Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 1 p.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 1 p.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s 1 p.m. live chat.

    We can begin with the math. A great closer will appear in -- what? -- 60 games, maybe score some 40 saves, and that does equate to 40+ wins for the Cardinals. But also that pitcher will be throwing in around 65 innings. A starter, an average starter, will throw more than twice as many innings, will influence a far larger chunk of the season. An excellent starter will throw 180 innings over 30 starts and provide a far more valuable service than 1/3 of that time in the ninth inning. At least, that's how it appears to me.
    You can point out that the fourth inning of a game in August is not going to rise to the occasion of a ninth inning in September or April or June and I get that but.
    But wouldn't you want your best pitcher to throw more often?
    Piggybacking off of a Scherzer question earlier and your answer (high AAV short term), if I'm Scott Boras, I'm using Justin Verlander's contract extension with the Astros as my starting point in negotiations, no? Similar quality of pitcher, approximately the same age when the deal would be signed signed, both (at point of signing) had shown no signs of wearing down. Verlander's deal was 2 years/66M, something I don't see the Cardinals wanting to even go near, even if a colder market lowers that number a bit.
    Absolutely. And Scherzer is currently better, so expect him to aim higher.
  • Not sure if you've seen, but a video has started making the rounds showing the AA team seemingly being forced to stay overnight in what looks to be a hotel conference room, complete with players sleeping on the floor. Any idea what happened and how this was allowed to happen for the minor leaguers?
    I have seen it. I was able to take some time and track down what happened. The Cardinals' affiliate arrived in San Antonio late from their series finale. They were told that there were not rooms available, not cleaned and ready for them, and that the hotel had made a mistake by not being ready for their late-night arrival. The hotel has apologized to the club, and the video that has circulated was of the team making the most of an awful situation with few alternatives. By morning, shortly after sunrise, the players had their rooms. They have an off day in San Antonio. It was a mess, for sure. It comes with traveling. It has happened to me. Not great. Have flight delayed, gets in late, hotel gives away your room -- and your stuck. I'm one person and it can be tricky to find a hotel room that late at night. Imagine a team ...
    After his 8-inning gem, Liberatore has been roughed up a bit in his past two starts. As the Cards explore possible SP trades, do they assess him as a realistic rotation option down the stretch?
    They have downplayed their consideration of him for a start in the near future. They have not ruled out some contribution from him in September.
    DeJong is looking good lately and his glove with athleticism is enticing. However, could it simply be that he lacks the strong hand-eye coordination to be an above-average bat?
    I wouldn't make that leap, no.
    Derrick, Thanks as always for the chat. I'm curious, where are all those folks that thought the Cards should part ways with Alex Reyes?
    On MySpace perhaps, exploring other outdated, short-lived ideas.
    I thought Marcus HH raised a legitimate point about Knizner not getting any play time, there's no need for you to act like Mo and be so condescending to a fan. Be better than that.
    I didn't sense there was a question about playing time. It's OK to ask what you mean then, so I don't get confused, Ryan V. It can be tricky to tell the jokes, the snark, the meanness from the genuine questions if they do not set themselves apart by asking genuine questions. You're the first one I've see to reference "playing time" and use that phrase, other than the question earlier about whether he played at all again this season.
    Yes, playing time for Knizner is a real question. He'll play again in the coming week.
    Condescension is in the ear of the beholder. I cannot read your mind with the question you asked, and or would some of the people who have sent some vulgar questions in want me to.
    DG,

    When a switch hitter has a difficult time against RHP's batting left handed, at what point do you looking at batting righty if you are having success in the inverse??
    Imminently. Likely in the offseason so that the hitter will have the entirety of a spring training to get the reps and commit to bailing on switch-hitting. Spoke to Dexter Fowler about this a few times during his time with the Cardinals -- about how that would look and what would drive him to make that decision. He was not interested in dropping switch-hitting but he gave a sense of the route to commit to one side and the preferred timing.
    I was taking with a friend and they were frustrated with the number of pitching injuries the Cardinals have dealt with the last few years. This person watches the Cardinals quite a bit but doesn’t watch other teams often. I told him I could name 5 other teams off the top of my head with just as bad, if not worse, injury problems. That brought up a question for me though. Is there a team that is known for keeping its pitchers on the field?
    Not really. Not in the way that you suggest. It's a great question -- and it is one that teams are chasing for sure. They monitor the recovery of pitchers with other teams, who is keeping their pitchers on the field. This year has really been difficult throughout the industry. The monitoring of other teams that have done well (Dodgers leap to mind, Rays have been real protective and proactive with pitching health) invites another question: What, ethically, do teams that have good health with pitchers and good recovery with pitchers owe to the industry and the betterment of all pitchers to share that information?
    Derrick,

    Thank you for the chat and your Cardinal expertise. Cardinals fans are blessed to have multiple sportswriters at PD who are so good at what they do.

    Do believe Carlson A) Needs a day off now and then, he looks a little frayed to me? B) Needs to be moved out of the leadoff spot? The more I see O'Neill improve his selectivity at the plate, the more I like him as an Acuna-type leadoff man. Your thoughts.....
    Thanks for the kind words.
    A) Yes. And the Cardinals have the roster to do that.
    B) Selectively, yes. There are still matchups that make sense for Carlson at leadoff.
    How much money is Sinclair saving by not having announcers on the road?
    Evidently enough. And the fans are paying the cost -- without Dan McLaughlin there to call the games. He's made the most of the situation because he's one of the most talented broadcasters in baseball, as you know.
  • Nado sure has cooled off…naturally when Goldy is heating up. Imagine, just imagine if these dudes performed to their abilities simultaneously…just imagine, Mr. Goold
    Mike Shildt said it could be the summer blockbuster if it happens.
    Could Perez be promoted to AAA before the end of the season? Or is it preferred that he have an entire season of success to help build up his confidence? Especially after the years of struggles he’s endured.
    He could be promoted yes. The Cardinals sometimes make that call based on postseason chases, though this year may not be the year where that matters.
    Considering our playoff prospects, the potential demand for pitching by contenders and the lack of “depth” in the system, what level/type of prospect might be acquired for each of Kim, Gant, Miller, Cabrera & Gallegos?
    A Cabrera and Gallegos would definitely command some interest in the market, and you think back to the Cardinals having to trade Zack Cox to Mujica. So it could be that kind of deal. Cox was a first-round pick that had not stormed up the ranks. Maybe there's a chance there to get a similar player, or an outfielder akin to Torres. Not sure that makes the Cardinals better considering they still have several years of control for Cabrera and Gallegos. 
    Gant would make sense to entertain discussions, especially if a team sees him as a potential starter to get them through a tricky stretch here of injuries (long list of teams there), and he's got one more year of control so there's appeal that could command a good return.
    Miller has a no-trade clause. Kim has expressed an interest in staying.
    Have you picked up, or noticed anything on Molina? He just doesn't seem to be moving as well behind the plate as he was earlier in the year. Cooled off offensively too.
    He has a foot injury that is limiting him.
    Nogowski has been in the spotlight lately with his on field antics, chirping at Stroman of the Mets…along with hitting everything in sight. I had no idea NoGo was this feisty! We need him back!
    He's a gritty player, as they say. Lot of fight for him to get to the majors and he deserves playing time and an opportunity that he was not going to get in St. Louis.
  • Would you sign Molina for next year or a 2 year deal? He's remarkable and not slowing down at all,is he?
    Sure seems to make sense for the Cardinals to consider another one-year deal. He and the Cardinals are going to talk about that after the trade deadline. He has let them know he'd like to work on an extension before the season comes to an end. They'll work that once the pressing matter of the trade deadline passes. That's pretty standard.
    In your opinion, what has to happen to turn the FO's attention from '22 back to '21 over the next week plus?
    A long losing streak littered with injuries and great offers from other teams.
    Hey Jeff - just so we're on the same page - I adore your chats.
    I will pass along your compliment to Jeff Gordon. He and Ben Frederickson definitely have the best most wide-ranging chats on there.
    I didn’t realize they had THAT much flexibility those seasons. But hopefully they use that ‘16 off-season as evidence to aim a tier higher.
    That would make a lost of sense, yes.
  • With the Cardinal's commitment and stance on Jeff Albert, would it be more realistic for them to hire assistants or someone that can convey his message better to the players than just flat firing him?
    There has been some talk internally about adding a former player to the mix of hitting coaches at the major-league level. That's been something they've weighed -- and they actually have approached former players (Jim Edmonds, notably) about some kind of role with hitters. They saw Ryan Ludwick as a rising option for that role, too. Would not surprise me at all if they revisited that conversation with someone like Ludwick.
    Mr Goold, please hear me out and give some thought to what I’m about to say. The two philosophies of hitting now is analytical launch angle and old school hitting for average, these two philosophies are really fighting to maximize the return on your average big league hitter as the superstars of the league hit for both average and power and the lesser players in the league can do neither consistently so the argument is the best way to use this middle 1/3 of players. Now I’m going to use Dejong and the cardinals as an example. Dejong as a rookie hit I believe .275 with 17 home runs, very respectable, since his rookie season he has averaged .240 but with 30 home runs. The analytics say the extra 10 home runs he will hit a year will be more productive that the extra 35 points on his average. There is an argument to be had there. However if you take the extra 35 points on average and we assume he would still high roughly 20 home runs a year, you still get ok power numbers and out of 100 at bats an extra 35 chances to score a run, IMO that is more beneficial than the extra home runs. I am also curious if the analytical minded people have thought about this, not only would Dejong be on base an extra 35 times a year but that also means the next man is getting to the plate, which means Goldschmidt and Arenado would be getting roughly another 35 plate appearances in a year with the probability that those plate appearances are coming late in games. So my question is are there any analytics that also weigh the advantage of getting your star players extra at bats in high leverage situations by capitalizing on average over power by your lesser players? Please take the time to read and answer this and if you do thank you for your thoughts it is much appreciated.
    I appreciate the time and effort you put into this question -- and it took some time to get through it, and I'm not crazy about doing that at the expense of trying to answer more and more questions and get to a lot of different topics. Allow me a chance to offer an answer, but I'll start with a refutation.
    Those are not the two philosophies in hitting.
    Batting average has long been minimized as a telling stat, regardless of what teams might say publicly or how they might reward a batting champ each year based on batting average. OBP has been for several decades now the more valued number, so has SLG, and in the end it's the fusion of the two, OPS, that has guided so many teams when designing and ranking and building their offense over the past two decades.
    It's basically this: A measure of who makes fewer outs, and what noise they make when they don't make an out.
    That's the philosophy of offense that is spelled out by most teams this way: They want to find hitters who hit the ball hard and hit it hard often. Those two things in concert lead to what they call "damage" and the goal is to have a greater OPS. 
    There are analytics that measure the value of getting your star players more at-bats with runners in scoring position. That is both the OBP and OPS of the players ahead of them as well the lineup dynamics that teams talk about and many people study. Shildt calls this a "holistic" approach to a lineup, and he's touching on what you mean by a blend of power and average. But it's not that. It's a priority of a) not making outs as a hitter (OBP and average) and b) doing damage with hard contact (SLG and OPS). (Aside: Launch angle is PART of the equation; we over simplify the discussion when we fixate on that. Yes, more damage is done in the air, so that's why it's sought.) 
    Talked with Jeff Albert recently and he hit on something that you're getting at, too, I think. He made the point that a single counts twice in OPS. A double counts for both a hit toward the average, a time on base toward the OBP, and both two bases and a time on base for OPS. So, naturally doubles and singles and average are valuable. Average is still a representation of a good hitter -- look at the top average hitters in the majors -- but that's because it's a tagalong stat. Show me a great OPS and you'll see a great hitter, no matter the average.
    There are currently 17 players with an OPS of 900 or greater. Of that group, six have averages greater than .300.
    Fifteen have a batting average greater than .270 and that includes Ohtani.
    The two that don't are Joey Gallo, batting .235, and Kyle Schwarber, hitting .253. Gallo has a .394 on-base percentage. He does not get out nearly 40 percent of the time -- or two times out of every five times he goes to the plate he does not get out. 
    That is 50 points higher than the highest OBP in the Cardinals' lineup.
    Wouldn't you welcome Gallo in the lineup because he's getting on base and not making outs at a clip higher than any Cardinal hitter, and when he does hit he does damage, so that .235 average is misleading. I hope that this helps, and that you consider that hitting philosophies are not as divided as you think. They are mostly pointing in the same direction, and average can tag along, but it's not the north star, to borrow a phrase from the Giants' hitting coach.
    Alright ... time to pivot to game coverage. Fantastic breadth of questions today. Next week, as the trade deadline nears, Rick Hummel will be at the keyboard and I'll be driving to Cleveland. Check back throughout the week for coverage at StlToday.com and the Constant Cardinals Coverage.
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