Bobo's here, ready for some more keyboard combat. So let's go!
We keep trying to make that point here the chat, but many folks don't want to hear that. The Cardinals won't spend money just to buy some PR. They don't need to do that. But John Mozeliak can anticipate payroll questions at the Winter Warmup. This offseason has seen crazy spending across the industry.
He is feeling the pressure for sure. This was supposed to be the season that SLU won big and secured the Billikens' standing as a strong upper-mid-major program. It all looked good after the Memphis win, but mostly bad stuff has happened since. Fred Thatch Jr.'s career-ending injury was a tough blow because because his toughness and work ethic were vital to the group.
Lynn Worthy will bring the perspective of watching the mid-market Kansas City Royals crumble too dusty in the aftermath of its World Championship breakthrough. So he knows what big league life in much of the flyover country looks like. Not pretty! I imagine you folks will leave him scratching his head.
The Cardinals are awash in designated hitters, so I can't imagine why they would want to add an aging slugger coming off a terrible, injury-marred season. As for hoping the Marlins will trade the Cardinals a pitcher at some point, that is a worthy wish.
I agree that the Tigers need to beef up both the line and the quarterback room, since Brady Cook will miss valuable developmental time this spring and faces a tough comeback from surgery. As for Eli Drinkwitz's offense, he could do more if he had a better offensive line and a more accomplished QB. Meeting those needs seem more important than letting somebody else call plays.
You're going to kill the chat's buzz with praise and sane perspective.
It's a thought, since the Blues have no choice to roll the puck in and bang bodies on most shifts. GM Doug Armstrong threw down the gauntlet to the group and so far the guys are responding. The games haven't been pretty, but clearly the effort is there.
The Blues play the man with the puck when they have him lined up. Ask the Maple Leafs and Devils about that. The hard part is away from the puck, where defensemen can't level players in front of the net without risking a penalty. Boxing out without cross-checking is hard, so, yes, the defensemen do lots of shot-blocking instead. And rather than chase forwards around the perimeter of the offensive zone and risk creating open passing and shooting lanes, you will see the Blues forwards sit back instead and keep the play to the outside.
The goal is perennial contention, both because owning a winning baseball team is more fun and because steady attendance is better that attendance that rises and falls. Once attendance falls, it's hard to build it back up. Pandemic aside, the Cardinals have enjoy remarkably steady success at the gate.
The trouble with stopping to pick up a stick during live action is that is forces the linesman or referee to take his eyes off the play. The game is too fast and unpredictable for that.
It definitely takes time, even for the top picks. Remember "Lose For Hughes"? Jack has become one of the NHL's top offensive centers, but it took years. He had a rough introduction to playing against men. But the Blues have to find as many good young players as possible to start building out the next nucleus.
Ryan has never been the fastest player and, yes, he had beat up his body while playing through injuries and putting himself in harm's way. Those admirable traits could end up costing him big money on his next contract.
I don't see Contreras taking 300 at bats as the designated hitter this season. Perhaps half that seems more likely, since the Cardinals lack a good hitter in the backup role. As for trading a DH type right now, sure, for the right return that could make sense. At some point there won't be room for all of them. But there is also something to be said for waiting to see how these younger hitters develop (or don't) next season. Let the competition do the sorting.
I believe Kuzmenko is going to get some coin. If the Canucks can't keep Bo Horvat, they might be inclined to spend there. As for Vrana, I hope he is getting it together. Talented guy, but the off-ice issues put his career in peril and he just cleared waivers. Nobody wanted to take him in at this point. He might be a lower-priced reclamation case.
The Cardinals organization is in a stronger place than it's been in a long time, given the mix of veteran talent, young talent, high-end prospects, plus room to spend for this season and beyond. That's great, but let's see what the organization does with this opportunity.
He always wouldn't be playing if the team didn't have so many injuries up front, so settle down.
There is much love for O'Reilly in the organization, so I wouldn't rule that out. Armstrong brought back David Perron, so he has proven that he doesn't turn the page on every player who leaves the roster one way or the other. Unfortunately for Ryan, circumstances might push his market value down into the range the Blues can handle for next season.
That's your assessment. Management's assessment is different, particularly given the level of competition it expects among multiple outfielder and DH candidates. Compare the numbers of the young Cardinals hitters to the folks people keep asking for in this chat -- like Mike Moustakas today -- and they measure up pretty well.