Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 10 a.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 10 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s 10 a.m. live chat.

    Greetings from Pittsburgh, Steel City, along the banks of the Allegheny River, right across the water from one of the best ballparks in baseball, one deserving of a team to match. Cardinals visit for their latest in a long line of series against teams with losing records. They need some sweeps to get back into the race -- if they can. And they've got 10 more games this month against the last-plate Pirates. So, it's now for 2021 or acknowledge this is all prelude to 2022. 
    You've got questions. I'll do my best to answer. It's an off day for the team. An on day and travel dya for the writers. So, we'll go until around 2 p.m. today. See if we can keep a brisk pace ...  
    Baseball is BORING!!!!!
    No action, lazy players, no instincts, no creativity in managing. Bring back the old days! Our beloved game is being ruined with this brand of saber-ball or analytics or whatever goofy name they want to give them!

    I know deep.down you agree, right??
    I've made the argument over and over and over and over and over and over again that analytics has gone from a tool to evaluate players to dictating how the game is played. It's the tail wagging the dog. That's a problem. It's created a risk-adverse style of baseball with fewer baseballs in play, fewer plays for exceptional fielders to make, and more three true outcome hitters than ever before. That's a huge issue. Of course I agree. But that's not an argument that analytics are bad. Analytics are great, they're helpful, and they should be utilized to gain an edge. My issue is that we've never seen this many great athletes playing this great game and yet it's like watching Harrison Bergeron play baseball. The game itself is not a stage for the great talent in it. That must be fixed.
    The Cards love legacies but will they allow Lester's (he has been here 10 days) to keep him in the rotation when Flaherty and Mikolas return?
    No. His legacy is not theirs.
    Mr. Goold - in your chat last week you mentioned how the Dodgers were exceptional at player development in their system. Where does this player development occur - A, AA, AAA, in the rookie / fall leagues?
    Every single level. And in the majors, too. That is something that the Cardinals have been most concerned about -- is that the development cannot stop in the majors. If players are getting to the majors at a younger and younger age with less and less experience in the minors, then you have to develop on the job. Flaherty did. Carlson is. And so on. Development isn't isolated to one level. Show me a team that does that and I'll show you the worst organization in the majors.
    Hey Derrick! I think you do a great job and Cardinals fans are lucky to have you. Do you see the Cardinals having an aggressive off-season this year?
    Thank you for the kind words. I would be hesitant to suggest that the Cardinals are ever going to be aggressive. Eventually, they're the team that cried wolf in that regard. They have gone into winters with money to spend and intent to be aggressive, and by some measures have, and yet that still hasn't been enough in some corners of the fan base. An example would be the winter of 2016-17. Coming out of the Cubs' win, the Cardinals spent more on free agents from outside their organization than any other team, even the Dodgers (who spent a lot of money to keep players). Now the biggest of those deals -- Cecil, Fowler -- in hindsight didn't work out as imagined, but at the moment -- in real time, which is all we had in the moment -- the Cardinals spent what some would consider aggressively (too aggressively in Cecil's case?). Anyway, that's a long way of saying it's always better to expect to be the Cardinals to be conservative. That's their default. That is going to be especially true this winter as the game/industry itself enters what could be a chill due to CBA negotiations between the league and the players. That is going to slow anything, and aggressive may not describe any team as it waits for the CBA to be defined, let alone the market.
    Do you think Gorman will be ready to be starting 2B by beginning of next season?
    He will get a chance to compete for that job, yes.
    I appreciate the chats, thanks. What could the Cardinals have received if they had trades Gallegos and/or Cabrera?
    Significant prospects a few years out, not ones likely to help them this year or in 2022 unless they were pushed or had some spike in production. That's not to say it wouldn't have been a good return -- it would have been legit prospects -- but they would have been younger, further away from the majors. Which has it's own appeal because they may not need a 40-man roster spot, and that has value to teams rebuilding.
    Would it be possible for the Cardinals to get all of the following this offseason?

    Scherzer or Syndegaard (#1 SP)
    Corerra (SS)
    Schwarber (LH OF / DH)
    Lefty Bullpen Piece
    Righty Bullpen Piece
    Veteran Bench Bat
    Resign Molina
    Resign Waino

    Seems like a lot, but seems like what we need. Or will we get 1 of these big ones and stop short like always?
    And maybe DeJong could be moved for something as well?
    Anything is possible. The Cardinals could choose to do all of those things. They have millions coming off the books. They have openings on the roster. They have a core that is in their early 30s -- Arenado and Goldschmidt -- and they have a vulnerable division. They could all of those things and they could enter spring training as the favorite in the division, not just a hopeful to contend the division.
    They probably should do at least enough to have the look of the favorite.
    Will they? Probably not. You're looking at multiple players in that list you provided that will have AAVs beyond $20 million. The Cardinals are not going to isolated $100m of their payroll on four players. Some of those things will have to be provided internally. I'm eager to see the position they take on starting pitching. If they suggest that Flaherty, Hudson, and Mikolas will all be back and so on and so on and that gives them reason not to add from the outside. That would be a mistake, to me. Kim coming back makes sense. The Cardinals definitely would benefit from having Wainwright and LeBlanc return. LeBlanc could offer depth and versatility and he's really been a good, calming fit for the Cardinals that should not be overlooked.
    And even if they bring those players back, they could add from outside to be assured depth.
    One area that you touch on that would be really interesting -- the availability of the DH and the chance to land a bat, period. A bat who can play several positions, sure, and maybe spell third base and spell first base or spell someone in the outfield, but to prioritize the bat. Schwarber may be part of that conversation (hasn't in the past, though). There are other free agents out there and a few trade candidates that could bring that same versality and bring needed middle-order presence to the lineup. Or, perchance, a leadoff hitter ... 
    Derrick, I love your work but this team is just not very interesting to me anymore so I find myself reading about it less and less. Any chance you'd be interested in moving to a columnist's beat or going over to the Blues beat again or, in a Mike Bush-like move, go be the next news columnist so I can still read your writing?
    I appreciate the compliment. To borrow an analogy from baseball, that would be a little like going to the long reliever and asking if he'd like to be in the rotation, or the opening day starter, or maybe the general manager. Doesn't work that way. He have excellent writers/reporters already in those roles, and I am happy to try and meet the expectations and demands of the position I have. It fits my personality. Type fast. Cover baseball. Survive and advance. I cannot imagine spending the hours those other positions require unless it was around something I enjoy as much as baseball and baseball writing. I'm fortunate to have the position I have and hope to earn it, daily.
  • Beyond Delvin Perez who else figures to add a bit of intrigue in being added to the team's 40-man rooster before the rule 5 draft or else risk being lost unprotected?
    Nick Plummer would be another one. I'm eager to also see what the Cardinals elect to do with McFarland and Garcia. Both have impressed in their early going here -- so are they a part of the future? And where does that leave Junior Fernandez, for example.
    Tell Mo thanks for signing a couple pitchers from the senior league for me. What a joke this front office is. They’re a bunch of tight wads! I’ve been a Cardinal fan since I was born and I will not stand by while these penny pinchers ruin my team!
    To be fair, they traded for the players. To your point, they're not paying either all that much. Twins are covering most of Happ's remaining salary, and the Nationals already paid Lester the majority of his salary via a signing bonus. So, they're going to cost the Cardinals less than $2m over the final two months of the season.
    Do you think the Cards will DFA Players like Carpenter and A Miller when September call ups happen to make room for more young players to be called up.
    No. Andrew Miller has been one of the best relievers on the team since he returned from the injured list. Check the numbers. And Carpenter is their lefthanded bat off the bench and he can play multiple infield positions. They don't have someone else on the 40-man roster who can do that other than the starter at second base, Edman.
    And, also a DFA doesn't do all that much but clear a spot on the 40-man roster, buy time for a trade or act as a prelude to a player being released. Why do the dance when you can cut to the chase? I think you mean to ask are they going to release either veteran player to satisfy the punitivetransactionlust of Twitter. And the answer is still no.
    When the Braves rallied for the second straight day, and an overworked bullpen had no answers, I couldn’t help myself. I stood up, turned off the TV and said, “the Cardinals don’t care. Why should I?”

    A front office that saw spring training pitching injuries and did nothing, and felt fine with depleted assets like Carpenter and DeJong … and a manager who would not or could not adjust to his lack of riches - not even piggybacking starting candidates to keep arms stretched out and short relievers moderately rested… it all just feels like they gave up on this season.

    What are the Cardinals going to have to do to win people like me back?
    Just win, baby. They need to contend -- and have a team that looks like a contender entering spring. One that recaptures the imagination of a fan base.
    It's absurd to me that the Cardinals have two of the best all-around players in the game from the past 10 years and two fixtures of a winning era in Cardinals history and this is the product fans get get. It doesn't compute.
    Is this prospect Baker a major leaguer or will Mo trade him for a box of balls or wash up relief pitcher?
    He's a major-leaguer hitter, yes. He's legit. Right in time for the DH -- in STL or somewhere.
    middle IF is just killing the cards on production. need to see if they can get story in off season
    There are other options, too.
    I bought a few tickets in the past but I was contacted by the Cardinals. I have a personal ticket assistant now. This is for buying maybe two games a year. I told him I wasn’t interested as long as Mo is running the show I haven’t heard back from him
    Interesting. The Cardinals are doing a lot of personal outreach here, and they are talking to businesses and fans who have purchased theme tickets before. They've usually been active in outreach and recruiting for ticket sales -- it is a vital source of revenue for them, as you'd expect -- and since they lost an entire year of it, they're ramping that up. 
    They can see the empty seats, too. It's not a secret.
    Derrick, I am an Alex Reyes fan and appreciate the work he has put in to make it this point. I would like to see him as a starter next year, but will he have the control to do that? When he doesn't have his stuff he struggles to get an out, much less through one inning.
    I am currently nurturing a thesis that he'll be better as a starter. That's my current thinking.
    Understanding that injuries are a constant how do you for see these bugs biting several key pitchers including their ace providing perhaps more than enough protective repellent for especially key front office personnel to all likely remain beyond this summer assuming the team continues to play at or around their current 500 pace?
    Unrelated really. That is an excellent use of bug spray as a metaphor for job protection. Wish I would have thought of that. Great writing, truly. But not how the Cardinals have made decisions in the best. And when it comes to the evaluation of coaches/management/execs it's going to be more of the process that is evaluated then the cover of injuries, etc. If anything, it's going to be noted that they were exposed to a lack of depth and performance and the roster was not as deep as advertised because of those injuries -- which always happen.
    I get that there is probably a majority -- right, probably? -- of the people in this chat who wanted some sort of punishment, some sort of pink-slip justice, someone who pays with their job dammit (!!!!!) for this season ... and candidly I have a hard time understanding this eager wish for someone to lose their job, to pay for your frustration. It's a competitive world, so I get that aspect.
    But may I offer a window into the Cardinals' decision making in this regard:
    -- Ownership does not like to fire people. It's rare, as you know. 
    -- If you think the Cardinals are deliberate with their trades, then imagine how deliberate they are with these moves.
    -- They're far more likely to let a contract lapse. That could happen this winter.
    -- Reassignment of some individuals has been explored, and will be again.
    -- Ownership, overall, is pleased with the organizational health, the direction the minors and draft have gone, and they credit the leadership with that.
    -- Ownership does want to see the Cardinals catch up with infrastructure, as does Mozeliak. This has been a bigger issue, and it is related to losing a year of ticket revenue and some of the projects stalled. You want a reason they'll show patience? There it is.
    -- Ownership has not forgotten the Arenado trade.
    -- Some of the issues that led to previous firings are not present this year, even though the standings seem familiar.
    Hope that helps. I won't satisfy the sweet tooth for pink slips, but it offers some context. 
    Has there been any indication why Kim does not go deeper into games? I cannot watch the games but track the box scores. It seems he is well under 100 pitches but not allowed to go 5 innings (even when the score is close, similar to Lester yesterday)
    Third time through the lineup is the rule with Kim, not pitch count. Whether the Cardinals actually admit that or not, their actions speak louder and it's rare that he sees a third time through the order. Let's check the numbers.
    He has 169 plate appearances when he's facing a hitter for the first time.
    He has 153 plate appearances when he's facing a hitter for the second time.
    He has ... 58 ... plate appearances when he's facing a hitter for the third time.
    He has ... ZERO ... plate appearances when he's facing a hitter for the fourth time.
    The Cards are 10 1/2 games out of the division lead and 8 games from a wild card (with 4 teams ahead of them) with 51 games to play. The teams is still not playing particularly well. At what point do we say this season is a lost cause?
    July 30 seemed like the day the team signaled that realization. If we're going to put a date on it. That day may have even contributed to that outcome.
    They still have to play the games. And the team can point to 2011 and the fans can point to 2011 and we'll see what happens. But the fact is the Cardinals did not make the move that would have changed their course of their season when they needed it -- and that was June. When they got to July 30 they made a move to "get through" the season, not get back into it.
    How much of an overhaul of the roster can we expect this winter?
    How many guys will be gone? How many new players will he on the team next spring? Can you give me a ballpark number? Thank you!
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