He said "four to six weeks" a week ago and nothing has happened to make him feel any better about things. Tick, tock!
More staff changes, more player overhaul . . . actually, the changes would start this summer if this team fades from the race. The good news is that most of the organization's young pitching is developing right on schedule and the return of Alex Reyes could be huge next season, so there will be a decent talent base to build upon.
I believe the Cardinals should do what they have done before -- bring some young starters up and use them out of the pen. In particular, Luke Weaver could be a weapon there. That would make sense especially if this team starts looking to next year. See how some of the kids look, then weigh than against veteran bullpen additions. The Cardinals do have much offensive heft coming from the system, so that is where they need look outside for help.
The outfield defense has been the biggest disappointment. There was no reason for that, especially when Grichuk was playing. Chris Maloney took the fall for that, too, but Piscotty, in particular, just needs to play better. Wong can take away hits when healthy at second base and Carpenter does the least damage at first base, so I do think this team has upgraded its infield defense.
But, yes, there a lot of role guys on this team and not enough true impact guys. That suggests a bigger makeover may be coming.
Let's not forget that Travis Ford had transfers practicing daily against the eligible players -- and often having their way with them. I see the Billikens hitting the floor running next season with veteran team.
Wacha's shoulder issues will mark him as forever questionable, no matter how well his velocity holds this season. He was good early, with six quality starts in his first seven, before hitting a tough stretch. He is a tough guy to figure. Do you risk paying him with a long-term deal? Do you trade him while his value is up, given all the depth? Probably the latter. As for Lynn, I agree -- he is an asset. Pay him, keep the asset and have that much more leverage to deal somebody else to help the offense.
Yeah, I'm sure the TV folks are sorry to see Mizzou out of that mix. The Tigers will be fun to watch and a team that gets national play as the season unfolds. The process for picking teams for that challenge did not account for such an offseason overhaul.
Those are all possibilities if the team goes that route. Carpenter's value to this team diminished when he proved incapable of hitting anywhere but leadoff. Lynn would fetch a couple of good prospects as a rental -- unless every contender is 100 percent healthy on the mound -- and Rosenthal would definitely intrigue winning teams. If Rosenthal really wants to start someday, that opportunity doesn't seem to be here. On the other hand, I don't know if Seung Hwan Oh has a long-term future here. He as been OK as a stopgap, but can't the Cardinals do better?
Again, with the outfield, there is depth even if you write off Grichuk and Pham. Sierra will be in the big leagues sooner than later, bumping Fowler to left field. Adding a second older outfielder (with Fowler) when there are so many outfield prospects backing up in the minors would be odd.
If Mozeliak really thought his team could win the division by adding a player or two, I believe he would do that. He has done it before, he will do it again. But the Cardinals have yet to show any signs of being good enough for that. Also, the Cubs will either get better with the championship roster in place or make the necessary changes to win. That team still has trade chips to play. Unless the Cub suffer a string of terrible injuries and the Cardinals suddenly start hitting and pitching and fielding well all at once against the good teams, I just don't see Mozeliak going for it.
If the Cards retool, it won't be a huge demolition job. As Mozeliak said, this team will never set out to finish last. This team likes selling tickets. I could see Mozeliak subtracting a few parts from the nucleus to add long-term assets and create playing time for prospects this summer. It would getting a head start on next year, not starting over from scratch.
Well, the big guys are Tarasenko, Pietrangelo and Parayko. Probably Schwartz too. I don't see those guys going anywhere. Beyond that, sure, there could be changes -- but I believe Armstrong likes what he has under Yeo, presuming a full year of Sobotka and Fabbri's return to health. I'd be surprised to see him trade one of those top three or four players.
Fowler is a guy who suddenly doesn't fit, with Carpenter back in the leadoff spot and kids like Sierra and Mercado pushing upward. So what do the Cardinals do with Fowler for the rest of his contract? They can play him in left, but that's where the team needs a 30-homer guy.
I'm not sure Adams' value goes up with him stuck in a pinch-hitting role. The Cardinals only got what they go because Atlanta suddenly needed a guy. Get into the summer and also-rans will be putting starting first basemen on the market. The time to move Adams was the winter and I do believe Mozeliak tried. As for the eight-man bullpen thing, I'm not a fan -- especially now that the Cardinals dumped Broxton and gained the ability to run guys on the shuttle to and from Memphis.
Not having a dedicated farm team is a real setback to development. They can only put some of their guys i Chicago and they have no control over how those guys are used. The fallout from that will be interesting to track. Right now the depth in the organization is on defense, with Jake Walman pushing Jordan Schmaltz and Vince Dunn. Also, the Blues want to make sure center Tage Thompson has a good year in the AHL.
Will this problem make the team more likely to carry more kids? Does that mean Barbashev and Sanford are locks to make the team? Will the Blues be more willing to trade a prospect or two for future draft picks or immediate help? These questions and more are worth asking.
Well, Wong is hitting .300 with an on-base percentage of nearly .400 this season. He has been dynamic offensively over the last month and a half when healthy. He also possesses twice the fielding range of Carpenter. So Mozeliak lives with that contract and the odd error. If he decides to trade Wong, he could get value in return. I've always been a big Matt Adams fan, but somebody had to go. You could make the case that trading Carpenter at peak value might have been the way to go, but I'm sure other teams looked at Carpenter and wondered where to play him.
This one I put on the player. Piscotty was solid last year. His big swing makeover came in the minors and it worked. Why he messed with it going into the spring is a mystery. Once you get well into spring and then into the season, everybody is making small swing adjustments until they are killing the ball.
He has played nine MLB games and 943 games. At Memphis, Paul DeJong is the regular shorstop when he is there. If the Cardinals make an internal change at shortstop this season, it will be to go to DeJong.
That is a 100-win team if it plays up to its potential in this weak division. Yes, the pitching has taken a step back, but odds are the Cubs will address that with a trade come July. Maybe Schwarber, Russell and Baez will all fail, but I wouldn't bet on that.
Tough question, because the trades I would want to make would probably not be well-received by the other team. As Blues GM, it would be fun to add a Drouin or Galchenyuk to the young nucleus by trading the first-round picks and a defensive prospect, if that is even possible.
Earlier this year I would have made a play for Todd Frazier as Cardinals GM, but I look at what this team is getting out Gyorko and back off. I'm with BenFred, Ozuna intrigues me -- especially since he is carrying my fantasy team. But then I would have to get a taker for Fowler so I could create an opening for Sierra.
I picked the Cubs to win the division again, for all the obvious reasons. I liked the Cards starting pitching, plus the starting pitching at the next two levels, and that has largely held up. I figured the Cards had to see what they had with Wong and Grichuk once and for all. Wong looks like he is making it; Grichiuk, not so much. I liked Fowler and didn't expect him to be hovering at the Mendoza Line in mid-May. I believed Carpenter could be a good No. 3 hitter and I was certainly wrong about that. I'm a Piscotty fan and I'm certainly not ready to give up on him, but it's been one thing after another with him this season. I had concerns about the bullpen which proved valid. But, yes, I figured this team could get into the wild card hunt out of a weak division and have assets to move for upgrades, once the team sorted itself out. This team has a ton of good young pitching and most of it is healthy and prospering.
But now the wild card is definitely off the table and the Cards are left chasing a Cubs team that has the assets to finish strong. So, sure, I'm surprised to see the team where it is at.