Norris is the easiest goat in this scenario but the Cardinals gave away two runs on the bases _ what's new? _ when Molina failed to tag quickly enough at second on Ozuna's fly ball to deep center when Hamilton threw off-balance back to the infield and then Pham came off the bag after a sure leadoff triple. Poncedeleon was terrific and he didn't even have his best stuff, according to most reports.
One of the Cardinals' major problems is star power _ they don't have much. They have a lot of good players but no stars, save for Carpenter the last six weeks and Molina, based on his career work. Shildt, like Matheny, can only manage what he has. Unfortunately, Ozuna has not become the star the Cardinals envisioned when they dealt four prospects for him. He is not The Man, and a lot of players aren't able to be The Man. Even in Miami, Ozuna was not The Man. Stanton was. As far as the pitching goes, the Cardinals had an ace, maybe two, when first Reyes went down in his first start and then, more relevant, Wacha went down on June 20 when he was having an All-Star season at 8-3. His loss was the major one of the season, in my book.
I'm with you on the latter two guys, who aren't going to be playing much here. Wong is the Cardinals' best defender and Carlos Martinez still can be a good pitcher although it would be better to have someone else as the "ace" of the staff, a title he has had difficulty living up to. Their team is built on starting pitching and I don't want to offer C. Martinez up for prospects. The Cardinals have pitching prospects. They have to play to their strength _ starting pitching _ although they have to do another major overhaul on the bullpen and get it right this time. The bullpen is so shallow that when the starter is pulled after five innings, the game is over.
For what? You already don't have enough offense and you're trading the National League home-run leader and one of its top OPS guys. They don't need young pitching prospects, unless they're lefthanded. .
There's a lot of guys playing in the majors who can't do much with a good curveball. But O'Neill is a prospect because he could hit 30 home runs, and there's only one guy around here who could do that this year _ and it's not Ozuna. O'Neill also is all right in the field and a pretty good runner. They did trade a pitcher who turned out to be Seattle's best in Marco Gonzales so you have to let this play out a bit more.
I wouldn't think so. Oakland seems quite happy with Piscotty, who is one of their young linchpin as the A's quietly have put together a contending club.
Carpenter normally doesn't lead off more than twice a game. He clearly should be able to hit anywhere in the lineup and next year I'm fairly sure he will be farther down in the lineup. But, besides being their best power hitter, he also is their best on-base man, so they will keep him first for at least a while longer.
Martinez isn't going anywhere now. At the end of the season, you review this but I still think he'll be here next year but they've got to have somebody else be the No. 1 guy in the rotation because he is so flighty.
Actually, Martinez has been playing regularly recently and might see more starting time as their infield is shortened with Wong out. I would like to see Bader play more. I would think it would be good for Ozuna to sit a day or at least not bat fourth. He isn't cleaning anything up although his out-fielding has been exceptional lately.
He seems a man of conviction although, relative to his early bullpen use, he will have to realize he basically doesn't have one.
You're welcome. The Cardinals will continue to try to fix their bullpen and somehow add some speed/power to a lineup which has been greatly disappointing. They do not need to seek a starting pitcher.
Hard to say. The next two months will determine where they go with Pham, who will start to make some money next season. They've got outfielders on the way from Memphis, who are both good offensively and defensively and Bader already is here.
Their 50-50 record suggests that tonight will be better. And then Wednesday it won't. Too early to give up. Some of the teams they're chasing aren't exactly the 1927 Yankees.
I would take him either out of the cleanup spot or out of the lineup for at least a day or so. He has to have more pop than this, unless he's hurt, and he hasn't said that he was.
Most times it's a good gig when the questions are thought-provoking rather than mean-spirited. Mr. Goold in the writers' wing of the HOF some day would be terrific.
I do now know that Joe Buck has anything at all against the Cardinals. With his syndicated TV show and many golf duties, plus postseason baseball and numerous NFL games, sometimes two a week this season, he is being kept plenty busy.
Yes, there will have to be some addition by subtraction. Some of the veteran relievers, notably, will be trimmed _ either let go or traded, if anyone wants them.
Judging by Memphis' record the last two seasons _ they will win 90 games again and they play only 144 _ the young talent is in the system. This does not take a total rebuild but it does take a different approach to putting a bullpen together. Hicks was a start. Mayers and Helsley could be next. Signing a veteran reliever probably won't happen, based on the experiences the last two years with Cecil, Hollland and Gregerson, all of whom were outstanding at one time but not now. This has to be fixed mostly internally.
Shildt has an audition _ and I don't think it has everything to do with his record because there are going to be some changing parts before the season is over. Whether that's fair or not, that's what it is.
I would forecast all those fellows will be elsewhere by Aug. 31, if not before.