Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Bring your Cards, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and MLS questions and comments, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in his weekly live chat.

    Bobo's here! As usual we have some ballplayers in here, so let's get started.
    The Cards are a badly flawed team with no depth that rank only a notch or two above the worst teams in the NL. Simply put, they don’t hit, they don’t pitch well, and even their defense ranks near the bottom. Their bench is horrible, the coaching questionable in part due to the aforementioned points above. If the front office can do no better than pursuing the likes of Wade LeBlanc, Shelby Miller and other retreads, is this team really advancing forward or will they continue to move sideways?
    The Cardinals have a nice group of higher-ceiling hitting prospects, but they are at the Double-A level and below. Obviously they need those players to develop, starting with Nolan Gorman -- who could add pop to the batting order by next season.
    On the pitching side, a healthy Jack Flaherty and Dakota Hudson would be a good starting point for the rotation. Johan Oviedo looks legit as well. Matthew Liberatore appears to be moving in the right direction after a tough start at Memphis, but Zack Thompson slipped in his transition to Triple A
    After trading away a lot of young pitching to get guys like Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O'Neill and Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals need to have another good draft at that position this summer. They need to hit on a few college pitchers who can backfill sooner than later because the lack of pitching depth in the organization is glaring.
    Joe Buck just sees what everybody not afraid of the Cardinals Organization sees. Poorly managed, poor roster construction, poor trades and extensions. It’s time for fundamental change in management
    If you hold your breath waiting for fundamental change you will pass out. Bill DeWitt Jr. has a vision for how his franchise runs and he has people in place ot execute that vision. With the addition of Nolan Arenado, the development of Dylan Carlson and Tyler O'Neill, the energy of Harrison Bader and Edmundo Sosa, and the promise of Nolan Gorman and Jordan Walker, I'm guessing DeWitt can look past all the injuries and see that the baseball operation remains on track.
    That said, the inability of the front office to add a few solid .250-type hitters to the bench is baffling.
    Jeff back in 2018 you said the Blues should go after ROR. Who do you feel they should go after this year one in free agency and one via trade
    The guy everybpdy wants -- but Calgary would be dumb to trade -- is Matthew Tkachuk. Imagine how happy he would make The Chief. Maybe that will be a play down the road if Calgary can't keep him out of unrestricted free agency.
    I assume that Adam Larsson will re-up in Edmonton, but he could a perfect fit here as a shutdown defender. He could take those tough minutes Jay Bouwmeester handled so well.
    Hello Jeff. The Cardinals offense has generally been on a downward trend for the last few years (including Carp) and coincides with the Jeff Albert hire and his implementation of his hitting philosophy and analytics. Why has the team not seen that he is the problem. Focusing on launch angles, exit velocity and hard hit rate isn't helping. The players can't avoid the shift and just look lost at the plate, like they are overthinking it all. Why does no one call the team and Albert out on this? I have mentioned this on some texts to radio stations and I only get crickets. Is there an edict to all media to not criticize the Cardinal coaches? Because to me it seems obvious and is killing this team.
    What is killing this team is playing guys who are at the end of their career, like Matt Carpenter, or guys who have never established themsleves at this level, like Justin Williams, Lane Thomas, John Nogowski and Max Moroff. For whatever reason the Cardinals decided to come into this season with poor offensive depth. For whatever reason, they have done nothing to fix that.
    If you want to dog Jeff Albert for failing to get Paul DeJong on track, fine, but then give full credit for turning Tyler O'Neill into a viable middle-of-the-order hitter and nurturing Tommy Edman and Dylan Carlson as solid top-of-the-order guys.
  • The Cardinal starters in the last 5 games have been pitching great. They have pitched 32 innings and given up only 8 ER but the starters got 3 no decisions and 2 losses. There is NO run support. They got lucky with a couple walk off hits against a last place Miami team but Atlanta is 11th in the NL in pitching and AGAIN they look feeble at the plate. All of the players have regressed and the ones who were shipped out have improved. Moving players around in the lineup doesn't fix the issue. So, Jeff, what IS the issue?
  • The obvious problem is poor offensive depth. How many games have the Cardinals started multiple sub-.200 hitters? How many times have they sent a pinch-hitter with zero chance to hit in a key spot?
    The Cardinals have the framework of a decent attack when they are at 100 percent. But teams are seldom at 100 percent, especially this season. So the front office's inability/unwillingness to fill in the roster blanks has left this team short. 
  • Jeff,
    Seriously, what is going on with the Cardinals’ front office? Roster shortcomings that were obvious over the winter (and were not addressed) are flashing an even brighter shade of red. The “fixes” done by Mo and Curly (Girsch) have reached the point of embarrassment. Are the Cardinals in such bad financial shape or under an edict from ownership that prevents them from making anything except bottom feeder moves? Is this franchise getting set up to be sold? The front office performance is not rational for a team that purports to be a championship contender. Thank you for any insight you can provide.
  • The ownership just made a massive financial commitment to Nolan Arenado after making a massive financial commitment to Paul Goldschmidt. The Cardinals took advantage of lesser franchises that were looking to spend less on talent. And the Cardinals' Opening Day payroll was easily the largest in the National League Central. 
    So commitment is not the issue. For this particular team, the failure to upgrade the supporting cast this season has been the issue. Once injuries hit that failure became more acute.
  • at what point does FO consider Jeff albert approach nor working. menphis is near the bottom so is Springfield. and cards still in 4rth place.
  • The problem is Memphis is an acute lack of talent. That team is terrible. Springfield as a half-dozen interesting hitting prospects, but many of them have been aggressively promoted --arguably rushed. Somehow I don't believe that is Jeff Albert's problem.
  • Jeff, seems like crowds last week badly disappointed although against a bad Fla team. I think the pandemic allowed for many fans opportunities to find other activities to occupy their time and the march back to the stadium will be slow. The team best start winning and/or push nightly bobbleheads or the front office will be staring at lots of empty nightly seats. Do you see it the same way?
  • Yes and no. Had the Cardinals played the Cubs in a weekend series with good weather, I'm guessing there would have been a nice turnout. Also, a big percentage of fans come to games here from a fair distance. That can take some planning and there was limited notice ahead the stadium being opened to full capacity.
    But as with a strike or lockout, the shutdown of the sport, then the limiting of ticket sales, allowed folks to spend money on other things. Many of those fans won't come back, at least not right away. So the Cardinals (and other teams) will have to work harder to get them back. That means lowering ticket prices as well as creating a better product.
    This is why owners like DeWitt need to work hard to prevent a work stoppage after this season. That would be disastrous on the heels of the pandemic. 
  • Mr. Gordon, I have enjoyed reading your chats for the past few years and even got me off the fence to become a subscriber a year ago. I have to take exception with something Mike Shildt said the other day regarding Adam Wainwright and his integrity. Let me preface this by saying I am a huge Wainwright fan. A great pitcher, by all accounts a great family man and humanitarian. Wainwright admitted he used a foreign substance several times when he pitched back in 2019. The rules clearly state you are not allowed to use a foreign substance… period. It doesn’t matter if 85% of all pitchers are doing it or whether you do it once or 158 times, it is still considered cheating. I’m sorry but people that cheat do not have integrity. Integrity by its definition is the quality of being honest. Wainwright had no choice but to go public when his name appeared on the list of people purchasing the sticky product from the Angels trainer. Coming out and admitting it after you’ve already been named is called “getting out in front of it”, much different than having “integrity”. It’s high time we start calling things as they really are and not admitting that our heroes have flaws just like us.
  • That's fair. Adam didn't deny using the substance, which was admirable, but he didn't exactly get out ahead of the issue. But . . . pitchers don't consider improving their grip on the ball as cheating. They see it about the same as wearing a batting glove. That's how prevalent it has been. What happened is that some pitchers took this practice to a whole new level to increase spin rates.
    Shildt has completely lost me. It was bad enough Tuesday night when he used Wainwright to pinch hit for Gallego with first and second and nobody out. It’s not that he bunt into a double play but you’re using your best pitcher to do this? Why would you unnecessarily expose him to a possible injury like this? That’s why some in MLB are clamoring for the universal DH. That wasn’t the dumbest move though… you take Arenado out of the lineup and bat Carpenter 4th? Hello McFly? I admire Shildt wanting to be his own man but geeez Louise, let try to put a winning streak together and quit trying to appease aging veterans who have no future with this team. These are supposed to be well conditioned athletes. He sits Arenado but plays Yadi in a day game after a night game? Shildt befuddles me.
    Molina has had a bunch of time off this season due to injuries. Arenado has not. So that is why Molina played in that spot. You can demand that top players play every inning of every game, since they are world-class athletes. But the reality is they get mentally and physically worn. We certainly saw that with Arenado when he went through a tough offensive stretch. Playing guys every single game is counterproductive.
    I realize with Sosa what we’ve seen of him so far is just a small sample size but if he continues to play the way he has and inject energy into a lifeless lineup, then I think DeJong is expendable. Sure, DeJong can provide occasional power but Sosa is faster and has better range. Since DeJong came back last Friday he’s had 22 AB’s, 2 hits, 7 SO and 2 walks, batting a paltry .091. He wasn’t hitting before he got hurt so I’m not sure what the excuse is now. Could he be optioned to Memphis to find his swing again or would he have to go through waivers?
    He has options left. But it is very, very rare to send a healthy veteran with DeJong's level of service to the minors. In such cases guys will sit out some games and continue working on the side at the big league level. I'm guessing that will happen with Paul.
    DeJong doesn't make a lot of money between now and his 2024 option year, so I'm guessing the team will be patient with him. Trading him now, when he is struggling badly, is a asking for trouble.
    As for Sosa, clearly the guy can play. He can run, he can field and he plays hard -- - so at worst he will be a good utility guy. What we don't know is how he could hold up over 600 plate appearances.
    Much like when Jack Kennedy was shot, that tragic Tuesday, September 11th, I remember where I was when I heard we lost Jack Buck. Even though you think you’ve prepared yourself, you quickly find out you haven’t. Other than my own father I don’t think I cried over another man. The reprint of Bernie Miklasz column this morning brought back a flood of memories. Thank you for reposting. Jack was a true treasure for our city.
    And if it is even possible, he was an even better person than a broadcaster. The man was astoundingly gracious to fans and amazingly charitable with his time. He gave St. Louis so much.
    If the Blues decide to move Dunn what is a reasonable return? If he is traded, who does that make as the next probably loss to Seattle? Blais or Sanford? Maybe even Sunny if he heals well?
    Puck-moving defensemen are a big asset in today's game, so the Blues would want to get a potential Top 6 forward back. Or perhaps a younger stay-at-home defender capable of eating tough minutes.
    As for the expansion draft, if I am drafting for Seattle I'd look at Sanford if Dunn isn't there. While at this point expecting Sanford to play in the Top 6 seems like a reach, his size, skill and increased toughness make him a good fit for the third line. He could grow into a nice role on a team will less proven talent -- or he could get flipped for draft picks and prospects down the road. Big wingers always have value.
  • Gordo,

    I don’t think anyone’s asking for Shildt to start throwing players under the bus, but his press conferences are getting cringey. Does the happy talk bother you at all?
    I can see where fans would grow tired of his unfailing defense of his players. Let's be honest, multiple guys who have played for the Cardinals this season have no business being in the big leagues. Mike will never say that, nor should he. But he can throw in a few "Clearly we're not good enough" and "We're not at the level we should be" comments without hurting feelings in the clubhouse.
    Probably a candidate for strange question of the day, but here goes…

    Has any Cardinal pitcher ever told Mike Maddux to get his hands off of him? I know it’s an alleged calming mechanism and he’s taking their pulse. It seems like something from little league and would be condescending to a major leaguer.
    He is still doing it to every pitcher, so I'm guessing the answer is no.
    Jeff, Thank you for the chat today!

    Can we agree the Cardinals are a middle of pack team at this point? To move them to a NL Central favorite and a team that can make some noise in the playoffs, the following additions are needed
    1) One Starting pitcher (Scherzer/Gibson) plus Flaherty healthy
    2) Two, maybe three Relievers who can hold teams where they are and give the team a chance to come back and win games
    3) 4th or platoon OF who can DH vs AL teams when on the road-David Peralta type.
    4) Utility player who can play on the IF as well as in the OF.
    5) New Hitting Coach at the All-Star Break.

    Mo has attempted to backfill with inexpensive/inexperienced players and it has been grossly ineffective with the exception of Sosa, who has been terrific. This team has attempted win games this year with as many as 5-6 players who are not MLB ready. Your thoughts......
  • That's the point I've been making. This team is several players short. There's not much available right now in terms of high-end pitching, but some of the other needs could be addressed. You look at the Chicago White Sox and you see guys they pulled off the pile (Billy Hamilton! Jake Lamb! Brian Goodwin!) helping them win games after they took massive injury hits.
  • LeBlanc the big move tell me no more to come
  • That will not be their last roster move of the year.
  • Can you see the Blues getting back to the ferocious style of play that made them a winner in 2019 or have they lost too much talent and gotten enough older that playing with that kind of intensity and edge over the long haul is past them?
    That is the question, right? A few roster changes are needed to add some heft to the blue line and a harder edge up front. But mostly it will come down to the incumbent players recommitting to that level of play . . . or not. There will be no excuses next season with a full summer to prepare. If the 2021-22 Blues don't regain that '19 vibe, then you can expect a major overhaul. These guys get one more chance and only one more.
    Is Sam Tuivailala still in baseball? I always thought he would turn out to be a much better pitcher than he did. I looked online and he last pitched for the Mariners in 2019, nothing after that.
    Sam was back with the Mariners in the 2020 spring training, but a shoulder injury knocked him out of action. I'm guessing he never got back to full strength.
    Tommy Edman is a solid top of the order hitter? Have you looked at his numbers this year and last year?
    His on-base percentage is .379 when leading off the game this year, which is good. His OBP leading off an inning this year is .325, which could get better. But the overall 12-for-14 stolen base efficiency is notable in sport that is mostly played station to station.
    This year, with offense way down across the sport, I'd stick with "solid" as my assessment of Edman.
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