more places more consistently and there wouldn't be the question of oh, hey, this is the year you get the Phillies whereas in two years some team in your league vying for a wild card against you is going to get a better Phillies team. Maybe.