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

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

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

    Alright, sorry for the belated start. Was polishing off something else and it's going to be that kind of day -- chasing the clock. This will be a sprint chat. There's a game to cover this evening at Busch Stadium. Albert Pujols is expected to be in Los Angeles' lineup tonight against the lefty Happ. Rick Hummel is on his way to Cooperstown to cover the Hall of Fame inductions. The chat will be on the go. I'll start it here and have to relocate to the ballpark for a bit later. Thanks for your patience.
    It is now. But that's always in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.
    Would you like too see a quality starter or bat in the off season
    Why not both? The Cardinals can do both. They should do both.
    Any plans by the Cardinals to show any of Simmons induction speech on the jumbotron
  • That's likely, yes. They've done that in the past, made it part of the gameday experience. You'll probably see portions of it several times in the coming home games.
    From what you've heard Matt Carpenter will finish the season on the Cards roster?
    That is the team's plan at the moment, yes. I know there's a lot of transactionlust out there in the social mediums, but the team has been pretty upfront with its comments and actions here. Let's be honest: A player who comes off the bench every so often is not really what's tethering this team to .500. The list ahead of a some-time player is long.
    Good afternoon to you, sir. If Chris Correa offered you the opportunity to do a no-holds-barred interview about his hacking of the Astros’ database, would you take him up on it?
    Of course. That's what reporters do. They seek out those interviews and try to tell stories that people want to read. I've sought out many many many of these interviews with key players on various subjects through the years and I've been turned down, over and over and over again. I've had trips canceled when the interviewee pulls out suddenly. I've driven hours for an interview scheduled -- that then doesn't happen. This is what a reporter does. And the hope is you land more than you miss, and when you do land one the questions rise to the occasion to get the answers for a good story.
    I am writing the 2021 Cardinals obituary. What is the cause of death?
    Inaction when it came to helping the pitching staff in June.
    Derrick,
    I know you don’t like the idea of elimination of the shift but I disagree. I agree that players should learn to adapt but it makes the game less appealing to watch. I would be ok with some modifications in infield placement on order to allow us to see a more traditional game that I believe is more appealing. Think of the fans on this one not just the players and their inability to adjust! Have I persuaded you at all?
    You have not. I enjoy watching teams outwit and outplay the other team, and for that reason I like the shift. And I relish the times when it works against a team, or when a hitter goes up there and foils the shift. We just have a different opinion on what we look for in a baseball game. I think it's fascinating when a team, late in a game, goes with five infielders to really create a wall and risk having all that space open in the outfield. It happens rarely, and it's cool when it does because a team is trying to win the game -- shaping the game to the strategy and score of the moment, and I love that.
    I like writing 45c3DP when we get to watch Nolan Arenado turn a double play at second. 
    The team that is better prepared and plays better benefits from a shift, and I am all for the best team using every possible edge it can to show off its preparation and its agility.
    The Cardinals won a title in part because they could neutralize Ted Williams.
    Have I persuaded you?
  • Regarding your story the other day about moving the fences in at Busch: how serious do you think the the front office is about it? Any idea about cost? Going by the "park factor" statistic at Baseball-reference.com, Busch is one of the three pitcher-friendliest parks in the NL, behind only Petco Park (by a hair) and just ahead of Citi Field.
    They are serious about exploring changes and the cost of those changes. It's not a given/guarantee that it's the walls they change, but that's the most obvious solution, and it's pretty clear where they would consider doing that when you look at the layout of the ballpark. 
    I'm so glad you brought up Park Factors. One of the snarky responses I got over and over and over and over and over and over and over again to that story was that the ballpark doesn't bother visiting teams.
    Oh, contraire.
    The Cardinals have a top-10 pitching staff at home, one of the top 10 ERAs, and opposing hitters and pitchers both talk about how Busch swallows offense. The Cardinals have a winning record at home despite having one of the worst offenses in baseball at home. Park Factors take into account the home team and the visiting team -- otherwise what good would that stat be? So, it's baked in. And this year -- this singular year -- Busch has skewed to the extreme, and in some cases is the worst hitter's park in baseball. That's something the Cardinals did not expect and need to explore so that they can explain why that happened.
    IMO the best position player FA for Cards would be Bryant or Seager. Pitcher Max. Do you think the Cards will be realistically involved with any of them?
    Two out of the three seem likely at this point. Seager has been of interest to them before, of course. He's never been available. They know they missed on Scherzer. Unsure about Bryant. But, as you know, it's their job to talk to agents, and they'll talk to Bryant's agent and you'll likely see a tweet that they talked about Bryant because they will. That's what they do. The fit isn't readily obvious at this point, but we'll see how that market -- and the CBA -- develops.
    Read your article again about the team admitting their mistake with scherzer. And I have to wonder, if there was worry that scherzer wouldn’t live up to the contract, was there any worry that fowler wouldn’t live up to his? Or Cecil? Or Holliday (who did live up to his)? There’s always worry that a player wouldn’t meet the expectations that come with a big contract but don’t the exceptional players have a far better chance? Even though those contracts come at a much higher price.
    Thank you for reading the article. Yes, of course there was, and you could tell that by the offers they made. Of the players you mentioned, two are position players. The Cardinals, like many many many teams in the industry, believe that a longterm contract given to a righthanded power pitcher and taking him deep into his 30s is a bad bet. There is ample evidence of that. In fact, Scherzer is the outlier -- and that is where the Cardinals and other teams missed. They should have gotten to know Scherzer better and whether he had the makings of an outlier (health, aptitude, mechanics, etc.) and not fixated on the risk models that we all know about longterm deals for righthanded pitchers. Very few (close to none) of those deals return the total value to the team. Position players are different. So, when they signed Dexter Fowler, you may recall we asked a lot about his role and whether they could be sure that he would age into the contract, or have to move out of center field at some point. The Cardinals had an answer for that. Or, felt they did. Cecil's deal was short because he's a lefty reliever, and that's a volatile area. Andrew Miller has been the best lefty reliever of his era -- arguably -- and look at his contracts. He wasn't signed to a seven-year deal. Neither was Cecil.
    This is what I try to convey often: The Cardinals are conservative when it comes to longterm deals. That's just it. They see them as problematic for their business model -- and now you can see why. Look at the deals they have on the books for players who aren't producing to those salaries. This is what they want to avoid, and this is why they talk themselves out of deals, not into them. They are risk management, like so many teams.
    DG- can you please help explain why Matt Carpenter should get a start over Jose Rondon at this point in the season? During a wild card chase. Against Mad Max. Not only is he getting a start but he's hitting 5th in the order while batting .177....I can't imagine another player in the league still getting that type of treatment considering how bad Carp has been for some time. This is mind blowing stuff.
    He bats lefthanded. He has had past success against Scherzer. Those were the reasons Shildt sided with. You can disagree with them, of course. But those were the reasons behind the start.
    I’m not saying they should cut carp or anything. But in my opinion, if they were going to rest arenado yesterday it would’ve been far more beneficial to see what yepez could offer this team. I still don’t understand why they felt the need to bring up Sanchez over yepez. Knizner probably won’t be used much as a pinch hitter anyway so leave him as the back up catcher and give yepez some at bats down the stretch.
  • The actions of the team suggest that they feel Knizner is a better major-league hitter at this point than Yepez would be. That's what their actions say, and there is definitely room for debate. Yepez does have 15 starts at third baseman in the minors this year, though most of his time has been spent at first base.
    Derrick, there seems to be a lot of comments from fans about Scherzer expressing a desire to pitch for a hometown discount before eventually signing with Washington. And Mo had no interest in even talking with him. What was the real story? Thanks
    The real story is the Cardinals were invited by Scherzer's agent to get involved in negotiations. There was no talk of hometown discount. Nothing like that. Boras welcomed the Cardinals entry into the mix for Scherzer, and Scherzer would have to. The Cardinals did not "engage" in talks, according to multiple sources on all sides at the time. They didn't participate. They did not make a bid for him. Scherzer remembered that lack of interest. The Cardinals acknowledge and have admitted it was a big whiff on their part.
    The Cards have lost three games recently while entering the late innings with a 95% win probability. And with one early season exception, the Cards never rally late to win a game. How much of this late game ineptitude can be put on Bill DeWitt and John Mozaliak for exposing a burned out bullpen due to lack of starting pitching depth and one of the weakest benches the Cards have ever assembled?
    As mentioned earlier, the lack of action to address the pitching issues in June led to a cascade of issues for the Cardinals. They had an innings crisis, and it was worn by the bullpen. All the walks, all the jarring appearances, all of it undermined what could have been a deep, strong bullpen and, sure, that goes to roster building. It also goes to roster use. It also goes to players execution.
    I get there's this need to find the one person to blame for something, but we're capable -- you and me, right here -- of having a more nuanced discussion where we recognize that there are other factors too. Not all are leading factors or prime contributors, but the execution of players is part of this. There have been times where the right person, the right reliever, the right process resulted in the wrong outcome.
    In Milwaukee on Sunday, the Cardinals had the right guy in the right spot when Genesis Cabrera entered the game. He did not execute. That pushed Gallegos into the game earlier. He did not execute. And that brought Alex Reyes in. He threw a fastball in a 1-0 count. Ballgame.
    We don't need to fixate on the one move or the one pitch, because we aren't limited to 240 characters here and can talk honestly about how the game came undone far before Reyes was even warming up.
    With the second half struggles of the big three in the bullpen, do we really think Reyes is an answer in the rotation, also has anyone tried to work with Cabrera to help him understand that throwing 99 with no idea is not better than 93 with location? This has gone on for too many seasons, you would think that with the number of pitch makers on this staff, that this might rub off on the chuck it as hard as you can kids. It’s very frustrating to watch, among a plethora of other frustrating things this team specializes in.
    Yes, coaches have worked with Cabrera on this. It's one of the reasons why he's been one of the best lefthanded relievers in the league this season. It's also a coach's job to do that, and if he wasn't doing that, he wouldn't be a coach for long. ... 
    I continue to think that the Cardinals should give Alex Reyes a genuine chance to start. It's overdue. And if they don't do it for 2022 then they never will, and another team will get that chance and then he might go all Lane Thomas, Randy Arozarena, Adolis Garcia, Luke Voit on the Cardinals, and I don't have the blood pressure for it.
    Been a fan for 50 years. Seen some really bad teams and some really good ones and a lot in between. The 2021 edition is not so good, but not the worst. My question....

    Seems like more modern views of bullpen management are arranged around match-ups and leverage... attractive L/R splits, win probably added/subtracted, etc. I was thinking the Cardinals were going to be adopting some of the match-up and WPA strategies to determine who pitches when, but it seems like Shildt's matchup strategy has been... close games with innings that start with 7 get Cabrera, 8 get Gallegos and 9 gets Reyes. This regimen allows the opposing manager to not only dictate the matchups he prefers, but at a time and and point in the line-up of his choosing. Seems like a disadvantage, or at least a self-imposed constraint.

    What happened to the adopting matchups approach?
    Great question. Multiple things happened -- but part of it was that the players fell into roles, succeeded in them, and there is a belief within baseball that players like that rhythm, like that knowledge that the game is going to come to them in X inning. That allows Gallegos to time his prep. That allows Reyes to set a watch for when he needs to start getting ready. Matchups introduce a little more chaos to that schedule, more improvisation.
    That's where guys like Helsley, McFarland, the Millers, and Garcia became so important to the Cardinals because they could offer matchups and "chase" relievers.
    (Chase relievers is what I'm calling relievers who try to hold a game close so the offense can chase down the other team. These are increasingly valuable in the game b/c starters aren't the ones doing that in the middle innings.)
    There were more reasons, too, so let's boil them down:
    -- The walks. There were so many walks from the bullpen that it sabotaged matchup approach.
    -- Did I mention the walks?
    -- Ineffectiveness, some of which had to do with the walks.
    -- Injuries. Notably the injury to Jordan Hicks. He was going to be a big part of that, and if you think about a Cardinals bullpen with Hicks and Reyes as late-game options, you can see how that would free up the other for that middle-order assignment in the sixth or seventh. That's a big part.
    -- Roster. Finally, the roster they had bent away from it for reasons above, too.
    Your comment that with the DH coming the Cards should get the best hitter available and then find a place for him in the lineup was very good starting point for 2022. Evan with money coming off of the books in 2022, do you think the Cardinals will have to get out of there comfort zone with payroll next year.
    I do not, no. I think they'll have to get out of their comfort zone when it comes to making a bid for a free agent and the length of that contract. Their payroll should be management for 2022. They have it in them. They have enough coming off the books. They can hew to the budget and still be a player in the market, in my opinion. It just means going longer in the contract than maybe they want.
    Do you think Woodford gets the nod to start on Thursday? Seems as though he has earned it and Kim is struggling...
    I think that is definitely being debated in the Cardinals' offices and is a likely outcome, yes.
    i.know cards are still thinking WC but when does reality set in and they so little things like try Reyes as a starter to prep for next season
    That won't happen this year. That's the last thing he needs -- to be asked to suddenly shift from short relief to starting is a recipe not just for injury, but poor outcomes.
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