Bobo's here, where' all the ballplayers?
I am not one of the three Post-Dispatch reporters with daily access under the pandemic conditions, so I am relying on Derrick, the Commish and BenFred for their insights, along with the Zoom calls. But I would say the Cardinals are behind schedule because of the time several pitchers lost due to various issues with the virus. Given the limited preparation time before the "season" starts, some of these real games could look more like Grapefruit League games in terms of pitcher usage.
The Cardinals won another division title and reached another NLCS last season, so now is not the optimal time to rip the guy.
Players are citizens too. And they pay way more taxes than most of us, so I have no problem with guys speaking their mind. Lord knows, everybody else in the country does. This is America. If folks can walk around with semi-automatic weapons dressed like Rambo wannabes, then athletes can take a knee.
The health of teams -- or lack thereof -- figures to play a big role in the outcome of this very unusual postseason. There is little time to prepare, so every practice day will be important. And then the Blues will have just the three round-robin games to get into elimination mode. If they end up having a bunch of guys get sick, as Dallas and Nashville did before they got to the MLS bubble, then they will be in trouble. I will be interesting to see which Blues players are good to go next week and which ones are missing. Moving forward, can they play keepaway from the virus? If they can, they have a chance to win another Cup. When healthy, this is a strong team.
The team will not disclose much about the status of players under these pandemic circumstances. If a player tests positive and gives the OK for the team to disclose that, it becomes public -- as with Genesis Cabrera. I assume at some point we'll know what the deal with Alex Reyes and Giovanny Gallegos was. Weird times for sure.
It's like the deal with Blues player and a coach getting the virus. Things seem pretty calm around the STL with the virus right now, so we can all get a little too comfortable. But now is not the time for Cardinals or Blues to miss a few weeks of work. And while it's not the norm, even a healthy athlete can get really beat up by this virus, as Freddie Freeman did.
No, because only a few countries play it.
Yes, but the expectation is that he will start the season in the Springfield camp. The idea is to save a year of service time by having him wait on his big league debut. In the meantime, Tyler O'Neill and Lane Thomas will get first shot at the lineup slot.
Well, you may spend much time watching sports from this point on. MLS players took a knee, NFL players will take a knee and I expect we'll see this in MLB as well.
I believe that it's just seven days. I'd give him about two weeks down there and then bring him up until all the outfielders are raking.
Just last week I was noting that a healthy Carlos Martinez is the No. 2 starter on this team behind Jack Flaherty. And the rotation is where is heart is. But John Brebbia out and Giovanny Gallegos and Alex Reyes missing valuable camp time, the bullpen options have dwindled. Right now Carlos is the team's best relief option. If that is still the case in two weeks, then I'd have to use him to close games.
Can't we all just get along here?
I believe he is an upgrade over Joel Edmundson, who didn't have a great year in 2018-19. Give Faulk some credit for logging lots of ice time for the top team in the Western Conference. But obviously we all expected Faulk to make a bigger impact offensively, especially on the power play. Going forward, his role would surely increase if Alex Pietrangelo moves on. Either way, I would expect the Blues to expose him and his contract in the expansion draft and protect others due to salary cap concerns created by the pandemic.
I wish baseball would find a way to get those guys some games. But your plan would just increase the risk of team infection. MLB is really limiting the size of the player/coach traveling party. I would be advocating an expanded Arizona Fall League and maybe a Florida equivalent for this propects . . . but the virus is tearing up those states. So a lot of guys could go a year without playing a game.
Yeah, it's almost impossible to maintain that velocity over time, especially as the injuries add up. And even the guys that do, like Aroldis Chapman, have proven that a reliever needs to locate his fastball and set it up with secondary stuff. Pitching is still about hitting spots and changing speeds despite is emphasis on power pitching. So we'll see with Hicks. Flip a coin. He seems to have a great make-up for this role, but he will need to add more polish. Can he become an enduring force as he matures physically -- or will sink back into more of a Sam Tuivailala-like career? There is a fine line between those outcomes.
Actually we've seen some athletes use their platform to help speed change. They can be influencers, especially with people their age and younger.
This team already has signed international free agents (Malcom Nunez!) and drafted high school and college (Luken Baker) power hitters who could profile into that role. So I see them staying that course, especially if the DH is here to stay. At no point in the scouting process will somebody have to ask, "But can he play a position?"
We are all thrilled to have real sports developments to cover. And with the Cardinals, there are a LOT of issues to resolve with the team. This could be a really good team in the mini-season or it see a bunch of things go wrong. There is no shortage of intrigue.