Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 1:30 p.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 1:30 p.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s 1:30 p.m. live chat.

    Greetings from Los Angeles, er, Pasadena. Greetings from nearby Dodger Stadium -- where the Cardinals will open the postseason with Wednesday's wild-card game. Thanks for the patience as I made my way from LAX to a spot where I could spend some time here diving into questions, your questions on the first day after the last game of the regular season. Enough prelude. Let's plunge in.
    To be determined. Cardinals are judged in October.
    will the wild card game count toward the Waino/Yadi pursuit of the record of most games by a battery in pursuit of the record currently held by Lolich/Freehan?
    It will not. Those are regular-season numbers. Great question. But, no, those are records and the records of the other batteries are based on regular season starts.
    If the Cardinals get to the NLDS will the game(s) at Busch be afternoon games
    Not sure yet. Those are based on the teams involved in the other rounds, too. With Milwaukee-Atlanta, there's a good bet that the Cardinals-Giants would be a night game when the NL has the day to itself. Certainly a LA-SF NLDS would be a ratings draw so TV would put those on at the primetime slot, if and when its possible. TBS will make those calls in the near future, but would like to see the teams they have for the division round, per usual.
    Here's a hot take for ya: The Dodgers were 16 games better than any NL team that didn't win a division. Why the HELL should it be subjected to a one-game play-in?
  • Because that's the setup that MLB has right now. All 30 teams play under them. They should have won their division, avoided the whole thing. Credit the Giants.
    (Aside: Baseball is a series sports. It's based on series. Its schedule is based on series, its regular season is based on series, its championship is based on winning a series. To me, it seems like a departure to suddenly have a series sport determined by a single game. That's what Selig wanted. He was enamored with the ratings the Game No.163 got and wanted to assure there always one.)
  • I know out FO is quite secretive about they’re targets in upcoming FA, but has they been any discussion about bringing Max to STL? Or has Max himself said anything about possible destinations?
    The Cardinals have discussed their view of what it would take and what they would be willing to bid to sign Max Scherzer as a free agent this winter. What seems like eons ago, the Post-Dispatch reported during spring that the Cardinals explored the scenarios where Scherzer would be available this year via trade. Voila. He was. They didn't meet the price. Dodgers got him and Turner. And both teams still ended up in the same place, I guess. That said, a Scherzer pursuit is on the mind of the Cardinals, it's just not clear how much they want to bid on him -- years and dollars. He lives in Jupiter. He would be able to have spring training in his backyard, essentially, like Mikolas and Goldschmidt and Molina do. Is that enough of a draw for him? He hasn't said. And likely won't. He wants to pitch several more years, and while there is a possibility he maxes out -- no pun intended -- the dollars by going year to year on a high AAV, maybe there's a seam into the talks with the Cardinals. We'll see. Once all this season is done they'll have plenty of time organize an approach and also get intel on what the righthander from the St. Louis area and Mizzou is thinking.
    How does Flaherty's recent injury affect how his camp or the Cardinals look at a long-term deal? Will other teams be less likely to back up the Brinks truck with his second injury now?
    Other teams won't have a chance at him for another couple of years, so there's plenty of time for him to show his health and talent before he hits free agency. If anything, the window is there for the team that knows him best, trusts him the most, to jump the line with an offer that takes him into free agency -- the kind of offer that the Cardinals and Lance Lynn did not arrive at when he was up for an extension. 
    There is one significant wrinkle here.
    Again, the CBA looms large. The union is going to seek a change to the arbitration process and how young players are paid. The Cardinals and Flaherty's group are going to want to know those rules before they enter into any sort of negotiations about an extension/multi-year deal to avoid arbitration. 
    Does the whole team travel to LA and sit in the dugout or just the players on the wild card roster? Thanks.
    This is a tricky question because the wild-card roster is, effectively, the whole team. But let me try to answer this because I think you also mean injured players, taxi players, and so on. So, the entire 26-man roster will be in the dugout/bullpen, of course, for the wild-card game. Injured players on the major-league IL have been permitted in the dugout before, though I'm unsure how the new COVID-19 protocols will treat them. Good bet: If they're vaccinated they'll be permitted in the dugout. That brings us to the nine-member taxi squad. At least one of the catchers in that group (Ali Sanchez) will be permitted in the bullpen to catch warmups, and he can be in uniform for the game. The other players on the taxi squad have, according to past rules, not been permitted in the dugout, though they can be uniform for pre-game workouts. They'll be back in the clubhouse most likely during the game.
    How ironic would it be if Albert hit a game winning homer in the bottom of the 8th or 9th inning to end the Cardinals season? Also, did Albert force the Angels hand to release him?
  • I guess that would be ironic in the Alanis Morrissette use of the word ironic.
    Of course. He wanted to play. They didn't want to play him as much, didn't want to start him in general. They made the move. 
  • Give me your odds on Carpenter coming back to the Cardinals? Carlos Martinez?
    Less than 1:1,000. And zero.
    I haven’t seen Carlos Martinez in the dugout in quite a while and he wasn’t part of the celebration last Tuesday. Has he and the Cardinals effectively cut ties?
    It appears that way on social media, doesn't it? Though sometimes social media can mislead. Old pictures. False locations. You know how the 'gram goes. That said, Carlos Martinez has not been with the team, and it is clear to him and the team that they will not be picking up his option. If that hasn't been stated officially, he has been alerted of that likelihood. He was with the team not too long ago, playing catch at the ballpark. Did not see him during the last home stand. But during one of the homestands in September, he was with the team, with trainers, going through his rehab, getting evaluated.
    I like out chances against the highly paid Dodgers! When was the last time we beat Mighty Max?
    Sept. 18, 2019. He was with the Nationals. Cardinals defeated him in back-to-back starts in 2019, and he's 3-4 against them in his last eight starts (one no decision).
    Mr. Goold, thanks as always for the chats!! 2 parter: 1) Which 2 do you leave off the roster to make us stronger for the postseason, and 2) Biggest area of optimism and concern for the Cards going into the postseason?
    1) The roster is different for a one-game playoff than it will be for a series. So, immediately the Cardinals should remove starters like Jake Woodford and possibly J. A. Happ from the active roster for the wild-card game to get to 26. And if Jon Lester doesn't have a role out of the bullpen, then replace him with someone (a hitter?) who could contribute in some kind of bind/emergency. Maybe add a third catcher to the active roster so that frees up Knizner a bit more -- or bring a bat that the team thinks is a better option at pinch-hitter. It would be interesting if the Cardinals looked at the Dodgers lineup and said there is one pitcher who is on the Memphis' roster who would be used in a targeted role (Oviedo? Waddell? that kind of move) and then bring that person up for the one game. 
    It's most likely that Jack Flaherty and Andrew Miller will have spots like that.
    All of that changes for a series when there will be need to carry at least three starters, one long reliever, and a different assortment of bench help that will fill up the 26-man roster.
    2) Interesting question. The stride the offense has taken in the month of September quietly makes them one of the most versatile and difficult lineups to pitch to. The Cardinals can count on their defense, for sure. That's a strength. But there's a sense around the team that Scherzer hasn't seen the lineup working together like this -- and the Cardinals wonder what happens if Arenado gets hot, too.







    when will we know who is on the roster for the game with LA?
    It is due Wednesday morning. We'll have a good idea for sure Tuesday at the workout. But if you want to ask some specific questions about it, I've got a good sense of most of it now.
    Who you got as joining Rooney in the radio booth next year? My money’s on Horton full time.

    I do miss Mike Shannon saying, “The pitcher’s ready, so is the batter, and so is my partner Jack.” I wish it could’ve been brought back for Mike before he fully retires (maybe after the wild card?)
    It will be Rick Horton. That has been the plan for several years.
    Derrick,

    Thank you for today’s chat!

    If you were the POBO/GM, what moves would you make this winter? Please be player-specific!
    Corey Seager would be a good addition. Lefthanded bat. Plays shortstop. Frees up DeJong to play shortstop, spell Seager, be the DH other times. Handle third. Move around the field. Also gives Sosa a role as a righthanded option at multiple positions. If we're workshopping the best fits, hard to see a better one than that.
    The Cardinals will look to bring back McFarland and Garcia, and that makes a lot of sense. They also should look at the starters' market. Folks around STL will want that to be Max. I get that. He's going to have a lot of bidders for him. We'll see if the Cardinals have the stomach for that. But they should look to a starter, and Happ wouldn't be a bad move for them to bring back. They could shoot for someone just hitting the market, younger, but know that the commitment would be greater (for years and dollars), and there is something to getting just a one-year starter who throws strikes. 
    Derrick,

    Great column this morning!

    Who would you like to see as A) DH(s), B) 4th OFer, and C) SS, in the 2022 season?
    Thank you for the compliment. I'm never sure how to answer questions like this, because I'm not a Cardinals fan so I don't have that like/hope to see any specific player. I'll cover whoever and try to tell their story or explain how they ended up as Cardinals. I said Corey Seager earlier in the chat, and that's not because it's a move I'd "like to see." It's just more of a move that makes the most sense for what the Cardinals are missing from their current roster. Lefthanded bat stands out. I am happy to pass along who makes sense in these roles, who the Cardinals see in these roles or what they should do with these roles. But my personal wishes aren't a factor, really ever.
    A) They should approach the DH as a bonus and license to go out and find the best possible player/fit at any position and work from there. DeJong at DH or part of a DH makes a lot of sense for the current structure of the team. But using the DH to get Arenado days, Goldschmidt days, O'Neill days of rest is really the best use of the DH, and again gives them the flexibility to focus on the best bat they can get and then arrange the DH around that.
    B) Nootbaar has earned it. Burleson will get a long look. Plummer can make a case.
    C) Really unclear at this point. Three-way race between Sosa, DeJong, and outside options. A lot of this will really turn around the cost of the SS market and if the Cardinals want to be a big player in it, or if they see someone's value sliding and want to pounce.
    In your opinion, what happened that led Matt Carpenter to regress so much? I forgot he was a 3x all star and received mvp votes.
    Few hitters were more challenged by the shift in defense and advanced approach with pitching than Carpenter and Votto. They had to adjust within their careers, and they both found ways to produce. Votto had a tremendous season this year. There was also the back injury/soreness that cost Carpenter some time, and there's that phrase about once you have a sore back, you always have a sore back. You might have good days, but not a good back. That's certainly something that the Brewers are thinking about with Christian Yelich -- another lean, lefthanded hitter with that swing that produced several incredible years and then struggled this year. When people look at the career arc of Carpenter or other lefthanded hitters who have had to adapt or not to the shift and how the game has gone, I also want to point out all the lefthanded hitters who faded and never had careers in the majors like they would have had in the past as a result. It's been one of the major undercurrents of the past few years.
    Would you say that in terms of historic franchises, the wild card matchups this year are the best anybody can come up with?
    Yes. And the Cardinals' side of the bracket is a remarkable collection of historic teams. Really, the NL playoffs is a showcase of history.
    On one side, you have the three teams with the most NL pennants scrambling to get by each other to keep the others from another NL pennant.
    On the other, in the year after Hank Aaron's death, are the two teams from the two cities he called home as a player in the American and National leagues. The Braves, who called Milwaukee home for years and generations of Baby Boomers and WWII-era families, returning their former home.
    Storylines abound.
    Did you get the sense the Cardinals had a preference over who they played in the WC game? As a fan, I've been saying the Dodgers because although I think their chances of beating the Giants over the Dodgers in the WC game would be higher, that they'd be pretty much screwed facing the Dodgers staff on full rest and not having Waino throwing until game 3.
    They had to prepare for both and be confident they can win both. I imagine they would have preferred the two teams were playing today to determine the division title and weakening the pitching staff that one more day before facing them. But between the Giants and Dodgers, never got a sense they were all that fixated on one being a better matchup than the other. The Cardinals really felt they had to show they could go toe to toe with the Dodgers and splitting that series in September at Busch Stadium filled the team with jet fuel that became a 17-game winning streak. That gave them a new view of how they could contend with LA and they also have played well vs. SF this season, as you know.
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