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.

  • If forced to do so, this is a possible option on the table. They would prefer not.
  • Also, I don’t mean to state the obvious, BUT I will, you’ve got serious problems when your lead off hitter just got his 1st stolen base when the calendar turned to August. And I like Carlson. A lot!
    I don't really see this as some issue. Game is changing. Get a guy with good OBP, scores from first on a double, scores from second on a single, and that's what Carlson does.
    Derrick: Are there other minor league players besides Delvin Perez the Cardinals will be needing to protect from the Rule 5 draft this coming off season? Are there any obvious candidates on the 40-man who will likely be dropped?
    Plummer has to be protected this year, he's another one of note. And there will be natural attrition from the 40-man roster. There are a few free agents now that will drop off. Lester. Happ. Andrew Miller. They have been in 40-man binds before, but should not be now.
    Are we overvaluing what Mikolas will bring to the table when he returns? The way the team talks you'd think Scherzer was coming off the DL. I see he and Lester being about the same level add at this point in the season.
    No. Quality starts are valuable to this team, to any team, but really to this team. I haven't heard the Scherzer comp. Maybe that's autocorrect for Suppan, and they mean Suppan.
    Do the Cardinals believe they need a new leadoff hitter for 2022?
  • This is not something I expected to dominate the chat today. This is not something that has come up in August for 2022, no. It could. It's something they are aware that they don't necessarily have if Carlson is not in that spot. But it's not something that they are discussing at the moment -- partially because of timing. Partially because they think Carlson could be that guy until he's No. 2.
  • DG, I saw your comment about Chris Carpenter in the clubhouse. Could you elaborate? Was a buzzkill, or just super intense on the days he pitched? Always seemed like a great clubhouse guy
    Tremendous clubhouse guy. Intense. Demanding. Seething. Burning. But also became a guy who could give a nudge, a timely compliment. He was a quality control presence. He's the one who suggested that the team's play was "embarrassing" back in 2011, and the fact he used that word carried more weight than if many others had said it. And he's one of the few guys I've seen who could a) cross the aisle and inspire/lead position players, too, and b) be a leader when he wasn't able to pitch due to injury, and take on that role. He took some of the things started by Kile, Williams, and Morris and along with Adam Wainwright has given the Cardinals something to carry on for the "Team within a team" approach to the rotation.
    Can the Cards offense switch places with the Brewers offense for the next two months? The Cards are still underperforming (right?) but the Brewers are definitely overperforming. Even if both squads normalize than it would give this team more hope.
    If they switch home ballparks it would be interesting to see the jolt ...
    To answer your question, yes I am "thrilled about Walker, Winn, Gorman, Burleson, and Baker and the improvements they and others like Perez and Plummer, have made". How could we not be?

    The key question are: Is that Albert's doing? And will that minor league success move up one league?
    1) I'm at a loss here. I just wrote that it was some of Albert's doing. I'm not sure what you mean. He oversees the offensive approach throughout the organization. When they had hitting labs for the young players this past winter, he was there working with them, setting the template. I type these words again knowing there are consequences for being wrong in my business. I won't be chatting long if I type wrong information.
    2) The Cardinals are clearly betting that it will advance, that it will allow them to catchup with other teams they've lagged behind and that the hit improvement/hit tool will carry to the majors.
    I saw a comment about the team underperforming....are they really underperforming or is this what it is?
    That is a question they must face at some point after the season. It's important. It's telling.
    Is it possible that the Cardinals organization overvalues continuity? Especially, when the continuity has not shown World Series level upside?
    In one of your recent podcasts, you were discussing how the Giants identified pitchers who threw two pitches with a similar release point/look to the batter, like a fastball and a splitter, or I'm guessing like Gallegos and his fastball/slider. Are their metrics that they are using to identify this or just visually with scouts? It's clearly working for the Giants, so could we expect to see a shift in pitch arsenals as teams prioritize this? Can this work over the long term as we have seen how it caught up to Michael Wacha?
    It's both, but there are metrics now with Statcast. You can go to Baseball Savant or Statcast and tinker around with the release point data on your own. It gives you a grid and shows where pitchers release the ball, and you can also get the numbers and compare various pitchers. All of that is publicly available. Takes some patience. But it's fun. Scouts add a layer to that information about what it looks like person, what it looks like to the hitter, and so on.
    I'm not sure if you'll see a shift in "arsenals," not any more than you're already seeing over the past few years as spin rates took hold, more curveballs are being thrown and so on. We will see changes to how arsenals are used, and how mechanics are adapted to utilize tunneling. There are many pitchers who have been doing this for several years, honestly.
    A quick story: Wainwright started elevating his four-seam fastball and his cutter at times over the past few years for this reason. It plays off his curveball. It comes at the same eye level and it throws the hitter off, and he took some lumps finding that but now benefits from it. Look at the called strikes he gets as a result of being able to throw that curveball and fastball from the same release point and seemingly, to the hitter, to the same spot.
    It can work long term. There are myriad of release points. You're discussing an arm swing, I believe, with Wacha, and that is something he's had to address, obviously. Kudos to him for all the work he's done to strengthen his arm and do what he's doing for the Rays.
    Hello Mr. Goold:

    Much has been made about Yadier Molina’s yeoman workload and his stubbornness about days off. It seems the consensus is that he makes the call on when he sits.

    Whether this is true or not, I am concerned about his defensive play slipping, particularly blocking errant pitches, as he seems to fail to block many more than previously.

    Since this is likely related to his workload, do you envision a situation where the Cardinals sign him next year but
    forcibly insert his successor (Knizner, Herrera, other) into the lineup at least once per week?

    Thanks for your always great MLB analysis!
    Let's start here, no pun intended: It may not be entirely workload. Word from the Cardinals is they don't think it is. Yadier Molina has been limited -- more limited perhaps than he lets on -- by that foot injury that he gave as a reason for not participating in the All-Star Game. It was bothering him, and there were a few examples that once he explained that was going on that he and the team pointed to as a point where he felt the foot soreness got his way, or how he positioned himself to protect the foot got him in trouble when he was crossed up. Workload is a part of it. Playing through an injury is workload, but it's not the entire cause.
    Molina has substantial influence on when he plays. Shildt has been candid about that. The manager before Shildt was candid about that. He does not have the entire say. Shildt has scripted days off for him based on the schedule, and Molina takes those days off. They talk about it. Shildt said he's getting one of these two or three, so which is it? The answer isn't playing all three. 
    The Cardinals have really shied away from scripting the starts for a catcher by week, utilizing the schedule instead. I cannot remember if it was in the chat or Twitter, but I mentioned coming out of the All-Star break that Knizner would be getting more starts in the coming weeks, and that still holds. He will be. The off days every Monday help, but the Cardinals are aware of Molina protecting at least the foot soreness and that means subbing in Knizner who has done well at times when asked to start.
    Looking at the trajectory of the NL Central who is the cardinals biggest threat in next 5 years? Brewers? Seems like Cubs and pirates will be building for a little
    Five years? Do not discount the Reds. The Brewers' front office makes them an obvious answer. The Cubs' turnaround will be swifter than it currently appears.
    With this season seeming to be slipping away from the Cardinals, obviously a lot of talk in the chat deals with next year. I'm wondering what your feeling is about they're even being a season in 2022. We all know there is a lot of contention on both sides and a lot of complicated things to be worked out. From my limited fan's perspective, it feels like a 162 games season just won't happen. Given your understanding of the situation right now (knowing that it can change), what do you see for 2022?
  • It's in jeopardy. My sense is both sides will ultimately seen how many billions are at stake, how much good will could be loss coming out of/still in a pandemic, and that people will be taking their entertainment dollar elsewhere. There is more competition than ever for eyeballs and how are our habits going to be changed about being in large groups, etc. Baseball retreats from the headlines, from the consciousness of the fan for too long and something will replace it quicker than ever. I'm not suggesting the game will vanish. It won't. It just will have further to go the more it bows outs, the more it bickers internally, the more it turns off its fans. And those dollars lost are real. And both sides will see that.
    Question about Ted Simmons HOF induction. We are thinking about making the trip. Any suggestions on where we could get a stay and get a hotel room not too far away? What is the PD plans for covering it? Will both you and the Commish (and HOF’r) attend?
    Good luck with the hotel. Derek Jeter is in this class. Crowds will follow, as many as they allow., and housing is always an issue when you're going to Cooperstown because people plan years and years in advance in some cases. You might have to look quite a it away for a place to stay. Syracuse is a fine drive to Cooperstown, for example.
    Rick Hummel, Hall of Fame baseball writer and Hall of Fame expert, will be covering the Hall of Fame inductions for the Post-Dispatch from Cooperstown.
    You're stuck with me at the keyboard for coverage of the Cardinals at that time. 
    The Cards were shopping for innings at the trade deadline. In their 10 starts since June Happ has averaged 5.1 innings per start and Lester only 4.4 innings. In that timeframe Lester had 4 starts of only 2.2, 3.1, 2.1 and 3.2 innings. I don’t see that as an improvement over Gant. Is that really the best can do? That’s either sad or pathetic depending on your optimism level.
    Tried to point this out in the coverage for the paper. They weren't aiming for quality starts with acquisitions -- and that's partly because of the cost, right? No wait. It's all because of the cost. That said, they need those kind of average innings, too. The Cardinals have been successful in the past month when they get 5 1/3 innings from the starter. Get 5 1/3. Allow three or fewer. And the Cardinals have won a majority of those games, enough to float a rise in the standings, honestly. It's getting that consistently, not sporadically that is what they need. 
    Lester has gone at least four innings in 12 of his 16 starts, Happ has gone at least four in 16 of his 19. The comparison with Gant is apt because he did that as well. And then had exhausted his pitch count, or walked into trouble. The Cardinals are betting on experience adding to efficiency, and at the worst they can press on and shoulder some innings in losses that the bullpen doesn't have to.
    It's the best the Cardinals were willing to spend prospect talent to get.
    Hi Derrick: I remain curious why Carpenter never bunts or tries to hit to the left side with his massive shift every at bat. He is hitting below the Mendoza line all year and can't do worse.
    He has taken a few singles that way before. It depends on the count and the situation. A few of the recent spots he's been in as a pinch-hitter wouldn't really lend themselves to that. But he's done it when starting an inning, for example.
    Is it more challenging covering a team that is a powerhouse and winning, losing or middling like the current Cardinals in your opinion?
    Both have their challenges. The Cardinals are never boring because of the fan base they have. Mediocre isn't good enough it. Covering a .500 Cardinals team is like covering a 100-loss team elsewhere, it seems.
  • Your comment on Bryant as a Cardinal led me to think about where he would play - I assume the OF. My question then would be - do you consider that Edmond would be an upgrade at SS over DeJong and Sosa.
    He could play all over and be DH. He's an example of a way that the Cardinals could add a bat to the lineup without overlapping at an everyday position, rather sharing one because of the advent of the DH.
    Derrick do you wonder about the future of Cardinals Baseball? At some point, will it be able to sustain a "high" level of competitiveness? The Cardinals need fans...the fans are drifting away for many reasons....thus less revenue. Fans found other ways of spending their money and as you stated earlier, people were let go and not hired back. Fans have lost jobs and thus spending power. This enterprise is not sustained by a brewery or shipyard.
    I don't. It's sustained by real estate, or will be. Land seems like a grounded investment. I do worry about the fan apathy if it does lean more and more and more toward the temperature on Twitter because it could be a case where fans say wake me in October and that's not a way for a cultural fixture to hold its footing when six months are ignored and they're judged entirely as an entertainment product on whether they win the whole thing or not.
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