Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cardinals questions and comments, and talk to Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold at 10 a.m. Monday in a live chat.

    Derrick, IF MLB shrinks the minors, Do you think anything will take it's place for the players? college is not everybody's path, Will later bloomers, at least state side be a thing of the past? Seems players are also turning the backs, since they got their money.
    I would hope that the NCAA would fill the gap by increasing the number of scholarships available in baseball and building itself up as an unofficial minor-league for the majors. That would be great. That would be ideal. That would strengthen college baseball, and I'm all for that. I don't have any optimism at this point, though. And I worry that we are going to see the game shift and some of the, like I said, romance of the late bloomers or the John Brebbias fade from the ballpark.
    I would hope that the NCAA would fill the gap by increasing the number of scholarships available in baseball and building itself up as an unofficial minor-league for the majors. That would be great. That would be ideal. That would strengthen college baseball, and I'm all for that. I don't have any optimism at this point, though. And I worry that we are going to see the game shift and some of the, like I said, romance of the late bloomers or the John Brebbias fade from the ballpark.
    How will the Cardinals handle that with the Cardinals HOF? Fan vote or Automatic induction
    I believe this question is about Lee Smith. At this point it would take induction from the fan vote -- or eventually the Red Ribbon Committee, when he becomes eligible for consideration by that group. He did not gain immediate induction into the Hall for being in Cooperstown, if that's what you're asking. The time he was with the team was deemed too short by the team. Also worth noting: He chose a Cubs cap. At last check, however, I do believe he's invited to opening day by the Cardinals, or at least has a standing invite to be a part of it as a Hall of Famer with ties to the team. I'll have to double-check on that, but that was the first answer I got when asked.
    In answer to Jeff on the Farm, Forbes annually estimates that the Cardinals usually make a clear profit of anywhere from 50 to 65 million dollars per year. I don't think their problem is lack of spending so much as over-spending on mediocre talent.
    Take the Forbes information with a heaping helping of salt. It's based on their own estimates, and when I've asked to see their reporting on the matter they don't really explain it, or haven't in the past. They're not claiming "sources" have leaked them this info either. So, it's their own estimates and math and guesses and -- well, when have they been right? It's a cool parlor trick. But I need more substance. 
     
    And, yes, you're right it's HOW they've spent the money not HOW MUCH. Thought how much can certainly be part of the conversation.
    That's right on Lee Smith, automatic induction to CHOF only for those who enter Cooperstown as a Cardinal. IE, Steve Carlton, John Smoltz and Walter Alston are not in the CHOF even though they all played for the Cardinals.
    Those are good examples. However I don't think anyone is confusing Lee Smith's contributions as a Cardinal with John Smoltz's. And it was a fair question on whether Smith rose to the level of other players who have spent time with other teams in their career and still got immediate induction. Smith did great things for the Cardinals, as did Carlton, and that was where the question resided.
    If there was a game today and you had The lineup card, who is starting in the OF?
    I mean, today, Harrison Bader would start there because one of the other options is going to have to be in LF or RF and Bader is the best glove they've got. Is it a home game? That would be a factor, too. Is it against a lefty? That would really help.
    What do you think will happen to the Astros? I personally don’t believe in vacating championships but that’s the one rumor I’ve heard as a possibility.
    I don't know how that would work. It would be cosmetic at best. Are they going to have to take down the signs? The banners? Do the execs have to give back their bonuses? What about AJ Hinch? Too chaotic. It's not like they're going to be able to un-sell all of the merchandise and wipe that from history, and unless they've got some kind of Men in Black device we'll all remember it too. Nope. Now, they could be penalized in a way that undercuts the financial bounce they received from winning the World Series -- or in a way that makes it more difficult for them to win a World Series in the coming years. That makes more sense.
     
    And, no, a postseason ban makes ZERO sense. If you see that "rumor" laugh and move on.
    About sign-stealing: When the Cardinals led baseball with an exceedingly high batting average (can’t remember what season), didn’t other teams suspect sign stealing? I seem to recall that.
    Good bet they did. Pretty standard stuff. The Cardinals have been accused of it in the past, but not through tech, not through well-placed cameras. Nope, they were accused of decoding signs or swiping them outright by players in the dugout who picked up on tells, or by getting to second base and doing it there. There was a point where some/few/select opponents mused that the Cardinals were so good with runners in scoring position back in 2013 because they were taking signs (runner at second, you get it), but there wasn't much to the allegations, not much steak, and no one who could prove it enough to go on the record suggesting it. I gave Charlie Manuel the chance, and he went in a different direction -- completely. He suggested that it was an approach thing and it was about getting fielders in motion and had this long, elaborate compliment for what the Cardinals were doing. Today, shifts would eliminate some of it.
    Is Joc Pederson and his left handed bat worth a trade pursuit discussion for 2020?
    For name recognition, first of all, sure. But let's leap past that and into the crux of what the Cardinals are going to want to find. It starts with an 8. That is, the OPS. The Cardinals had outfield positions that were, for the most part, substandard, subpar, and below league average when it came to OPS. Look back to 2017, Dexter Fowler's first season with the team, and the switch-hitter had a .851 OPS. Know how many starting outfielders the Cardinals had with that OPS in 2019?
     
    None.
     
    Know how many starting players the Cardinals had with that OPS in 2019?
     
    One.
     
    And that's only if you count Tommy Edman as a starting player.
     
    That's got to be corrected for the offense to be improved. And so the Cardinals must do this calculus. If they think they'll get an .800 OPS from the committee of youngsters they have, then how do they acquire an OPS of .815, of .825, of goodness go out and get greedy and go for the .850! Well, Pederson has had an OPS of .876 this past season and better than .840 each of the past two seasons. He does his damage in a platoon role, and look at that what do the Cardinals have plenty of? Righthanded complements for him. It makes sense, yes. It has not made momentum, from what I can tell.
     
    His limitations would have to be considered. And the Cardinals should look to do better. Internally, it appears like the Cardinals see Pederson as a lot like what they have. The OPS production says differently. But they would aim higher based on conversations I've had.
    With the Cardinals not expected to make a major acquisition this offseason, would that also rule out players like Moustakas and Keuchel? Those guys, to me, seem more like mid level guys that the Cards could have serious interest in. Thanks for chatting
    It's Nov. 18. What they're saying now, could be different than what they do a month from now, or five weeks from now, or in January. I get what they're saying, and that's true today. But they've also acknowledged that Carlos Martinez could have a complete setback in his program and recovery and then, whoops, gotta find a starter in December. They may have a trade come to them in the coming weeks that makes them rethink what they do in the outfield. And then they've got to make a move.
     
    It's very difficult today to suggest what a team is going to do when 30 teams don't know what they're going to do.
    When I hear people defend the Cardinals front office they point to the consistency the teams had in the past. Albert Pujols was the most consistent player I’ve ever seen, but if I wanted to get him now people would call me crazy. That’s the thought that comes to my mind when people list the accomplishments of this front office. Point to a really good move they have made in the last 4 years. I know they made the playoffs this year but that doesn’t impress me much. There are 2 wild cards and several teams want to loose. Do you really believe that this team has a chance to truly contend for the World Series without significant additions?
    This is a loaded question, what with all its tentacles. Of course this team could become a better World Series contender with an addition. They needed an addition from somewhere -- better player from current players, better player from outside, whatever -- to stay ahead in the division. They missed the playoffs three years running and that was a blight because it came at a time when there were more ways to the playoffs then ever, and they still missed them. That's an issue. That was a problem. That was a motivating factor for firing the manager. Period. When they did make the playoffs this year they won the division (not a wild card) and reached the NLCS and lost swiftly, quickly, emphatically to the team that won the World Series. I don't get why that doesn't impress you, but whatever. It was more impressive than 26 other clubs did.
     
    As for the "good move" the front office has made in the past four years, I seem to recall a lot of excitement when the team traded for Marcell Ozuna coming out of 2017 or when they added Paul Goldschmidt, the best player available last winter. I mean there was a good 24 hours where there was actual excitement about the move the Cardinals made, and then about hour 27 or 28 there was the realization that they didn't get Bryce Harper, too, in the deal and Twitter veered back to anger or something. Now, I get where you're coming from because Ozuna didn't perform as he did in 2017 and Goldschmidt had a slow start to 2018 and certainly Cecil hasn't worked out, not like Miles Mikolas did, but if you think that the front office had some kind of foresight that we now call hindsight, then they only wish. You're giving them too much credit. 
     
     
    I meant to include “with runners in scoring position” in my question. Thanks for deciphering. I believe Alan Craig hit .400-plus that year with runners in scoring position.
    He did. He was a really good player for the Cardinals. He was so good when he got his extension that the Cardinals were comparing him to Paul Goldschmidt, and they could with the stats. Crazy how things have changed.
    Do you think a lot of fans are underestimating what even a partial bounce back from both Carpenter and Goldschmidt could do for the offense?
    No. Honestly, I don't think the most vocal fans much care.
    Does the sign stealing scandal give some credibility to Correa's claim that the Astros stole proprietary information from the Cardinals? Once a cheater, always a cheater.
  • I thought the coverage in The Post-Dispatch gave Correa's claims some credibility long before the sign-stealing stuff. But I'm biased.
    Derrick, Will Cards want to move either Dex or JMart this off season?
    They aren't actively trying to, no.
    The ballot for the HOF vote just came out. Aside from Jeter, do you see anyone else making the Hall this year from this ballot? Do you see Rolen ever making a real push. I think he is criminally underrated.
    Larry Walker deserves it, and this should/could be the year. I will continue to vote for him. I voted for Scott Rolen last year and cannot think of a reason why I wouldn't this year, too, given the number of candidates deserving. I have some tough choices coming on this year's ballot, but I will endeavor to stay consistent with my voting.
    Speaking of voting. Here's my starting point for my annual MVP matrix -- which I use to help me finalize an MVP ballot.
     
    And here was how it looked before I submitted my final vote for the 2019 NL MVP.
     
    I'd love to see the Cardinals attempt a minor league contract and ST Invite for a bounce back guy like Matt Moore.
    Not a bad idea, at all. If he'd accept one.
    Good afternoon, there is always talk about baseball being a business. Wouldn’t be a good business decision to DFA Fowler if they can trade him? Second question, I’ve read that the Cardinals don’t want to go longer than three years with Ozuna. I don’t understand that logic given the contract they gave Fowler and Carpenter’s extension. I’m curious what your thoughts are.
    A good business decision to swallow $30 million and get ZERO in return -- zero production, zero players, zero talent, zero innings handled in the field. It might may you feel better. But that's not the business model to make IrishCardinal feel better about things. That would be bad business. And not make much sense at all. It also could have ramifications down the road when it comes to appealing to other free agents, who do pay attention to how veteran players are treated when they struggle, when they're released, when they're ditched and dumped and etc. etc. They may not like Ozuna in 2020 as much as they liked Fowler coming out of 2016. That would be one reason. Also, their deal with Fowler informs their current interest, too. What they learned from the added year for Fowler they're going to apply to any deal they make with players coming up, especially an outfielder who they know, whose work habits they are familiar with, etc. etc. So they've learned from one year to another. Also, I haven't heard that three-year as the cap, not from the Cardinals. It appears that's some educational guessing. That three-year number is based loosely on the notion that the Cardinals don't want to block a young outfielder. News flash: That young outfielder is Dylan Carlson. He'll arrive in 2020. And he doesn't have to play left field. So ... It's about the length of the contract, yes but it's also about the AAV. And the sense I get is that the Cardinals don't want to go near that $17.8m AAV, so that's an issue when Ozuna might be able to do better than the average salary the Cardinals are willing to offer.
    Will Adam Wainwright be the last Cardinals player to wear number 50? I know he will not be a Baseball HOF'er, but if I'm not mistaken, neither is Ken Boyer.
    Yes. He will be. And you're right about Ken Boyer. Also, 51 isn't worn by anyone but Willie McGee and that will always be the case.
    I do. And so doe the Cardinals. And so does the math.
    With the Astros' sign-stealing saga unfolding, does it cause any re-evaluation of Jeff Albert's hiring? While not trying to undercut his hitting philosophy and system, it is easy to understand elevated contact rates when hitters know what pitch is coming.
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