Jeff Gordon Live

Jeff Gordon Live

Columnist Jeff Gordon takes your Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and STL sports questions in a chat beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday. (This week only: Gordo's chat moves up to Tuesday and Ben Frederickson's moves back to 11 a.m. Friday. They will return to their regular chat schedule next week.)

  • Kariya is a very high ceiling to meet. Let's see if he could become another Nikolai Ehlers, a nice weapon for Winnipeg. Thomas could become a nice two-way center like O'Reilly. Kostin? Who knows. Big kid, he can shoot . . . but he is ways off from earning any sort of comparable.
  • What are your odds Blues make the playoffs and odds winning the Stanley Cup? I say 85 percent playoffs and 5 percent the Cup.
  • That's about right. There are at least 10 to 12 teams capable of winning it all this year. In fact, just about any playoff team, especially in the West, has a chance to go on a run. The Blues should fight their way into that mix, but then what?
  • Hey, Gordo!
    A little Dakota Hudson history, for the chatter from a few questions back.
    Hudson was a reliever for his first two years of college (2014/15), throwing just 17 innings each year. Then in his third and final year of collegiate baseball he was a dominant starting pitcher, and drafted in the 1st round.
    Then the very next year he was in AA and was the Texas League Pitcher of the Year.
    Then the very next year after that, which was 2018, he was the AAA Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year.
    So Hudson has come a VERY long way in a relatively short time.

    He's a tremendous starting pitcher, with as much movement on his pitches as anyone you'll see. We just need to give him a year or two to acclimate to the highest level of competition. And there's nobody better for shepherding a pitcher through that process than Yadier Molina.

    Question: I've heard it said that the Birds need a lefty bat. But with lefties Quintana, Lester, and Hamels now in the Cub rotation for next year (and southpaw Montgomery still presumably a spot starter), do you see the urgency for a lefty hitter? If anyone needs to be added, and I'm not sure it's necessary in the first place, I want a guy who mashes lefties.
    Thanks for chatting, Gordo!
  • It's always nice to have some right-left balance in your lineups, particularly as baseball shifts its emphasis to heavy bullpen usage. It's nice to make teams run through a bunch of relievers by presenting a varied lineup. Carpenter can do nice work at the top and Wong is more established now in the bottom of the order, so I suppose another lefty for the middle would help. As for the Cubs, the Cards can't build a roster based on what one rival team has in its rotation at the moment. That is one team and things can change in a hurry.
  • Jeff, isn't it a role among the Power 5 football conferences that they have to play another Power 5 team? If so, how do schools like Illinois get away with only playing USF and Arkansas playing CSU? Also, do you think every few years teams should have to play at least one different out of conference opponent? I ask because every year Georgia for example gets Georgia Tech. That game is hardly ever a challenge. It seems like for being a juggernaut, Georgia should play a harder out of conference opponent.
  • The SEC decided back in '14 to require its member schools to play at least one non-conference game against a school from a Power 5 conference. Given the fact non-conference games are negotiated years in advance, this did create some challenges. But I believe the rule is worth it since it helps the SEC maintain its superior standing.
  • Are you going to watch Memphis in the Triple A championship game tonight? What players on that team have a shot at helping the Cards next year?
  • The bulk of the Memphis prospects are currently with the Cards, which makes that team's success so special. Of that group left there, there are plenty of guys that could some day play in the majors but not many certain to make a big impact next season. Outfielders Randy Arozarena, Justin Williams and Lane Thomas are all interesting, as are utility infielders Tommy Edman and Edmundo Sosa. Andrew Knizner is a good-hitting catcher and the pitching pile includes young lefty Genesis Cabrera.
  • Does Tyler O'Neill have any trade value at all right now with all his swings and misses? I don't see him on the big league club next year.
  • The guy needs a bit more work. But, again, the hardest job for a hitter, especially a big swinger like O'Neill, is to produce as a part-time player at this level. I believe he could be a nice fourth outfielder with power, with some potential to become even more. He has plus range in the outfield.[
  • Fans and media need to get off the Donaldson train. He's washed up and ineffective...just like Fowler.
  • Nothing he has done this season disproves that theory.
  • Thanks for chatting, Jeff.
    From late July to late September of last year, Luke Weaver posted a 1.61 ERA with a dynamite 58-to-8 ratio of strikeouts to walks. This of course was after dominating every level of the minors. So what went wrong?

    Well, I've thoroughly checked all of the data at both Fangraphs and Brooks Baseball, and Luke Weaver is throwing the same pitches with the same velocity and same movement and same location now, that he did during his extended stretch of dominance last year. In fact, his velocity is very slightly higher than last year. So there is zero indication of health troubles.

    So the only answer that makes any sense to me, is that he's tipping his pitches. It happens far more than gets publicly advertised, for obvious reasons -- nothing to be gained by either side. I'd like to see Chris Carpenter brought in to look Weaver over. Carp was acknowledged as a guy adept at spotting a big tipper, and I believe he helped Waino a couple of times in that department. Do you recall that also, Jeff? Thanks for your time!
  • Wainwright is also good at spotting such things and if he has spotted anything, he hasn't declared that publicly. I just see a kid incapable of commanding his pitches. It's not just walks, it's making certain pitches at certain times to certain hitters . . . or not.
  • A lot of people were hoping this years team would win a world series with Weaver/Reyes in the rotation, maybe next year...
  • Talking about the best trades that were not made...How about the last several years when everyone wanted Troy Tulewitzke. What ever happened to him anyway?
  • Troy Tulowitzki got the David Wright Disease. He just couldn't get healthy. He wants to play on because he has big contract money left, but he has become a sad case for Toronto.
  • How much longer before Carlos reaches his full potential? How much longer until he grows up? How much longer is he going to realize he needs to stay away from alcohol and strip joints?
  • The Cards are wondering the same thing. This franchise is far more willing to deal him for other assets than before, but that would be trading low on guy with a lot of untapped potential. .
  • If Flaherty was offered for Donaldson, it's yet another indication that the Redbird front office has lost it's ability to evaluate even it's own personnel. Just awful, really. If they'd made that deal, the Cards would be where the Pirates are now.
    They signed Fowler to a terrible deal because they had no idea how good Bader was, either offensively of defensively.
    They signed Holland, Gregerson, and Cecil, after trading 6 years of ace reliever Kyle Barraclough for 2 months of Steve Cishek.
    And right now, despite Jose Martinez (who can neither field nor run the bases at an MLB level) not hitting for three weeks, Tyler O'Neill can't get on the field. I know, I know. O'Neill is a Shildt blind spot, not the front office. But still, this is an organization that needs to show more confidence in its own young hitters & pitchers.

    Question, Gordo: Would Bud N. stick around for 6-7 million per year, for 2-3 years? Would you want him at that price point?
  • Norris at that price point? No. As for right field, Jose Martinez has been one of the NL's better hitters for long stretches this season. O'Neill has a world of potential, but this isn't the time to give him an extended look in right field. He is averaging a strikeout every other at bat at this level.
  • The Cards are the highest scoring team in the National League (5.2 runs per game) since the hitting coaches were dismissed in July. And they're scoring even more since Dexter Fowler got hurt (5.4 per game). Even if they don't continue to be the single best offense in the league, they certainly look to be above average next year and beyond.

    The bullpen is ranked in the bottom 3 or 4 of the N.L. in every possible category this year. That's the team's biggest weakness, and nothing else comes close. In terms of Win Probability Added (WPA), the only worse team is the Marlins...and they're trying to lose!

    Q: The Cards aren't going to panic about their relief pitching, and put Carlos Martinez, one of baseball's best 12-15 starting pitchers, in their bullpen next year, are they?
  • That could happen, but Martinez would have a say in that. His inability to stay healthy this season leads to questions about how well he prepared to start. Also, his inconsistency as a starter raises questions about his pitching approach. So there would be multiple factors in that discussion, not just the team need issue. Relievers bounce around the league, so the Cards will have no trouble locating fresh faces from the outside as needed.
  • At the risk of getting obliterated in here, I think what we saw last night of Bader may lead to some interesting lineup situations in 2019. Bader will absolutely start against every left hander, but I think Fowler may get 2-3 starts per week against RH starters. They've got to use him somewhere, right? He can't be as bad next year as this year, right? I could see O'Neill and J Martinez splitting time in RF, but I think Fowler gets a chance to play a bit next year back in center. Tell me why I'm completely wrong think this Gordo.
  • At this stage of his career, Dexter Fowler can play center field about as well as I can. In fact, he was never great out there. So if Dexter stays and plays, it has to be in right field.
  • Hey Gordo! Will the Cardinals finally have a 3rd place left-handed(switch-hitting)outfielder not named Fowler next season? If so who? CAR-GO?
  • CarGo has a bit left in the tank, as we've seen this season. But given the Fowler contract the lingering surplus of outfielders, I don't see CarGo coming here.
  • How do you think Bryce Harper would fit in with the Cardinal's Manager/Coaches? And FO for that matter?
  • He wouldn't fit the payroll at all. I believe this team could use his brashness, but management may look at how the Nationals chemistry soured this year and wonder how much of that was on him. It would be fun to see him bring some attitude to the group, but I've never saw it as realistic.
  • When Carlos Martinez was a reliever in 2013 and 2014, his ERA's were 5.08 and 4.03.
    Since becoming a starting pitcher in 2015, Martinez' ERA's have been 3.01, 3.04, 3.64, and this year 3.28.

    He's not only more valuable as a starter than a reliever (because 180 innings is much more valuable than 60 or 70), but Carlos has also been much more effective! He's a guy who needs to work through his sometimes shaky command. And starting allows for this, much more than bullpen work.
    Thanks for the chat, Gordo!
  • Some of that earlier bullpen struggle could be attributed to how raw he was at the time. But what explains his lack of steadiness this time around?
  • It seems like Mike Moustakas would make a great producer and place holder at 3rd on a 3 year deal for $36 million contract. He would not block the up and comer 3rd basemen.
  • My daughter lives in K.C. and loves her some Moose, but three years and those dollars? I don't know . . .
  • Regarding the many young Cardinal hitters ( and some not so young) and pitch recognition (I asked Commish yesterday too): Is pitch recognition a learnable/teachable skill? It is frustrating to watch some of these guys take a fastball or two for strikes, then swing at a 57 foot slider/curve. I'm Ok with jack-city for two strikes but put into play then. Thoughts?
  • Pitch recognition is a key skill. How well can the hitter reach the pitch out of the pitcher's hand? How well can he spot "tells" with a pitcher's delivery of certain pitches. That -- combined with some ability to anticipate pitches through scouting reports or a hunch -- makes a world of difference. Patience and discipline are also great hitting virtues that some guys master over time.
  • Hypothetically, do you predict any Stanley cup worthy goaltenders will be available for trade at the deadline this year?
  • I don't expect that. Sergei Bobrovsky could move as a rental as he nears free agency, but he has no real postseason success. Carey Price might go up for grabs, but he has a crazy contract and he is in the midst of a years-long decline. It's rare that a guy like Marc-Andre Fleury pops free.
  • Even hitting .230, Paul DeJong is graded an above average shortstop overall by all three publicly available WAR systems (Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, and BBallProspectus).
    And for his career so far, PDJ is hitting .260 and is a 4 WAR player per 600 plate appearances. So if he can play at this level for the next 3 or 4 years, he'll be worth far more than his contract -- and be one of baseball's best shortstops, even if he doesn't remind anyone of Marty Marion or Ozzie Smith in the field.

    I have a question, Jeff. The Cardinal braintrust (I include basically everyone in a position of real power, from the manager to the GM) radically underestimated Harrison Bader, and so they made the mistake of signing Fowler to the awful 5-year contract. And now it feels like the same is happening to Tyler O'Neill, who can't get in the lineup even though Jose Martinez hasn't hit a lick for 3 weeks. Tyler posted an insane 1.100 OPS in AAA at age 22 this year, and that spells very plausible stardom in the long run. I say he should be playing every day, right now, and Jose should come off the bench for pinch-hitting -- which he's great at!
    What say YOU?
  • Again, O'Neill may be great some day, but starting him over a veteran with two weeks left in the season is a reach. He is 2 for 18 this month. That isn't a great case for more playing time. Despite his misplays last night, I'd vote for more ABs for Munoz instead.
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