It was not the finest several hours for the men in blue. But, at least the replays finally got O'Neill's slide into second right in the seven-run fourth inning on Sunday. Umpires are the human element, just like players. They make mistakes, too, although there were quite a few over the weekend.
You largely answered your own question when you said teams don't like to change when the lineup is going well and Shildt is in that camp. He and I talked about Bader being a leadoff man the other day and Carlson hitting down the line but he won't be doing that in the near future. Edman had his run at leadoff but hasn't been getting on base enough against righthaded starters and that's about all the Cardinals face. This is something to look at next year, for sure, and maybe later this year if the offense sputters and Bader stays hot.
All good questions. I would try to sign Wainwright to another 1-year deal, if he is willing, and Kim to another two-year deal. You're going to have Flaherty, Hudson (presumably), Mikolas (presumably) and possibly Liberatore next year, not to mention Reyes. With 13 games still remaining with the Brewers, the Cardinals aren't exactly in next-year mode yet so they probably won't have the opportunity to stretch out Reyes this season. Would this rotation be good enough to contend next year? It should be, if all stay healthy. But that never seems to happen anywhere, so I would try to sign another veteran, too.
DeJong needs to hit to play every day and, lately, he has been. With both at their best, he is the better player than Sosa although the latter has played well.
I would think so but until Mikolas and Flaherty get back, their options are somewhat limited unless they want to bring up Liberatore and I wouldn't rule that out.
If Helsley would be more consistent and better about keeping his own runners from scoring rather than everybody else's, where he is very good, he could be a prime late-inning reliever. His high fastball is hard to catch up to, as Aquino found out yesterday. I like McFarland a little as a second lefthander to Cabrera in the bullpen and Justin Millers has had his moments.
I don't thnk those talks will get serious until they're sure Flaherty is all right. But, sometime early next year would be a good time to lock him up, if Flaherty is agreeable.
Wodford and Oviedo both might be replaced by the middle of next month, Woodford could serve as a good middle man and Oviedo might be better off spending an extended period in the minors. His stuff is big-league. His command is not right now.
Not too much. The bench has to be strengthened, for sure. Not sure about shortstop yet. Let's have the final two months play out. You always can add starting pitching but I think one from outside would be enough. Bullpen isn't that bad off if Gallegos and Cabrera are in it and Hicks is healthy, along with Helsley as a fourth man--that is if Reyes starts. Otherwise, this week, they aren't apt to leverage their future for someone who probably would not be able to lead them to a division title.
Wong actually has been hurt a lot this year but he is a better leadoff man than Edman, who, in truth, gave the club a couple of good months at that spot, before fading. The leadoff man will be an issue to work out for next year.
If he could play 50 more this year, that would leave him 115. He might be able to do that.
This might depend on the DH coming to the National League. Baker's position is first base, which is pretty well occupied now by Goldschmidt, who is going to be here three more years.
Gorman will be a lefthanded hitter next season and Carlson will be in the linuep as a switch-hitter, as might be Edman. A lefthanded-hitting outfielder, even as a bench man, would help.
The Cardinals should be better than .500 the rest of the way although not to the point of .600. Attendance probably is down from what they had hoped although they had some big houses with the Cubs, with the help of discounted tickets.
Mo has a contract for several more years and Bill DeWitt appreciates the fact the Cardinals haven't had a losing season since 2007. So I do not foresee any immediate change there, plus the Cardinals aren't hopelessly out of the race yet because they have 13 left with Milwaukee and healing pitchers on the way.
I don't know how to read the Flaherty situation yet. Many things can change roster-wise in three to five years. No way to read that either.
I would expect Hicks to be pitching near the end of the season and I am optimistic he will be all right next year. This team doesn't look like a World Series team now. No 50-50 team should. But there's no need to trade what few prospects you have in the faint hope that there's somebody out there who can win you a title. It is encouraging that Memphis has won 15 in a row. Maybe there's more there than we think.
Any help they would acquire--and have acquired--has been strictly pitching. They don't have much need for a bench bat unless they were a little closer. The eight or nine players they have (including Sosa) are going to be out there pretty much every day from here on in.
I would like to see this offense play together for a month before I would make that determination. I'm not saying you're wrong, but the Cardinals rarely have had their 'A' team on the field and, when they have, their record is pretty good. Let's talk again in late August and see where this stands.