Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers? (Besides those holed up in their Milwaukee hotel rooms, that is.)
I believe by the 20-game mark we should have a better idea of this team's chances, but the roster will remain fluid all season due to injuries and positive COVID-19 tests. Look at how much upheaval we've seen to this point and we're just five games in. Given all that is happening in the sport and in the country, I would not expect the Cardinals to trade any long-term assets for short-term help. That would make no sense. Use this season to test out a lot of young players and then reassess over the winter.
As Mike Shildt proved last year, he will sit a veteran player and play a younger player instead. And he will continue doing that. I expect to see a lot of Dylan Carlson this season, assuming we have a season, and will be interesting to see if Brad Miller can make an impact. His absence due to the heel injury limited Shildt's choices.
I'm guessing some of those guys will play, but perhaps not all. De la Rose played a fair bit this season and he is a plug-and-play depth guy. Giving him a game would make sense. Kyrou needs to play, obviously, because his skill could be in demand if injuries hit. And Jake Allen needs some reps. Not sure about Kostin, since he is a bit of a last-resort guy for Berube at this point.
Yeah, he is getting antsy. Never will a simple walk outside feel so good to him. He swears he has been a good boy, sticking to his quarantine.
The Carpenter extension was needless since he wasn't going anywhere. That was totally an unforced error and it made budgeting for this season and next very difficult. The Mikolas extension was premature, based on one exceptional season. The Cardinals figured they could save some money by locking him in early, presuming that he would remain a high-end starter. That was the bet. And while Miles certainly has developed a great approach to pitching, he has never been overpowering. Had he stayed healthy, he may have settled into a Jeff Suppan-level starter. Not bad, but not worth that large of a commitment. The good news for the Cardinals this abbreviated season is the team will only pay part of his salary while he rehabs his injury.
Unfortunately, a fair number of athletes, as with the general populace, refuses to believe this virus is a serious thing. Every league is dealing with that issue.
The Cardinals need more production from those three spots, whether from the incumbents playing better or from replacements. Put left field in that category as well. So let's see what happens with Dylan Carlson, Brad Miller and Lane Thomas in addition to the guys you mentioned.
There will be challenging times ahead. Owners with deep pockets will have to dig into those pockets. These days, most NHL owners have that sort of money. But it will be interesting to see what happens in Buffalo, where the Pegulas have signaled they want to operate on the cheap, and in Ottawa, where the owner is barely hanging on. While some fans will be leery of jamming into arenas again, even after the vaccine comes, the bigger issue will be the long-term economic downturn. Corporate support is a big deal for the NHL and a lot of that could dry up, in addition to the ticket sales.
The Cardinals won a World Championship on his watch, along with two NL pennants. They made four trips to the NLCS and won five division titles. So he will be on the job for a long while longer unless he decides he wants to do something new. The team is set up with a nice supply of pitching talent. If one or two of the high-ceiling hitting prospects pans out, the Cardinals will be a great shape for 2022 and beyond after cycling out a few more of these contracts.
This will be the debate. Is it easier to get to a physical game than it is to get to a skilled game? These playoffs with a short run-up will answer that question for us. To play physical, a team must play fast enough to line up checks and remain committed to finishing those checks, even as those hits take a toll. If the ice is as choppy as it was Wednesday, then that could favor the Blues and Dallas Stars and work against the more skilled teams like Winnipeg and Colorado.
We did our video on Zoom yesterday and he didn't seem too frazzled. He was used to working long hours in his Rams Park media room bunker, but that was a holiday compared to this assignment.
I liked Tarasenko. He seemed focused on getting pucks toward the net. Zach Sanford flashed his potential early on. God bless Sammy Blais, he was running around trying to hit people.
Players want to avoid surgery at all cost and understandably so. But every time I read the phrase "platlet-rich plama injection" I figure the surgeons are sharpening their saws.
Carlson is a well-rounded hitter who can do damage from both sides. I believe he is more sound than Oscar, but I don't know if he has that same sort of upside. Had Oscar realized his full potential, he would have been special. Carlson's high end might be "very good." And right now "very good" sounds good to the Cardinals.