Bobo's here, ready for another afternoon in the saw mill. It's standing room only again, so let's go!
There isn't a good reason for Carpenter still being on the team. The Cardinals have let go other players who were owed money and there was every reason to do so again this season. This team had ample opportunity to find more offensive depth and failed.
I would be surprised if the Blues gave away one of their few really promising young forwards just to offload Tarasenko's contract on a team. And right now I don't see any "hockey trade" for him. Buffalo and Arizona are in long-haul rebuilds, Vegas and Anaheim seem to be jockeying for Jack Eichel, the Islanders have already spent beyond the cap, the Hurricanes spent their money on Jesperi Kotkaniemi and the Devils haven't made a move on No. 91 despite having Martin Brodeur's insights on him.
Like I said, I can see Sosa getting the shot at shortstop if he continues to excel this year. Gorman is a no-brainer for next season with the DH likely. He can also play second and third. Yepez can play the corner infield and he is due a look too. Internal offensive upgrades would allow the team to invest in pitching, although Scherzer at $40 million or $50 million per year won't happen here. Happ is a possibility for sure, and I would expect the team to look outside for at least one starter and multiple relievers.
Nobody would ever volunteer to face Scherzer in a one-game playoff. And if the Cardinals made the play-in game and beat the Giants, yes, they would be massive underdogs. But they would rather be in the NLDS than not.
I'm not sure why DeJong declined so precipitously as a hitter, but here we are with him hovering around the Mendoza Line. His occasional homer and steady fielding is not enough to merit regular work.
By staying in the playoff chase until the end, the Cardinals met their baseline goal of contending every year for the postseason. But that doesn't change anything. They were always going to do some retooling for 2022 after getting dead money off the books after this season. They were always going to push for contention again next season. That is what the goal is every year. That has been the plan since the DeWitt regime got rolling.
That's a coin flip. These guys are deep into their twilight. Lester's tough-minded approach has been a nice add to the chemistry, but his liability in the field rears its head from time to time. At times Happ seems to have more in the tank, but he turns 39 next month.
Yadier has taken a physical beating over the course of the season and those ailments add up.
Albert works with Carpenter just as he works with the other hitters -- most of whom are in a good place right now. Carpenter refused to adjust his overall approach for whatever reason and the team is living with the results. Meanwhile several teammates have become more productive.
There were some decent QBs in the XFL, certainly some back-up caliber NFLers at least. As for Taylor, if you can get on that bandwagon, make sure to grab a seat by the door. This ride could get rocky once NFL defensive coordinators get a good look at him.
I think they were always going to make moves for '22 once they got dead money off the books. Perhaps what changed is that guys making a positive late impression (Sosa, Garcia, McFarland, Nootbaar) altered the shopping list some. And I don't think the Cardinals were counting on Molina and Wainwright earning another year. So in that sense the individual successes during this late push likely shortened the to-do list for this winter.
It's right up there. Had Wong stayed the fielding would be off the charts, but it's excellent as is. The outfielder range is special. Have a fielder like Arenado at third base (like Rolen back in the day) takes a lot of runs off the boards. Goldschmidt cleans up mistakes at first base.
I can't answer that because I have not been pumping DeJong's tires. I've graded him harshly in my report cards.
Theoretically, if the Cardinals could beat Scherzer in the play-in game, then the Giants would seem to be a less imposing playoff opponent than the Dodgers -- who are finally getting their pitching healthier. But let's be honest, this Cardinals team would just be thrilled just to get in the wild card game. Any positive outcome after that would be an upset.
Yeah, it's baffling. I just don't get it.
Yes, Mozeliak found valuable pitching help at the deadline. He secured several upgrades, which was impressive. But . . . this team entered the season poor offensive depth and never fixed that. A better Opening Day roster might have propelled this team to early wild card clinch and a better run at the Brewers. And that lack of offensive depth could still cost this team at crunch time.
Ponce de Leon is like so many young pitchers here and elsewhere: big arms, big potential but still needing polish. Also, injuries have hindered his development. He could use a full year of regular work at this level to work things out.