Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
Any time a pitcher gets picked off as a pinch-runner, the manager is going to feel bad. And it's not much of a disgrace, just a matter of inexperience playing out at the highest level of competition. Even a good-hitting pitcher like Flaherty hasn't been on base all that much during his pro career. And if you tether him to a base -- telling to take a tiny lead -- then you are defeating the purpose of deploying his athleticism.
Tough question. I like Goldschmidt's chances a lot more than Carpenter's at this point. Both guys are getting older, but Paul has a better overall approach at the plate. Matt is still pulling everything . . . but he is not launching balls out of the park. He has stacked up month after month of subpar production.
Excellent points, unfortunately. In the past, the Cardinals could bundle pretty good prospects and trade for impact help like Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen or Matt Holliday. Lately, they have bundled those prospects and not done so well -- Marcell Ozuna being a glaring example, compared to what Christian Yelich yielded the Brewers for a package of prospects. And, yes, this team needs to spend better when it does spend. Time after time the Cardinals have paid big for average players or worse in free agency. The Cardinals went on an international spending spree in Latin America and didn't get much from that either. The team has gotten back on track with drafting, but, like you say, it's hard to land high-ceiling talent in the middle or latter part of the first round. So this management team just has to be smarter in everything it does. Rival franchises have gotten smarter and the Cardinals have lost their touch.
Binnington will be the tougher of the two and it could take some time. Contracts are based on comparable deals. Both Berube and Binnington are unique cases, a No. 4 goaltender and an interim coach rising up to lead a team to the Cup. Both gained a ton of leverage, but neither has a lengthy track record like a Marc-Andre Fleury in goal or a Joel Quenneville coaching. Binnington's agent has come out and noted there are no comparable deals for his case. Does Jordan take shorter term and bet on himself? Does he take a lesser annual average value for security? And are the Blues willing to bet on him with a longer-term deal or does Doug Armstrong want to wait and see? The fact that unrestricted free agency is a few years away for Binnington makes this even trickier.
Training camp comes in September. It will be a short summer for these boys. Hopefully they can shake their hangover by then.
This team is pretty dull. Those pre-La Russa teams were worse, bereft of talent with vagabond veterans and substandard prospects seeing big league duty here. While we keep hearing that this team doesn't have an identity, I'm afraid it does -- it's just ordinary. Shildt has tried to put the offense in motion, but it's not easy with so many guys falling into weeks- or months-long funks.
Brett Hull arrived in the STL as a chubby kid with a big slap shot. He was a middling prospect, a winger who failed to earn a big role in Calgary. Here he became a goal-scoring machine. Tarasenko arrived from Russia as a pretty goal goal scorer and that is who he is today. I could see him getting back to 40 goals, but I don't see him threatening for any scoring titles. He has operated pretty close to his offensive ceiling. His transformation is more like what Hull went through after leaving the Blues. Hullie learned to play winning hockey at both ends of the ice. Tarasenko went through the same thing this year and, like Hull, he got to drink from the Stanley Cup as a result.,
Good question. Pujols was better in the second half of his first season in Anaheim, posting an on-base plus slugging percentage of .794 before the All-Star break and .935 after it.
Well, they lead the National League with 51 steals, so there is that. There 82.3 percent conversion rate is second-best. But that's not a huge number in the grand scheme and they haven't won many games with their base stealing.
Tom Timmermann also voted for Binnington. Although his overall numbers weren't amazing, his ability to lock in after a loss and/or in do-or-die scenarios was special. Also, O'Reilly was terrific in the Bruins series but the Blues got solid contributions from all of their top skaters through the playoffs. ROR wasn't heads and shoulders above his teammates.
While operating with a short bench and a huge bullpen, there isn't much chance to save a fast position player just to pinch run. So managers end up using pitchers to run. As for Flaherty, you may not like him but just about every team in the majors would jump at the chance to get him. He has special potential. And he's not wrong about the low pay for young players. That will get addressed in the next CBA -- and it might take a work stoppage to make it happen.
Benching Carpenter for a game or two can help reset him, but the reality of big league ball is this: Big ticket players have to work their way back on track by playing. This isn't high school. Either the big ticket players perform or they don't. But they get every chance to perform. As for Edman, his fast rise could give management options while sizing up trade possibilities. Could Kolten Wong become a trade piece as the summer progresses?
As you might have noticed, the Cardinals are pretty ordinary this season.
Nobody. Doug Armstrong will have a tough time keeping what he has. Perhaps he could shop the goaltender market if somebody wants to trade for Jake Allen, but otherwise he has a full roster with some depth veterans and some young guys pushing for roles. And, like you say, there isn't much cap space.
One problem I see here -- and it's kind of a big one -- is there is no NFL team. So where you put statues of Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Isaac Bruce?
I felt bad for Jontay Porter, not getting drafted at all. It will be interesting to see which team signs him to put in storage for a year while he continues his rehab. i assume somebody will pay him, but life as an undrafted free agency can be dicey.
The 0-for-6 game was tough, but Carpenter actually had a decent 30-day stretch before that with a good on-base percentage. Then there is this: Who do you bat leadoff? Fowler failed there, Wong is struggling, Edman has a handful of big league at bats . . . there are not great options.
I don't believe he is always trying to hit a home run. We have seen him hit some balls the other way. But it's fair to say after many years of trying, Wong has failed to develop a consistent, well-rounded hitting approach that makes full use of his speed.