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.

  • The Cardinals expect Gorman to move to Class AAA at some point in the near future, and the general idea was to have him up there around midseason, if the performance merited. Well, here it is, and he's crushing the Texas League, as expected.
    Most of the players having strong years for the Cardinals in the minors are position players, which is reflected in the rankings, the situation with the depth, and the records of the individual teams.
    Alec Burleson has impressed. So has Jordan Walker. Brady Whalen had a three-homer game this month for Peoria if you're looking for single-game standouts.
    From a pitching standpoint check out Levi Prater's numbers and Luke Walsh's performance. Those two have stood out to me.
    Have any Cards pitchers had similar drops in spin rate from their season averages like you reported on Burnes?
    Let's look. Have been tracking this for the past few weeks. Give me a minute.
    Carlos Martinez, last night
    Four-seam fastball: 2,200 max, 2066 avg ... up 4.0 over season avg.
    Slider: 2,308 max, 2,101 avg ... up 25
    Changeup: 2,053 max, 1,901 avg ... up 42
    Cutter: 2,309 max, 2,191 avg ... minus-9.0
    Sinker: 2,059 max, 1,988 avg ... up 17
    Adam Wainwright, last start
    Curve: 3,198 max, 2,897 avg ... up 62
    Cut: 2,651 max, 2,489 avg ... up 67
    Sinker: 2,434 max, 2,250 avg ... up 4
    Changeup: 1,837 max, 1,716 avg ... down 11
    Four-seam fastball: 2,315 max, 2,197 avg ... down 39
    John Gant, at Wrigley
    Sinker -- up 69
    Change -- no change
    Cutter -- up 36
    Slider -- up 81
    Four-seamer -- up 65
    All of those are within that 100-rpm, give or take, window.
    Relievers aren't dealing in the bulk of the starters, but here's what Giovanny Gallegos did in a two-inning appearance following his hat being taken away.
    Slider: down 68 from average
    Fastball: down 49 from average
    Change: up 89.
    Baseball Savant has all the gooey, sticky details, if you want to have some fun sorting through the leaderboards or game by games or changes.
    Would Gant benefit from pitching out of the stretch all the time?
    Probably. I'm not a pitching coach, but probably.
    Thanks for the chat DG. Missed the last few on this end, so it's great be able to get you back. Statistics can be brutal in baseball. You probably recall that earlier in the season the Cards "yeahbut" on walks was that most were not leading to runs.

    That statistical ship has sailed lately. Now it seems like every walk or HBP somehow causes 2 runs.
    The Cardinals have given away 90 feet in bunches. No defense can overcome that many freebies. They goose the opponents offense, grease the base paths, however you want to say it. They are a benevolent pitching staff.
    If Shelby Miller is available what's the holdup. We aren't talking Arenoda trade complexities?
    A) He has other offers.
    B) He's trying to get the best offer from the suitors.
    C) He's going to make a call this week, at last check.
    Have you heard any more about the Shelby Miller reunion thing? I don't think he's a true solution for this mess, but it has potential to be a fun retread.
    I have. As mentioned in just the previous question, he was set to make a decision this week, could be as early today, or within the next few days, according to a source. He had at least one other NL team interested in him. The Cardinals offered a minor-league deal and a chance to go to Class AAA Memphis and perform for a promotion. Miller was intrigued. But he had the time to see if a major-league offer came, with a spot on the 40-man roster, or a better offer.
    Even if Kim returns this week he hasn’t been able to last 5 innings. Cards need much more help than that to compete with the Cubs and Brewers.
    This is the innings deficit. It's real. It's a real problem.
    Hey Derrick, in your article after last night's game you said "a game was lost on an error from a team that has clung tightly to its defense as a constant it could trust." I assume you're speaking about the Cards pre-2021? They're currently tied with the Padres for most errors in the NL and 3rd in MLB. Sosa, Carpenter, DeJong, and O'Neill are all making errors at a rate above 20 over a full season of games. Two of those guys are touted as part of the Cards "gold-glove caliber defense" that I still think we haven't seen for a full series this year.

    How much of this is the Cards missing Oquendo, how much is it issues with the current coaching staff or the players, and how much is just sort of "when it rains, it pours?"
    I am referencing what the Cardinals say they want to cling to. Can I be honest? I don't get caught up in the errors or fielding percentage as some measure of a defense. We've all seen Nolan Arenado commit three errors this season while playing shortstop on the shift and attempting plays some shortstops wouldn't attempt. Twice on Josh Bell. That's hardly some indictment on the Cardinals defense -- as much as it is a sign of what he's willing to try because, you know, he's one of the three best at this position some of us have ever seen.
    Check Defensive Runs Saved for a better stat on defense, and look who pops up there to help make my point:
    1. Rays 53
    2. Astros 35
    3. Padres 35
    4. Mets 29
    5. Giants 28
    Those numbers are from FanGraphs.
    The Cardinals clock in at 13th. Not great. Above average. Not where they should be. But they really haven't had Bader in center much this season and he's in the top three of their defensive positions, plus Edman is a plus defender at second base who is now playing right field. 
    I'm not sure what you mean by "this" when you ask about missing Jose Oquendo. Oquendo is still with the organization, still works with the fielders, still stays in contact with the fielders who turn to him for guidance, and he wasn't around much last season because he ran the camp. There are limbs from the Oquendo coaching tree all over the staff now -- Warner, Clapp, Marmol, and even Shildt all spent time with Oquendo in some capacity working with him on how to work with infielders. His influence is present even if he is not.
    The defensive turnaround for the team came when Shildt took over as manager. And it was helped by two things
    1) He often sided with the glove over the better bat (Remember the Arozarena thing?)
    2) Personnel like Wong and Bader to create an elite defensive, Goldschmidt's addition to correct a defensive deficit at first base, and now Arenado at third.
    Will they make Reyes a starter? They need emergency rotation help. Will they call up Thompson or Liberatore early? Or trade or sign someone?
    Shildt has told me again and again and it keeps coming up in the chat too -- so maybe this is how he feels when I keep asking it? -- that that won't happen.
    Since Reyes hasn’t pitched in so long, how will he pitch when he’s back? Will he last as long in his next appearance or not pitch as fast?
  • I'm not sure I follow the question. He's pitched three times this month. That's a concern. He's pitched twice in losses. That's an illustration of how things are going. He's throwing well. He might be the Cardinals' All-Star. He's a good pitcher, and he'll be fine.
    Derrick,
    Would you say that this season so far has humbled the Front office in terms of being overconfident in the pitching depth? Signing a couple extra pitchers this past offseason could have really eased the problems we have right now. Walker up in New York could have been had for relatively cheap and aided the Starting and Bullpen depth
    Probably not. It should. Not sure how many times reporters had to point it out this winter. When they traded Gomber in the Arenado deal they left themselves exposed to an innings issue, and they did not address it. They'll say they signed Wainwright. I'll counter by saying he was returning, not backfilling. They needed to replace Gomber.
    I feel that in previous deadlines the Cards have done some buying and selling to “shake things up”. Who would we be selling in this instance?
    I don't know. Still developing, honestly.
    When Jeff Albert was brought on he was known as a forward think/advanced stats/etc type guy. Maddux, definitely more old school but open to new ideas. I'm not an "off with their heads type" but wondering if there are any internal discussions of making the same leap they did on the hitting side (despite the seeming lack of results) with the pitching side. Thinking of how the Reds have teamed up with Driveline for example. Thanks for your coverage!
    Cardinals did this awhile back -- way, way, way, way back in the minors and were slower to do it in the majors. But they have as of this season. With Jeff Luhnow as his champion, the Cardinals hired Brent Strom to oversee the minors, and he brought a lot of the advanced, outside the box thinking, and elevated fastball and all of that to the minors and the Cardinals' pitching development blossomed. All the adoration and legend of Luhnow that seems to percolate online misses that Strom's departure from the Cardinals after 2011 was impactful. The Cardinals benefited from keeping Tim Leveque, who has continued and advanced and overseen the growth of the pitching development beyond what they had when Strom left, and he along with a few others have pushed the Cardinals to the brink of the pitching lab that Mozeliak imagines, has wanted, and does not yet have. 
    On the major-league side the Cardinals added Dusty Blake this season to the major-league coaching staff for the purpose of bringing his familiarity and nimbleness with the advanced pitching techniques and evaluations -- what you reference as Driveline -- the Cardinals' bullpen and dugout as a way to augment the coaches already there.
    You mention when it comes to pitching/trades, StL has no leverage, and it's going to hurt a little bit. What do you think that means, in terms of prospects or money? When I constantly hear Gorman's name comes up in trades for Scherzer listening to/reading MLB or Espn stuff, I scoff because everything that has come from the front office makes it seem like Gorman has been put into that 'untouchable' category that Carlson was before him, especially when it's for a rental player on the last year of his contract. What do you think that "hurt" means in prospect cache?
    I'm glad to hear you scoff. You should. If the Cardinals have to give up Gorman for a rental then the market is on tilt. I'm so glad you brought this up. There are guardrails for trades that help you consider what it will cost, and help teams determine what is the market rate. That's what they're both looking for -- they want the market rate, and then to nudge in their own direction a little bit.
    Look at the Arenado deal.
    As a baseline for that deal the Rockies wanted to get AT LEAST what they were assured of getting if Arenado opted out. That's the comp draft pick. The owner even brought this up. He said that they were looking at the value of the pick they would get, the talent available historically at that pick, and that they wanted that level of prospect in return from the Cardinals, and they wanted multiple of them to increase the odds of the return. Those comp picks are right around the 3rd-4th rounds and would look at who the Rockies got from the Cardinals:
    Mateo Gil, 3rd round pick
    Tony Locey, 3rd round pick
    Elehuris Montero, an international signing, and 10th-rounder Jake Sommers filled out the package that the Rockies put a potential production price tag on of $50m, and would you look at that -- that's the cash they sent with Arenado. Gomber moved the needle, helped the major-league team, and was from an area of depth, or was an area of depth, for the Cardinals.
    There is a method to these trades, and so many rumors lose sight of this.
    Two good places to start with when looking at what a trade might become:
    1) What would the team get if they didn't trade the player (i.e. comp pick)? The trade will have to include more than what the team could get without making the deal.
    2) How many years of control are being moved in the deal?
    While Arenado has two opt outs, the Cardinals also have seven years of control and had to pay a high price in control years lost to cover getting that much. In Scherzer's case, there are MONTHS of control. Not years. In Scherzer's case, he's already had a qualifying offer attached to him, so there's no comp pick. The Nationals are quite literally dealing from a situation where they won't get something if he leaves as a free agent. 
    Something is better than nothing.
    Oh, and they don't have the power. Scherzer does. He has a no-trade clause. If he wants to be traded and will approve a trade to the Cardinals, then the Nats have to work out the best possible deal. How does leverage like that equate getting the best prospect? Like I said. The market would be on tilt. It's similar to the Arenado deal in who has the power to compel the deal and how much asking-right his team has, and how many top-five prospects from the Cardinals system was involved in that?
    Thank you for giving me a chance to get that all out there. Hope this helps. I hope it helps informs the inevitable trade speculation that will grip us the next few months, and gives you something to bring up on the barstool when someone says they don't want to trade Gorman for a rental. You can walk them through how a deal comes together -- and what leverage there is or isn't for an ask like that.
    Hurt would be from the major-league roster. Hurt would be from the middle third of the prospect rankings. Hurt would be Jhon Torres. Hurt could be Andrew Knizner. Hurt would be Zack Thompson.
    Really liked the Cubs Nike City Connect Jerseys. When will the Cardinals debut? Any insights on how they may look?
    The Cardinals are not in the first wave of them, and it's not clear if they're in the second wave for 2022 either. No idea how they're going to look, though I've asked around to see if they even know.
    Derrick....... Is Baseball Spin Rate the same as St. Louis Sports Journalism Spin Rate ???
    Sounds like a sports radio question, Kevin. My keyboard is clean. There's not even Cheetoh dust. You can check it any time. And, trust me, I'll be wearing a collar shirt, too.
    "Apathy is the worst thing to happen to a fan base."

    Yeah well.... 5 walks in 1.2 IP will make it a bit difficult to feel much of anything for a team. As will giving up 10 runs per game once per week.
    I asked you a question last week based around how I viewed the teams hypocrisy when using advanced stats. Your responded that doing something like that wasn’t unique to the Cardinals. You have an example of politicians doing something similar. My question is what lies do you accept because they are “industry standard”, and which do you push back on?
    I do my best to push back on lies. I don't know of an "industry standard" for lies. Lies are lies. By definition, they should be refuted. My preference is to refute lies in person before doing so in print, so a person has a chance to not lie.
    But if they persist in lying then it becomes part of their description in any quotes because I owe it to the reader to point out that the quote they read comes from someone who is known to lie. That's only fair.
    I didn't know you were talking about lies. I thought you were talking about selective stat use.
    As a beat writer, I give the team its say by putting its say in quotes or attributing its say. And then if there needs to be a counter or clarity or context that's on me to write and offer in the adjacent paragraph. You'll see points in the coverage where there is a quote, and then the next paragraph illustrates the counter example or disproves the quote.
    Had to do that quite a bit a few years ago, as you know. 
    Alright, I need to relocate to the ballpark. Also probably should find that collar shirt because I'm just off the plane. Will resume this chat shortly with a kick to the finish from Busch Stadium.
  • Only 30,000 tickets sold for tonight? Heck, that's about what they were allowing in from the Mid-May increase. How much do you think the club's free-fall plays into only 30,000 tickets sold for tonight?
    Not much at all. Not as much as it's a Monday. Not as much as it's the Marlins. Not as much as we're just coming out of a pandemic and people are still finding their comfort zone with big crowds. Wrigley Field didn't sell out any of the games this past weekend. Was it the Cubs' record that did it?
    If the team continues to spiral, how much likelier is it that Arenado would opt out?
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