The Cardinals aren't going to bench DeJong unless he's hurt or needs some sort of a mental reset. They clearly see Sosa as a defense-only player, pretty much. He's had all of 11 at-bats in the majors, and they don't like going to him for pinch-hit opportunities much. Jose Rondon should probably replace him on the bench if there's such a reluctance to use him, especially if the offense continues to struggle. Sosa is out of options, so he had the upper hand. But there's no sense in keeping a player who is not being used just to keep a team from taking him. Especially if there's a bat that could be used more effectively, like Rondon, available. Rondon can handle some shortstop. If something happens where there's more of a defensive need there, Edman can play there, too. Sosa just doesn't seem to have much of a role on Shildt's bench. Knizner isn't going to play much this season unless Molina is hurt. He's definitely not going to play much when Molina is swinging the bat like this. He's averaging .353 with a .410 on-base percentage and a .588 slugging percentage. And hitting cleanup.
He looks just fine in center to me. You?
Well, yeah, he's been one of the Cards' most reliable relievers before he moved back into the rotation. Right now he's needed in the rotation because he can give five solid winnnable innings more times than not. KK likely takes Ponce de Leon's place. Depending on what happens from there with Mikolas and Oviedo -- whose performance could force a change -- then a change that added a starter with more upside would improve the bullpen because of Gant's reliability as a reliever.
A narrative that playing time and opportunity is decided from scratch at every spring training is one that will be proven false, yes. Because that is not true and never has been. If that was the case, Paul Goldschmidt would be benched for John Nogowski. I don't think that is a better team. I imagine you would agree. Sosa is clearly the odd man out here. If he's not going to be used, he should be replaced with a player who will get some action. I agree Nogowski should get some chances in the outfield. Why not? He hit his way onto the team, but now can't find more than the occasional at-bat. As for as the others -- Carpenter, Dean, Williams, Thomas -- it's pretty clear opportunities are going to be spread out between them all depending on the day and the matchup. If someone makes it clear that should change, then it will. Yes, some have to do more than others. Guys with track records and contracts get the benefit of the doubt. As it is with most teams, and businesses.
Their hope that Kim and Mikolas will get healthy and perform is the biggest reason for waiting. If they don't get healthy and don't perform, or if the rotation breaks down in another way, then there could be better upgrade options available around the trade deadline than the current passed-over free-agent starters.
In general the Cardinals have had a harder time producing position players than pitchers, so that's a start. Ozuna did not prove to be a long-term solution, so that continued the search. What appears so far to be a misread on Randy Arozarena's ceiling hurt them as well, and increased their interest in making sure they don't ship out another internal candidate they might regret not finding more of a chance for later. That's the recent rundown. This season the outfield plan was to sort through things once and for all. So far the sorting has been sapped by injuries to Bader and O'Neill and not producing much evidence there is a rock-solid starter other than Carlson in the mix. How long the Cardinals commit to the experiment is going to be interesting to see if the unit continued to produce some of the most meager numbers we're seeing around the majors. It's a hard thing to do, trying to balance being a team that wants to division with a team that is treating its outfield as a tryout. Might be an impossible thing to do. We'll see.
"Slicker" is a term I've heard used once or twice do describe them. By the end of the month we will be able to compare April 2019 to April 2021. I'm not sure we should compare anything to 2020, to be honest. So far this season teams are averaging 1.17 home runs per game. Last season it was 1.28. In 2019 it was 1.39. It's the first month and conditions are cold. We should see more informative numbers soon. The goal is to have fewer "cheap" home runs and more balls in play.
It does? He's got three home runs in 10 games. Last season he had three in 35 before the playoffs, when he played great. Last night was just his third multi-strikeout game of the season. I think he's looking OK.
There was an update in today's paper. He was at Busch Stadium for a bullpen yesterday. Maddux was pleased with how it went. Not yet determined when he will face hitters. Commish said May return seems reasonable -- unless there are more setbacks. The lack of a clear, concrete timeline is a bit concerning, yes. Especially considering how often his timeline has changed since the spring training setback. Lots of fluidity to it compared to Kim's, which has been on a public schedule that has not waivered much.
Don't see that happening whether he needs it or not. He's been on the injured list one time in his career. That was for a fractured hand. In 2014.
Maybe. But I won't knock the Cardinals for wanting to see if Kim and Mikolas can be back and better than those options. Johan Oviedo might be better than those options, too. If he keeps pitching like he did after jumping on Ponce de Leon's fire, then finding a place for him in the rotation would seem wise. One way to bolster the rotation is to add from the outside -- a risk considering none of those guys you mentioned have been in structured camps after all teams passed over them. Another way is to make sure you have your best arms in the rotation. The Cardinals already talked themselves into putting one in the pen, in Alex Reyes. If you're going to upgrade the rotation from the outside, and that could be a need, there might be better options available once teams start to realize if they're in or out of it and sort into buyer/seller territory. Right now those decisions are premature.