Join Derrick Goold at 1 p.m. Monday for his first live Cardinals chat from Jupiter

Join Derrick Goold at 1 p.m. Monday for his first live Cardinals chat from Jupiter

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat at 1 p.m. Monday as spring training gets set to begin.

    Because it's an important topic for our culture, and sports -- like entertainment -- is a pillar of our culture, and has been for a long time. Through sports we identify with our cities, our homes, where we grew up, our neighbors, our families. Through sports, we have conversations with our grandparents, our grandchildren. Sports is special because it has a symbiotic relationship with our culture. And in great bursts of wonder it's the best of us.
    So no wonder it's a great vehicle for discussing how we can be better to all of us.
    What do you think the opening day lineup looks like? I assume its Goldschmidt/Arenado at 3 and 4, and that Carlson hits at 1 or 2, but how does the rest of the lineup sort out?
    Been fiddling around with this a bit, just for kicks, and I'll give it a go:
    1. Carlson, RF
    2. Edman, 2B
    3. Goldschmidt, 1B
    4. Arenado, 3B
    5. DeJong, SS
    6. Carpenter, DH
    7. Molina, C
    8. O'Neill, LF
    9. Bader, CF
    Seems like that could be one that they'd use. We'll see how some of the performance from the outfielders in spring training sets that up, or if Shildt is going to give us a glimpse into his thinking about using Edman a lot at leadoff, and thus hinting that Carlson might start where he's likely to spend a lot of his career -- batting second.
    I know you don't overly love hypotheticals, but here's one anyway: Say Arenado comes to STL puts up just as good if not better numbers and never wins a WS, if he gets the call to the hall, would he go in as a Cardinal or a Rockie?
    Interesting question, and worth exploring because of the non-hypothetical aspects of it! Also, it's just a cool question. He will have spent half of his career with the Cardinals in this case and half of his career with the Rockies. It would be different from Pujols though because Albert Pujols would have done the bulk of his work with the Cardinals and then put the finishing touched on his career -- the magic numbers, if you will -- as an Angel. It takes a 10-year career to be eligible for the Hall and Pujols had that in St. Louis. Arenado did not. So, on being a Rockies player alone, he wouldn't be eligible, and honestly he's going to have to really burnish that career with strong years in St. Louis to get into Cooperstown, so some of the heavy statistical lifting and Gold Glove work is still to come. 
    That's going to strengthen the case that it will be a Cardinal, because that's where the conversation about him being a surefire Hall of Famer will happen.
    That is if your scenario plays out. He didn't win a World Series in Colorado either.
    How many fans do you anticipate at home games this year and do you think they’ll have the normal opening day ceremonies?
    The Cardinals are putting together a proposal for 28 percent of the ballpark -- or somewhere in the 8,000-12,000 range. And they hope to have fans there for the home opener. No, don't expect the same pomp. It's not the right circumstance.
    I'd love to understand what it is Carpenter has done, on the field, the past two years that makes everyone so eager to find at-bats for him in '21? He's a sunk cost, the team does not owe him any opportunities.
  • How about this? Since 2019, his .332 on-base percentage is the third-highest of any Cardinal still on the team. Sure that says something about the lack of offense overall, but it also illustrates the options they have and what they need from him. Even in two of the most difficult seasons of his career, he was still top-third on the team in OBP, which is quite literally the measure of not making outs.
  • Are people undervaluing the Brewers? It seems with the addition of Wong and the assumption that Yelich is going to rebound they could be decent.
    Probably. Their pitching staff is also better than I'm giving it credit being, honestly. They've got a more complete roster than the other challengers in the Central Division.
    Could Bader be a lead off candidate? Maybe against LH?
    What about TO? I've seen teams have unorthodox leadoff guys before
    Anything is possible and should be considered for the leadoff spot.
    To say the SEC in baseball is similar to AA professional baseball is rather like saying the SEC in football is similar to the NFL. It ain't that close, however tough the SEC is. Every very good AA hitter or pitcher would dominate the SEC, but the reverse is not at all the case.

    The very best ballplayers and gridiron stars of the SEC might be able to seamlessly transition to that higher level...but on balance SEC baseball as a whole is somewhere between short season pro ball and Low-A. You will be told the exact same thing by anyone at Baseball America or It's a matter of depth, of uniformity of talent, just as with the NFL/college comparison.

    My question, good scribe: Do you have even a rough idea of the Redbird budget for Odo or Taijuan Walker, or whether the Birds would consider a multi-year deal to get them into the fold? Thanks for your time, DG.
    When covering the SEC all those years ago -- and maybe something has changed -- I actually heard scouts talk about how there is a level of talent in some programs that does translate to Class AA, and that some of the Class AA hitters wouldn't "dominate" in the SEC as you suggest because of the level of pitching, and pitchability they would see there. I think we can both agree that the speed of the game in the SEC and the commitment and coaching they get in the SEC and the level of competition in the SEC does set up a football player and a baseball player to be better prepared for the level of those things they'll see in pro baseball. The styles are different, for sure. I could see how a hitter would rage in the SEC and struggle mightily in the Florida State League. That said, my point is this: The SEC prepares elite talent well, and the trouble that elite talent has going into Class AA is going to be less because of the SEC experience.
    I don't have an answer for your question about the pitchers. Have not heard of any interest in Walker. I know Odorizzi is seeking a multi-year deal. He hasn't signed one with the Cardinals, so it's a good assumption they haven't met his asking price. 
    Would you say the Cardinals have about a 3 year window to win a championship before Flaherty goes away and the 2 stars age out
    by Would you say the Cardinals probably have a 3 year 2/15/2021 9:57:59 PM
    Given those parameters, yes, but only because that's when Flaherty's rights are under control by the team. I can see the thought that the current team has its best chance to win a title in the near future, but you could also say its 2021 or bust because Wainwright and Molina are only signed through that time. To your overall point, the Cardinals might be at their best in the coming two years with the current team -- because of the mix of Wainwright, Kim, Hudson, Mikolas, etc. that would be on or off the roster in these coming to years.
  • Mr. Goold: Do you think Andrew Knizner realizes he has no future with the Cardinals and should probably request a trade to a team that wants him to catch? I imagine he can see what I see … the Cardinals will keep signing Yadier Molina to a one-year contract until Ivan Herrera is ready to take over.
    I don't get that impression. I cannot think of a time that I heard a player say: "I have no future here." Also, I don't think it's a given that they will do as you outline. Molina is signed for one year. There is clearly no guarantee that he's back in 2022, or that Herrera isn't ready for 2022, for that matter.
    Sorry if you have answered this question but has there been indication from the club on when they plan on beginning to sell tickets if that is there plan?
    Season ticket holders will get first dibs. They are going to use spring training ticket sales to get a sense of how best to offer them for the regular season. They hope to get some clarity on this by early March. At last check there isn't a specific date because there is still so much unknown and more urgent issues as spring training opens. The Cardinals also need to get permission from the city and from MLB to proceed.
    who should keep an eye on as a potential positive surprise from camp?
    I listed about five, six, seven of them in Sunday's paper: 

    Goold: 10 questions that greet the Cardinals for spring training

    STLtoday.comAs the Cardinals worked and waited and waited on this prolonged offseason and free agents like Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina waited along with them, there was the possibility that
    No way they put Arenado or Goldy in the 2 hole is there? Seems like that wasted Goldys production there for a big first part of 2019.
    There is a school of thought in baseball the best hitter on the team should hit second. Makes a lot of sense with a DH in the lineup. Shildt could make a strong case for it.
    If one wants to take the politics out of sports then the leagues must stop playing the anthem prior to the games.
    I'm not sure I agree with this premise, at all. Sports is politics because people are involved, not because the Anthem is. I was a Boy Scout for a long time, and before each meeting we would salute and do the Pledge of Allegiance. That was an allegiance to a country, not a political stance, or a political party, but to the nation, its people. The Anthem, and the pledge, can be used for political statement, to be sure, but the existence of the Anthem isn't what makes sports political.
    We do. People do. And thank goodness.

    Thanks for your excellent coverage of the Cards!!

    If Arenado stopped playing today - I’m curious as to where you’d rank him on the list of all time third baseman?

    In my view if he continues on anywhere near the pace he’s been on his first 8 years - he will end up as hands down the beet all time 3B... But also one of the best all time “2 way players” in baseball history...

    Also - welcome back to Jup — you’ve got to try out Joe Namaths new restaurant complex across the inlet from the lighthouse... Simply amazing views and great food!!
    Thanks for the welcome back to Jupiter. Might not be the year that there's a lot of time to get out into the food scene. Most of the time will be spent limiting my time anywhere but the ballpark or the condo to keep in line with MLB protocols.
    It has been my opinion for the past several years now that Arenado is the best all-around player in the National League. There are others in the conversation. Now Lindor is. Now Betts definitely is. Bellinger doesn't get enough credit. Story ... Goldschmidt .. They're in the talks as well. Arenado was the leader of the group for several years. If his career ended with the Rockies, he'd be in the top 10 all-time third baseman, but I'm not sure if he gets into the top five. Beltre is there. Brooks Robinson, Schmidt. Eight Gold Gloves does make quite a case for him -- does that leapfrog over Rolen? After a few years, this conversation might be who is No. 5 with Arenado joining the above three and leaving no room for question.
    I quite specifically said that "every very good AA hitter or pitcher would dominate the SEC."

    You rather radically misquoted me, claiming that I implied ALL of the AA hitters and pitchers would dominate the SEC. But I know you're in a hurry, and the chat is free of charge. So you are forgiven -- and thanks for responding quickly, if errantly.

    Question: do you know why/how Ponce was so terrific over his final trio of starts in 2020, after struggling mightily up until then? He was a different pitcher from any other point in his MLB career, with an excellent 24-to-5 K/BB over 17 innings. Thanks, good scribe!
    I think we're saying the same thing with different stress that's all. I wasn't trying to refute what you said so much as add additional information to the point I was making. All good. I apologize for giving off the impression I was trying to quote you when I was just trying to stack additional info on -- and you're right I'm trying to move fast here. The deadline to end the chat has come and gone, and I needed to wade through some of the ... well, caustic entries to get to the real questions. 
    Thanks for your patience.
    Ponce de Leon: Fastball command. Comes down to that for him. Fastball command. When he's just off, you'll see that he cannot get the put-away fastball and he gives up a lot of foul balls, by not quite getting the placement on his fastball, or a lot of walks as he veers away from the foul balls but too far out of the zone. It's all about fastball command. When he has it he can make the most of the curve, and he can be efficient, and everything -- including his velocity -- plays up a bit against the hitters.
    How would "piggybacking" starters work? I understand the idea, somewhat. But could you give an example, using our players of what that might look like in a given week?
    It's basically a linking of starters to either alternate starts or to have relievers set to replace them in the middle innings. It can take the former of eight starters, paired off, and then they start every fourth day, alternating who gets the actual start and who gets the middle innings. This works in the minors because it's less likely that pitchers chasing wins -- because that first starter isn't going to qualify for the win with fewer than five innings.
    In the majors, it's more likely that they go with five starters and then have three long relievers, and they go through the rotation like that with the relievers there -- sort of like a tag team -- to come in and handle multiple middle innings. It's also possible to go with a six-man rotation, in this regard, and you could have some overlap between starts when, say, the sixth starter would be available for a relief outing.
    Piggyback in its truest form is the tandem starts that the Cardinals used in the minors and Houston did as well, and Colorado tried somewhat in the majors.
    But it's also a catchall term for a setup that splits starts with long relievers/starters available to handle the middle innings on something of a schedule.
    Run out of time, but not questions -- and that is a great testament to the chatters in here who continue to challenge me each week. And will do so again next week. Thank you -- for your interest, for your questions, for your patience, and for your curiosity. A vast majority of the questions are polite and challenging -- and it's possible to be both.
    Team PD has arrived in Jupiter, Fla., for spring training.
    In the coming week, we'll have a photographer and a Hall of Famer present, on site. Later in camp, Ben Frederickson will arrive to opine on what's happened so far. We'll have live updates, chats, blogs, photos, galleries, and all sorts of things coming to you every day from Jupiter. We cannot import the sunshine, but we can send baseball your way and do our best to bring you here through our coverage. We take a lot of pride in investing time and personnel when it comes to spring training coverage, and while it's going to be a different spring than usual that doesn't mean we plan any less coverage.
    The challenge will be to make it more, and make it better.
    Stay tuned. Stay healthy. Stay informed.
    Oh, and the answer is ... of course, "Burn On."
    C'mon. It's the start to Major League.
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