Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 11 a.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s live chat at 11 a.m.

    Yes, in part. And the injuries, too. I presented this notion recently to a baseball executive. Consider the players who didn't have rehab assignments last year to ready for this year. Jordan Hicks, for one. It's possible Mikolas would have had a rehab assignment, had there been a minor-league season. Instead they got their experience in back fields and sim games, and not exactly the adrenaline jolt or whatever it was in the regular-season, big-league game that revealed ongoing concerns for their arm health. 
    I think the lack of the minors for players to go for rehab assignments last year is a contributing factor, and it should not be ignored.
    This is why DeWitt needs to sell the team. Trading pitching depth time after time instead of paying money for a quality bat and keeping the pitching depth. Refusal to spend in spring training to add reasonable depth.You have to have farm team depth and spend on free agents in today’s baseball if you want to win championships. Thanks
    If anything they have had that -- depth. Look around the majors at all the former Cardinals that are out there. How did they get there? Many via exactly that kind of trade you're talking about. They have had that depth. In recent years, they've traded a virtual rotation:
    Alcantara
    Gomber
    Gallen
    Weaver
    Gonzales
    If given health, where would that rotation rank in the NL Central?
    Plus they've had the whole outfield thing you may have read about where they traded Arozarena, let Garcia go for cash, and dealt Mercado and Sierra, too. You have outlined exactly the organization DeWitt would prefer to have. One that doesn't pay open-market prices for a player, because it can trade for a player with its depth and then choose to sign the player (Goldschmidt) or choose to absorb another team's price point for that player (Arenado), with some coverage so that it fits what the Cardinals would have made. In the open market, there's less control of the cost, and that's why they prefer to go this route, and to them they have pulled it off.
    If that's not the team you want, that's fine, totally your right to say so. But you outlined pretty well the organization that DeWitt wants.
    Just signed up as a subscriber; it was a great decision. I'm pretty sad to hear about Max Moroff's injury -- to finally get an opportunity and then to have that kind of freak injury happen has to be deflating. Was there anything unusual about this batting cage or the way it was set up that day (otherwise, why doesn't this happen more often)? And, thinking of other situations where some quirk of the field led to a serious injury (Dustin Fowler; in the NFL, Reggie Bush) this a situation where Moroff and/or the Cardinals would seek any compensation from Arizona / the field crew? It just all seems so bizarre. Thanks in advance, Derrick.
    Thanks for subscribing. As you probably know, we're not currently permitted in the areas where once we had access, and that would include the area at Chase Field where this injury happened. The way it has been described to me recently is similar to the way it was set up when last I saw it in person. It's a batting cage that is adjacent to the clubhouse, down a set of stairs, and then to the right where there's like a narrow hall of a room, and nets strung up for a hitting cage. Like many of these cages -- including the ones the Cardinals have at Busch -- they can double as a place for a pitcher to throw during a rain delay, as an example. The net in Arizona is draped, and it's a fluke -- but I've seen it happened -- where a bat gets tangled in that on the follow-through, and if it gets it wrong, there goes the shoulder. I've seen hitters wince. The severity of this injury stands out. 
    Moroff was injured while on the active major-league roster, so he'll continue to gain service time and major-league salary during his time on the injured list. I'm not sure why he would seek additional compensation, or how he would do that. It's an intriguing question, but I'm not sure it compares to the Bush situation at the dome. How Moroff returns from the injury will be worth watching, though, yes.
    Does the strength of the farm system lean heavy on position players or pitchers?
    Traditionally, the Cardinals have been stronger in pitching. This is the first year where the pendulum has swung the other direction. It's been a while since they've had four or five position players as highly rated/regarded as they do now. Those high ranking spots are usually monopolized by the pitchers.
    Should the Cardinals be in the market for one starter or two?
    Today, two. But they need one surefire, certainty.
    And now, Patrick Wisdom is playing like Scott Rolen, what’s going on?
  • Opportunity. Adjustment to his swing. I am always impressed by a players willingness to change and seek improvement, and breakout players like Wisdom, Arozarena, and Garcia don't get enough credit for the work they've done to improve -- regardless of where they've done it. Everyone wants to laud the Rays for identifying Arozarena -- yeah, well, swell, what about the work Arozarena put in during quarantine to add strength and improve his physicality for the role. Or, remember that one time a few months that Garcia was available to any team off waivers because Texas didn't see a role for him? Credit Garcia will realizing his career was listing, and he had to make a change -- and did. He deserves as much credit for that as the 29 teams that passed on him or the first team that paid millions to sign him deserves criticism.
  • In a trade for Max how would all of his deferrals work?
    Those are owed by the Nationals. That's how deferrals work. They are contracted to continue paying him what he's owed for the years he worked for them.
    Can you tell me what happened to Jordan Walker? He hasn't been in Palm Beach,s lineup in weeks. Thanks Derrick
    He has a wrist injury.
    Wish that rectangle on my tv screen in front of home plate would go away, there’s already enough clutter on the screen and the way balls and strikes are called these days it seems useless anymore.
    You're not alone in this concern.
    Derrick. Have Mo and Co thought about moving Gant and KK (once healthy again) to the bullpen? Neither can get past 5 innings effectively and both are walking a lot of batters (particularly Gant). It seems we'd benefit more with them in the pen. But then, of course, who replaces them in the rotation, I know that is the question but that is where Mo needs to go outside the organization probably and get two starters. Also, is Jack out for a month or do you think we don't see him again until, gulp, August?
    They have. They've been asked about it. They have thought about it. They don't have that luxury right now. It's all hands -- er, arms -- on deck at this point. If you can start, start. Daniel Ponce de Leon may get another look here in the rotation in the near future because the Cardinals need innings from somewhere and cannot go reshuffling players who can throw innings like Gant and Kim and put them into the bullpen. The Cardinals' full-strength wish is to have a rotation so healthy, so good, and so rocking at its best that there's no room for Gant in it and he becomes that uber-reliever type that he's been before. But as you point out -- "Who replaces them in the rotation?"
    Outside help is necessary. Outside help and some kind of healthy return from at least one, preferably two, of the current IL pitchers.
    Just to be clear about your statement with Garcia and waivers: if another team had claimed him, the Rangers could have pulled him back off waivers and kept him on the roster, right? If so, it is not accurate to say any team could have had him for nothing, is it?
    The Rangers put him through waivers with the purpose of removing him from the roster so that they could add Mike Foltynewicz. When no team claimed him, they put him on the Class AAA roster. They outright him to the minors, if you want the official verb/term. So, it wasn't a matter of seeing who claimed him and pull him back. They needed that roster spot for Foltynewicz, and were going to get it. It is accurate to say the other 29 teams had a shot at claiming him off waivers, for the cost of a waiver claim.
    Derrick, I saw where Zack Thompson was pulled from his scheduled start at Memphis last night, any chance he gets called up to help with the starting pitching issues?
    Alright, so this got a bit confusing, for sure. Zack Thompson was the announced starter for Class AAA Memphis last night -- but it would have been on short rest. It would have been a start on short rest. I feel it's necessary to repeat that. Why the Redbirds did that is because they were unsure if the scheduled starter would make the game in time to start. Remember, the Cardinals' big league team isn't the only one scrambling for innings. Memphis has been, too. So they promoted Black from Class AA to Class AAA to make that start, but his travel was in doubt, and it was possible he would not get there for the first pitch. Enter Thompson. He would have made it, and since the Redbirds felt they needed to announce a starter they did announce Thompson. He didn't have to start. Grant Black made it. Pitched well. Thompson is back to normal schedule.
    If the injury bug hits the Cubs or Brewers significantly like it has the Cardinals, in your opinion, do those teams have enough roster depth to cover those innings/runs generated? For instance, it's not hard to imagine the Brewers wining the division if Woodruff and Byrnes are healthy, but could they overcome that if one of them had more than a 10 day stint on the IL?
    The Brewers have been rocked by injuries, too. Yelich for a long stretch. Kolten Wong is dealing with an oblique injury that has had him in and out of the lineup. 
    They have the pitching to overcome missing pieces on offense.
    The Cardinals don't have the offense to overcome missing pieces on pitching; that's not how they were designed. And on team really has the depth to overcome the loss of their two best pitchers. Maybe the Dodgers. But not likely.
    How bout that Pavin Smith in Phoenix? That kid can straight up hit. Was immensely impressed.
    Impressive series vs. Cardinals for sure. Strong. I was asking the other reporters there a lot about him, and how good he was in the outfield. Sure looks like a standout.
    I have to push back on you about Arozerena. Look at his production before the pandemic and one can reasonably conclude that he outproduced both O’Neill and Thomas. Now it’s possible that O’Neill has harnessed his immense physical tools and might be more impactful of a player but I think Arozerena showed much more consistency offensively
    How is that a push back? Arozarena hit at every level. That's not a secret. And he hit well. But he didn't hit at a Rookie of the Year or October sensation level, setting all sorts of postseason records. Did you see that coming? The Rays didn't. They can at least admit that. They openly admit that. 
    It is OK to do two things in baseball:
    1. Blame the player, not the coach, when the player doesn't perform.
    2. Credit the player, not the team, when the player performs.
    Arozarena deserves a lot of credit for his performance, the work he did during quarantine to add strength, the focus he had to do that, and what he did with his opportunity. I'm not excusing the Cardinals for trading him. I'm pointing out that it's OK to credit the player with changing his career.
    Is Nolan Gorman untouchable?
    No player is. There's always a deal that a team will make for a player. A better way to look at it is the level of deal is unlikely, not that the player is untouchable.
    Is it correct that a player injured while in the majors gets major league salary for the duration, through the end of the season if the injury lasts that long? Not that anyone wants to be injured, but if it happens it's far better financially for the player if it happens in the majors vs. the minors, right?
    Correct. As discussed earlier. There have been several pitchers with the Cardinals who were injured in spring training, on the major-league roster, missed an entire season but because of the timing of their injury got major league salary and service time. That was one of the reasons that Jaime Garcia was suddenly arbitration eligible while missing a year, and it's part of Alex Reyes' service time, too. And it is part of grievances each year as a player who goes to the minors, feels an ache, goes on the IL, will try to trace the initial injury back to the majors, just in case it's possible.
    Why hasn’t the team given a timeline for Flaherty’s return?
    Because obliques are difficult to deal with, offer an uncertain timetable, and can lead to setbacks. The Cardinals haven't offered a timeline for Mikolas or Hicks either, and that's the same thing. They've been prescribed a procedure and then rest, and then after that they'll know.
    Look, with some injuries the moment they offer a timetable, that timetable is wrong because people heal at different rates, they have different positions, the injuries have the same name but different severity or location.
    Flaherty has a torn oblique.
    That has to heal. That has to recover. And depending on how long that takes for it to heal the team will know how long he'll need to resume throwing. Bake in a set-back, because again a torso injury is tricky, and they'll have some sense of his recovery. For every week he does not throw, it will likely take a week to regain that arm strength. So, he's set for several weeks of rest here. If he recovers at the end of that, you can do the math that he hasn't throw for two weeks or three weeks, he'll need two weeks or three weeks to rebuild arm strength.
    I cannot stress enough two things:
    1) Medical diagnoses are difficult, and don't come in bite-sized, made-for-Twitter givens. Each has some nuance that we as the media could do a better job explaining to readers, if those readers are genuinely interested.
    2) Every team is dealing with injuries. It's an industry-wide concern this year. 
    Is Peralta not on the radar any longer due to O’Neills performance?
    Right field is also a position.
    Is this offense substantially better with Bader and DeJong back?
    Not sure. Possibly. And that possibility is why they want to give it a look. The defense is definitely better.
  • Remember when Scooter Gennett hit 4 dingers against the Cards, including a grand salami? This past Reds series reminded me of the same pain I felt.
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