Bobo's here and there are plenty of ballplayers lined up. So let's go!
I expect ownership to write off these season to a crushing array of pitching injuries -- Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Carlos Martinez, Jordan Hicks, Dakota Hudson, Ryan Helsley, now Wade LeBlanc -- and look forward to the reset for '22. I expect decisions on management, field staff and roster to be made on what must happen next season, not on what happened this season. Bill DeWitt Jr. must decide the best path forward on all fronts.
I expect the universal DH to be in play next season and that solves the issue when Nolan Gorman is ready to play at this level. Gorman could play some second base against some right-handers, fill in occasionally at third base and handle some DH chores. Of course, injuries and slumps will dictate usage as well.
Flip a coin. But the Cardinals' goal is to get back into the chase next year and the year after and the year after an so forth regardless of what the Cubs' plans are. It would take a lot a bad things happening at once to force the Cardinals into a multi-year rebuild.
The Cardinals did round up some useful pitching with J.A. Happ, Wade LeBlanc, Luis Garcia and T.J. McFarland in particular. They needed to get more help sooner, though, and the organization's lack of minor league depth hurt again when Jack Flaherty, LeBlanc, Ryan Helsley, Justin Miller and Kwang Hyun Kim suffered post-deadline injuries.
I am use there will be some forensic study of that today by the field staff. That escalated quickly.
There seems to be some smoke on the Zdeno Chara front. If the big fella wants to play another year the Blues figure to be in that chase. The rest of the UFA list is pretty weak. Maybe a right-shot defender like Sami Vatanen would add insurance, but doesn't fit the team's need for a shutdown defender.
It was weird watching Cabrera left to die out there. I know Cabrera has been very good and Shildt has confidence in his ability to stop bleeding. I understand that a manager can't always have a reliever throwing in the bullpen in case the current reliever falters -- a team would need a 20-man bullpen to always have somebody warm. But I was surprised there was no effort to at least slow down that inning once things turned ugly. Slow the momentum, allow Cabrera to regroup, allow the next guy to get ready . . . it does seem like more could have been done.
We have been playing solemn music and respectfully guiding chatters to the visitation parlor for some time here on Fridays. We have been talking up the afterlife, er, the 2022 season week after week.
Paul DeJong appears to be a lost cause, along with, of course, Matt Carpenter. But a lot of good things are happening with the young outfielders along with Edmundo Sosa, who needs to play regularly the rest of the way, There has been notable progress in the minors as well with the key prospects.
See, we don't just alibi for the Cardinals, to use one of Mike Shildt's favorite words.
It seems Shildt's honeymoon period with fans ended a while back. At least he had a honeymoon, unlike Mike Matheny.
Come April if the Blues are in the postseason fray and there is no baseball due to a work stoppage, then, yes, this team will have more puckheads.
This team has sure found some new ways to lose. The Cardinals lack offensive swagger and from time to time they have been caught trying to do too much in the field. It's seems clear the group knows it lacks the pitching to stay in the chase now and it will be tough to keep their heads up.