STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

Bring your Cardinals, Blues and STL sports questions, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in a live chat beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.

    Bobo's here until 3:30 today. Bobo expects some angry ballplayers. Let's have at it.
    Gordo,

    I think fans can understand and sympathize that the Cardinals have gone through a lot, and that the Covid outbreak would be a reason why the team may sputter down the stretch. What I think fans are justifiably upset about, is that the offense is struggling like many thought it would. Can it be that there can be an appreciation for the long standing contention the Cardinals have achieved, yet be frustrated with the lack of FO action on this terrible offense, as well as the poor decisions made on personnel lately?
    This offense is truly hard to watch. Anybody who has watched this team in recent games certainly has a right to be agitated. The front office wanted to give a bunch of young guys a chance in the outfield . . . while also keeping their payroll in line. So far the young guys have failed to prove they can be big league regulars. There's still hope for Dylan Carlson, of course, but Harrison Bader and Tyler O'Neill have had multiple opportunities to take the Next Step and they couldn't. And Lane Thomas? Yikes!
    Oh, then Luke Voit and Marcell Ozuna add to the fan suffering by hitting a homer run every night. 
    Jeff, I read where the Blues and Coyotes agreed that Bill Armstrong would not be involved in Arizona’s draft. The Coyotes don’t have a pick till the 4th round anyway. Is Doug afraid Bill will disclose the Blues interest in picks? I mean even if Bill isn’t there you don’t think he had all that information on an iPad or computer somewhere and has given it to the Coyotes, or is there some kind of unwritten rule or “Code of the West” that you don’t do that? Also, do the Blues draft to fill a need or look for the best athlete?
    Bill Armstrong knows every prospect inside out by this very late point in the evaluation process, so the Blues will have to trust that he won't act on what he and his Blues scouts learned when the Coyotes finally get to pick. Armstrong doesn't need to take any data with him because he probably write out the Blues rankings off the top of his head.
    This IS an issue, even with the Coyotes not picking in the first three rounds. There are always guys one team likes in the later rounds that other teams have not tracked closely. Niko Mikkola is a guy the Blues got in the fifth round and he could be a regular on their blue line next season.
    Also, Arizona did less in-person scouting that other organzations so there could be big gaps in their list.
    Jeff, I would just as soon let the season end today. Last nights game was just unbearable to watch. This team is representative of its manager… boring. All the kids should be playing now. The Cardinals never cease to make a mediocre pitcher look like the next coming of Sandy Kofax. It’s lack of concentration and a poor game plan. Either the players are not listening to Albert or his philosophy is all wrong. Carp and Fowler’s contracts are an albatross around this team’s neck and the blame sits squarely on Mo’s shoulders. On one hand you want to give O’Neil & Bader all the chances in the world, so you don’t end up with egg on your face like Mo has compliments of Luke Voit, but when is enough, enough?
    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.
    Any word on Bob Gibson's health?
  • Hypothetical call… the Cards lose both games of their doubleheader today and fall into 4th place. Do we now just bring all the kids up and let them get some valuable big league at bats in preparation for next season? I would love to See Nolan Gorman and more of Justin Williams.
  • 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.
  • How good is KK? I know Waino is having a spectacular season, and saving the bullpen in the process, but who knows if he hits a wall. But KK has been dominant. How did he ever end up in the bullpen to start the season?
  • 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.
    What would the Blues have to surrender to acquire Jack Eichel from Buffalo?
  • 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.
  • Super-pumped about this narrative that the Cardinals push every ... single ... day: "We're doing a great job or preserving our buillpen!" At this point, who gives a bleep about that?!? Fix your dadgum batting order!
    by Jhonny Baseball edited by Mike Smith 9/18/2020 5:34:29 PM
  • 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.
  • Are we more likely to see trades with the Coyotes now?
  • 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 used to say: "There's baseball, and there's bull(bleep)." Shildt's stunt the other night, acting like he was going to take on the Brewers dugoiut, was not baseball. And oh what an impact it made: Cards have scored 1 run and have about 5 hits since then.
  • 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.
  • Is it confirmed that the NL will have the DH again in '21? If not, how awful will this offense be without Miller's bat, or one that is comparable? Borderline unwatchable.
    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.
    Can't for the life of me imagine a good reason why the Cardinals left Carlson parked at Springfield. Can you explain that? Outfield play has been a clown show in the aftermath. And he certainly couldn't have hit any worse than the 4-A players that they've been using.
    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.
    Cards fans know that if this team reaches the playoffs, DeWitt & Mo will re-package the young outfielders and try to sell that trio (plus Carlson) to us again in '21. Not to mention more ABs for Carpenter just in case he finds his 2013 swing. But if they miss the playoffs do they have the stones, with as meager as this offense has been, to really run this same 40-man back in '21?
  • 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.
    I looked at the salary for Petro for this year. It was 7.5 million with a 6.5 cap hit. They traded Allen's 5 million. Why can't they add 1.5 of that 5 mill and have 2.5 left over to sign Dunn. I'm not a math whiz but what am I missing here?
    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.
    Last night's batting order showed just how desperate Shildt has become. O'Neill 4th? Wong 9th?
    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.
    There appears to be worse umpiring this season. Are a lot of umps taking the season off?
    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.
    Gordo, thank goodness hockey will probably take us to the end of the MLB regular season. Provides a watchable alternative to the unwatchable Cardinals. I could write my disgust ad nauseum, but I'd simply like Shildt to quit telling us how the other teams' pitchers were pitching so great against the Cardinals and that's why they only had two hits.

    All we see and hear is how great the Cardinals pitching and defense is. I disagree. Yes, the defense is generally good to great depending on who's in the field on a given day, as can be seen by the defensive runs saved statistics. But that is also a tremendous boost for the pitching staff and their numbers. This pitching staff isn't as good as many believe it is. Yes, we know about covid and injuries, but every team has battled injuries and other issues. In the PD Goold described how bad the NL Central offenses are; all of them in the bottom third of the entire league (and it isn't because all of them are facing great pitching staffs). Yet that's what the Cards are pitching mostly against this year. Numbers can look good when your competition isn't. The walks and hit batters has been ridiculous this year.
    I'm not saying the pitchers are in the same league as the offense, but they shouldn't ignore their performance either. It shouldn't take scoring 5 runs to win a ball game.
  • 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.
  • Every Friday I write in and say the front office is the problem. Once again a team built on the cheap to fill in bad decisions shows its true colors. No we don’t need Luke Voit And his 20 homeruns. We have Matt Carpenter at first. No we don’t need Ozuna we have Tyler O’Neill he will provide the same production. Will give away Grichuk Piscottya and Gyorko for nothing because we have so much hitting . Do you see the pattern?
    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.
    Didn't it make sense for the Cards to be sellers at the trade deadline?
    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.
    Jeff -- what do you think is the core reason that the Cardinals can't seem to hit off-speed pitching? It's textbook now for the league to pitch us a diet of slow stuff, and yet, we seem to be completely overwhelmed and unable to adjust (kind of llke Carp's inability to hit against the shift).
    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.
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