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.

    Per the PD story, " Why isn't he playing? It is the proverbial rock and a hard place" Shildt said smiling. This is in regards to Sosa vs DeJong playing time. Question, did anyone get a chance to ask him why he was smiling? Because that situation isn't very funny. One player hits and is productive and the other is not right now.
    No one asked the manager was smiling because it wasn't a smile of celebration, it was a smile acknowledging the use of the phrase "rock and hard place," a smile of empathy.
    " You find out where you stack up. You can't ask for anything more than that" Shildt said. "You find out how good you are". In regards to playing playoff teams these last few series. As most of us have been saying, this team isn't good enough. And no, not the speech about the sum of its part BS, this team is not good on the offensive side of the game. Been that way for awhile. Need better players or better coaching. There's only 2 ways to get better.
  • There are way more than two. The Cardinals should explore them all to regain their place as a contender for the division title, which they are not.
    As a lifelong fan for over 50 years this team has been hard to get excited about since June. That being said I never miss watching Waino. What he is doing this year is so special. While I can’t go to games from Texas the fans in St. Louis need to show him extra “love” his last home starts to convince him to come back next year. We wouldn’t even be in the conversation about wildcard without him. Plus watching him “pitch” should be a lesson to pitchers about how baseball can be fun to watch. Thanks for the chats.
    Adam Wainwright was the MVP of the team in 2020. And he deserved at least a vote for the NL MVP in 2020. What he's doing this year is remarkable, and there is a good argument that he's the MVP of the team again -- at age 40 -- and goodness has earned the chance to spend a season with a real chance to chase another title before retiring.
    When the Cards fan see Pujols in another uniform this series they should realize that both Yadi and Waino would most likely not still be here if he had been signed. As much as the management is criticized it should get applauded for making this tough decision years ago.
    Correct. It is unlikely that both Wainwright and Molina would still be with the Cardinals if Pujols was, and if you pull the thread enough you find out that Goldschmidt wouldn't be, Wong would have left a year earlier, and I don't even have the ability to know what the multiverse would say about Arenado being a Cardinal at this point.
    Carlos Beltran wouldn't have been a Cardinal. So, does that mean he wouldn't have been an Astro. And does that mean that the Astros wouldn't be the tub-thumping group they became?
    Up next on MLB's What If ... ?
    If Sosa cools a little shouldn't the Cards give Dejong a last extended look to make sure before they move on which also might raise his trade value?
    I don't think it would do anything to his trade value. I don't see the showcase theory work too often, if ever at all. Teams are wise to that. This is a decision that awaits them in the winter, and they're not going to learn much from the final three weeks that they don't already know, and it's definitely a time -- until they're eliminated -- to play the players playing the best.
    Isn't it time to help Reyes both physically and mentally get ready for next season by stretching him out in some longer middle relief roles followed w a couple of starts once the Cards are mathematically eliminated (Fangraphs now at 4%)? This would reward him for this years effort and get him motivated to move into a much needed starters role next season.
    Stretching him out now does nothing for him when it comes to be ready to stretch out in 2022. He would just be covering innings, and then take a month off and then have to build up again. They need to be clear with him that his opportunity to be a starter in 2022 is real and that he will be rewarded with a chance, a legit chance, to be a starter in spring training. That's the best thing they can do for him in the near future. Stretching him out now would be theater. Let's have substance.
    Derrick - why has it taken so long for Schildt to even consider Garcia closing out games? McFarland and Garcia are the two best guys he has in the pen right now. I just don't get the reluctance to use them in the 8th/9th innings. All of us continue to scratch our heads at his decision making.
    Three reasons leap to mind:
    1) Need earlier in the setup/hold chain.
    2) Other options Shildt preferred ahead of him.
    3) Just getting to know him, not much track record.
    Didn't Scherzer's performance put another dagger into the home town as they were reminded how he wanted to come home to pitch but management decided his cost was too great? Was not signing him the biggest pitching mistake going back to letting another Cy Young pitcher in Steve Carlton go for $5,000. How many more pennants could the Cards possible have if these two pitchers were here for their careers?
    The Cardinals disinterest in evening make a bid on Scherzer is one of the biggest misses for the organization in my past 20 years of being at the Post-Dispatch. Huge miss. Costly. And it has informed subsequent pursuits. There's a line that connects the Cardinals' choice not to pursue Scherzer, their offer to acquire Stanton, and ultimately their push to acquire Arenado. I can see the thread tying and informing those actions by the team and I hope that I've done a good enough job through the years to show it to the readers, too.
    Hi Derrick, when a player has a salary escalation clause or contract extension tied to innings pitched, games appeared, plate attempts, etc., do managers try to make sure players meet those milestones? Is there ever interference from the front office to keep a player on the bench or in the bullpen?
    Some managers do. We've seen that. Getting a player in to finish a game when it might trigger something. I'm sure everyone has heard urban legends of teams massaging or limiting appearances to avoid triggering options. There were many questions last year on whether the Cardinals would do that with Andrew Miller. In the chat, I suggested that they would not limit his appearances to avoid the option, that Shildt was free to use him as the game dictated, and so that happened. A leading reason for that is because the backlash would be severe. That stuff isn't done in secret. It's pretty obvious when a team is doing that -- to the player, to the union, to the fans, to the reporters. It's news. So when it happens there is a definite backlash, and that will cause players/free agents to factor that in when considering the reputation of the team.
    Since Carlton was brought up in our “What if” game: Not sure how well it’s known that Carlton drove hurriedly to the stadium, prepared to accept the Cardinals’ offer, only to be told upon arrival that the Cardinals had made the trade literally minutes before, That’s straight from Tim McCarver.
    That is well-known story. McCarver has told it often. It's a great part of the lore of lefty.
    It seems strength and conditioning and nutrition has never been better, so why so many injuries? These players are China dolls......
  • Hardly. There are more injuries because we're better as a culture recognizing them. We have tools now that can see microfractures and stress reactions and players don't shorten their careers by playing through them. Moreover, there is more money at stake than ever so you're going to have decisions made differently for players based on injuries. Together, we can probably think of a dozen pitchers who had injuries identified in modern times that just 20, 30 years ago would have pitched through those injuries, had a more significant injury, and possibly never pitched again. Michael Wacha comes to mind. Ryan Helsley comes to mind right now. 
    The forearm injury that caused Kyle Lohse such issues would not have been discovered with out modern tech and the creativity/knowledge of a team doctor to recognize how to get a better view of what was happening within Lohse's forearm. 
    That's a $40 million diagnosis for Lohse. How long would that have been impossible?
    I understand why there is the frustration when there is this roll out of diagnoses, but that speaks to the level of tech/advancement we've made as a world. Just look at the number of different scans we've talked about. Ballparks used to have a x-ray-type machine available. It would show the big injuries. Now, teams have access pretty quickly to top of the line x-ray machines, MRIs, and ultrasounds. Just look at the lingo and how it's changed. I think we should still call concussions brain injuries, but that's another conversation. In my time at the Post-Dispatch, here are some descriptions of injuries that I've used:
    Groin strain.
    Sports hernia.
    Hockey hernia.
    Athletic pubalgia.
    Tearing of the abdominal wall.
    Those are all descriptions of the same injury that we've seen grow from being dismissed as a groin strain to something we know so much more about and we, as writers, can more adequately describe.
    Fragile dolls? Give me a break. You were right with your first sentence. Never been better.
    What player takes a leadership role when Adam and Yadi retire?
    Good question. It's an open question. I wouldn't discount Goldschmidt's role with the team. A leader isn't always the one that looks the part on TV. A leader is the one that acts the part when there isn't a camera around to see it.
    Are the Cardinals happy with the current OF group going into next year including the depth of Plummer and Burleson at AAA. Or would they consider Starling Marte in the offseason as a player that could lead-off, give certainty and add to the mix and match of a presumptive DH arriving?
    This is an interesting question because the answer is yes when it comes to just seeing them as outfielders and outfielders who could play the outfield for them in the coming year. There is a twist. The outfield is in play because they think the DH will be in play, and the DH could be someone currently on the roster or someone who plays outfield and shares those spots with the team, and that DH could come from the outside. The DH could be a way that the Cardinals consider adding a leadoff hitter, for example.
    So, yeah, they like their outfielders. Including Nootbaar. And add in Burleson and Plummer. But they also see that as an area where an upgrade/addition could play.
    Would spring training even start if there’s no labor deal? What percentage do you give for the season starting on time?
    No. Owners will have a lockout at that point, and players will not be permitted to start spring. I am pessimistic about spring starting on time at this point. There is a lot at stake and I hope that the deadline of a season starting -- not spring -- is what pushes the sides to recognize there is more to be lost than gained by losing part of the season. Losing part of spring doesn't apply as much pressure.
    Do you, or others, think stretching Reyes out next year for starting will help with his control?
  • I am currently developing information/research to back this theory, yes.
  • Arenado's stats look great, he's made plenty of great plays in the field. Why does it feel like his season has been so-so?
    No idea. That's in the eye of the beholder. He's frustrated by his average and his consistency, but he's been the player they wanted.
    Derrick: Is there a definitive diagnosis on Flaherty's shoulder? Would we know by now if he had torn his rotator, labrum, etc?
    He has a shoulder strain. And you're right that could be multiple things or an umbrella diagnosis for other concerns, so let's consider what he's doing, not what they're saying. He went out and played catch pretty assertively on Sunday. The team advertised that would happen Monday or Tuesday. Instead, we saw him recover Monday, and he was able to go out there and throw again. Today will be another stride for him. At this point, if there was something in the scan that screamed his rotator cuff or labrum or -- and this was the question -- the lat was in jeopardy of further damage, then he wouldn't be playing catch. They wouldn't risk their prized arm for that. So, actions always speak louder than words.
    Why wouldn't Wainwright be at the top or near the top of most Cy young ballots ?. What he has done this year is astonishing .
    With a strong September, he'll get votes, for sure. Scherzer is the leader at the moment. Hard to ignore what Mad Max has done. He's the best pitcher in the league by many measures.
    I asked Ronnie Belliard who was the leader on the 2006 team...Albert? He quickly snapped back, "Oh no...Yadi all the way! The clubhouse is run by Yadi." I thought that was quite "telling" considering Yadi had only been in the majors for 2 seasons at that point and it was such a veteran clubs. Can you elaborate?
    I cannot speak for Belliard. That's not my place, so I'm not sure how to elaborate on his opinion. I can only tell you my observations from covering that team. Molina was most definitely a force in that clubhouse. He had the faith of his team. He had the trust of the pitchers. He had the commitment of the coaches. And he had the adoration of his peers for finding a way to contribute every day to that team while also having the most frustrating offensive season of his career. He was a foundation for that team -- a steadying presence. 
    He's helped by his position.
    He's helped by the fact that he came to majors after two brothers did, and he was able to benefit from their reputation as well.
    He's helped by the fact that one of the first things he did in the World Series was stand up to Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz and tell them to stop the shenanigans on his watch.
    He's helped by all the hours he spent in spring training earning the respect of his peers long before they took the field where fans could see him.
    He's helped by having the best baseball IQ around and players recognize that.
    Two years? It didn't take two months of being in the majors for him to become a leader on the team, and that's because of the hours and months and years of work that he put in to become what may look from the outside as an overnight leader.
    I urge you to go back to Game 7 NLCS in Queens in 2006 and look at that game through the lens of being Yadier Molina's game. Check out how much influence he had on that one night. That was where it all came together for him publicly. But it was always there for teammates to see.
    DG - My memory is not so good, but your access to the archives makes up for it. What were the thoughts about the Birds about this time in 2011?
    To be fair, Twitter was not as dominant than as it is now, and thus negativity and toxicity is going to be less. I'm sure there were calls for the hitting coach's dismissal. That seems likely. It's a go-to that has weathered the test of time, from sports radio to Twitter. There was definite pressure on the front office, especially coming out of the trade deadline with the move of Rasmus and coming up on the free agency for Pujols. There was a lot of angst about that. That his career with the Cardinals might go out with a whimper.
    It would be an interesting project for someone more nimble than me to pull up the tweets from that time and compare them to today's. Comparing the tones of our conversations might really shed a light on how far anger has corroded it.
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