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 11 a.m. live chat.

    When will Edman play a game at SS? Gorman is hitting his way to STL and seems like giving him a couple starts a week at 2B would be helpful.
    That has not been something the Cardinals have discussed in depth, honestly. They will if that becomes more necessary. But, to date, the internal conversations have stopped short of moving Edman to short because of how effectiveness and exceptional he is at second. They think he's an elite defender there. And they have two other options at shortstop ahead of him.
    I'm all for Jordan Hicks being turned into a starter -- starter innings are more valuable than bullpen innings after all. I am just a little curious how this is being down. I can't recall a team ever making a starter at the big league level. Hicks has options, why isn't he doing this in extended spring or in the minors? Is this how they're going to handle Flaherty's rehab starts?
  • It's an interesting question that you have started answer on your own. As you said, Hicks' "starting innings are more valuable than bullpen innings after all." It's a quick jump from that assertion to also claim that "major-league innings are more valuable to a major-league team than Class AAA innings after all," and if Hicks is going to be throwing healthy, effective, overpowering innings the Cardinals want him to do that in the majors, not minors. They want to get the benefit for them, in their games, in their standings, where it matters most, and not waste his best when they believe they can build him on the job. It's that simple. They want his innings in the majors, whatever role that is, and they think they can expand his role on the go. It's not a given. But they know they'll get something from him doing this, whereas if they optioned him to the minors they would definitely not get anything from him during those innings, and possible not get a return either. That's an ineffective, wasteful use of his talent, candidly.
    This is not how the Cardinals are going to handle Jack Flaherty's rehab because Jack Flaherty will be regaining health and arm strength, not just arm strength/stamina. Big difference. Now, if Flaherty gets to 65-80 pitches in that rehab start it is entirely possible that the Cardinals decide his 85-95 is more effective than what they have for a start and he gets the promotion knowing that the final step or two of that rehab, that building of pitch count, will happen on the job.
    Same theory. But different routes getting there.
    What makes McFarland so efficient and effective? Is his sinker just that good?
    It is that good, yep. It's a great sinker that comes from a slinging arm angle and has a break that ties up hitters on both sides. Looks good, then the trapdoor falls.
    Hello. Have the been internal discussions about moving Edmonds to SS? It would be unusual to move a gold glover, but he did play OF last season and if Gorman continues to rake, it may be there best offensive lineup.
    Those talks don't get very far, or didn't during the offseason and spring training, according to people familiar with them and participating in them.
    Do you think Mo was dead set relying on either DeJong or Sosa to play shortstop this year because he’s going to make an assertive run at Trey Turner during free agency after this season!
    There's no indication of these apples being related to that orange, no.
    Has the FO considered hiring away someone from a team like the Marlins that is so good at developing pitching to revamp that department like they did Jeff Albert for the offensive development?
    No, they have that guy. Tim Leveque worked closely with Brent Strom, and several of the group that worked for the Cardinals at that time have been hired elsewhere to give teams what they perceive the Cardinals to be good at -- developing pitchers. Leveque has been a big part of that. Kantrovitz led drafts that were rich in pitching, and now he's being tasked to do the same for the Cubs. One of the reasons why the Marlins have been successful with young pitching is because ... wait for it ... they've traded for pitchers like Alcantara and Luzardo. So, who gets credit for them? The Cardinals signed and developed Alcantara. The Nationals drafted Luzardo, Oakland developed him, and now the Marlins get the benefit ...
  • Can you describe what you mean when you say "the speed of the game?" And maybe compare the speed of the game in mlb to college or high school.
    The speed of the game -- let's see. The actual speed of actions on the field -- how quickly players get down the line, how quickly infielders must react, how quickly balls are hit (exit velocity), how quickly runners are on you at second base, just how fast the game happens. It's really something to see once you're at field level.
    A quick story.
    During the Cardinals' game against Pittsburgh in Williamsport, Penn., the crowd was filled with Little League teams, right, and it was a smaller, minor-league ballpark, where there was one deck of field-level seats. Real close to the action. There was a hard hit, sharp, punishing groundball and the entire crowd reacted as if it was going to be a single. They had seen that play at ground level hundreds of times and at their level of play, that's a base hit. And then it wasn't. I believe it was Josh Harrison at second base who intercepted the groundball and threw the runner out. The entire stands -- all of the kids there -- heaved with a deep breath as if they'd seen something unexpected. That stood out to me. For me, having the benefit of seeing so many games and seeing many games at ground level, I had it written in the book as a likely 4-3 as it was happening. But the reaction from the crowd was revealing -- the see that as a single.
    That's the difference in the speed of the game.
    Another quick story.
    The Cardinals had a prospect who would bounce to the balls of his feet as the pitcher delivered a pitch. This is fine at the college level. It may even do OK at some of the affiliates. And maybe there are superb athletes who can get away with such a move at the major-league level. Have you figured out why it matters? Well, he was in the air when the batter made contact. In the air. That slowed his reaction time because he had to land and then make his first step, not just his first step. Jose Oquendo was one of the coaches who spotted it and pointed out how that would slow the infielder's reaction time, and that it would so at the hot corner if the player played there. He would have that fraction of a second when he had to land and react, and not just react (or be reacting ahead of time because that's what gifted fielders do; watch Arenado). 
    That's the speed of the game. MLB is hockey compared to the other levels.
    Hope that helps.
    I think Andre Pallante has been the biggest surprise of the spring so far. Love his stuff. Love his make-up. Do the Cardinals see him as a starter in the foreseeable future?
    That is going to be the question that follows him into the offseason, unless he is optioned out and it follows him to the minors this season. It's a good one. Right now, he has the look of the two-pitch reliever, and has some overpowering bite to those pitches. Real sharp look, for sure. It makes sense at some point for the Cardinals to get him additional innings, so they see how the secondary pitches develop and whether he's part of the rotation conversation in the near future. I'm real intrigued by the answer their actions give ...
    Is Marmol developing an over-reliance on Pujols as DH? If so, is that based on a lack of options or career respect for Albert?
    I don't believe so. We've seen days when Pujols would have been in the lineup if Marmol was headed that direction, and Pujols wasn't. There does seem to be a clear plan, and Pujols seems comfortable with it and aware of it. I do think his success has changed some of that plan and the lack of performance from elsewhere in the lineup only highlights it more.
    Pallante, Helsley, and Whitley look really, really good. Maybe the Cardinals were on to something when they passed on Joe Kelly and Ryan Tepera.
    I can think of someone who would enjoy pointing that out to me.
    Have you seen anything that would suggest the Cards can compete with the pitching superior Mil Brewers? At some point, the Brewers will hit and pull away from the Cards who have an almost identical team to last year that won’t repeat a 17 game win streak. And the Mil front office has proven to be much more skilled at improving their team during the season than the Cards. I doubt you see it the same but can we at least agree on the last point?
    The Brewers' front office has proven to be more aggressive when necessary, more patient when needed, and definitely more creative, and it's last part that they're going to need. April does not a rotation crown, and one of the reasons why I picked the Cardinals to win the division was the depth and options for their pitching, and I'm not yet sold that the Brewers have answers if they don't match last year's performance or come close to it. And I don't think that's a given for all of their starters. They had three All-Stars in the rotation. Are they going to duplicate that? And if they don't well ...
    Let me get to the crux of it. The Brewers set a schedule that often bought their starters five days of rest between starters, not the four of a five-man rotation. Brandon Woodruff made 22 of his 30 starts with at least five days of rest. Corbin Burnes made 17 of his 28 on at least five days of rest on the way to the Cy Young Award, and Freddy Peralta had 19 starts of his 27 on five days of rest or more. They were effectively getting a six-man schedule.
    What was the benefit? Well, it wasn't innings.
    That group has combined to start 94 games since the start of last season. Only 24 of them -- 25.5% -- have been more than six innings of work by the starter. Only three of the 94 starts have been eight innings or greater, and all three are from Burnes. 
    Adam Wainwright had 17 starts in 2021 of at least six innings. 
    Woodruff and Burnes had a combined 18.
    At some point the innings are going to catch up with the Brewers, you'd figure. Maybe not. Maybe the bullpen can withstand that. Maybe their depth of arms they can churn through will keep that going. But if not then the effectiveness of the bullpen will be frayed because it has to cover innings for the rotation, and that leaves them exposed for the next series, and a cascade can happen. And it's not like they've had an eight-inning stopper when such a thing does happen.
    That, to me, is worth watching.
  • Signing Albert and his use so far, seems to be going well and according to plan. Barring injury and slumping, will 700 come this summer?
    We were talking about that at the ballpark in Miami the other day. If he averages a home run a week and can remain healthy, 700 is absolutely possible, but it will take a home run or several against right-handed pitchers because there aren't enough lefties to assure the once a week.
    Derrick, You mentioned that maybe Tommy Edman, EDMAN, may well be the lead off bat. I'm stuck with some old school in me in thinking that the lineup would be better when it's longer and has "protection" in it so I prefer a TE type at LO even though it's only guaranteed to happen once. IF TE were LO should NA bat 3rd?
    Nah, NA has been clear, he digs hitting CU.
    Have you heard of any progress regarding Tyler O’Neill’s potential extension? Thank you.
    Progressing toward an arbitration hearing at last check. This is the final week to see if that changes, so we'll know more in the near future.
    Why not give Waino a 'load-management'-esque, extra day of rest early in the season, to get an extra start at Busch stadium this week vs. @Reds, where he struggles, and in the last few seasons, has been much, much worse on the road. A bullpen game of Woodford, Pallante, and Packy would have potentially been a better matchup when you look at the stats.
  • Alternative options, mostly. Also, they want to set that MLB record for starts by a battery, and there's Wainwright's personal goal of reaching 200 wins. These things matter to the team this year. You can watch see if they get in the way of the team contending, but I don't get the sense that fans begrudge the team for trying to write a couple of the players into history, as they will if 700 approaches for Pujols, as they will to see if they can burnish Wainwright's Cooperstown claim with a 200th win, and so on and so on. So that's a leading reason why. And also alternatives. They're already trying to get one starter arm strength on the go and another starter is on the IL.
  • Who will the Cards send to Memphis to trim the roster to 26 May 1?
  • I don't know yet. Neither do they.
    If the Cardinals could revisit past trades, who would they rather have on their current team now, Randy Arozarena or Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen?
    Sandy Alcantara. Period. Full stop.
    It's a real question whether he is, thus far, the best pitcher they've developed, and here is performing for another team.
    Derrick, thanks for your work. Appreciate it very much. Can you comment on the likelihood of defensive shifts being banned next year? Thanks.
    I hope they are not. I think it's silly. A cosmetic change, at best. Not a substantive one. There are many people in baseball who disagree with me -- had a good talk in the clubhouse the other day about my view on this, and it was challenged -- and when it comes to making the rule change, they're not going to ask me. The commissioner is going to impose it. So it does seem likely to happen. Ugh.
    This year the cardinals is presumably the last year the World Series window is open for this team and core, next year Albert, Molina Adam will retire. Nolan will most likely opt out and head out west and the young outfielders of O’Neil and Dylan will be looking to be traded away because of the disrespect from the front office. Why wouldn’t they put all their eggs into putting the best team on the field?
    Because the team management disagrees with your view of the future. That's all. They don't plan on Arenado opting out. They don't plan on trading those players. They don't see it the way you see it. But the way you see it has been printed here so if/when it happens, you can have bragging rights, I guess.
    That chain of events as you describe is unlikely to happen, and it would invite the question of why would you support such a team like that anyway?
  • Hi Derrick. When will the rosters be cut down to 25 and who would you project to be sent out at that time?
    May 1. It's a 26-man roster at that point, not 25. And I don't know. There are games yet to play. Injuries happens. Performances will dictate.
  • How good are the Mets? Are they for real?
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