Join Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday for his last Cards chat this spring from Jupiter

Join Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday for his last Cards chat this spring from Jupiter

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday

    Hi Derrick - apologies if you have answered this and I've missed it in previous chats, but is the podcast no longer being produced? Thanks
    Hope to have BPIB return, imminently.
    Will we one day look back at Bader’s injury for Nogowski like we do Bonilla’s hamstring?
    An urban legend overblown to suit a narrative because the facts were as sexy?
    Let's hope not.
    I read a couple recent PD articles that said Whitley "has probably made the club". What changed that led him to being left off?
    Good question. What changed was the Cardinals decision to go with length -- and that happened recently. They were setting up Woodford and Oviedo to be the starters in the minors ready to go if needed. But with some of the short, inefficient outings and the absence of Mikolas and Kim to start the season the Cardinals chose length over short-burst. Whitley would have been on the team if the rotation was intact. It's not. So, Woodford gets the call to provide long relief and protect the remainder of the bullpen from the added taxing.
    Derrick - thanks for all the coverage. Everyone seems to see STL as the NL Central team to beat, but not quite in the same class as LA and SD. With the roster as it's currently constructed, what needs to break our way to be in that class - Flaherty having an ace season? Carlson really breaking out??
    Either of those things would help, for sure. But they're going to need Kim or Mikolas to also become the steady, sturdy starters that give Flaherty backup. Carlos Martinez returning to those All-Star years he had would go a long way to advancing the Cardinals in the National League -- maybe as much as anything else. Another part of the offensive revival for the Cardinals would DeJong. If he hits and hits for power you're talking about a deeper, more damage-oriented offense than they've had, and not all of it has to come from the young outfield then.
    Jeff Albert seems not to have made much positive progress in helping hitters get higher batting average, on base percentage, or slugging. Some players have regressed, and not just for age related reasons. How long do the Cardinals wait to make a change this season if the results show no or marginal improvement? Sure it is the batters who are the spot to produce, but it doesn't appear that Albert has helped much, if at all.
    You tell me when the Cardinals offensive struggles start holding them back in the standings and gravitating around .500 or even losing, and you'll have your answer. The Cardinals have made such moves anywhere between the time of Flag Day and All-Star break.
    How do you view the relation between statcast stats (exit velocity and the like) and on-field results. Do you see statcast metrics as being absolute harbingers of future production? I find that hard to believe, because shifts exist, and though you can't shift into the outfield, you can't reliably expect every hard hit ball to go for a double or over the fence. If they aren't absolute, do you have any idea what makes a statcast darling cash in as opposed to peter out?
    I see stats in three categories. There are narrative stats. There are quantitative stats. And there are predictive stats. Some of the stats work in two categories, like, say OPS. That can be used for all three. 
    A narrative stat helps us tell a story about what happened.
    A quantitative stat helps a team or a fan or a reporter look at why it happened, and what value that action brought to the team or game.
    A predictive stat is one that indicates future performance.
    A win is a narrative stat. It helps us tell a story. It tells us very little about what the pitcher did quantitatively except that he pitched five innings and left with a lead. That's all. A pitcher could give up seven through five and get a win. We don't know from that stat. We need qualitative stats to tell us more about it -- ERA, FIP, etc., etc. 
    Predictive takes the next leap -- spin rate, command, and, yes, exit velocity. A hitter who hits the ball hard and often as we learn from exit velocity (there is no exit velocity on a strikeout, after all) is a hitter who over time will produce more often. Yes, I do believe that.
    Can we agree that the Plan B for centerfield of Edman in center and Carpenter at 2nd actually weakens the team at 2 positions? Why would Cards even entertain this idea?
  • That is why teams have starters, yes. It's because there is one player better than another and if that second player has to play the team is, by their own admission, weaker. If they weren't then why isn't that player starting?
    84 wins sound about right for this team this year ?
    There would be repercussions. October would be busy with news, not games.
    Innings will be at a premium this year, especially with Kim and Mikolas starting on IL. Who is going to surprise us with 10+ starts?
    I would like to say Reyes because the answer should be Reyes, but it won't be Reyes, not if the team keeps to its current stance. So let's go ... Oviedo. Sleeper pick: Thompson.
    Why isn't O'Neill the back up center fielder? Has Williams ever played center?
    They really like to have him call left home and not move around much.
    Just an observation..when players underperform in Spring Training we’re told that it’s only Spring Training, don’t look into it too much, they’re working on stuff. But when a player does well in Spring, it’s 100% believed that they’re ready for the season or it’s something to take away from their performance and to be excited about. How should we evaluate Spring performances?
    Excellent question. I wish I had an excellent, surefire iron-clad answer. But there isn't one. I get completely why fans would be frustrated. They're told that Nogowski's spring performance was so strong that the Cardinals couldn't ignore him. Then they're also told that a veteran who struggled all spring -- well, those numbers don't matter. Perhaps we can borrow from the Cardinals' spring to explore this. At one point in spring, Nolan Arenado went zero-for-17. Was there a lot of angst in Cardinal Nation? Did anyone even notice? Or was it because he has a track record, and he was possibly working on things, and it really didn't show up because it wasn't like he was striking out a bunch -- that no one really got anxious about it. Arenado would be there at the end. He homered. He's on the plane. Away he goes. 
    It's best to thing of spring training performances then in what the individual has to accomplish -- and the style of player that individual is. There are some pitchers who will take a bruising in spring training because they need to get their sinker in shape, or they have to work and work and work on the changeup so that it gets battered in March but is there in April. Let's not fixate on those pitchers' ERAs, instead let's see how many innings they're logging, how much they're around the zone, how they're avoiding walks, etc. Check the velocity.
    Spring training is less about the box score than it is about the numbers beyond the box score. 
    Nogowski had a lot of RBIs. But what got him on the team wasn't that. It was that he didn't strike out much, he hit high velocity pitches, he made contact, hard contact, a lot. Nogowski had results that the team could trumpet, but he also had all the other things that the team insists they were getting from some veterans. Nogowski had the exit velo that Carpenter had. That one game that Nogowski hit a home run, Carpenter had a ball he hit harder and farther -- for an out. 
    That's the way to look at spring right there -- process, not outcome. And do so by the individual. A player like Arenado is gearing up for the season, and can set a pace for the long haul. A player like Nogowski -- this is his season, his chance to make the team, he's working on producing now to get that chance to be part of something, so if he's a little head and has more production it's because he needs it to be on the team. The team just needs the other players, the veterans to be ready. They don't need to dazzle in spring.
  • Alright, that brings us to the end of another chat -- and another spring training. I've got to vamoose from the press box here for the last time and get to work on the copy for tomorrow's paper. And pack. And clean. And get ready to drive to Cincinnati in the morning. I think I have to stay at the wheel so I maintain control of the music -- though I expect Frederickson will try to make a power play. Stay tuned.
    When next we chat the season will be in full swing. 
    Fans will have been in the stands.
    As it is spring, there's more to look at than the box scores and the standings -- let's be glad we get to enjoy being ever closer to all being at the ballpark and having that community feel again. Lots to celebrate when that happens. That starts with improving health.
    Happy New Year.
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