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.

    The starter of that level of ability and consistency.
    Hey, DG--I'd like to add a little positivity to the chat (what???). I don't look up to athletes as special people just because they are incredible at what they do, but I continue to be amazed by Adam Wainwright. He's one of the few players that I enjoy hearing interviewed because he is thoughtful and respects the questions he's asked. I'm pretty sure he's a much better person than I am, given his commitment to charity and the things that he has expressed he wants to do in the future to expand his efforts to help the less fortunate. And as much as I had hoped that his return this season would be successful, I am stunned at just how successful it has been. I really hope he returns for another year, and I will definitely miss him when he decides to retire. I was wondering if you have any good story that gave you a special insight into the kind of person he is. Thank you!
    Adam Wainwright is one of the finest pitchers I've ever covered, a true pitch-maker who reinvented himself and didn't give up when his body said it might, and he's on the short list of most impressive competitors on the field I've seen. He is, without question, also one of the finest human beings I've met covering sports -- and that includes all arenas, from rink to press box, dugout to high school hallways. 
    He will be a Cardinals Hall of Famer and no one will wear No. 50 again. And here's a rare prediction from me ... If he chooses, he'll someday be talked about as a Hall of Fame broadcaster, too.
    Any chance Cubs resign some of the players they traded away?
    Great question. They will try. But it's really interesting that they had no luck signing those players to an extension when they attempted in recent weeks. That does not bode well.
  • I know Arenado has won many gold gloves but I did not know how well he can accurately throw the ball while in mid-air. Haven't seen other players do it that consistently well.
    He plays third base like a kid who dreamed of making jump throws from third and just took it those a little further to the right.
    Hey what ever happened to Cole hammels? Did he not impress anyone in his workout? I was wondering why he hasn’t signed yet?
    He did fine in his workout. The calendar is working against him. There are two months remaining, and how much of a contribution would he make for a team at this point when that team might find a cheaper or better option depending where that team is in the standings. It's telling that the signing hasn't happened yet, no?
    I don't know if you've covered this...just kidding. I read the previous comments before asking a question. I would really like to see Carlson-Goldschmit-Arenondo to go back to 2-3-4. Now that Harrison Bader is hitting well, I would like to see him get a shot at leadoff. Good OBP, good speed. What do you think?
    Kicked around this idea with the manager the other day and it was a good "ball talk," if you will. One of the reasons why he hasn't vaulted Bader up toward the top of the order is because he likes the idea of a player who can turn an inning into a crooked number leading into the back third of the lineup. I suggested that Bader, at the moment, has the look of a player who turns a rally into a crooked number not yet a guy who is going to start a rally. Shildt nodded. Bader had a strong July with a .357 average and an OBP greater than .400. He leads the team in every standard, popular rate stat. Also of note: He had almost as many homers (five) as walks (six) in July. He doesn't nourish that OBP with walks. He put a lot of balls in play (only struck out 15 times, too). Walks are important when it comes to bringing a sustained height to the OBP, as you know, and that's where teams look for at leadoff. Bader could get there. His speed is appealing there. His contact rate and success and all of that is up. But the Cardinals tried Tommy Edman at the top of the order when he didn't have the walks to inflate the OBP, and that's what brought them to Carlson. Of course, Carlson had nine walks and a .283 OBP in July, so need may soon outweigh preference as the Cardinals look at the lineup.
    How much has the food and drink prices increased over 2019?
    Quite a bit. Don't have a number on it. But they do charge tax on them now and that's created higher prices, too.
    Is it strange that this team doesn't have a single hitter batting over .300? And other than Bader they don't have a regular that is even close.
  • Somewhat. Batting average has been suppressed as a measure of a hitter, and we're seeing that in more lineups than just the Cardinals.
    Do the Cards struggle to develop hitters because of the positive hitting environments in Memphis and Springfield? A guy like Lane Thomas, for example, has a career OPS of .809 in AAA and .824 in AA. In the bigs, it's just .625 and before he joined the Cards organization it was below .700. Do those outlier numbers make it hard to judge True Talent?
    If they do, then they need to update their tech and their metrics and how they go about analyzing data. I doubt that they do. They were ahead of the curve when it came to understanding how small colleges and lower levels of amateur ball with different sized ballparks could be used to translate into production at Class A or Class AA levels and that's partially how they found Matt Adams to draft him, or why they were really eager to bring Trey Hearne in via the draft. 
    Your question is a good one when it comes the other side of this view -- from the players. One of the more interesting conversations I've heard two young players have was Dylan Carlson and Nolan Gorman at the Futures Game a few years ago when Carlson was telling Gorman how to mentally deal with a pitcher's park like Roger Dean Stadium and how low the numbers might look there and how frustrating that could get for a hitter unless he took a different mentality. Gorman rocked at Roger. It can be something to go from the bounty of offense in the Texas League to the rigors of the Class AAA schedule and facing pitchers from the majors. But teams take all that into account as they judge talent, review stats, and evaluate potential.
    Well, if a team doesn't then it's more than a decade behind the times in metrics.
    David Dahl was designated for assignment by the Rangers today. Really always thought he'd be a good fit for the Cardinals, that he was the next hitter to take off. I was off.
    I just voted for the Cardinals in your poll because the team came out of the trading period with its prospect pool intact.
    That is how the front office felt. One thing about prospects: They haven't failed yet, so it's far easier to be excited about them right up until the point you need them as a team to produce. Then it gets harder. Much harder.
    In regards to power hitting at Busch stadium, a player that is going to hit a significant amount of homers each year is going to need to have light tower power. When salaries are paid based on stats like homeruns, why would they choose to come to STL when they could maximize their value having a hitter's park to call home? Why does it seem like the Cardinals continue to try and build an offense that is geared towards homeruns and exit velocity knowing this?
    In talking with Jeff Albert multiple times over the past month, that is not the kind of offense they're trying to have. They actually talk a lot about how to adapt the offense for the place they call home while not giving up the skills that made some of their hitters great. Consider for a moment that the Cardinals currently have in their lineup these two hitters:
    -- The hitter with the most pull-side homers in baseball since 2013.
    -- The hitter with the most opposite-field homers in baseball since 2013.
    How do these two hitters coexist at a ballpark that limits both of those things. Well, one way is to become more diverse with that power, right? That's what Shildt has talked a lot about as far as using the whole field. Goldschmidt's skill is driving the ball to the alley and over the wall to the right side more than any other righthanded hitter has in the past handful of years. But, because some of those are fly outs at Busch, one way to improve the power numbers and do that with success at Busch is to pull. You can see how Goldschmidt has made that adjustment. Arenado pulls with success and check out he's done at Busch as a result, and there is still the benefit of him getting that swing to drive for the gap and doubles.
    If past years are any indication, the Cardinals are a strong team when they crank out doubles and are in the top third for OBP. They get traffic. They get doubles. They get things in motion so that they can be better with RISP. That's the recipe that's worked. And they honestly talk a lot about how that's a recipe they could have with this team.
    The Reds made a couple of good moves for bullpen arms. The Brewers filled a need with Adames. I don't believe either one of those teams gave away their future in these moves. Is this an inability of the Cardinals front office to make these type of moves or an unwillingness?
  • It's a bit of many things. The Cardinals do tend to talk themselves out of deals. They're a conservative group by nature, by design. Mozeliak calls that "data-driven." There is some paralysis by analysis in that description alone. They like to move fast when they have leverage and to wait when they think they can get it. The deadline doesn't work that way, much. Not for the big-ticket movers. Also, Brewers moved swiftly to address a need. Had good intel on how Adames would do when moved from the Rays, and did give up what Tampa Bay wanted to make that move now, now, now before too much of the season slipped away. Cardinals bet on their roster instead of making a move like that, and that could be the difference in the season, right there.
    Here's my fear about next season: While the Cardinals' offense has been really bad all year long, I can see the FO looking at each individual regular and saying "We really like this guy. He's not someone we'd be looking to move." And then you end up back at the same place. You made a comment earlier in the chat about the OF doing just well enough to give them visions of what it could be without any real surety that they will improve. That suggests to me that my fears are well-founded. Do you expect the Cardinals to make any significant moves to improve the offense in the off-season, especially in terms of getting better on-base guys?
    We just don't know yet. The crystal ball for this winter is murky in August for all the reasons you'd imagine. There are two months yet to happen. There is information to be collected. Players might sign. Players might not and become free agents. The CBA clouds everything. I wrote what I wrote for a reason: the outfielders might just do well enough for the Cardinals to bank on getting more from them next year and that is similar to what they've done each of the past two years. At first it was they wanted to clear opportunities. Next it was a shortened season that didn't really reveal much but in small, unreliable sample sizes. Now it's indicators and stretches of success that reinforce what they hoped to see. The global picture of the offense suggests they need something to change because the results haven't, but we'll see how they look to do that -- and we'll have a better sense of that in November than August and far better in January depending on the CBA than we can now.
    BPIB comment/Question. Finished reading The Wax Pack and moved that on to my brother. Rounding third base on Luke Epplin's book. What's next for me?

    Also, great segment on the Crushed podcast. Really enjoyed it.
    If you haven't read K by Tyler Kepner, check that book out. I also push people toward The Last Night of Yankee Dynasty by Olney because that's such an excellent book. Digging into the wayback machine there's Crazy 8 and October 1964. Or Soul of Baseball by Posnanski. Check out Edward Achorn's history books, too. They're rollicking with St. Louis ties.
    DG we don't hear much about the outfield recently, but don't they still have questions? O'Neill, Bader and Carlson have settled in pretty well now. But it seems to me that they still badly need a 4th outfielder, preferably lefty, to give Shildt some late-inning options and provide some pop off the bench?
    Agreed. They continue to look for that person, have for a few years now, really.
    Lots of chatter regarding Rocker and the Mets. The real point is he didn’t get the pre draft MRI or turn over medicals, which everyone seems to forget. Nobody is signing an injured or misrepresented player. That’s called bad business. This is where MLB needs to get up to speed with the NFL draft. Have the top 200 players ( 5 rounds ish ) show up for a camp and get examined. Put it on MLB network. They need programming too! You can only show “ The Natural “ so many times a year. We’ll host down here in Texas. There. Done.
    Well, not so fast. They did put a combine on MLB Network this year. That did happen. They are going to continue to do that. So they are ahead of your suggestion, and they feel like they got good results from it. (I wrote story recently about whether baseball is becoming a "combine" sport, and whether or not that's a good thing. It's still up at StlToday.com.) 
    The issue for Rocker and the Mets is deeper than you suggest. It actually speaks to a bit of the reserve clause that was extinguished in baseball thanks, in part, to Curt Flood. Think about what has happened here. Rocker didn't sign with the Mets. The Mets still hold his rights even though they can no longer sign him. He cannot go to another team. They cannot trade him to another team. Baseball is limited in this regard, and that means a year is going to melt off this young man's career.
    Yes, that was part of the Mets' leverage to get a deal done.
    It would be a better system if, having been unable to reach a deal with him, the Mets could trade his rights to a team willing to take the medical risk (there would be) and get something in return for that draft pick and also allow Rocker to begin his pro career. That seems doable and while there's not a win-win in this regard at least both parties get to move on with their careers, whereas now the Mets move on with little harm because they get pick next year and Rocker is adrift for 12 months.
  • Does Max Muncy remind you of Pete Rose at all?
    Are the Twins paying all of Happ’s remaining salary? Thanks.
    Most, if not all. Most is what I was told.
    Do the Cardinals blame most of the not so great attendance on the bad product they are putting on the field or are they still using the COVID as the biggest reason?
    They recognize both contributes to it. And also the opponents and the schedule. They see it as a combination of all those factors.
    Clarification please on the Carlson out at first in Cin. The cards did not make the appeal in 20 seconds. Who keeps the clock. When does the clock start.
    Umpires. It starts with the request to review, which has to be made fairly swiftly and usually is.
    Is Burleson a realistic option for 4th outfielder next year with the 3 incumbents as starters? If Gorman and/or Edman are the primary competitors for 2B next year, I think the Cardinals can afford another $100M contract for a SS from FA, but I don't know if it is realistic to think MO and BDWII will go that way. That really only leaves the rotation as a place to expect MO to spend some big dollars. Otherwise, it seems there will be a significant decrease in payroll again this year. Am I off base there?
  • I would not discount Burleson getting a look in some way this spring. His performance and his rise has been too swift to ignore at this point, and there's room for him to move into consideration.
    It's possible you'd see some decrease in payroll. They'll have the money, but may not get the players they want to spend it on. Again, we'll know more in two months than we do know now. Much more, likely. It could be a long wait this winter, after all, but the options for the Cardinals and other teams will be at a variety of spots. It does seem unlikely that the Cardinals add another $100-mllion infielder to the mix. But the DH opens up the possibility of adding a bat who can play multiple positions and be part of a DH rotation. That has an appeal and that fits what the Cardinals would want from flexibility. Now the price tag is going to be clearer as the market adjusts or returns from the CBA negotiations. 
    Is having four lefties in the rotation not a concern to the front office/management?
    It's not. They're intrigued by it as an edge. Rick Hummel will have more on this soon.
    This is going back just a bit, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the BPIB where you and Rick Hummel just sat down and told stories for an hour. I always enjoy the podcast, but that was far away and my favorite!
    Thank you for listening to it. I enjoy getting a chance to tell stories with Rick, too. We happened to remember to turn the recorder on that time!
    Bader, Goldschmidt, Arenado, O'Neil, Edman, Molina, DeJong, Carlson. I think that looks like a better line up than what the Card's keep sending out there?
    I guess you do. I don't share that opinion.
    The Knizner thing is weird to me. I think he is a good ball player. Why not have him in AAA where he can produce trade value?
    Because he doesn't need to be there. He's beyond that level, and he can help the Cardinals in the majors. It's possible that they don't want to showcase him because, stay with me here, that is overrated as a thing and they don't want to trade him.
  • If one didn’t know anything about MLB and just watched the trade deadline, they would surmise that most players want to play on the coast. All the teams on a coast minus Baltimore & Miami made significant moves. That’s a glaring problem for MLB. Middle America teams are being alienated. Allegedly those teams have more money and better development. That’s a problem for the league!
    It would be if the players had all the power. Bryant, Baez, and Rizzo had no say in where they were dealt. Just as Lester and Happ had no say in being traded to the Cardinals, and Gibson was clear that he didn't have any say in being traded to the Phillies from Texas. These are the teams making the moves -- not the players forcing them and choosing. Just this past winter, there was an All-Star who forced a trade to the middle of America, and that comes a few years after Giancarlo Stanton wanted to go to a bigger market than St. Louis and got New York. No wonder. He's not doing a national commercial with Aaron Judge as a Cardinal. The trades we saw at the deadline were far different than that. Scherzer had control. But that was about it. 
    One of the teams that was most aggressive at the deadline was the Second City's second team, the La Russa Sox. That doesn't square with your premise.
    Baseball may have a coast issue with its nationally televised games, but then all of sudden ABC is picking up Sunday Night Baseball for the first time and look who is playing? These same Sox against the Cubs that just picked apart their team. No Bryzzo for ABC. 
    I don't see the imbalance that you do, but I do see an issue within the divisions. There is an imbalance there. The AL East is chocked with titans. The AL Central is a far different division. The NL West this year is top heavy. That does change all the schedules. That does help shape the postseason race. The NL West might get three teams in the playoffs because a) they're good and b) they can feast on two of the worst road teams in baseball. The Jays aren't getting that benefit. The Phillies aren't. Not that imbalance contributes to what you saw. Not players choosing.
    I think we see now, (if there was any doubt up to the trade deadline) that the Cardinals plan was never to compete in any meaningful way in 2021. It was intended to see what they truly had, ride out expiring contracts, limiting the payroll and build for 2022 without sacrificing assets. I believe Mo even said something like, "We were prepared to wait for Arenado at the risk of doing nothing in the offseason." Then Arenado happened and while it was a year early, they felt they couldn't pass the deal up and failed to add on to their roster. The Molina and Wainwright addition was a obvious and a strategic one both for the club and marketing. But those two deals would have been the only significant moves if Colorado had not made Arenado available. Is that a fair assessment? That Arenado was kind of an outlier to their plan for 2021? Thank you again for your dedication to your job and this chat!
    There is a lot of fairness here, yes. I don't know of Arenado is the "outlier" to the 2021 plan as much as it was something they had tried to pursue before and the circumstances made now the time to pull it off, or never pull it off. They had other moves they would have made if not for Arenado, but that move -- and the cost of Gomber in it -- did put in motion several things that the Cardinals had to work to rewrite about their 2021 plans. Also: They did not count on losing Kim, Flaherty, Mikolas, Hicks, and Bader for significant stretches. That's just true. They knew they'd be without Hudson, but the other pitchers -- no. They didn't not expect to have that many innings to fill for that much of the season. That's the outlier that really has shaped this season. And if it's given them the mulligan they were willing to accept, then be careful what you wish for.
    This has been an excellent, enjoyable chat. Thank you for spending the afternoon with me. To the chatters question before, I've gotten to how many questions in the past 90 minutes and still there are nearly 300 in the inbox. I appreciate that there are that many people eager to participate in the chat, and there's never enough time in the day or dexterity in the fingers to answer all of those questions.
    The scope of questions this week has been excellent. If I didn't get to something that is timeless, the chat will be back here next week, same place and likely the same time.
    Not the same location, though.
    I'll be in Pittsburgh for the Cardinals series against the Pirates -- the first of 10 games this month between the two teams. The Cardinals need those series as a foothold.
    Lester debuts Tuesday. Happ on Wednesday. If anything, it shouldn't be boring.
    Stay healthy. Please stay informed. Stay tuned.
    Aloha.
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