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.

    The front office's goal was not 90 wins. I cannot repeat this enough. It just isn't. How this got into the bloodstream, I'll never entirely understand, and I'll probably spend most of my career writing about the Cardinals haven't to refute it. I guess. That and Yelich. Until there's something else. That is an outdated, overly quoted, and overly simplistic statement attributed to the front office/ownership that I am now convinced as many times as I explain it I'll never be able to get to everyone.
    Heck, these days it takes 95 or more to win a division. So that number has been updated. Ownership acknowledged 90 wasn't enough to win the division about five, six years ago. Not sure why that hasn't caught on.
    They know the team needs to improve for 2022. But there are lessons of how they can do it from this past month. There's something to this offense -- especially on the road (hmmmm). This defense is elite -- maybe get a pitching staff that takes advantage from it from the get-go. There is no such thing as too much pitching depth, and the Cardinals recently admitted that the questions they dismissed in spring about the need to add a starter (ahem) were fair and that lack of depth cost them in June. Not all of these players are coming back for an encore. So there is natural churn to get better.
    not to jump to much to the future, but this team could look good next few years if they maximize the upcoming roster spots leaving for free agency. not sure how much money is coming off the books but i'm more excited that this will be a good time to clean up the roster and maximize it. any idea how many spots may be opening up this winter ? thanks
    All eight position players who will start the WC game are under control for 2022, as of now. The Cardinals have at least five returning starters under control for 2022, and they have their closer under control for 2022. Setup men Garcia and McFarland are free agents at the end of the season, though both are expected to be approached about extensions with the Cardinals, and both have said they will entertain the idea of returning. 
    There is significant money coming off the payroll: Carpenter, Martinez, Miller, Fowler, and Kim. There is also significant money coming onto the payroll: Harrison Bader is going to get a substantial raise. So is O'Neill, and Flaherty is also due a raise via arbitration.
    Should Waino get in trouble early, who's first man out of the bullpen? Related question, should Waino get in trouble early, how much leeway will Shildt give him to work himself out of said trouble before turning to the bully?
    Mikolas or Hudson are positioned to be in that spot. We'll know more about that on Tuesday -- but also as the circumstance presents itself on Wednesday and what the score is and how much of a scramble the Cardinals in, etc. I find your use of "bully" as nickname for the bullpen fascinating, because it made me think that Shildt was going to have to "bully" Wainwright to get him out of the game early. You bring up an interesting question, and it's one that Shildt addressed: He said there are examples of Wainwright getting better as he got later in the game, and that Wainwright as a veteran is someone who would trust to get through choppy starts, choppy innings, and then cruise. He said specifically when I asked that they were not going into the game looking to get four from Wainwright and then moving on. Actions will speak louder than worlds, and we're all eager to see how Shildt utilizes that bullpen with nine innings between the Cardinals and elimination.
    Hi Derek, do you think the recent success of some of the Cardinals players who have been traded away has any affect on the valuation other teams have for their current crop? I'm thinking specifically about Justin Williams here. It is not hard to squint your eyes and see how JW can become an electric bat, but doesn't seem to have much of a place on the team anymore.
    It plays into as validation of existing views of the Cardinals' system. Look, teams traded for these players like Arozarena, Thomas and such because they had favorable reviews of them. They were prospects highly rated within the Cardinals organization, and ranked outside of it, too. The Cardinals do have a reputation throughout the majors for identifying and nurturing talent. Heck, it's a joke with some teams that they'll trade a player to the Cardinals to become a star, and yet the perception is recently -- and it's got a lot of substance -- that recent deals have gone the other way around. How Cardinals fans feel about Arozarena in October is how Seattle's front office has felt about O'Neill in September. They got Gonzales who was a big part of the bid the M's put on for a playoff berth. The Cardinals got Liberatore (and an open spot on the 40-man roster), and the Cardinals see Liberatore as their top pitching prospect.
    All of this is to say:
    -- Opponents have a favorable view of the prospects from the Cardinals system because there is talent in the system, and the Cardinals have a reputation for developing that talent and playing a strong brand of baseball in the lower minors to prepare players for the majors.
    -- The performance of the players who have moved elsewhere validate that existing perception.
    Barring some sort of historic collapse this fall, Shildt would seem to be in line for a contract extension in the offseason, correct?
  • Correct. Spring at the latest.
    Wouldn't it make a lot more sense for teams to have, say, a 24-man roster for the wild card game? The way it's set up now, since teams don’t need all their starting pitchers, they get to have a bigger bench and/or bullpen than in the regular season and rest of the playoffs. Seems weird.
    No, because that would cost two players jobs. Why do that? As long as the rosters are the same on both sides and there are limits on pitching, it seems like a one-game playoff is just fine with 26.
    Mr. Goold: The manager got plenty of credit for the winning streak, but should he get any of the blame for the loss to the Brewers the stopped the streak? Yadier Molina was out with an injury and he did rest three other starters. As far as I'm concerned, he waved a white flag with the lineup.
    No. That game did not matter in the standings, and the Cardinals -- as a team, as players, as ownership -- prioritized winning in the playoffs over continuing the streak. If anything, the manager, since your asking, made the move to give his team the best chance to win, he felt, in the game that matters most to the team, and he, at the same time, showed faith the backups that they could compete.
    I don't remember any Cardinals fans saying the Cardinals should give back the 17th consecutive win and the clincher when the Brewers made choices based on resting their players, like the starter. 
    Winning this week in the playoffs is more important to the 2021 Cardinals than extending a club record winning streak that was already the longest in club history and one of the longest all-time.
    It's great to be still chatting active baseball and even better to be chatting baseball with you DG.

    It's safe to say that starting pitching will cause an ongoing dialogue this off-season. Why wouldn't Jake Woodford expect to hear at the start of spring; "you are in our rotation. A spot is yours until somebody clearly takes it from you?"
    Thanks for the compliment. And you make a good point about Woodford. He has done nothing but prove he belongs in the competition, affirming the high expectations and view of him that at least one member of the front office has had for several years now. He'll have to compete for it. So he's not going to come into spring as an incumbent, but he is going to come into spring training as a priority starter -- that is, someone who will have to be dislodged from assignments meant to get him ready as a starter for the regular season. That is how the roster currently shapes up for him.
    Why is there no discussion of bringing Liberatore up to the pen? Seems like an (left handed)X factor who has been pitching well at Memphis.
  • A few thoughts:
    -- There is internal discussion about that.
    -- He is not on the 40-man roster and that's a huge part of the discussion. To make him eligible for the postseason, he would have to be added to the 40-man roster a year before necessary to protect him, and that means one fewer person the Cardinals can protect from the Rule 5 draft. So, is adding him to the playoffs worth losing Perez, Yepez, Plummer, or any of the other handful of players that have to be protected in the Rule 5 draft? That move has costs.
    -- Finally, he'd be asked to do something he hasn't in a role that is new to him at the highest level, where he has never pitched, in the most important and highest stress games of the year. 
  • Wouldn't it be better for both parties to trade DeJong? He's been bad for a long time. Give him a new start with a non contender and let him build confidence back up.
    I don't agree with this. Depends on the return, of course.
    Mr. Goold: Regarding your answer to my previous question, what you are saying is heath trumps winning. Did the manager tell the players to watch out how they sneeze, or be careful going down stairs, or be careful how you handle a huntng knife? If he didn't, he should have.
    That's not what my answer said at all.
    Health trumps winning a game that does not matter.
    That last clause is essential. That's why I wrote it the way I did.
    That game had no bearing on the standings, no change to their seeding was possible, it just did not matter at all except for the winning streak -- a record they had already set and extended by three games.  
    I’ve been trying since 1pm to get on the Cardinals Facebook page. Is FB down?
    No clue. I'm not in tech services at Facebook. I've been in here answering your questions.
    Winning in the postseason > Winning meaningless games during a season to extend a streak.
    Say it louder so the back rows can hear you.
    So if the union gets its way in the CBA, there wouldn’t be an issue of adding Liberatore to the 40 man for the playoffs?
  • I don't understand the question. These are not related at all. There would be an issue, yes. I don't know what issue for the union you are applying to this situation, but I don't see how any of them would change the situation today for Liberatore.
  • Facebook is down. Has been for 4 hours. Their largest offline period since 2008.

    Please file all complaints to Derrick Goold on Twitter.
    The 90 win goal came out of Mozeliak's mouth a few years ago. That is how it wound up in the fans' bloodstream.
    And then has been explained over and over and over and over and over and over and over again with the clauses that he put around it, which seem to be ignored.
    The 95-win number came out of ownership's mouth a few years ago.
    How come that isn't cited more often?
    How have the current Cardinals starters faired against Scherzer?
    Let's go through it with the lineup first:
    1. Tommy Edman -- 4-for-9, HR, 0 BB, 2 K
    2. Paul Goldschmidt -- 5-for-32, 1 BB, 16 Ks
    3. Tyler O'Neill -- 0-for-3, 2 Ks
    4. Nolan Arenado -- 2-for-10, 0 BB, 5 Ks
    5. Dylan Carlson -- 0-for-7, 0 BB, 4 Ks
    6. Yadier Molina -- 1-for-17, 0 BB, 4 Ks
    7. Edmundo Sosa -- 1-for-3, 0 BB, 1 K
    8. Harrison Bader -- 2-for-10, 0 BB, 4 Ks
    Likely bats off the bench with some history:
    Matt Carpenter -- 7-for-28, 1 BB, 9 Ks
    Lars Nootbaar -- 0-for-1, 1 K
    Paul DeJong -- 4-for-13, 1 BB, 5 Ks
    Yes, Edman has the only homer against Scherzer on the team. The roster, as a whole, has struck out 56 times in around 150 at-bats against Scherzer. That same group has 26 hits.
    Derrick: The one thing I'd like to see the Cardinals do in the off-season in terms of the lineup is chase OBP. I can't imagine how good this lineup could be if they had a .370 OBP leading off (or something even close to that). Even with the hot bats down the stretch, the Cardinals finished 11th in the NL in OBP, which is a big reason why, despite tying for 5th in BA, they finished 10th in runs. Obviously SS, 2B and DH could all be places to find that. Is this an area that you expect the Cardinals to pursue? If so, who might be some possibilities?
    It's a good idea, and it's one the Cardinals themselves embraced after they hit the reset button on their approach in the middle of the season. They're best as an organization when they are ranked high in OBP, and you trace the reasons why. A high OBP was a hallmark of the teams with McGwire as hitting coach, and that carried into the first year or so of Mabry too as the Cardinals led the majors in runs and had that absurd RISP production. All of that drifted as the game changed, hitting changed, and the Cardinals chased power, power, power, and didn't get the return on the strikeouts. 
    That said, you might want to dial back that goal of .370.
    There were only 17 hitters who had enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title who had an OBP of .370 or higher in the majors this season. Pittsburgh outfielder Bryan Reynolds was in that group, and he'd be a fascinating addition to the Cardinals if they could pull off the trade, but would he slide one of the existing outfielders to DH? Sure. That would meet your requirement. Dial it back a bit, and count on improvement like the Cardinals have seen in the second half and you'll have something. Your spot on with the idea of chasing OBP, considering leadoff hitters, and this is going to be a theme of the winter -- chase the best bat. Figure out the position later. With the DH in play.
  • If Waino leads the Cards to a WS championship...as in the MVP of the series...does that close the gap and get him into the hall of fame?
    I'm not sure. But it would be a running head start into 2022 where every thing he accomplishes would be seen through that lens of sharpening, burnishing, polishing -- whatever verb you want to use -- underscoring a Hall of Fame career. It would get that conversation into the conscious as part of next year's achievements, instead of next year's achievements being the springboard for conversation after the season about his Hall of a resume.
    Tough schedule next year with AL East, It means Tampa, Boston and NY. Would expansion of 2 teams create a balanced schedule so everyone faces the same opponents,
    It would. But they could also do it now. They won't do it for 2022. But they could for 2023 without expansion at all. It is possible.
    I dont know if you read the article from Ken Rosenthal a few days ago about the Padres collapse, but much of it focused on Preller and how he has an incredibly intelligent baseball mind, but horrible leader of a FO. If the Padres move on from him, do you think the Cardinals would be interested in adding him to the FO (even though he probably would want another GM job, this is purely hypothetical) in some capacity?
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