Bobo's here are finishing off lunch. Folks are lined up, so let's go.
From the sound of things, Adam Wainwright could be sidelined several weeks. He will need to rebuild arm strong and regain his touch for pitches once the injury heals, so he'll be out of the rotation for some time.
It's early, but I've yet to become irritable.
Bill DeWitt Jr. cares about winning it, which he has done twice. He cares about having a good team every year, which is unusual in baseball. Is he going to try to outspend the New York Mets and San Diego Padres to create a roster that looks great on paper? No.
There is a strong pro-Woodford contingent in this chat. Folks have been demanding that he get his chance. Now that his slider passes muster with the field staff, his chance is at hand. Will he better than Wainwright? He could certainly surpass the Wainwright we saw in the latter stages of last season, which he ran out of arm. The Wainwright we saw earlier in the season worked deep into games -- something that will be difficult for Woodford to do so early in his career.
The Blues have a couple of excellent young players to build around, Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou. Could they have matched Florida's massive offer for Tkachuk? I don't think so. Are they OK living without Tage Thompson? Yes, because they can look up and see the Stanley Cup banner.
If the Cardinals can get Tyler O'Neill play at a near-MVP level again, that would add heft to batting order that got deeper with the arrival of Willson Contreras. There is a lot of upside in the batting order, which Brendan Donovan driving the ball more, Nolan Gorman handling high pitchers better, Lars Nootbaar working to add more power and Jordan Walker knocking on the door.
Stevie Y is being extra careful on doling out big contracts those good-not-great players who were coming of age on his team. But, yeah, I was surprised he didn't want to keep those two because the Wings were finally hanging in the playoff race after years of futility. I know he's taking the long view, but just how long is that view? I see the Buffalo rebuild going on forever, despite the arrival of Tage Lemieux, and I see Anaheim is no hurry to ever win again. Is that what he wants in Motown?
The fact the Cardinals have so many OF/DH options does raise the bar for Walker. Management has made it clear that it wants Walker playing every day and playing a LOT in the outfield at this early stage of his development. So, yeah, it's getting interesting. Can Walker knock down that door and earn a regular role to start the season? Or will the Cardinals ride the veterans and let Jordan rake for a bit at the Triple-A level to keep building confidence?
Wainwright won't face any hitters for some time due to his groin muscle injury, so he will need multiple rehab starts in the minors to prepare for his return. As for Miles, he had all winter to build up properly, so shouldn't need too much build up now that he is back with the Cardinals. By comparison, Matz and Woodford have worked 17 2/3 innings in the spring, Jake Flaherty has worked 16 and Jordan Montgomery is at 12. So it's not like this guys shoulder huge workloads in the exhibition play.
Wilking Rodriguez's shoulder injury also lessens the competition in the near term. So there is more opportunity for other relievers, especially for lefties like Packy Naughton, Andrew Suarez and JoJo Romero. But there is still a pretty good crowd in the bullpen mix even with Dakota Hudson out of the long relief running for now.
I don't know if reluctance is the word. It's all about price. Pitching got super expensive in the most recent free-agent marketplace and it will take a LOT to get a hurler in his athletic prime to forgo that chance to cash in. The days of Lance Lynn going to market and getting stiffed are long gone. Mikolas lives in Jupiter, loves his setup with the Cardinals and was not motivated to take the risk/reward move playing out his contract to see what could come next.
This is certainly a worrisome thing. As I often argue, there is no excuse not to have starter-caliber guys in every position player slot on the roster. Ideally Ivan Herrera would have come of age and earned that spot, freeing up Willson Contreras to do more DH work to stay fresh. But that didn't happen. Andrew Knizner has had a bad offensive spring and Tres Barrera has never been much of a hitter. There aren't a lot of great backup catchers out there, but wouldn't make Oliver Marmol feel better about having hole in his batting order when Contreras doesn't catch.
It's fair to say that Blues GM Doug Armstrong feels way, way, way more urgency than his Motown counterpart. The Blues could not survive such a long stretch of also-ran hockey.
Mikolas is happy where he is at. He turns 35 this year, he has made a ton of money and he can do spring training near his year-round home. The number of pitchers 35 and older making huge dollars is not large.
True enough. Jordan Walker is very early in his development. He will play in the big leagues this season. If he had to start the year in Memphis playing with his high-energy running mate Masyn Winn, that would not be the worst thing. As I noted earlier, the Cardinals want him playing every day and playing a lot in the outfield.
We had a small army of people covering the Cardinals, which is what fans from a St. Louis publication. And we obviously covered the WBC title game.
Yeah, he knew at that point that he was not in Springfield any more.