If Pietrangelo was as surprised as he suggested that the Blues pivoted as quickly as they did, someone read the room wrong. You would think he would have a better feel for Armstrong after 12 seasons in St. Louis, but it's his agents' job to understand what's happening and when it will happen. Some of this might have been window dressing. There are always two sides to every story. Armstrong being unpredictable, always, is about the only thing predictable about him.
Thing is, home runs don't cost all that much. The Cardinals are just one of the few competitive teams that have a problem hitting them. There will be more cost efficient power bats available than, say, free agent George Springer. How about Joc Pederson as a platoon option in the outfield? The Cardinals don't strike all that often. They walk at a really high rate. They're doing some good things -- grinding at-bats, all that stuff. What they lack is power. Damage. Crooked numbers. It's really hard to walk in runs.
That's a pretty low bar. I would like to think the Cardinals have higher expectations. I would like to think fans expect more.
First, it's a great story. Backs against the wall, knowing it's over after their next loss, they break through for the first playoff win. Awesome story. St. Louis FC is an important chapter that helped lead to St. Louis landing an MLS team, no doubt about that. And for those intricately involved -- owners, players, fans -- it was a lot more than that. It was a community. I love that they're going out in style. Great sendoff. Hope they can keep it rolling.
You are not crazy. Not at all. The new guys -- Tauskie Dove, D'ionte Smith, Michah Wilson and more -- did the most important thing. They caught the ball. I'll be very interested to see what the depth chart looks like receiver when Mizzou resumes play against Florida. I don't think Drinkwitz can or should ignore the plays he saw being made Saturday.
One sign was the way the Maty Mauk situation was handled at the time. Certain players were handled in different ways than others. There were breakdowns in communication between coaches at times, etc. Pinkel's entire philosophy revolved around everything being planned, organized and adhered to. The program at its best was a well-oiled machine. It was not toward the end.
Let me know when you hear.
Just a minor flesh wound. He'll be fine.
I'm not following your first sentence. Flaherty has explained in the past how he views the Cardinals' decision to renew him because he disagrees with the system in place for assigning his contract, but he has never said he's determined to go through free agency, or unwilling to sign a long-term deal if he's offered one. It's fair to wonder how that will play out, but he hasn't said if he will or won't. He's one in a group of young players that have realized the system works against them -- because it does. Baseball is leaning more and more on younger talent, but the current CBA does not pay young talent accordingly. It's going to be one of the big topics in the upcoming CBA negotiations. The Cardinals could trade Flaherty, and he would be one of their most appealing tradable players, considering his upside and what he did last season and against the Padres in his playoff start this season. I'm not sure how a team built around strong pitching would justify that being a wise move considering his bright future and also the recent injuries to Miles Mikolas and Dakota Hudson. The Cardinals have a lot of pitchers, but you're making a mistake if you think they have a lot of pitchers as talented as Flaherty.
I don't know. I don't think the Cardinals know at this point.
Your analogy kind of works if you ignore the trade for Paul Goldschmidt (that worked out pretty well so far) and only focus on recent years. The Cardinals are not terrible at trade evaluation, historically. Quite the opposite, really. It used to be, for years, that the players the Cardinals traded away did little if anything else at their new locations. The start of the shift seemed to be around 2017 when the Cardinals sent Marco Gonzales away for Tyler O'Neill. Gonzales has been a very valuable starter for the Mariners. O'Neill still looks like a 4-A hitter with the Cardinals. And then there are the more recent examples, some of which are still not able to be graded completely because of the prospects moved around in the trades. I think it's more than fair to point to these issues. But I would not limit them to trades. It's player evaluation and projection. Why did the Cardinals fee the Matt Carpenter extension was a good one? Why was O'Neill worth losing Gonzales, and prioritizing over a guy like Randy Arozarena? As I said earlier, the Cardinals missed on these kinds of calls so rarely in the past it's the uptick of head-scratching decisions that should be directing them toward some sort of an audit that examines what's going on. There's another element to it, too. Other teams are getting better at doing the stuff the Cardinals used to excel at.
I think it has more to do with development in the majors. It's pretty common to see a Cardinals draft-and-develop guy scorch through the minors, make his debut, then plateau or regress. That's not a minor league issue as much as it is something not happening at the major league level, right? Edman is the most recent example. Bader and O'Neill are examples. Carlson hopes to avoid becoming the next example. It's the hardest jump to make. No doubt about that. But the turbulence seems to be predictable at this point. A little too predictable.