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.

    Nootbar really has put together some good at bats and seems to have a pretty good understanding of the strike zone. If Bader continues his up and down offensive play, do you think Nootbar could play his way into RF moving forward and Carlson into center field?
    Yes. The matchup would work. It's not the same names, but it's the same situation they described in spring training as wanting to shift the outfield around at times to get the best matchup.
  • Im pretty much a shoe in to win a bet against a rival cubs fan for a STL jersey....
    What do you think I should get?
    Powder Blue or the Retro?
  • If Joey Votto is a for sure HOFer, then Jim Edmonds has to be as well. Edmonds has the superior production numbers, while Votto has a higher OPB. But similar overall offensive production. Plus, Votto is a very good 1B, but Edmonds is the conversation with the all time greats in CF, a more premium position that 1B
    I voted for Jim Edmonds when I had the chance. So, I agree.
    You mentioned Sinclair’s refusal to send announcers on the road but let’s also don’t forget that they refuse to work with Dish and several streaming services. The inability of many fans to see the telecasts has cause apathy as well. Have the owners put pressure on Sinclair to settle this? Let’s also don’t forget baseballs ignorant blackout policy
    We haven't. Trust me.
    With the talks just beginning with the players association what do you think of them adding a floor to teams payroll? Will we finally see organizations spend what has been reported as a floor of $100 million or do you think that is a pipe dream? Also on the flip side a ceiling for teams such as the Yankees or Dodgers, I am all for both.
    First, a point of information: They are not "just beginning." They have been going on for quite a while. What's new is the proposal for the financial structure. That's the big ticket. But there are many many many many many many things that have already been discussed on the periphery and even agreed to. This is a rolling negotiation, and there were talks throughout the past five, six, seven months that were continually going on.
    That's really important to point. 
    As for a salary floor. I'm skeptical. It will have to be very clear what counts against that floor. Is it only player salary? I don't like that idea. I do like the idea of a baseball operations floor. That is, that the spending must go into the player salaries, coaching, scouting, bonuses, and infrastructure. I'd like to see teams have a minimum amount they must spend on baseball operations so we see a rise in minor-league living, minor-league salaries, minor-league facilities/housing/food, and all of it, and have that count against the floor, so we see it rise.
    A floor that only counts against player salaries on the 40-man roster might lead to some inflated salaries and not help the industry overall, like a limited spending on baseball ops.
    That's just my two cents.
    What is your opinion of the O'Neill insertion between Goldy and Arenado? Whenever Carlson returns might he drop down on the lineup? Thank you again for your time and opinions, I look forward to these chats every week.
    Has Noot shown enough to earn a regular spot in the outfield for the rest of the season and if so, who sits?
  • Not everyday, but regular appearances. When Carlson returns -- possibly as early as Tuesday -- Nootbaar should vanish into the bench as the lefthanded option. He could be part of a mix of outfielders. Tyler O'Neill is the only everyday outfielder for the Cardinals at this point, it seems.
    I’ll chime in on the fan fatigue of mo and Shildt:

    I think a lot of people spend more time and energy worrying about what Shildt and Mo say in their interviews than they do with the teams play on the field. It’s their responsibility to explain their decisions but when fans don’t agree they just can’t let it go. Sometimes Shildt’s moves don’t work but he knows way more about baseball strategy than most of us do.
    Fair point. Had a talk with the manager about this the other day. Questions about the moves are, by definition, hindsight. So, it's natural that they come across with knowledge of whether they worked or didn't work. It's important that we recognize that as reporters and do our best to explain the process behind the decision and whether or not that was sound. It's a results-driven sport and coverage should be results-focused, but not at the expense of ignoring or sound decisions sometimes don't work because -- gasp! -- a player didn't execute or -- double gasp! -- the other team did something incredible.
    Someone I previously covered was frustrated with what he perceived as a my hindsight questioning of moves, so I -- somewhat sarcastically -- suggested he carry a pager so I could send a message -- ?????!???-- when he was on the way to the mound, just so he knew it was a first-guess, not hindsight criticism.
    That offer did not go over well, as you can imagine.
    Good morning! Is it just me or does Mike Shannon just sound completely lifeless on the broadcasts? I know this season has been frustrating, but jeez!
    You should read Rick Hummel's story and interview with Mike Shannon for some context and understanding of what he's overcome: 

    Shannon, heading for 50 years in booth, barely survived battle with COVID'I was probably going to die,' Cardinals broadcaster says, until a drug was found that worked.
    I don't know if Nootbar can play CF, but Carlson can. When he returns Bader could use a break. To say he has had a rough August is an understatement.
    Correct. That's the way this is trending. Back to how it was coming out of spring/in spring, just with new names.
    Why are Cardinal fans not excited about the wild card race?
    Because the brand of the team is winning championships. It's all over their marketing.
  • Derrick, thanks for the always outstanding coverage, first by you, but also the entire PD staff. It's worth the price of the subscription! Has Luken Baker elevated his status as a serious prospect, especially if the DH comes to the NL as expected in 2022? Who are the prospects who have made strides in leaping onto the radar of the organization as future MLB contributors?
    Absolutely, Baker has. Hard to find a player who has ascended more this season on the prospect lists than Lars Nootbaar. He went from really an unranked player with uncertain power profiles to a starter in the majors who has his own cheer and is getting asked a lot about in the chat. But beyond him, it's Plummer and then a group of players like Burleson, Baker, and Perez that have advanced their causes mostly. (I'm sticking with position players here, FYI.) Baker has legit power. And the DH is going to change his place in the organization significantly.
    The Reds have made the most of the Padres swoon so far with them breathing down San Diego’s throats right now for the final wild card spot. With Flaherty, Mikolas back plus Happ and even Lester contributing better now it gives us especially die hard fans a little more hope too. How else do you recommend we better cope in realizing this Cardinals team merely only has a low mathematical chance only at making it to postseason?
    Enjoy Adam Wainwright's performance. He's a meant a lot to this era of Cardinals baseball and what he's doing is remarkable. Look toward some of the younger players that will get mixed in. Nolan Arenado is an entertaining player to watch. That's almost the way you have to go.
    It's worth noting that the Reds have the lead. It's the Padres chasing them now. 
    There were earlier comments about low attendance. I'm in the minority, but chose to skip a game because of the increasing spike in the Delta variant. To me, better safe than sorry, but like I said, I seem to be in the minority using that as a reason to not be at a game. Poor play, zero playoff chance, etc., seem to be other (more likely?) driving factors.
    I am not convinced that puts you in the minority. I think it's a larger factor than people want to give credit because of what we're seeing with other entertainment choices, too.
    DG, thanks for all your amazing coverage, especially in a challenging time for reporters without great access. My question: It seems like some of the most successful teams — the Giants, Dodgers, Rays, A's and Brewers, especially — utilize their depth and play matchups to maximize their talent. The Cardinals, at least since the Matheny days, seem very stuck on playing the same guys in the same spots and have had mostly weak benches. Why aren't the Cards trying to replicate those other teams' strategies and do they recognize this as an area where they've fallen behind? Thanks!
    Thank you for the compliment -- and great question. Fantastic question. This was a topic of a lot of conversation in spring training. And not always on Zoom. Some of the chats, when possible, via text or just on the phone were about how the Cardinals could better create a lineup built for matchups. We even referred to it as Matchup Mania at times in print.
    Some of what we see with teams is remarkable.
    It's like a hockey team with line changes. The Cardinals had an opponent earlier this season respond to a pitching change with three consecutive pinch-hitters. Three! There was no wondering about saving a bat for the ninth or dealing with a short bench, there was the matchups, and they were playing them to the script, to purpose of which the roster was built. 
    The Cardinals have tried at times to get that kind of roster going, but cannot seem to get the production to match the theory. They started the season with the idea of doing some matchup moves in the outfield with Carlson being the fixture and some moving pieces around him to maximize Bader against lefties, complement him with Williams against righthanded pitchers, or Edman in RF and Matt Carpenter at 2B against righthanded pitchers. Those were the ideas that the Cardinals have had, and we've seen such approaches in small windows.
    Edman leading off against lefties, for example.
    The Cardinals have straddled that world of wanting the matchups and wanting an everyday lineup at the same time. And, again, they haven't had the production out of either to make one more possible than the other. Given his preference, it sure seems like Shildt would welcome the chance to utilize a roster in that way, if the production made it possible.
    Is Tyler O'Neill's lack of RBI's with 21 HR's more of a product of his hitting with RISP or the lineup around him not being on base? I know that RBI's aren't valued as much anymore as a measurement tool, but it sure seems like a lot of solo shots.
  • I like RBIs as a statistic. That's mostly because the R in RBIs stand for runs, and not to get too technically or too advanced metric on you but the team with the most runs wins.
    (end blue font)
    There are three reasons that standout, and we'll take them in reverse order of impact, no pun intended. Here we go.
    A) Nolan Arenado is on pace for 100 RBIs and hits ahead of O'Neill. Those are, by circumstance, RBIs that are not available to him because Arenado has already driven them in. When you're talking about a team that has scored as inconsistently as the Cardinals, this help explains why cleanup hitter (usually) won't have the cracks at the RBIs. It's because Arenado already claimed them.
    B) His chances have been limited. He has the fourth-most appearances with runners in scoring position, and that's not ideal for the fourth-place hitter. O'Neill's 96 plate appearances with runners in scoring position ranks 132nd in the majors. He's there around Yadier Molina, not around other cleanup hitters. Here are the top six PAs with RISP on the Cardinals' roster, so you can see the gap between the middle order hitters:
    1. Arenado, 133
    2. Goldschmidt, 122
    3. Carlson, 112
    4. O'Neill, 96
    5. Molina, 94
    6. Edman, 83
    C) O'Neill is batting .190 in those situations. That's just a lack of production in that spot. While other hitters atop the list see their batting average/OPS/slugging swell when there is RISP, O'Neill's production has been at its lowest. Nolan Arenado is hitting around the .260s overall, but he's batting .351 with runners in scoring position. Goldschmidt's average has climbed into the .280s with his surge here, and he's batting .330 with runners in scoring position.
    O'Neill's .190 is the lowest of the group listed above, and not one of the other five hitters in the top six for PAs in RISP is hitting lower than .270. 
    If there is baseball next year who would you like to see dhing for the Cardinal?
    Multiple players. They would better served to go get a fielder who can hit and utilize the DH to get him regular at-bats and regular rest for Arenado, Goldschmidt, etc. The Cardinals, to me, would be best served by utilizing the opportunity to focus on a bat. Get the best bat available to them. And sort things out from there.
    Derrick, thank you for all your coverage, reporting and writing. It is truly exceptional.
    Good to see Nootbaar get a chance and thriving to some degree. Maybe he can fill that current "4th" OF need, and perhaps more. He checks a lot of boxes to fill that role and give the others far more rest.
    How do you see the organization, maybe prioritizing for lack of a better term, the following Minor leaguers?
    Juan Yepez
    Delvin Perez
    Lukan Baker
    Nick Plummer

    Do you have a feel for their ceilings based on your reporting? They have all risen. Thank you.
    Juan Yepez -- has thrust himself into the conversation in the same way Xavier Scruggs did years ago, Luke Voit did in recent years. A bat they need to find a spot for, and most likely will have that bat coming off the bench in some way.
    Luken Baker -- Same. But with a higher power profile, and thus higher probability of being looked at for someone who mixes in at DH.
    Delvin Perez, Nick Plummer -- The Cardinals are, to put it lightly, really encouraged by what they've seen from their first firs-round picks Perez and Plummer. Left unprotected just a year ago in the Rule 5 draft, Perez has made great strides as a prospect, and Plummer has returned to that label rising to Class AAA as of today. Ceiling? That's really the biggest question. Perez has put on strength and handles the position well enough that he could be seen as having a similar route to the majors as Edmundo Sosa and then we'll see how the bat translates. Ceiling is starter, but there is a wide gap between floor and ceiling. I think what Plummer is starting to do is define that floor. And that's significant. His production says a floor of fourth/fifth outfielder, and that opens up the possibility that he'll have a place in the majors at the current trend of his career, and that the ceiling will be revealed there, kind of like Nootbaar is doing right now.
    Logically, if someone answers your poll they must vote yes, as by answering they are entering into the conversation.
    Fair point. I have a college prof. that would be displeased with my question for that reason.
    Once a collective bargaining agreement is struck do you believe it’s even in the cards for the team to seriously attempt in signing Flaherty to an extension before next opening day a top priority?
    Yes. I don't know if it will be a top priority given the mad rush on free agents that could follow a new CBA. But, yes, that is something that the team will discuss with him in spring training or before -- once the arbitration setup and new structure of the CBA is clear.
  • Is there a reason the 40 man roster is set at 40? Do the owners have any interest in increasing that number?
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