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.

  • Welcome to the first Cardinals Chat at of the regular season. The Cardinals' lineup got going quickly this weekend with a series win against Toronto, a team expected to challenge for the AL East crown. The rotation is still looking for its first quality start -- and Jake Woodford gets his first start of the season Monday night against Atlanta. If Woodford builds on his spring, would not be a shock at all if he authored the first QS of the year.
    Alright, we've got a lightning round chat here, all sprint. I do my best to keep filibusters to a minimal, but if you can keep the questions snappy, too, I'll get to more of them. Like the Cardinals' offense ... Let's get started quickly because I have a meeting I cannot miss at 1 p.m. St. Louis time. Thank you for understanding.
    Away we go.
  • Can you describe in more detail what mechanical adjustments Nolan Gorman made? Is it swing path, hand speed, what physically was changed to get to the high heat?
  • I can. I attempted to do so in a recent article that I'll link below. To the article, I'll add this drill that he did to help him keep that back shoulder from dropping and creating an angle coming up to the ball and limiting the time he was on plane to attack that high pitch. He would tuck a towel between his side and his left, keeping that elbow tucked tight, and he work to load while holding the towel, keep that position, and then let loose so that he wasn't coming at an angle to the ball. 
    Other adjustments he made to his path included soft toss and tee work described in this story: 

    What change Nolan Gorman made to get back in the swing, launch himself as Cardinals DH

    STLtoday.comVexed by elevated fastballs and mounting strikeouts, Gorman said the 'writing was on the wall' that he needed a new angle at the plate to stick in majors.
  • Should we expect roster movement today - specifically around Gallegos?
  • It would be three days too late if that were the case. They should have done it much earlier and not played shorthanded for a series. Giovanny Gallegos threw a bullpen session Sunday morning at the ballpark so that by game time and later in the day the Cardinals could see how he responded to that workout. After the game, the Cardinals were encouraged. They did not have an arm on standby from Class AAA Memphis, it's worth noting. The expectation following that workout and how he described feeling is that he will be available tonight.
  • I'm concerned about Jordan Hicks. I get that he has high velocity, but that is certainly nothing unique in this day and age. For whatever reason, he doesn't miss many bats, and his lack of command is obvious. You hate to give up on the guy, but dang, it seems hard to trust him with a late inning role.
  • There is something interesting about high-speed sinker pitchers. They get hit. Take a look at Aroldis Chapman back when he was overpowering teams (like the Cardinals). Batters made contact on his fastest pitches that were strikes. They fouled them off. They put them in play meekly. But they made contact. You can use Baseball Savant and some of the other Pitch F/x data to show that high-speed fastballs (especially sinkers) get contact. They don't often get whiffs, because hitters can gear up to hit -- just not hard or always in the air. It's the slider that gets the whiffs. Was Chapman. Needs to be Hicks. And when he doesn't land it, then hitters can gear up for the speed and the sink and put it in play. Or they can count on the slider getting them a walk. That's where Hicks is as a pitcher.
  • My friends and I are quite bullish on this team offensively, so I started a comparison to my favorite all time Cardinal’s team:

    Runs Scored Comparison Through 3 Games:
    2004 Cardinals: 20
    2023 Cardinals: 22*

    The 2004 squad puts up 28 more combined runs in games 4-6.

    I think this team can match that team. Too bullish?
  • Too bullish. But this is a deep, offensively strong team. It will take a run at being one of the best in the National League. But one of the best Cardinals' lineups? Let's put the brakes on that for a bit.
  • Derrick, do you see Cards moving on from Carlson for a number 2 starter?Seems like the other alternatives in the outfield have more power potential.
  • Not that the moment. Carlson's role in the first series of the season is not what the Cardinals expect for him during the entire season. Power potential isn't the only tool guiding that decision. Defensive play and reliability will have a say in the weeks ahead.
  • With Mikolas extended, are the Cardinals looking at hammering out extensions with any more vets (Flaherty, Montgomery, O’Neill, Edman) or younger guys (Walker, Nootbaar, Gorman, Carlson)?
  • At last check, they don't have anything brewing at the moment. They are a spring extending team, for sure, but Mozeliak makes clear -- to fans, to media, and, yes, to agents -- that he is "always open for business." Montgomery told reporters that he did not want to have those talks during the season, so if he holds to that stance, those comments, it won't happen there. Any conversation with Flaherty is going to take place during the season after both sides see where his production, health, and success is headed. Both sides are open to a discussion on an extension at some point but neither side knows at the moment what a fair look to that contract will coming out of the past few seasons. 
    As for some of the younger players, the Cardinals tend to let them play for a bit before doing the Rays offer or the Atlanta offer of a player before a few weeks of their career. That said, the Cardinals know what the market will be for Walker thanks in part to Atlanta's moves. 
    Next spring could be an interesting time for extensions.
    Two to keep in mind along with the young players are these players who could receive extensions at some point in the 2023-24 offseason/spring stretch: Paul Goldschmidt and/or Nolan Arenado.
  • Hi Derrick! What’s your take on the early season hitting? I expected it to be good but not this good and patient…
  • This is who the Cardinals want to be. This is who the Cardinals can be. They have a handful of young hitters on the rise, a legit cleanup hitter at No. 5, and two stars, including Arenado, who is primed to win the NL MVP. That is a dangerous offense, for sure. And it has the characteristics and approach of a patient team -- like you said -- that hits with authority. Strong traits for a deep offense.
    Bassitt talked about how difficult it was to navigate. The Cardinals would like all pitchers they face to say the same things.
  • This offense raised the bar in a hurry. If you want to play, you’d better hit. The days of Cardinals managers watching a guy go 3-for-30 and still running him out their everyday seem to be in the rearview.
  • It's been three games. Let's not make such bold pronouncements just yet.
  • Good Morning Derrick. Not many observations are valid after only 3 games. But I shall try a few. SP remains a concern, offense looks like a juggernaut. 4 OFers looking for ABs morphed into 5. Hicks' spot in the RP pecking order could be changing. Pitch clock is great. I have a theory that when a batter uses his timeout, The pitcher should use the clock to his advantage and use all the clock before pitching. The longer a hitter has to wait the more anxious he becomes. Have you heard anything about individuals or the team using the clock to gain an advantage?
  • Pitchers are exploring how to do that. The Cardinals had several meetings during spring training with pitchers and catchers about how best to use the clock, and whether there were ways to use it like you suggest. Pitchers like Zack Thompson, who saw teams tinker with the clock at Class AAA, described what they saw and how they went about using it. Max Scherzer talked a lot this spring about ways he wanted to use the clock -- and even prompted an adjustment to the rule to short-circuit one way he was doing it. Quick pitching at 8 seconds in, for example. That said, yes, you'll see pitchers who are comfortable with their mechanics and their stuff and all of that -- ones who aren't creatures of precision habits -- toy with the clock. Cueto will have some fun.
  • Thanks for your chat
    Libertore might have crossed the threshold of major league pitcher. What do you think? How much contribution do you expect this year and next year?
  • He has in the eyes of the major-league staff. He's been impressive in the past three or four weeks, and he continued that into the Class AAA season with higher velocity and more assertive use of his breaking ball. Strong beginning to his year. He'll contribute this year in two ways:
    -- He's currently positioned as the No. 6 starter.
    -- His performance will influence the Cardinals' choices with starter pursuits for 2024.
  • I watched a little bit of the Bluejays telecast and There announcers said this Cards lineups is one of the best in baseball and was amazed at how young they are.
  • All of the hits with exit velocities over 100, make me think the balls are juiced. thoughts?
  • Sigh. Sometimes a duck is a duck, and it's just a duck.
  • I believe Randy Flores has played a large part in the Cards success. Could he be a successor to Mo when he retires...and if not... what can the Cards do keep him in the organization.
  • He has been a large part of the Cardinals' success. Full stop. There is tons of evidence. Look at the current roster. It's stocked with Flores' draft picks (Carlson to Walker, Burleson to Donovan to Pallante, Winn on deck). His influence and presence has grown -- and it's set to continue growing from his oversight on the amateur scouting and helm of the draft. When John Mozeliak talks about some changes coming to the baseball ops as he goes through his current extension, he means giving greater voice and power to his group that he's kept together. That does include Randy Flores, since you asked about him specifically. Other teams are going to come calling (some have for the Cardinals' execs) and Flores is viewed as a rising candidate to run baseball ops somewhere. We saw that starting to happen with GM Michael Girsch, especially early in 2020, and it has continued behind the scenes. Moises Rodriguez and Gary LaRocque are part of that group as well, and you've seen what special assistant Matt Slater, who was listed as a candidate for Detroit's lead job, has done to expand the Cardinals' presence/interest in Asia.
  • With the Cards having only 2 starters signed for next year, do you think they are planning to go internally for starters? Pallenta, Libatore, and Thompson seem to be very good options for 2024, your thoughts.
  • For at least one spot, that's the case. Liberatore and Thompson are two names to write in pencil, and do not ignore Woodford's bid to be part of the conversation. He has the job. That's a great way to win the job. McGreevy and Graceffo should also be watched. Hence as the sleeper to pull a Walker.
  • Hi derrick! Looking forward to a power chat! After all the ballyhoo about bally, is it back to business as usual and we cord cutters have to watch gameday for highlights if we don't want fubo? I'd love to sit back with a coldie and watch a Cardinals game in the tube.
  • It's going to be a headache to start this season and maybe for the entire season. But it's going to be better in the future. There is every indication that what comes from this collapse of the RSN model is going to be better access and product for consumers. Caveat: It may be pricier. And that's not ideal for any of us. I know. But ... no blackouts, access to all games, on demand, streaming ... there's a lot to like about what this could force MLB and its teams to do -- and what they are ready to do.
  • Good Morning Derrick! Overall I am pleased with that first series. Do you think the bats are just clicking right now or are the new rule changes (say, the shift ban being the likely biggest factor) to blame/thank for so many hits this past weekend? I haven't seen yet whether offense was up in other cities too. Thanks
  • I think it's the Cardinals' ability and approach more than the rule changes, honestly. Early returns suggest that the changes in offense for the first weekend of the season are more singles and far more steals. The Cardinals did not ... really see that except for all the singles against them. The Cardinals hit for damage, they took some steals, but not as many as they could have, and that was a concern for the manager. This is a window into what the Cardinals can be, new rules or not: A deep, difficult lineup to face with young hitters blossoming.
  • How concerned should the Cardinals be over pitching right now? It's super early obviously but this weekend could have easily gone off the rails the other direction had the Jays capitalized and taken advantage of some missed opportunities.
  • On a scale of 1-5 where five is sunshine and rainbows and one is the dark abyss of too late to do anything. They're a strong 3.
  • Do you think Jim Edmonds will eventually get into the Hall of Fame? Do you personally
    think he should?
  • I don't know. I voted for him, so my opinion is already logged and signed with the Hall of Fame. Any name I check on my Hall of Fame ballot I have to be ready to be elected to the Hall. So, yes.
  • Libby had a good first start in Memphis. Hope he continues to do welll….. he hasn’t been impressive in his tenure with Cards but I’m sure we’re going to need reinforcements!
  • He was, to follow the phrase used a lot this spring, far improved by the end of camp. He had a start on the back fields that caused some concern. It was really inconsistent. And yet it may have been the best chance for instruction, because he came out of that into the best stretch of games in his career. And that has continued.
  • The “injury” that sent Wilkening Rodriguez to the i.l. seems notably convenient since it prevents him from being reclaimed by the Yankees. Does the player have to agree to the designation? Has Rodriguez commented on the listing? Is the advantage for him that as long as he is a Cardinal, he is paid MLB minimum and has nowhere to go except to the majors? Is there a history of such injury listings being protested to the league by teams who lost players in the Rule 5 draft?
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