Join baseball writer Derrick Goold for his live Cardinals chat at 11 a.m. Monday

Join baseball writer Derrick Goold for his live Cardinals chat at 11 a.m. Monday

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

    Where do you anticipate Dejong being 2023 opening day? Cardinals roster? Memphis? Somewhere else? At home?
    He will won't be in Memphis unless he's on a rehab assignment because of some injury that happens in spring training. He won't be at home.
    He will be with the Cardinals or he will be with another organization.
    DG do you get the sense that, as a group, arb+ veterans are placing more emphasis on their fit with a club and reasonable chance to compete for a championship? Obviously money and years are big factors, but it feels different?
    I don't think there is a cover-all answer to this. It depends on the player. More money, larger salary is always going to be the larger factor, biggest part of the decision. But from there it's really different from player to player, organization to organization. Carlos Beltran signed with the Cardinals because the money was right, but he also was really intrigued that the Cardinals include a no-trade clause without him asking. There's all kind of things like that.
    Is Bryan Reynolds a better hitter than Willson Contreras? You dismissed Contreras as just above average hitter as a catcher, but his OPS was higher than Reynolds and he hit 22 HRs in 113 games while Reynolds hit 27 in 145 and both are good for one strikeout a game and their walk rate is similar. I honestly don't think Contreras should be discounted as an option. Both or either of these players make us better for next year.
    Let's look. Give me a minute. But let's begin with this note: I did not suggest Bryan Reynolds for DH. He would play outfield. So, the question is a better player for the Cardinals, not reduced to a "better hitter." I think they could do better at hitter for DH. But let's explore ...
    In 2022, Reynolds had a wRC+ of 125, and that ranked 26th in the NL. Contreras was ahead of him with fewer at-bats, at 132 wRC+.
    In their careers, Reynolds has a 127 OPS+ and Contreras has a 115 OPS+.
    Their slash lines: .281/.361/.481, .842 OPS  and .256/.349/.492, .808 OPS respectively. 
    Reynolds has fewer years in the majors but already has an offensive WAR of 14.4, which is just behind Contreras' 17.8 in 240 games. But their average over the time of WAR/162 is about the same, Reynolds' 4.5 to Contreras' 4.6, and that's noteworthy because on Baseball_Reference.com, it includes defenes.
    The past two years, here's how their lines look:
    Reynolds -- .283/.368/.492 for a .861 OPS
    Contreras -- .240/.344/.457 for a .797 OPS
    That does seem to suggest that Reynolds is the better hitter over the past two years, and he's showed up on MVP ballots to reflect that. But it's close, and there's arguments that you could make strongly on both sides, so let me get to the number that also stands out to me: 30 and 27. Contreras is 30. Reynolds is 27.
    Is Bryan Reynolds a better hitter than Willson Contreras, you ask.
    He's going to be in the coming years, is my answer.
    Shouldn't Marmol get more credit than he's gotten already for his bullpen management? It seemed like he was more willing than most to let a reliever go more than an inning if things went smoothly, which then allows more arms to be available the following day?
    Perhaps. I think it's worth noting that this past spring, for the umpteenth time since I've started covering the team, we heard about how they weren't going to be wed to the save as a stat and be more nimble when it came to targeting the best reliever against the best part of the lineup when the game was on the line. Period. And each year we saw a closer emerge, assignments settle, and the ninth was one guy again, regardless of the opponent.
    Well, not this year. So, that's a check mark for using the bullpen as advertised.
    I was pretty impressed by Montgomery's work since coming over to St. Louis. I understand he's got one more year to his current deal. Any sign of movement towards making it a longer term pact?
    Not yet, no. Given the bouquets thrown his way by Mozeliak this past week, I do wonder if that's going to be a spring training conversation, once they get to know him better. I'm not sure what to make of him. I'm just begin honest. I've had a hard time getting a read on his game.
    DG -

    What do conversations look like between Oli/Mozeilak/the organization in general with players like Goldy and Arenado after a series like that? Is it water under the bridge, lets try again next year, or do they address the elephant in the room of the highest paid guys on the team, MVP candidates striking out and otherwise falling short multiple times with the chance to bring us back into the game?
    They
    a) Don't need to because they're pros and know.
    b) Don't shy form it, because it's their job to confront and help.
    c) Don't do it immediately in the moment, under the crush of a season ending.
    d) Don't avoid talking about it all winter, and into spring training.
    As Marmol recently said in his office -- and thankfully said -- this is an adult game, and they're adults playing it, and they're competitive. They know numbers as well as you. They feel them. They own them. Don't hide from talking about them and how to improve them. Hope that helps.
    There are a couple of managerial jobs open. Do you think Shildt would be a good fit for any of them?
    Yes. He would be a good fit for several of them.
    What is the story on Rick Hummel getting the nickname Commish? Do you have a nickname yet that is printable?
    That's printable? Why in the name of the chat would I have a vulgar nickname? I don't neve know how to process such a suggestion. Is there a vulgar name out there in Cardinals Nation that is used for me?
    Yikes.
    Commish got his nickname from a tabletop game that they used to play with people from the newsroom, think early fantasy football. He knew all the rules, and so people had to keep coming to him for answers on the rules, and eventually just called him the commissioner and that's been shortened to Commish. He has kept the name and it has become popular because when it comes to his beat and baseball he also knows all the rules and all the strategy and it fits in the press box, too. It also helps when Whitey Herzog calls you by the nickname. That gives it added popularity.
    Should I be worried about what Herzog calls me?
    Trout in cf for Cards next year. It can happen
    In some multiverse, sure.
    From a storyline perspective what potential WS matchups would you be most excited about as far as ones you could overwrite the heck out of?
    Matt Carpenter, Yankee. Imagine the tales I could spin.
    Is there any chance that we would bring Matt Carpenter back next year. PLEASE make this happen!!!
    There is a chance. There is not a likelihood. Sure seems like he's found a home in the Bronx and fits there well. Which brings me back to that question about Rizzo...
    Geez, Louise. Can we stop with all the 20/20 hindsight about the trades? We shouldn't have traded Steve Carlton either, but it's time to move on. We. Traded. Them. They. Are. Gone.

    Further, there is no guarantee that what Alcantara and Gallen are doing now is what they would have been doing in St. Louis. Scenery matters. As one example: Waino readily admits he wouldn't have turned into Waino if he'd stayed in Atlanta.
    Scenery matters if you're talking about the coaches and teammates that might shape or suggest things that develop. Scenery matters, perhaps, in the comfort a player has with a city, etc., and the dimensions of the ballpark obviously shape stats. But, otherwise, it's opportunity. Opportunity matters. That is part of Wainwright's example, but so too is the experience he had with Smoltz, Maddux, and the other Atlanta starters. They informed who he became with the Cardinals once also molded by Carpenter, Duncan, etc.
    It's a fair question where/how Gallen would have fit with the Cardinals and would he have had the same chance to start as he did elsewhere and flourish, or would he have been in relief and some of that development delayed just by opportunity.
    The Cardinals were high on Alcantara. He likely would have had the same opportunity and perhaps even found that same gear, rise to that same level. He certainly has defined what he thinks a starter does from what learned by watching the Cardinals' rotation and what it defines as a standout, ace-like starter.
    The Cardinals were well aware of his talent and what Ozuna cost them.
    Is there a date for this year’s trivia night to fund baseball writer scholarships? That was a blast last year including your category filmed live from the Cobb county boondoggle bleachers.
    There is not. Stay tuned though for announcements about events, plural. That's the hope. That's the plan. Now we just need a writer like me to get going on the planning.
    For some reason I liked what Dickerson brought to the table, but he never brought the power he hoped to bring in spring training. Should we assume the Cards will try to upgrade the LH DH slot?
    Assume they will look to do so. No guarantee they actually will.
    What did you think of all the fawning over Aaron Judge and 62? Drove me crazy. Since when has the national media ever cared about an AL only record? I'd submit that if he played for the Royals or Rays (or any other number of teams) it wouldn't have been a story at all. The NYY bias was blatantly evident. And don't get me started on all of the, "he's the TRUE holder of the single season HR record"...
    Of course it had a lot to do with him being a Yankee. Period. It was a fantastic season from Judge, and the chase for 62 is cool, and everything. But you're not going to see the same thing next year when Manny Machado and Juan Soto both get to 48 home runs. The country won't be enthralled with their chase for 51 and the potential for the Padres' all time record.
    Did you even know that former Cardinal Greg Vaughn had the all-time single-season record for the Padres, at 50?
    But we all know Maris. That was the record. And it was set by a Yankee and here was another Yankee going after it. 
    I'll even go so far to bet that if Julio Rodriguez or Mike Trout hits 60 next year, you won't see the same fanfare for them possibly going "after the AL record."
    If anything, you'll remember Maris' 61 far more than whatever Judge finished with.
    If Oli wanted to get more ABs for Pujols than for Donovan, he was being a fan, not a Manager. Pujols should have been batting 5th with Donnie leading off and Noot in the 2 spot.
    That is one argument. The other is that entering the playoffs, Albert Pujols was the Cardinals' best hitter. And that brings up a whole set of issues that Albert Pujols was the Cardinals' best hitter.
    The knock on Brendan Donovan is his glove isn't that great. I think he looks like a younger version of Edman, And I take that to mean, if you give him one position to focus on whether its left field or second base, he will develop into a gold glover there and then be able to move to other spots, like shortstop or third and excel there too. The high OBP percentage should mean he's an every day player.
    The Cardinals are ready to explore where/how to create an everyday spot for Donovan and, absolutely, the OBP is the driving element here. Count me in the camp that believes Edman is the superior defensive player. But I see some parallels in their career.
    Brendan Donovan seemed to make a strong impression his rookie year, at times reminding me of Greg Garcia or early Matt Carpenter. Those two guys went on to have very different careers--who does Donovan more closely resemble when his career is done?
    I don't know. Too many variables. The OBP is a good place to start, and that's what Matt Carpenter did. There are definitely similarities there. Garcia was the better fielder. Carpenter added the double damage and then the homers, and does Donovan do that? I just don't know. Donovan will be listed on many Rookie of the Year ballots from NL writers.
    DG, if I did my math correctly, the Cardinals were a paltry 14-21 against the other NL playoff teams including the post season.

    Seems to me that the Cardinals were clearly the 5th or 6th best team in the league and essentially had very very little chance to go far beyond the wildcard round.

    Do you sense any increased urgency from the FO to correct this? The club used to be the pinnacle of the NL from 2000 to 2015. Now that mantle clearly belongs to the Dodgers and maybe now the Braves.
    Yep, 14-19 going into the postseason. And famously 0-2 in the postseason.
    I don't know where that puts them in the rankings of NL teams because going in you'd find that most folks had them as the third or fourth best team, depending on whether you saw them as better than the Mets at the end of the season. Now, both are out, and that's find if you rank them based on their finish. There were many reasons to believe they had every chance to get past the wild-card round -- and then would have run into a juggernaut in Atlanta, the best team in the league and arguably in baseball.
    I do not sense an increased urgency from the front office to correct something they don't see as a thing. Sorry.
    They were definitely not the pinnacle of the NL from 2006-2010.
    But they definitely need to get back to that point and start thinking beyond the division and into being among the two best regular season teams in the NL. That would be a step toward better October success. Or, they can sit back and watch the Los Angeles Dodgers devour the Cardinals brand in our lifetime and become the NL's leader in championships. 
    Sleep well thinking about that, Cardinals Nation.
    Around the trade deadline you suggested the Cardinals felt they could absorb a contract like Soto's. Does that suggest they could go after a top-tier starter or maybe a Trea Turner? The latter checks off a lot of needs for the Cardinals.
    It should. They should have to answer for that, and will.
    How do you see the 2023 rotation shaping up with the addition of Montgomery and Quintana. Can the Cardinals top of the rotation be Quintana, Montgomery and Mokolas ... and fill with 2 arms like Flaherty/Hudson/Matz/Liberatore???
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