The Cardinals control both and I would expect both to return for the usual entry-level money.
I just don't see the Cardinals having enough starting pitching to win a best-of-seven NLCS, on the very outside chance it got that far.
That seems about right. He should ride the wave of the strong Cardinals finish. Voters will take a closer look at what he has done this year. Some voters don't look too much further than the Wins Above Replacement metric, but others will consider team success.
He is a career .217 hitter who has never had more than 142 at bats in a big league season. So while he may have earned a shot at bench work here again next season, I do not see him starting anywhere.
Wainwright, Flaherty, Hudson, Reyes and Mikolas look good for the rotation next season. As I noted earlier, maybe Happ can stick in long relief and depth starter if he came back, And adding a proven starting pitcher better than Happ or Lester seems critical.
Liberatore figures to make his big league debut next season. They Cardinals may need 10 or 12 starters to get through the season and that's where guys like Matthew come into play. But if Reyes is healthy, I can't imagine him losing his shot at starting in the spring.
As I noted before, the fans play a big role in this and I do not sense much groundswell for Javier.
Again, the Cardinals need one starting pitcher through trade or free agency and a couple of relievers. Again, I mentioned Happ, Garcia and McFarland as guys to keep. Bringing a reliever like Joe Kelly back could make since, if they Dodgers don't keep him. It's hard to define the free agent/trade market in the season.
He thought he needed a break from managing. Obviously he wasn't ready to retire from baseball, so he tried management work. And since he went back to managing it's easy to say he retired too soon.
They need to bring in veteran depth pitchers to mix with their pitching prospects. As I have been stating week after week, going into next season with six-man rotation would make sense too.
I'm sure folks around the league are aware of Tarasenko's reputation. That's one reason why Armstrong has not been getting trade inquiries about him.
If they knew ahead of time which pitchers were going to break down and when the breakdown would occur, that would have helped with the planning.
Nolan Gorman figures to fit into that to some degree at some point next year, perhaps right away if he has great spring.
Ignoring Sosa's success this season would also be a typical Cardinals move and play somebody else, as Randy Arozarena would tell you.
Sosa is hitting .301 with an .811 OPS as a starter, so that is worth a longer look.
Why spend big money to replace a guy who is playing well? Why not save that money to use where a more glaring need develops. If Sosa turns out to be a flash in a pan, then replace him down the road. But if he turns out to be like Randy Arozarena, then you have filled still another need internally -- which is the Cardinals Way.
Again, why are the Cardinals trading key assets and investing money to play a position where the team is getting good low-cost production? If I am running the team, I worry about second base after I have a strong six-man rotation, a strong five-man rotation at Memphis, at least six relievers with the proven ability to shut down teams from the seventh-inning on and a proven multi-positional hitter to make sure their is DH pop and bench strength. I want to see a fully interchangeable mix of position players, which is where Gorman can fit and a proven utility hitter could fit.
That would have to happen in the spring, of course, and I think it is possible.
He will probably get that honor some day, but this downturn has been hard to watch and very expensive for the team.
DeJong could also fit in that vision of interchangeable position players with every guy on the roster being starter quality.
That is the other consideration too.
OK, that's it for this week. See you next time!