Bobo's here. And it looks like we have some ballplayers.
It will interesting to see how the Cardinals construct their playoff roster, if they manage to get into the NLDS. There will be lots of options, including a bigger bench and a smaller bullpen. And, yes, Martinez will need to produce competitive at bats off the bench to ensure his spot. He can't run or field, so he better hit.
I'd be surprised if the guy washes out completely. He is a big strong guy with a ton of ability. Many of his injuries appear to be unrelated. While the Cardinals can't count on him, it would be silly to write him off.
They will make the playoffs again. After that, who knows. Repeating is extremely difficult, but I see this team making another deep run. The system is in place, the personality is in place and there is plenty of room to grow.
He is lumped with the extra skaters at the start of camp because he is not ready to go. We should know more later today about just how far along his recovery from knee surgery is. Given the fact the Blues return all four lines, there is no need for the team to rush him back into the NHL.
Perhaps some day that could happen. Husso has done nothing special at the AHL level, never mind the NHL level. I seem him spending this year trying to build his stock. I do not see the Blues rushing to trade Allen, since their Stanley Cup roster is intact, except for Maroon. Also, to trade Allen, another team will have to show in interest. For that to happen, Allen must play well -- and if he plays well, there will be less motivation to trade him.
Armstrong pretty well ducked contract questions today, but if I had to bet I would say Pietrangelo gets his extension while Schenn hits the free agent marketplace this summer.
This team is still terrible with runners in scoring position, so let's not get too excited about the offense. And much of the recent damage has come against bad teams. Also, there are other improvement factors that have nothing to do with hitting coaches -- such as reducing Matt Carpenter's role and getting guys back to 100 percent after injuries.
I imagine some players feel the same way.
The hockey world seems to revolve around Toronto. The media there drives a lot of the league-wide discussion. And the Maple Leafs are facing salary cap hell. Marner is worth more than $11 million per year on the open market and that team can't comfortably go there. In fact, no team can comfortably pay superstar dollars to three forwards and have enough money to construct a well-balanced contender under the cap.
Carpenter just went 1 for 5 in a blowout victory, so I'm not sure he's clearly trending upward. I do see him getting several starts down the stretch -- even if Edman goes on a tear. The Cardinals would love to see him get locked in just in time for the do-or-die games.
Martinez has been steady lately. Miller not so much. Wild pitch, hit batter . . . this is not how to lock down games.
He's been an adventure this season, but he has recorder big outs here and there.
I don't believe there was much of a market for Maroon. The Blues won with a physical style in postseason play, but the regular season is all about speed and skill. As for the Blues, once they signed both Gunnarsson and Bouwmeester -- surprising many of us in the process -- it was less likely that Maroon would return. The lower-than-expected salary cap played into that as well. So did the team's impressive depth at forward.
Any number of Mark McGwire homers qualify. But my favorite was George Brett's monster shot into the third deck at Yankee Stadium off Goose Gossage in the 1980 playoffs.
Allen will play a lot of games this season. He will play an important role on a Cup contender. Sending Binnington out there without significant back-up would be stupid. If Jordan plays great start to finish this season, then the team can try to extend Binnington while dealing Allen and his final contract year.
The players know a lot of money is coming into the sport. There will be another TV deal in the U.S., there is the expansion windfall and the NHL is opening up new revenue streams. Both sides see need for improvement with the CBA, but the industry is in great shape and it doesn't seem like either side is spoiling for a fight.