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

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

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

    Touched down in St. Louis after a quick, smooth flight from Chicago -- and here comes the turbulence. If it's Monday, it's ChatDay. The Cardinals have a losing record. In 14 days they've fallen out of first place in the division and into fourth, they've been swept in back-to-back series against division rivals, and they lost all three games at Wrigley this past weekend. The pitching is thinned by injury, and when a pitcher provides an outing like Sunday's from Carlos Martinez the offense is absent. 
    You've got questions. I'll do my best to give you answers.
    Here's hoping we have a chance today to dispel some of the social media noise and wild speculation with some hard facts about opt-out clauses, what kind of prospects it really takes to make a trade, and the sticky stuff.
    Onward.
    When was the last time you recall seeing the Cards this bad (since 2000)? Add seeing ex-Cards flourish and getting beat up by your rivals, this is as low as I can remember the last 20 year or so.
    The 2007 Cardinals team stands out for how far it sank from the previous year. That was a season undone by injury, too, but also the moves that brought back a team that won 83 games over a larger sample size than a single October.
    Will a player's vacine status affect their trade value?
    It could, depending on how much the team acquiring cares to ask or cares to take that into consideration. I bet the talent/salary will be the determining factors, and the vaccination of a player may not be a heavy consideration at all. By now the teams that are going to hit that 85% threshold likely have, and the teams that haven't won't, and some of the enforcement on those teams seems to be loosening anyway.
    Hey Derrick, At what point do you think the FO would punt on the rest of this season and think about regrouping for 2022? I imagine this could be risky considering Nolan's extra opt-out
    It is unlikely that they "punt." They just haven't been that team. This isn't that kind of roster. And really what do they have to trade? The Cardinals aren't chewing their nails wondering about Arenado's opt-out decision. It would not be a factor in such a decision because the chances of Arenado opting out after this season are small. The second opt-out is the bigger deal.
    • Reyes and Gant need to swap roles.
    • Liberatore should be in the rotation when the Cards play Atlanta on the road this week.
    • Carpenter should be DFA’d… now.
    • Jeff Albert should be relieved of his duties immediately.
    That’s fine if the Cardinals don’t want to do any of these things but for God’s sake do something.
    1) Shildt has nixed this notion when I asked specifically about it, twice.
    2) That would be a dramatic, aggressive move. They need something. Not sure this one makes sense, but hey it's better than doing nothing.
    3) That doesn't get them anywhere at all. A DFA removes him from the 40-man roster and buys time for a trade to happen -- for what purpose? To put Liberatore on? There are other ways to do that. If you mean release, say release.
    4) All of them? Because he is in charge of the hitting/offense infrastructure throughout the organization. Or, would you reassign him from the major-league dugout.
    How does a full stadium give the Cardinals any advantage in seeking deals compared to other .500 teams?
    A little, for sure. It will increase the revenue they're pulling in through the stream that they tie -- or have tied -- to payroll, but teams throughout baseball are getting back to full capacity. The Cubs this past weekend talked about how some of the financial limits they expected to have and put on the front office are lifting with ticket sales and crowds. Would be the same thing in St. Louis.
    Mo, Albert or Maddox, who is on the hottest seat?
    They all are at this point, honestly. The most urgent move is the front office's to make.
    Can we make sure the next hitting coach has a super thick notebook on how to beat Kyle Hendricks?
    Does it come with a Volume 2: Solving the Zach Davies Riddle?
    Derrick - you mentioned last week that Max Scherzer is on your "should have been Cardinals" team. Who else would you put on that team?
    David Price. Troy Tulowitzki. Those are players that they actually did try to acquire via trade and, in Price's case, as a free agent. Those two stand out. Could probably put together a team of players. Josh Donaldson would be an interesting name to discuss. Chris Archer. I'm just thinking of the players the Cardinals pursued a few times over the years, and in some cases they pursued them several times -- like Matt Holliday or Nolan Arenado. Maybe I should give this some thought and come up with a complete list. I'm sure chatters could come up with other names.
    New subscriber I was missing your Cardinal coverage. Could DeJong be trade bait as we have Sosa and Perez? Does DeJong have trade value is the bigger question?
    Thanks for subscribing, Ed. Glad to have you. And we know that we have to earn your investment. There's a deal going on now for six months at $1. Pretty good.
    Yes, Paul DeJong has trade value, and that would be something the Cardinals are more willing to discuss with Edmundo Sosa playing as well as he did. Delvin Perez is not really in this conversation at the moment. He's at Class AA and his focus this season is on reasserting his place on the depth chart and as a prospect, not speeding toward the majors. One stride at a time. DeJong is considered a solid/above average shortstop with the ability to play other positions, he has power, has been streaky as a hitter, and he's got a friendly contract for a team that sees him at any position in the infield, honestly.
    Mr. Goold: You are Mo. What do you do to turn this around?
    This would allow me to wear a bowtie again. It's been a while. Had to give them up.
    I trade for a starting pitcher, post haste. I have no leverage. It's going to hurt a little bit. But I'd like to hear what Texas would want to part with Gibson. That seems like a good place to start. Plus, bring in another pitcher, possibly for Class AAA to add to the depth there. Reinforce the pitching staff with those moves. They've already lost a week -- almost literally.
    Derrick, have you heard anything from the organization about any special events for tonight's game? Didn't know if they had anything planned as this is the first game back with full capacity. Thanks!
    Have not heard any specifics about "reopening day" like events. The schedule isn't helping the Cardinals out in that regard, not like what you saw in Chicago over this past weekend where the visit from the Cardinals coincided with Wrigley opening up full. At last check, the Cardinals have sold around 30,000 tickets for Monday night's game. They don't expect it to be a sellout. In fact they don't expect to have their first sellout for a while here. The Cubs/Giants home stand coming out of the All-Star break will likely see that first big wave of fans filling up Busch Stadium.
    They've laced the next few home series with giveaways and reduced price tickets, so they're trying to move merch with some added lagniappe.
    Carp has been doing better. But is there a correlation between his swoon and when he began selling salsa and began umpiring more?
    There's not, no. Not that I can tell.
    Why all the hate for Jeff Albert but Mike Maddox gets a pass? The pitching has been terrible. So many walks, so many pitches thrown, command issues. And every pitcher that gets an 0-2 count then seems to want to nibble, nibble, nibble trying to get the strikeout. With one of the best defenses in the game behind you, pitch to contact and let the defense keep your pitch count low. At this point, I'd send Maddox packing before Albert.
  • Judging by the questions in this chat -- and previous ones -- the pitching coach has not escaped criticism from chatters, from users of the Tweeter, and from questions posed to the front office and manager about the issues with walks.
    If curiosity killed the cat, will complacency will the Cardinal?
    Fan complacency will. Apathy is the worst thing to happen to a fan base.
    Derrick,

    Could you define "spin rate" please, What does the batter see - or not see. What does the umpire see and can they suspect something is being doctored.
    The eyeball isn't picking up the spin rate of pitches or the optics of what it does to pitches, not at the rates we're talking about. When we talk about spin rate we talk about it for different pitches and how it impacts the way that pitch behaves, most notably its movement against the air, friction, and gravity, and we're talking about 2,000-3,000 rpms of spin rates -- that's 2,000 revolutions of the baseball per minute. That's too fast for the naked eye to see, and a notable difference in spin rate is when a pitcher's spin rate jumps by more than 100 or decreases by more than 100. 
    A recent, intriguing example of this happened for Milwaukee. Corbin Burnes, one of the early season leaders for the Cy Young Award conversation and likely All-Star threw all five of his pitches in a difficult game against Pittsburgh. This is what his spin rates looked like, to give you an example, pitch by pitch, and what caught people's eyes:
    Cutter -- 2,899 max rpm, 2,658 rpm average ... down 163.0 from season avg.
    Curve -- 3,032 max rpm, 2,864 rpm average ... down 61.0 from season avg.
    Changeup -- 1,880 max rpm, 1,740 rpm average ... down 129.0 from season avg.
    Slider -- 2,921 max rpm, 2,781 rpm average ... down 96.0 from season avg.
    Sinker -- 2,494 max rpm, 2,642 rpm average ... down 158.0 from season avg.
    As you can see all of Burnes' rpms dropped in his most recent start, some of them dramatically. His velocity did not. So he was throwing as hard with less spin rate.
    You can also see how the spin rate changes from pitch to pitch based on the movement you'd expect from that pitch.
    You'll here pitchers described as high-spin rate guys. Daniel Ponce de Leon went to a pitching lab to find out how he could better use his pitches, and he came away with information on being a high spin rate guy and what that meant for his fastball. It's what gives it that look of late life or rising illusion when he elevates it in the zone. That's part of this spin rate revolution -- a revolution revolution, if you will -- and that higher spin rates at higher velocities play up in the zone. There's also a measure of perceived velocity. The Cardinals have a couple of relievers that benefit from this -- it's what, based on the movement and spin rate of the pitch, the batter thinks the pitch is traveling at, whether it is at that velocity.
    Baseball Savant measures "active spin" and that is the amount of spin that contributes to the movement of the pitch. The example given is that a football has "gyro spin" so the spin is not contributing to the movement of the ball. The closer a pitch gets to 100 percent active spin, the more that spin is creating the movement on the pitch. The Cardinals have a few of the leaders in this category.
    Kodi Whitley is at 99.6 on his fastball.
    Genesis Cabrera is 99.2 on his fastball.
    Giovanny Gallegos is 99.1 on his fastball.
    They all rank in the top 21 in active spin.
    On a scale from 0-10 (10 being absolute certainty), how confident are you that the DH will be universal starting next season?
    What are your thoughts on the club’s decision not to sign one of the free agent starters a couple weeks ago? I think we all agree that there is no ace out there and understand it would take a couple weeks to ramp up but don’t you think one of those guys could give us better than 2 innings of 4 run ball?
    I think it was risky not to sign one of them and start to create insurance for the team. They could have worked on parallel tracks. Acquire a free agent to prep for later -- when they'll need pitching, because they will. Acquire a free agent now, like Shelby Miller, to add depth to the organization and possibly a callup in the coming weeks. Trade for a starter to get some certainty before an innings crisis begins and the season craters. But that's just me.
    Hi Derrick. Is it too late in the season to stretch out Alex Reyes to start and send Carlos back to the bullpen where he was excellent and, most importantly, predictable. He was great yesterday but every time he takes the mound it's like Forest's box of chocolates. I realize the team would never do this, as it's tantamount to an admission they screwed up by not stretching Reyes to start from the beginning. But is there any doubt Reyes's future is in the rotation? Let the future be now. What have they got to lose?
  • It is, according to Shildt. I've asked about this twice over the past two weeks -- about moving Reyes to the rotation because it needs help. Shildt said it would be too much to ask, too tricky to pull off. His exact phrase, and you can still find the story at StlToday.com about this, was that it would be the team "robbing Peter to pay Paul."
    The organization is fighting back the doubt that Reyes will be in the rotation next year, and they'll have to find their own tendencies to want him in the ninth inning.
    Every ones clamoring for a trade. Who would want what the Cards can afford to trade. No team that I can see. Is a outright contract buy allowed by MLB, or does it have to at least a player to be named later?
    The Rangers bought Adolis Garcia's rights from the Cardinals, so it is possible.
    The Cardinals have prospects to trade. They do have players they could move.
    Do you think the Cardinals or front office will make any moves or trades
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