Bobo's here, ready for some ballplayers.
If he's willing to sign the same sort of make-good contract, why not? It worked out for both sides obviously. Wainwright ended up earning nice coin and the Cardinals got a solid No. 3/4 starter.
The internal late-inning relief candidates include Junior Fernandez and Ryan Helsley, who could both make next year's bullpen. But they don't seem anywhere near ready for the closer's role. So right now Martinez is it. The closer market is volatile, both in trades and free agency. The Cardinals are painfully aware of that. So this will be an interesting question for the organization moving forward.
I get that, but . . . there aren't a lot of great options in that bullpen right now. Andrew Miller has been hit or miss. Giovanny Gallegos gave up a couple of long balls late in the regular season. John Brebbia has gotten hammered lately. So has Helsley. I suppose Gallegos is the Plan B closer right now, but Mike Shildt likes him in the set-up role to get toward the ninth inning.
There is buy-in, but there not consistent execution. This is definitely worth watching since the Cardinals fired the assistant hitting coach and a long-time minor league hitting coach to that everybody was hearing the same message up and down the line. That is an "all-in" bet on Albert and it's tough to get excited about the overall results to this point.
Shildt is not buddies with Martinez. It's not like Carlos comes over for game night at Mike's place. Shildt's approach all season is stay loyal to his guys and long as they deliver. Martinez's last month was a big reason why the team won the division. And like I noted earlier, other relievers have failed left and right. So it's not like he has an amazing set of bullpen options right now.
As for Bader, the Cardinals notes that they had not seen that particular pick-off move before. And this team got this far by running aggressively, so it will continue to push for steals. And Martinez, we've hit on that already.
Jose Martinez is a handy part-time hitter, as he underscored again Sunday. So there is no rush to get him out the door. It's hard to find good part-timers. Arozarena isn't much of a power hitter and the team will need power in left field, especially if Edman is the third baseman -- another position that is normally a power spot. And if the Cardinals trade away pitching -- Carlos or anybody else -- they better get proven pitching in return. It's not like this organization has a ton of near-term pitching ready to rise up.
The Cardinals hope that Dylan Carlson will develop into a consistent offensive weapon. But this is a dilemma, since the franchise has a lot of time and money invested in the everyday lineup. How much change is needed and which of the regulars go? Complicating matters is Matt Carpenter's contract, of course, which pretty much guarantees him another crack at the lineup.
The entire lineup lacks offensive consistency. It hasn't been a terrible offense in the second half of the season, but it hasn't been consistently able to manufacture runs.
Decisions backfire when players don't execute. This is not a board game. A manager can make great decisions that don't pay off because people don't execute.
It will be interesting to see what happens today. Shildt has slim bullpen pickings and he has to get to the ninth inning with a lead before the closer issue arises. So that will help dictate his decision-making. If you folks can find a reliever who has been consistently lights-out on this team in recent weeks, please point him out for me.
How soon fans forget that 8.10 ERA that Miller posted during his erratic September.
There was a lot of chatter about the Cardinals wanting to get to Swanson and here's why: The guy hit .204 after the All-Star break and overall he was a .187 hitter with runners in scoring position this season. He is down in the batting order for a reason. If a pitcher can't get him out, he can't get him out -- but fans would squawk if the Cardinals allowed a more accomplished hitter to beat them.
The Cardinals used O'Neill sparingly down the stretch, which explains why he didn't make the cut for usage in this series.
DeJong is supposed to be a RBI guy. A lot of things factored in his favor in that match-up. Shildt gave a good explanation. As for DeJong, he did not deliver a great at-bat.
In an elimination game, I'm guessing everybody but Wainwright should remained dressed and ready to go.
He uses more pitches than your typical fastball/slider closer. Yadier Molina is pretty good at managing a game. so I'm going leave pitch selection to him.