Bobo's here and we have some ballplayers. So let's go!
He needs more than velocity. There are so many hard throwers now that hitters have adapted. So Helsley is just another power pitcher who must add better command, better ball movement and secondary stuff to be successful. But he's fairly early in the process.
I have my doubts about Paul DeJong holding up in the cleanup spot, for the reasons you mention. The team keeps asking him to do more than history tells us he can do. Until he proves otherwise, he's a No. 6 hitter who can add power and depth to the lineup. And that's fine, since he plays a premium position in the field. He could provide real value as a No. 6 hitter. If Dylan Carlson can join the Arenado/Goldschmidt axis and provide steady pop, that could allow DeJong to slide down at least one slot. And if Tyler O'Neill can hit too, then the top 6/7 hitters look pretty good.
Hoffman will certainly become a trade chip if this team doesn't gain traction during these next few games. The same will go for Vince Dunn. At some point Armstrong could concede the season -- as he's done in the past -- and look to reset the roster. And if he does that, righthanded defensive depth would be a need. And if the team goes on a tear, then right-side dept could be area he addresses in "buy" mode.
First of all, we need to see if Bader comes back. That injury seemed pretty severe. At best he will need to return in the minors and work for some time to get his swing back because his spring was a waash. If Bader does return to the big leagues this season, he will play center field when he's in the lineup. Yes, he could see some platoon work and, yes, that would mean Carlson moving back and forth from center to right. The more Carlson can play right field, the better defensively this team will be.
I have no way to judge that. Molina is certainly slow out of the gate but he has the knack for getting where he needs to go once he's rolling.
Arenado, Arenado, Goldschmidt.
And Mozeliak oversees the farm system which, as you saw, keeps the Cardinals in the hunt year after year after year. And he added a few decent players in trades, like Goldschmidt and Arenado -- plus a big chunk of the pitching staff, which is the team strength that will keep the Cardinals in the mix this season.
I certainly think he's in the top five. On that team, with that skill, Makar makes the most of his ability. And he's better defensively that Quinn Hughes. But I'll take Victor Hedman and Roman Josi as the top guys.
Bader has had stretches of good production, when used correctly. As for Williams let's see where he is after a few weeks in the majors. There's some promise there, but nobody has any idea if he can make the leap to this competitive level. Nobody will know until he faces a steady diet of good pitching and opponents get a read on him.
Sure, that's an issue too. But the biggest reason teams don't want to trade high draft picks is the flat salary cap. Teams will have to lean harder than ever before on their young players working on affordable entry-level deals. That trend could be with us for a while.
With Oskar Sundqvist coming back from an ACL tear and Zach Sanford drifting again, the Blues may be less concerned about losing a forward. With the team reeling, Doug Armstrong might be looking to make more changes for next season than anybody expected even a few weeks back. He made look to move some contracts to gain flexibility and change up the chemistry which has not been great this season.
When the Blues faded against Anaheim, that's the first time I really doubted whether this team could make the playoffs. Let's just say I'm skeptical. The only factor in their favor right now is the so-so caliber of the teams chasing them.
Yes, that proved that he is willing to make changes if he sees his team having little chance to advance in the bracket.
There's no indication of injury that I am aware of. Obviously hasn't been razor sharp ths spring. Let's see if his command improves.
We don't know he's destined for greatness. But if he does settle in this season and pitch like he did a few years back, then he could price himself out of the STL. If he is destined to be just a pretty good pitcher, that might increase the possibility of him signing a long-term deal here.
Given the fact Bader needed to take a month off, he could be a while before he returns. And that injury could also become something that needs surgical repair some day.
If it turns out both Carlson and O'Neill can really hit, then Molina likely moves down as the batting order gains the length it lacked last season. Molina hit up in the order last year because those two guys did not hit -- and the team did not have Nolan Arenado.