Bobo's here until 3:30 today. Bobo expects some angry ballplayers. Let's have at it.
Mozeliak is unlikely to leave his post after the pandemic-shortened season, one year his team reached the NLCS. You may not like Mike Shildt as manager, but the organization loves the way he kept this taem going through some unthinkable adversity, He's not the issue. He's gotten a lot of blood from that turnip. As for the idea of playing the kids, the Cardinals have played every young guy remotely close to the majors this season.
Nolan Gorman is nowhere near ready for the big leagues. He proved that in the Springfield camp. He strikes out way too much. Why demoralize him? Justin Williams is just another Class 4A. Maybe he'll get more at bats the rest of the way, but there is no evidence suggesting he is more than a depth guy.
When the season started the Cardinals had five other starters they liked more. That's why he was in the bullpen for one day. Then the injuries and COVID-19 changed everything and the rotation became, well, a constant rotation.
Buffalo would like need a younger version of Eichel, a cornerstone center to rebuild around, to move a player of this caliber. Jack is one of the Top 10 forwards in the league. There is nobody on the Blues roster like that. Also, Eichel carries a $10 million cap hit and the Blues are trying to shed salary. It's not even worth going through all the hypotheticals on this one.
That will be the challenge for next year. And it won't be easy, since the Cardinals will likely want to carry a lower payroll given the pandemic losses of this year and the economic uncertainty of next season.
Perhaps, but Coyotes are in salary-dumping mode and the Blues are looking for salary cap savings as well. So the teams don't match up. The Coyotes are shopping around a good D-man, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but he makes more than what the Blues have been offering Alex Pietrangelo and he's nowhere near as good. Bill Armstrong might want to get Jordan Kyrou from the Blues if he can't earn regular work here, but I don't see a lot on that Arizona roster that would fit here.
La Russa had a rather theatrical time here. So did Dave Duncan. There were lots of bench-clearing brawls and even the rare coach fight. So you can't laud TLR while chastising Shildt for getting steamed. I'm sure the man was more than a little frustrated trying to squeeze runs from that offense.
Not sure about the DH for next year. Miller could play third base and Edman could play in the outfield next year, although Miller seemed to get the throwing yips in the little bit of hot corner work he had this season.
I believe Carlson was in a 1-for-18 rut when he went down. It was obviously he was lost up there, which is not what you want to see from your top prospect. I would not be surprised to see him get more at bats before the season ends since he got his chance to regroup.
They won't run out the same 40-man roster. There are always changes. In the case of next season, some of that change will have to wait until management sees where Jordan Hicks and Miles Mikolas are with their recoveries. If those two are healthy and the team takes no more pitching hits -- we need to see about Dakota Hudson -- then the Cardinals could trade some pitching for hitting. They will be nearing the point where they could lose useful pitchers on waivers due to their surplus. They couldn't make those trades at the deadline this season because they needed every pitcher still capable of feeling their fingers to get through this season.
Right now the Blues have a bit more than $5 million in salary cap space. Maybe the Blues could get Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn both signed for a $9 million cap hit. So there is still work to do. The Blues are in range to make the cap work if Pietrangelo is willing to sign for a bit of discount, but they aren't there yet. They could clear out a D-man if both Pietrangelo and Dunn sign, since Mikkola has a one-way contract for next year. They could also clear out a forward.
Against the lefty, that made since. It didn't matter, because it wasn't like the Cardinals kept building big potential innings only to have the wrong guy come up. They struggled up and down the order.
The variance in strike zones has been startling. The men in blue are making a great case for automated balls and strikes. We've seen pitches miss the zone by a foot called strikes . . . and pitches right down the middle called balls.
The Cardinals have fallen to 10th in team ERA in the big leagues, which is not great. But you substract the numbers of the minor league guys forced to fill in when they were not quite ready -- Ramirez, Sanchez, Cruz, Fernandez, Woodford -- those numbers look better. They have three starters with sub-3.00 ERAs and several relievers with good overall numbers. When you have to use 25 guys, at some point there will be big problems.
And every week I point out the front office has outperformed all the other MLB front offices in producing winning seasons and perennial contention. Mistakes we made and we've talked about all of those over and over and over and over and over again. But for the 17-day shutdown, this team would probably been well into the playoff bracket, sputtering offense and all. All the doubleheaders and injuries have forced the team to use minor league pitching too often this season -- and that's why several games got away.
No, because they were in the playoff race -- and they still are in the race -- and they were not going to surrender while Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina were playing their guts out. They weren't going to trade any of their good pitching under any circumstances, no were they going to trade their few good hitters with contract term left. So selling was never an option.
The big problem is simple, Many of these hitters just aren't very good. Goldschmidt is a fine hitter, but past his prime. DeJohg has some power, but he is not a great hitter overall. Wong has matured into a pretty well-rounded hitter. Edman is getting there too. Molina makes adjustments at the plate. Miller has decent power, but he has bounced around and been a part-time guy. And there are a bunch of guys who simply are not very good.