Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
True enough, but the Cardinals farm system has been depleted by injuries and earlier trades. And most of their established position players are performing below their career norms. So if I'm another team -- like the Giants, shopping ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner -- I frankly don't see a whole lot that interests me. The Cardinals spent a lot of pieces to get Marcell Ozuna, then Paul Goldschmidt.
You mean Mike Shildt I believe. I refuse to blame the manager for established players performing well below the career norms week after week after week after week. Like I noted in last Friday's chat, if it's up to the managers to deliver performance, they should earn $100 million to run teams. The field staff spends hour and hours and hours working with the players. There are hours and hours and hours of video review. They share mountains of data. The manager and coaches can explain in excruciating detail how each individual player is failing. Either the players make the adjustments and succeed or they don't.
As I wrote earlier this week, Dallas definitely became the biggest threat to the Blues. They finished well last year and almost got the Blues in the playoffs. Joe Pavelski was a big get and I see Corey Perry and Andrej Sekera as nice adds on low-risk deals. Plus their young guys will get better. Colorado has lots of young talent and Nazem Kadri is a nice upgrade over Carl Soderberg for the second line. He helps the power play as well. Like you say, Winnipeg took a hit because of the cap. That is a step-back team. Cam Talbot could be a plus in goal for Calgary. Don't rule that out. And swapping out P.K. Subban from the blue line for Matt Duchene as center will make Nashville better. Arizona will win some games after adding Soderberg and Phil Kessel and the Ducks will improve with all of those young forwards adding life.
Carpenter is on the injured list, so I'm sure he understands why he is sitting out some games. Kolten Wong and Dexter Fowler are still playing a lot. They are doing some good things, but both guys need to hit at least 30 points higher to help this team. As for starting pitching, there will be lots of it for sale before the trade deadline. Although this team doesn't have much surplus talent to move, I could see at least one trade occurring to add more stability. The demise of Jordan Hicks should keep Carlos Martinez in the bullpen and necessitate seeking outside help.
Again, adding at least one starting pitcher seems likely. I don't see them landing a big target like Madison Bumgarner, but there will be a bunch of Mike Leake-types out there. (Hey, they are still paying Leake, so . . .)
Carl is in the twilight. The Blues won the Cup. He is comfortable here. Maybe there was more money out there from a lesser team, but he's made some money in the game. He put value on comfort and another chance to win.
Wieters playing twice a week? That would not go over well with Yadier Molina. When Molina is more or less healthy, he never wants to come out. And all things considered, there is no reason to sit him much. Wieters didn't do anything with his chance to play every day. As for Edman and Munoz, there are getting some run in the near term with Carpenter and Ozuna out. Beyond that, I could see Munoz playing some center field because Bader has been exposed at the plate. As for Edman, he's mixed in some games where he very much looked like a rookie getting his first big league taste. I wonder about his staying power this early in his career.
The Blues have a LOT of forwards. Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou have to come back from surgical repairs and Robby Fabbri is still trying to regain his game, but Sammy Blais and Zach Sanford are pressing for regular roles. Within that two to three years, we should also see Klim Kostin and Dominik Bokk. So that's the dilemma. Doug Armstrong will commit a big chunk of his remaining salary cap space to Jordan Binnington and take care of Oskar Sundqvist and Ivan Barbashev after they took big steps. Joel Edmundson can command more money, even after a so-so year. I don't think there is a whole lot left for Maroon unless Armstrong makes a corresponding move. But we'll see.
I'm not sure I could name anybody on the Utah Jazz. I'm the wrong guy to ask about the NBA.
Why? Again, they have lots of forwards. If they can't pay Maroon, who was a big part of their winning chemistry, I don't see money for another older forward.
Interestingly, the Cubs seem to be having that discussion right now -- and they have way more talent than the Cardinals. But I do think this organization feels the need to get back to postseason play. They take playoff participation trophies very seriously.
If somebody is offering multiple years and a bump in pay, I'd take it if I were him. He will always be a hero here. He will have opportunities after hockey in the STL regardless of what he does next. He has already earned that.
He's hard the knuckle-curve in his arsenal. And that can offer a nasty contrast to his lively fastball.
Baseball evolves constantly. Hitters got into the launch angle craze and starting trying to pull and lift everything over the fence. That will work for some guys and backfire on others as pitchers adapt and opponents deploy their fielders accordingly. At some point I believe we will see some well-rounded hitters emerge from the rubble of low batting averages and high strikeout totals. They will rise up and exploit defenses that are doomed to regression during this era of extreme shifting. (You can deploy more fielders with limited range when you bunch them up.) At least that's my hope.
Come on, I'm old. I covered Lee Norwood during his days here and during his days as a hated (Chuck) Norris Division rival. What a colorful dude.
Mike Leake is who he is. He tries to get a lot of ground balls. He does not strike out many batters. He is enjoying a long but unremarkable career. He will keep bouncing around the sport. He wasn't a snug fit here, given his laid-back persona and the ultra-serious atmosphere here at the time.
Clearly the front office has lost its Midas touch. The Cardinals have moved a lot of pretty good players and replaced them with not-as-good players. That has happened to some degree at the minor league level too. And their bottom line on international signings doesn't look great either, at least at the moment. There has been a fair amount of churn in these baseball operation over the years, but the top guys are still the top guys.
They have five healthy starting pitchers. Those guys have started all but five of the games this season.