Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live end-of-season chat at 11 a.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live end-of-season chat at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s 11 a.m. live chat.

    Goodness. I don't see a pillow deal happening -- unless something has gone really wacky with the CBA and maybe there's a mad scramble in March? I don't know what series of events would lead to this being a possibility, not with a team like Texas possibly out there shopping or other teams in the market for a shortstop who would also love love love a pillow deal.
    Has Delvin Perez reestablished himself as a promising prospect?
  • Yes. But here comes the real test of their opinion. He's Rule 5 eligible (again), so did he do enough for the Cardinals to protect him on the 40-man roster given the other options.
  • Why would you want DeJong as your DH or even part time DH when he can't hit above the Mendoza line? The last time he hit above .250 for a yearly average was 2017. It's been all down hill since.
    A couple thoughts here:
    -- My statement on having DeJong at the DH was related to the Cardinals shopping for an addition at shortstop. So there would already be another starter at shortstop. And it's based on the fact that they would spend to make that move and then have control of a versatile, utility fielder who could also DH, and may actually be better offensively because he's not exhausted by the demands of shortstop.
    -- There are far, far, far, far, better ways to judge a hitter than batting average. DeJong saw a notable decline in his OBP percentage this season -- put another way, he made more outs. But he also slugged for a higher percentage that the previous year and raised his OPS with that slugging. It's not to the level of his 2019 season. He hit 30 homers and had a .762 OPS. (His career-best was back in 2017, his first year in the majors.) Yes, those numbers looks better coming from a middle-field position like shortstop, and the idea would be to get more than that from DH. But it's a sliding scale based on the roster possible, and if the Cardinals have a shortstop providing .850+ then they could look in a different direction for DH and see if that unlocks a hitter they already have.
    While also knowing that they have someone who can spell other fielders and do so adroitly, daily.
    That's all.
    The fanbase/media are clearly split into two factions with DeJong, those who believe and those who have seen enough. And while you seem to be in the former and I would love to understand why, what I don't get is this notion that DeJong is losing his starting job, not because of his glove, so somehow he should move to the DH? To me that is like saying "the guy is a terrible dribbler, let's make him our point guard."
    I'm in neither. As noted in the above answer, I'm trying to explain the way that the Cardinals could utilize a player under contract while opening up the possibility of pursuing someone else at his position. Goodness. I'm trying to show the possibilities.
    Should I just excuse them from the shortstop conversations by saying, hey, they have two on the roster, and they'll use that excuse for not bidding on the talent available?
    Would you prefer that answer?
    Too bad. Because it's not true. As a fan you should expect more.
    Maybe, you should hold the team to a higher standard, expect them to be involved in the shortstop market because they have the ability to use players and their roster in a different way to maybe explore a way to get better. And DeJong's versatility is an example of that. Because that's the truth. That's the possibility. That's what reporting reveals.
    Derrick,

    I see you've mentioned DeJong as a possible DH next year. GROSS! That's the equivalent of bringing Matt Carpenter back to DH! I get DeJong had a bad year and has value in defense, but he's been trending in the wrong direction and we need a "hitter" as DH (I mean it's in the name!!!), not a guy struggling to reach the Mendoza line. Cards can do better! DeJong is fine as a bench piece, but he can't be a starter. Thoughts??
    Thanks!
    I have thoughts. I've been trying to share them.
    Not seeing much ink regarding Libertore - is he progressing more slowly than expeted?
    Not at all. Right on target. High school pitcher. Did well at Class AAA. He was six years younger than the average age at his level. Six years.
  • Before extending Shildt, would Mo privately reach out to some of the core players like Goldy, Yadi, Waino and Arenado and take their temperature as to how they would feel about three more years of Shildt?
  • Do the Cardinals see Alec Burleson making a contribution next season? His rise through the minors was impressive this season?
    Yes. They are warming to that idea and see him as a possible contributor in a fourth-outfielder role. They are also going to see if he makes a Nootbaar-like impression with some spring playing time. Real eager to see what he does in March with the major-league staff watching.
    What does #4's future work in the game involve after retiring?
    As of right now, it seems like he'll be a guest at spring training and working with the young catchers there, continuing the lessons he learned from Ricketts and passing them on. He is the owner of a professional basketball team in Puerto Rico and has talked about being involved in the pro baseball leagues there, or part of the national team.
    It's a year away, but will the Cardinals be looking at a Knizner/Herrera tandem at catcher after Yadi's retirement, or should we expect one of the two to be available to other teams this upcoming offseason?
    That is currently the plan, yes. A shared spot between those two, and not a straight 50/50 but some combo of them both to avoid the mileage on them both and maximize what they can both offer. If Herrera grows into a 120-game catcher, the Cardinals will let that happen with performance/production and maturation on the job.
    The baseball pureists seem to have left the chat, there's no voice in the anti DH department.
    It would be something if the DH isn't added to the National league and for the next 5 months these chats are filled with "who will be the cardinals DH" questions
    I would imagine I've beaten them out of the chat with eight years or more of warning them. The Paul Revere of the DH, as I tried to be.
  • Reading your terrific story yesterday made me wince as I seemed to infer that Moz is playing the long game with Alberts and his hitting philosophy. Is a team that was 28th in RS last year, after not being in the Top 15 the 2 previous years, really going long with this AND possibly tampering with the minors by making it system wide? Because the successful hitters mentioned in your article included largely high draft picks to begin with. I’m not seeing the results with the club to begin with. Or maybe our park is just too darn big, and that’s the problem?
    Thanks for the kind words. Mozeliak has said again and again and again that he is taking the long game with Albert and the total-organization overhaul. He reiterated this to me last week at Dodger Stadium. The Cardinals have also invested in the infrastructure for this approach, too. They have the new facility in Jupiter, Fla. They have tech purchased for ALL minor-leaguers. They have made advances in how they use and become comfortable with that tech, and they have overseen a comprehensive approach that means all levels and all coaches are pulling from the same textbook, if you will, the same approach. If anything, this is an example of how they drifted and fell behind the times and are now trying to do more than catch up to the rest of the game -- they want to reclaim edge.
    They waited too long, fell behind, and now they feel they need to do things more rapidly, more widespread to get back ahead, or at least catch up.
    And, yes, the park is an issue.
    I've done what I can illuminate how Busch Stadium has gone to an extreme pitcher's park. There are several numbers that suggest it was the worst place to hit in the majors -- for every hitter, every team, that came in. Please know that park factors take into account visitors, too, so any use of those numbers isn't predicated on the Cardinals offense being poor. If anything it's the opposite, especially given the extreme nature we saw of the Cardinals this year.
    Consider the Cardinals played 81 games at home and 81 games on the road, and here was the Jeckyll and HIDE nature of their production:
    At home: 77 HRs (26th in MLB), 307 runs (29th), 127 doubles (15th), .241 BA (19th), .310 on-base percentage (.26th), .385 slugging (.25th), and a .696 OPS (27th).
    On the road: 121 HRs (fifth in MLB), 399 runs (seventh), 134 doubles (15th), .246 BA (sixth), .316 on-base percentage (10th), .436 slugging (fifth), and a .752 OPS (fifth).
    They were a bottom five offense at home. They were a top five offense on the road.
    Even if you fixate on the notion that they played in some hitter friendly parks like Milwaukee more often than other teams, then shouldn't you wonder what would be possible if they called Milwaukee home? Purely, from an offensive standpoint you'd have to wonder, right?
    Would that make them a better team?
    That's the question the Cardinals are exploring, because internally they feel the benefit the pitchers got from the ballpark no longer outweighs the detriment to the hitters, and there it might be making for a less entertaining ballgame.
    I never heard that comparison. Yelich is a lefthanded batter who plays outfield. DeJong is a righthanded batter who plays infield.
    What are the chances of resigning Flaherty? I just get a sinking feeling he wants out.
    He's under control through 2023, so there's the guarantee they'll re-sign him through then unless things change with the CBA and reduces the number of years it takes to become a free agent. Either way, the Cardinals and Flaherty are both going to see what the new rules are before making any sort of commitment either way. Also, Flaherty is coming off of two abbreviated seasons, and that will influence the offer he'll get compared to what he believes he can yet command.
    Did ownership not study the effects of Ballpark Village on ball flight prior to building it? It’s difficult to fathom they weren’t aware balls might fly 5-10 feet less with air currents around the ballpark affected. This setup does play towards our sinker-ballers and excellent defense, though.
    Of course they did. In the Post-Dispatch, we wrote often about the wind studies for the new ballpark, and how they conducted them, the models that they made, and how they looked at what would happen with the ballpark. If I remember correctly, one of the places they hired to look into it was based in Canada, but don't hold me to that. We wrote a lot about it -- but there have been years since we did, obviously. 
    Anyway, things have changed with a skyscraper looming over center field, so ... they'll pay for new wind studies and adapt. It's what people and businesses do.
    In your opinion, why was the Cardinal farm system such a disaster at all levels during the past season? It can't be because most of the players didn't play in 2020, since that was true of every organization.
    A lot of it stems from pitching, honestly. It just seems like at every level the Cardinals were scrambling for pitching consistency, pitching depth, and in some cases just trying to cover innings. There are some real ragged pitching stats from all those teams. I also got the sense that the Cardinals shifted some priorities this season -- away from what the record looked like in the standings and more what they could do to focus on health, strength, and development even away from the games. Looking through the stats, there was a real limitation on some of the pitchers as they came back from zero innings in 2020.
  • Has the FO said whether they'll be sending the TV crew back on the road next season? Danny deserves better
    That is not the call of the front office. That has nothing to do with the front office or baseball operations at all.
    That is entirely the decision of the team's broadcast partner, Sinclair (Bally's owner). It is Sinclair that used an available excuse to save money. And, yes, McLaughlin, the whole broadcast crew, and Cardinals fans deserve better. Given the ratings they get because of the presentation he leads and all the work that so many people there on the broadcast put in, the owner of the station should respect the history of the organization and quality of the broadcast. I hope 2022 shows that.
    It will be good to have that crew on the road again. Makes all the coverage better.
    Reporters traveled with other teams. They got the clearance to do so. Some teams folded their broadcasters into their protected tiers to make it possible. Plus, there were beat writers, like me, who made health and safety a priority and were still able to travel during a pandemic to provide coverage because our media outlet committed/invested in providing for the readers/subscribers.
    Derrick, have to disagree with your comment about timing didn’t affect Cards hitters in the wild card game. Go back and replay the at bats with the Cards middle three power hitters. It wasn’t so much that they didn’t hit, it was remarkable how many hittable pitches down the middle of the plate they swung through. Maybe not timing, but some of those pitches would have been hammered into the seats a week or two earlier.
    I didn't say that timing didn't affect the Cardinals. Their timing was off.
    I just question whether you can prove that has anything to do with the approach they took or the rest they got over the final few days of the season. I'm open to anyone who has a way to prove it. But I can find just as much anecdotal evidence that it didn't hurt as that it did. Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt got some days off, too, and they didn't have an issue. Plus, I'm reluctant to take credit AWAY from some of the Dodger pitchers and say it's because the Cardinals got rest that they were any good. They want to compete, too.
    Again, I just have a hard time connecting the dots. It makes for a great story, and I'd love to write the heck out of that fantastical, dramatic notion that the Cardinals killed their season by not keeping the foot on the gas yadda yaddda yaddayadda but it would be a dishonest story without proof. If you have that proof, my view is open to being changed. I've looked for it. I cannot find it.
    Derrick,

    Thanks for the chat!
    I also disagree that Shildt didn't disrupt the team's MOJO. I completely understand resting guys and getting them ready, BUT this was an unusual time....in the middle of a historic run streak/that propels you into the playoffs with just 2 series remaining. Ride the wave! Maybe give one guy a day off here and there, but don't send out the entire B lineup like it's a spring training game. Plus they had 2 days off before the WC game!

    Yes, I get injury concerns, but to me that shouldn't trump MOJO!!!! These guys are tough, they'd be fine. Take your chance riding the WAVE!!!!
    They didn't run out an entirely replaced lineup, to be fair. They split those days between the starters, and then they treated the final weekend a little like they treat the final weekend of spring training, which is the only other time of year you really see a team avoid injury to rev up for a game. In those games, you saw the full starting lineup (that was the hint that Edmundo Sosa would start at SS), and then they were all replaced at some point during the game. 
    Other teams did this. Other teams do this. Other teams don't then go zero-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Of course, other teams didn't face Scherzer and Kelly and the Dodgers.
    So maybe it's not the rest. Maybe it's, you know, Max, even when he's not at his max.
    DG,

    No evidence to provide, and yes Edman wasn't affected, or Goldy.....BUT it was the TEAM MOJO and swag that was stymied. And for no real reason to do so. Once we clinched, the next game was thrown away.
    We lost our invincibleness (is that a word?!?)

    Can't be quantified, but it definitely exists in sports!
    So why doesn't it exist for all teams? To me -- and I welcome anyone proving me wrong -- this is fitting the argument to the result, and doing so without real clear tangible evidence. I'm sorry. I get that this positions me to be the anti-romantic, the clinician in a land of wishers, the boring square at the party, but c'mon ...
    Mr. Goold: You could ask the players about the last five games of the season, but you wouldn't get an honest answer. You haven't forgotten the stir Tommy Edman's comments caused, have you? I doubt the players have forgotten about it.
  • I did. I can get an honest answer. It's why I put in the time and years on the beat so that I have the trust of people to give me an answer -- and so they know that I'll know when it's not an honest answer. Please consider for a moment that Tommy Edman's honest answer -- and the ones from Shildt around that same time -- were in fact partially because both of them knew the media knew what was going on. Shildt even brought that up. He said they were public about acknowledging the change in approach because a) it was obvious and b) he had fielded questions about the meetings/changes from the media. 
    Bruce, you've come to this chat for a long time, how do you think I go about getting answers for you? It's by knowing when an answer isn't honest. Otherwise, why do you come here?
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