Join Hall of Fame baseball writer Rick Hummel for his live Cardinals chat at 9 a.m. Monday

Join Hall of Fame baseball writer Rick Hummel for his live Cardinals chat at 9 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to Monday’s live chat at 9 a.m.

    I imagine you have a lot on your minds so. . . have at it. We'll go to noon today as I have a previous commitment after that. We should be able to cover some significant ground, though. 
    Thanks in advance,
    Commish 
    Is Edman following a long list of young Card hitters who were successful early but because of pitchers adjustments going to end up being a good defensive 2nd baseman, back of the order hitter? Do or will the Cards regret not keeping Wong as their leadoff hitter?
    Edman, after a good first couple of months, has dipped into the .250s and isn't walking any more. Thus, he was removed from the leadoff spot. He probably will remain down in the order, likely seventh at some point. Pitchers are game-planning him more now. Defensively, he's fine. As for Wong leading off. . .
    in theory, a good idea. But often he's been out of the Brewers' lineup with a rash of oblique and calf injuries, so he wouldn't be doing the Cardinals much good if he had stayed. 
    Commish, I’ve been a Cards fan since the late 50s, been through good times and bad. I appreciate your ability to calm the panicked fan base by focusing on the good as opposed to dwelling on the bad. But that said, it’s hard to see this team turning this around. I think the offense and defense are good enough to compete but not if the pitching keeps giving away bases by the boatload. The easy solution is to wait for Flaherty and Mikolas to return but if only Waino can keep the other team under 4 runs I doubt there will be much left to play for by the time those two are back up to speed. If the Cards can’t find two decent starters to add to the rotation by the AS break the hole they are digging will be too deep by August. Hoping for the Cubs, Reds and Brewers all to collapse is not a winning strategy. Can you reassure us there is hope on the way from somewhere?
    Liberatore is hope on the way, but the club has to decide quickly--before the Olympic team leaves for Japan--if that path is to St. Louis now. The front office has made it clear it doesn't want to rush the young lefthander but these are exigent circumstances. You have perceived correctly the Cardinals somehow have to hold on until August when Flaherty, Mikolas and even Hicks should/could be back. The Cardinals will have to overpay to get a quality starter now. About their best hope is that the starting pitching can be at least mediocre instead of awful, so the club's excellent back-end-of-the-bullpen can help preserve some wins and. . .
    The touted offense goes on a tear and wins some high-scoring games. There should be a few of those coming up in Colorado this weekend.
    Where do the Cards go with their starting pitching? After Wainright and I guess KK who would you try (w LeBlanc going in next)?
    Somebody from the outside will have to be brought in--perhaps with more starting success in the majors lately than LeBlanc, who may be a good seat-filler for a while. I would bring up Liberatore and take my chances.
    Don't you think Yadi should play less (maybe 2 out of 3) to make him more productive both offensively and defensively? His bat was great early but w his lack of speed batting him now anywhere but 7th (8th hard to bunt over) even w no one else really hitting seems the right spot. He's been lauded over his career for handling the pitchers so does he along w Maddux share some of the blame for the pitchers horrendous stats? What's the Cards record when Kinzner catches compared to Molina and is there certain pitchers that have performed better w him behind the plate? Do you think Shildt could sit Yadi some regularly (like he did w Fowler and this year Carp) as other catchers do or does he decide when he plays?
    Molina has played more (and Knizner less) lately than I thought would happen. A good time to rest him would be tomorrow night with a day game coming up the next day and Martinez pitching. Knizner has caught Martinez several times although the pair's last couple of outings have been rough, including that 11-run first inning in Los Angeles. As for what's gone wrong--pitching and hitting--everybody should share in the blame, from the front office down to the bench players.
    What would you try to spark the lineup? O'Neill has struggled since moving to cleanup? Maybe move him to 1(like Schwarber), either 2 or 3 to get him in front of Goldy or Areanado who seems to be the only Card that can hit 4th this year?
    I like Carlson hitting first, Goldschmidt second and Arenado third. Ultimately, I would like to see DeJong at four again but he hasn't proven he's quite ready for that. O'Neill should stay at cleanup. It is clear he is a streaky hitter but his good streaks are really good.  As for Arenado fourth, I would rather see him guaranteed an at-bat In every first inning. No matter how you slice it, the lineup has to be better.
    How about batting Bader lead off when he returns? Him hitting 8th doesn't seem to be a big fix to this struggling offense.
    Carlson will draw more walks than Bader as a leadoff man although Bader can steal more bases. If Bader can hit for power, as he has done in the past, he can help add some pop to the bottom half of the lineup, which has been invisible lately.
    Is it time to send Oviedo down before he is ruined as a big league starter? Hasn't there been many young pitchers that have had their careers set way back by being overexposed before they're ready?
    He's been up and down several times this year but if Oviedo goes down, I would keep him down for a while as he learns. The issue is whom do you bring up to replace him? And he's still been better lately than Martinez. You are correct, though, in that some young pitchers have been retarded by being thrown into the fire before they're ready and that's what the Cardinals have to weigh with Matthew Liberatore.
    How many games back before you write off chances of winning the division this year? (presently 8 back w 3 teams in front). Do you realistically think w the team struggling in this easier part of the schedule that there is any chance of turning things around? They fattened up early this season (18-1) vs bad teams but now one of them -Pirates come in and win 3 of 4. Are things as bleak as they seem?
    Things ARE bleak. There is one more week of a potential fix with bottom feeders Arizona and Colorado as the opponents for the next seven games. Anything fewer than five wins is unacceptable. Then, it's 13 in a row (separated by the All-Star break) with San Francisco and the Cubs. 
    The Cardinals will have a difficult time winning a division if they fall any farther behind but, first, they must climb above .500, which is a more attainable immediate goal.  And they are four games still removed from that. 
    Commish, why would Mo make any trades for the sake of losing a prospect when this team needs at least 2-3 starting pitchers and likely as many position players to be competitive? We should be able to agree that this is a very bad team and the only incremental improvement comes when Flaherty returns to the rotation in Aug. At this point, the Cards are a 75 win team so play it out and hit the reboot next spring. Where am I wrong?
  • You are not necessarily wrong at all.  One or two new players might not be enough to save this season--especially if good, young talent goes the other way-- but the front office owes the fans that effort and they're used to seeing a contender. Injuries, notably to Flaherty, have gut-punched this team and the Cardinals' lack of depth has been exposed. Next year would /should be better. How many of you, however, want to wait that long?
  • Will Dakota Hudson be ready to return as a top 3 starter at the beginning of next season or will he need more time as he comes back from TJ surgery?
    Hudson will have had nearly 1 1/2 years after his surgery before next season begins so I think he can be counted on, to some degree anyway. He was a top three starter before and I don't see why he couldn't be again. Nobody much talks about it but Hudson's absence, next to that of Flaherty, is the most important one on the team.
    Looking at your crystal ball what is the best case scenario for the Cards starters next year? Flaherty, Hudson, Liberatore, Reyes, Wainright. What % chance does Mikolas have of returning to be an effective starter? Who else could be there? Thompson, Oviedo, Hensley, Woodford? Anyone else in the organization or do you think there will be an addition from outside?
    I like Mikolas' chances. Nothing wrong with having six starters. Or having eight or nine, which the Cardinals could have used this year. Oviedo still is a viable candidate to start next year but Thompson isn't likely to be ready yet by the start  of the season. Helsley belongs in the bullpen. Woodford is better employed as a swing man, with emphasis on picking up innings in relief.
    Do you see Carpenter getting one more run as the leadoff hitter this year if Nootbaar fades and they then move Edman back to RF? His OBP has been good the last month. Or has his ship sailed and he just fades away as the season goes along?
    I don't see Carpenter getting any steady playing time, especially when Bader returns at the beginning of July and Carlson moves to right field. The ship, unfortunately for Carpenter, has sailed, and he will have to learn how to be the best pinch hitter he can be. He was out early taking balls at second base and third base yesterday just in case. . . but it's hard to play him regularly. His OBP has been better, certainly, and he has made better contact. But he's still in the .170s with occasional home-run power.  He can't be blamed for the recent woes, though, as is fashionable, because he hasn't been playing.
    Has Sosa showed lately that he's just an adequate sub and not a potential starting SS? Will the Cards just alternate he and Dejong if Dejong continues to struggle? What's the long term fit for this position moving forward?
  • Sosa strikes me as a good extra infielder. The Cardinals would prefer to have the DeJong of the past at shortstop with the potential to hit 25 home runs and bat .260 instead of .160.
  • Is Adolis Garcia now going to be the new poster ex Cardinal for the fans to lament about?
    He should be, because the Cardinals got nothing but cash for him. At least they got viable players for Arozarena and Voit. Garcia could have been claimed by anybody on waivers, though, so everyone had his shot.
    Just my two cents.... what you see is what you're going to get the rest of the year. Mo knows there will be a strike next year so why start retooling the team with that on the horizon. Wait till after the year when Fowler and Carpenter come off the books. Arenado isn't going to opt out with a strike looming. Mo will wait until after the season to can Albert and possibly Maddux. It's rare that these guys get let go mid season, especially if there is nobody waiting in the wings to take over. If by the All-Star break we are 10+ games out we need to become sellers. If someone wants to take Goldschmidt off our hands, let them. Teams in contention this year would gladly take Martinez feeling a change of scenery might help him for good AAA talent in return. If you can get a quality AAA pitching prospect for DeJong you pull the trigger. When Shildt was named manager over Stubby Clapp I remember telling my son, they just picked the wrong guy.
    If the Cardinals fall double-figures behind by the All-Star break, they almost certainly will be sellers. They will try to find a home for Martinez. DeJong, despite his failings this year, is worth more than a Class AAA pitcher, though. I would say you're right about the coaches but Mo has fired coaches during the season before. But firing them now would mean he is firing the systems/processes associated with hitting and pitching. Ultimately, he would have to go outside the organization and start over rather than promote somebody from within. That sort of thing generally is done after the season. I think Shildt is a good manager and that Stubby would be a good one, also.  Shildt doesn't have enough good players right now.
    FanGraphs which hasn’t liked the Cards roster since spring has reduced their playoff odds to 1 in 40. Commish, consider this your one chance to reduce your win projection from 90 to 80 or even lower.
    No take-backs although to get to 90, the Cardinals would have to go 53-31 and I have a very hard time envisioning that.
    How in the world has Mo & the FO sat back & allowed our Cardinals sink to a NEW LOW as a MLB team that IMHO have become the new worst team in MLB?.. Mo said quote 'we don't have to win this year" end quote when asked about making some trades before the deadline to keep the cards from looking this bad in a winnable national league central division that now looks as if the brewers might just run away with since MO & the fo just sat idle all this time hoping for a miracle instead of making something happen by spending some $$$$ WTF????
    Mo didn't sit back when the Cardinals spent (ultimately) on Arenado. The Cardinals, however, didn't bring in enough veteran depth for their roster. As long as Arizona (22-57) and Baltimore (24-54) are playing, the Cardinals aren't even close to the worst team in ball but they aren't very good. You can't just spend money now. There is nobody of consequence you can buy. You have to trade. Or wait until the off-season.
    Do you think is time to move Jordon Walker, hitting 374 with ops of 1.164.
  • Walker, to do that in the pitcher-friendly parks of the Florida State League, has been very impressive. Next stop: Peoria. Maybe even Springfield by the end of the year. And he will not be traded.
    Good morning, Mr. Hummel. Thanks for the chat. Judging by yesterday's performance, the Cardinals' clubhouse should have a new theme song: Linda Ronstadt's "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me." Do you think Mr. DeWitt can convince Brewers' owner to make a trade: Mozeliak, Girsch, Gary LaRocque, and cash considerations for Brewers' President David Stearns? We can even throw in Jeff Albert.
    Seriously, the Cardinals used to take pride in being a draft-and-develop team. Now that pipeline looks pretty bare, aside from Gorman and Lberatore. What happened to their model?
    Finally, do you suspect that Carlos Martinez will some other team's headache next season?
    Thank you.
    There are other hitting prospects in Alec Burleson and especially Jordan Walker. Martinez could be somebody else's issue before the end of this season. 
    And. . . you're welcome. Thank you. 
    Good morning Rick. Hope you brought your flak jacket.

    Curious on your thoughts about bringing Alex Reyes to the role of "opener" for Carlos's starts. It seems he can never get off to the start we expect, and by the time he does, we're losing the game and hitters are already pressing. It seems that Reyes has enough room on his imposed odometer to to two innings every fifth day, and could still be available for late inning work on other days.
    Interesting concept but Reyes has done so much for the team this year he doesn't deserve to be an "opener." When he starts, next year, I guess, or maybe later this year, he is in there for five or six innings, at least. Your point about Carlos is valid. He never seems quite ready as a starter in the first inning but he turned into a pretty good closer, knowing he had to pitch only one inning.  But not as good as Reyes.
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