He had a good rep for helping Florida State recruit high-level talent during his time as an assistant there. But he was not the head coach and Florida is not Missouri, so we will see. He had good results recruiting junior college transfer-up guys at Cleveland State. He's got some connections to some heavy-hitting assistant coaches known for recruiting. Jerrance Howard was one name speculated about. That would be a big get, if he can make it happen. He was a top recruiter at Kansas under Bill Self for a while. At Texas now.
The team views their pitching potential and additions in a more favorable light than you, is the best way to put it. We'll find out. As for what fans demand, I expect a sellout on opening day. Meaning, a lot of fans are excited about Cardinals baseball in 2022. And they count, too.
Scandella and DeJong have become top seeds in this March's edition of Angst Madness
My advice would be to factor in the expanded postseason into the amount of credit given to teams for making it. As always, it's most important where you end. If a team goes from barely sneaking in to making a run, that's what matters, the destination. But if a team barely gets in and then gets knocked out upon arrival, fans shouldn't buy great-season selling points from a team that was supposed to have a legitimate chance. The Cardinals want us to believe they have a legitimate chance. Their current state of things is not all that convincing, but not as bad as some here make it seem. With a full season to go and many decisions to make along the way that can and will help or hurt their chances. That's baseball. But I'm going to go ahead and say now that immediately getting pushed out of an expanded postseason is not something the Cardinals should try to force-feed their fans as success. Because no one should buy it.
As mentioned earlier, the trust-the-depth approach causes some flashbacks to last season but the throw-a-ton-of-strikes approach was adopted and built upon this season. The Cardinals got rid of a lot of those walkers, and replaced them with zone pounders, to feed the defense. They want to see how that works before making big changes. I get it. It's how quickly and aggressively front office will adjust to performance issues that can't or are not being filled from within that I'm a lot more interested in. Those questions can't be answered now, as much as everyone loves to predict.
I liked the idea of a more old-school big bopper role for this team's DH, considering the scrutiny on the offense and the ability to maximize power and not sweat defense for one spot in the lineup on a team that hopes to put the best defense on the field and makes playing decisions built around that, for good reason. The Cardinals are going the other way. Chances for young at-bats. Maximizing platoons and match-ups. Giving regulars like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado a day off of defense here and there, as research shows a week or more of consecutive starts can lead to some sag in players. A lot of NL teams are taking this approach. The Nationals took a different approach. They grabbed Nelson Cruz. I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the idea of Cruz crushing baseballs for the Cardinals.
I'm more concerned about being force-fed the idea that a hitter who was not asked to help the major league offense at any point last season, even in a pinch-hit role, despite great numbers in Memphis is now suddenly supposed to be counted upon as big factor in the DH lineup. That's a big leap, and it could be hard to land.
Unless the Cardinals get more bad injury news on starters or starter candidates, I think they are going forward with what they have. The market is limited, and they don't want to trade Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, Jordan Walker to get a starter -- at least at this time. Two of those guys (Gorman and Liberatore) should help this team at some point this season, and that's part of the reasoning.
Today is game four. Deep breaths. Adding Dickerson, a former Gold Glove winner in outfield, helps Cardinals keep Edman in infield, where he won Gold Glove last season. But yes, Gorman could be there eventually. First he will need to hit well enough to be a DH factor. That's his first challenge.
Time to jet, folks. Gotta go get some interviews knocked out. Recap headed to the site later. Same time and place next week.