Probably not. Same thing could be said about Matt Carpenter's contract extension, which was also done earlier in the year. But that's how teams operate. They sign players to extensions based on the information they have, not what happens in the months that follow. Every team I've ever covered would prefer to pay in hindsight. None have figured out how to do that.
Didn't get the sense that they were shopping him. More likely they didn't want to lose him when rosters were in flux, and may try to pass him through waivers at a time after the rosters are set and teams are less likely to add to the 26-man roster. They would have spoken to other teams to get a feel for how likely it was that another team would nab him. That is part of the intel teams try to gather before making a roster move. Teams would be reluctant to make a trade like that if they know they can get him off waivers, and they're looking at their own decisions re: options and rosters for opening day.
Justin Williams had a strong spring. He bats lefthanded. He is comfortable and strong in right field, and that's where the Cardinals have an opening. Also, he bat lefthanded. The Cardinals have wanted to add some balance to their lineup with an additional lefthanded bat, even with the two switch-hitters in it. They've long suggested that he could be that guy if he continued to improve on what they saw from the past calendar year, even without games. And he did. He hit the ball hard, and he hit the ball often, and he made his case in spring to be on the roster whether Harrison Bader was injured or not. Would not have all been a shock if the Cardinals went with Williams on the bench -- or if they went with Carlson in center and Williams in right, as they were about to do when Bader had his injury. Thomas did not take advantage of the opportunity. He struggled this spring, and he had lulls in his performance after a strong burst of a start. He had the chance this spring to overtake Bader as the starting center field -- it was a longshot, but the Cardinals were open to that possibility. He did not do it.
We'll see them utilize matchups and defensive factors to set the outfield, and we're going to see that in the near future, too, with right field specifically. That's how the playing time will be set up and set out for the right fielders Williams and Dean. They'll look for favorable matchups against handedness and style of pitchers.
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Good question. It depends on the point they're trying to make, apparently.
If he doesn't play in 2021, that would definitely make it difficult. I don't think they're in the "evaluation" phase with Bader.
There is definitely a lightness to the team as of today -- some sense of optimism appears to have enveloped them as they leave Florida, near the vaccine, and see a full season coming into view. That is definitely the case. First real buoyancy to the team was clear, even via Zoom, over the past 24-48 hours.
It's one of their options. They're not racing to do that, and it could depend on the LF at the ballpark. For example, seeing that in Cincy might be more likely than seeing it in Pittsburgh.
You are not wrong about this. Home runs are part of damage. Damage is what the Cardinals have been missing. That's SLG. And sure that's RBI if there's the right OBP ahead of them. The Cardinals have gone a long long time without a 100-RBI hitter. This is the longest stretch in their history without one for more than 100 years. Overdue, as they say.
And yet this is the question you submit? Interesting. I don't see any others from you in here. So, maybe you should up your game. Bring the heat. Why are you waiting? I'm here almost every week. I'm not hard to find on Twitter. Get a grip and throw the cheese. Let's see.
It's difficult, yes. The professional is personal. But I welcome the exchanges.
That will be determined by fans, not the writers. It will be up to you.
Good question. I always view predictions as wrong the moment you make them. I keep that in mind as I head into them because the only prediction is that these teams we see today will be changed by July and by August and then by October. So, when making predictions this early in the year, this is my rule: Follow the pitching. Entering spring, the Cardinals had the best of it -- so they were the favorites to win the division, to me. That has been eroded some by injury, and there are some unknowns as they enter the season about what they can count on getting from that pitching. I followed the current pitching to pick the Brewers.
Thank you for saying that Eric. As the season starts, we know we have to earn readers anew.