I'm guess that BenFred and BenHoch will give be giving Dave Matter a hand, as they did last season. I'll try to get into the mix for some Tiger coverage, since this will be fascinating season. I'm guessing I won't have to sit through any more 9-6 games.
The Cardinals always have the ability to spend on free agents. This team is crazy profitable. Now, willingness to spend is another factor, especially since John Mozeliak is running up some big dead money bills for the first time in his career here.
I can't imagine the whole get-him-through-waivers to trade him thing would work with Harper. Many teams have mathematical life in the wild card race so many teams below the Cards would be motivated to make a claim to see what happens next.
The Cardinals would need an elite, prime-age hitter with term left on his contract to make that deal. So who would that be? Nicholas Castellanos is one guy that jumped out. He is arbitration-eligible and year removed from free agency. The Detroit Tigers are in rebuilding mode. You would think the Tigers would back up the truck to keep him. He is 26 and coming off his second consecutive strong season. But he is right fielder these days and Jose Martinez can approximate his production.
Not that I am aware of. Any memorial disappeared when the old Shack did. Man was that place fun. No rules at all!
Maybe the Tigers can get to eight. Obviously they need to need to handle UT Martin, Wyoming and Memphis as the non-conference gimmees. Also, home games against Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Arkansas are must-have games. Many fans point to the Purdue game as a must-have, but the Boilermakers clowned the Tigers last season. Jeff Brohm is a hell of a coach. Then again, he doesn't have much coming back on defense. But he is a hell of a coach. So I can't just put a "W" on that. Some fans dream of an upset of Georgia, but I'll believe that when I see it. At Florida? Maybe. At Tennessee? Maybe. But, again, the Tigers will run into some better coaching. At South Carolina . . . man, that's tough. So eight would be great. As for the path to additional division titles, it's the same as before: Keeping getting elite quarterbacks and deep developing the raw talent into performers who outplay their ranking. The only way Mizzou can recruit with Alabama and LSU is to use the Ole Miss model -- and sooner or later the NCAA would frown up that.
Hamels has name value, but is there value value? We'll see. No, I would not have traded Weaver and his massive upside for a guy who might be at the end.
Haven't been tracking the comparative mound visits, but he is working with more inexperienced starters now: Gant and Gomber in particular, with Flaherty and Weaver still being kids.
Perhaps, but now the Cardinals are squarely in the playoff mix this season with the potential to come back with better pitching next season. There appears to be less motivated to get into rebuild mode.
Sure, Bob will be attractive if he ever gets to market. He hasn't been a great playoff goaltender, so he would bring no more guarantee there than Allen. But between injuries he has produced high save percentages. And now it seems he has finally cut down on his groin pulls. As for Husso, we will know much more about him next summer. Big season ahead for him. He is still quite young.
Man, with the way Harper is hitting since the Home Run Derby, I can see somebody going 10 years to get him. And that's got to be for $30 million plus. He's not going to settle for Robinson Cano money. There is so much cash in the game these days. I would a team that really needs a boost, like San Francisco, might do something bold.
There are lots of things to look at, but let's start with the new phenomenon of teams losing deliberately while rebuilding. Teams aren't just taking their lumps for one year, they are willing to tank for three or four seasons. That is terrible for the sport. Pace of play is an issue, as is the "three true outcome" factor that eliminates strategy and action. Finally, fancy new ballparks led to upscale pricing and the demise of the cheap ticket in a lot of places. We're seeing market forces push that the other way -- and even the Cardinals feeling that. Oh, and baseball has to fret about its ability to reach millennials.
If Panarin would come here and sign a long-term deal here, the Blues would dig into their pile of previous untouchable prospects to get him. Kyrou? Sure. Kostin? Sure. Panarin is that special. But Panarin made it clear that's not happening, so the Blues have committed their salary cap dollars to others. Freeing up the $80 million or so in long-term contract for Panarin would be challenging to say the least.[
Cecil's return is a two-week deal. In two weeks, Webb, Wacha, Martinez and Martinez will be back on the roster. Possibly Leone as well, so Cecil will have to pitch very well to see any high-leverage duty. One game into his return he looked pretty good.
Alex Reyes, if healthy. Weaver or Dakota Hudson would seem to be next up after that. Then there is Gomber and Poncedeleon. Keep them all, of course, because people always get hurt and the organization's depth after this crop looks a bit iffy at the moment.
No, because I wasn't grading him for the second half of July and the first half of August. I was grading him for the first half of the season.
The Cardinals have been playing much better than the Cubs of late. With even better pitching next season and further development from the hitters in their prime or younger, it's not hard to see this team pushing for 95 to 100 victories. Addition by subtraction really changed the look of things.
Yeah, it's not even one missed start. It is one pushed-back start. Big deal. That was a light wrist slap for a dangerous play. I'm OK with a team carefully plunking somebody on the other side after getting hit by several pitches. Enough is enough. But to go after a guy for the crime of hitting well against you, no.
Of course not, but hit-and-runs are fun as long as this team doesn't run into a bunch of outs. Bader (and his hair) has made this team more fun all by himself.
Sure. This is not the same team Matheny managed. As noted earlier, Bader/Martinez has outperformed this season's version of Pham/Fowler. Subtracting Holland, Gregerson, Lyons, Bowman, et al from the bullpen made a huge difference.
I believe the answer is no and no, but if my boss (and official scorer) Mike Smith wants to answer this, he should feel free.
Not really. Where is the tension? It can't be this easy to get answers, could it?
He's a veteran guy and he pitched well. Could they have dragged it out? Sure, but Mozeliak would still like to get more years from Cecil to recoup the contract investment. Burying a guy at Triple-A makes that tough. And again, he just pitched well and we've seen Poncedelon, Mayers and Norris have some hiccups.
The 82-game grind is long. That is time for pieces to come together, especially since the team is already set on defense -- which is especially crucial. Yeo will have six months to develop the offensive chemistry, especially on the power play.
OK, I will pack in for this week. Thanks for all the questions and comments! See you next Friday.