STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

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

    Bortuzzo doesn't getting in on the forecheck, that's for sure. But this team has lots of forwards, so with Tarasenko on the mend I expect we won't see a whole lot more of this. Berube should try to get Brouwer into some games in case he's needed in the playoffs.
    Is there any team in the Central Division that wouldn't trade their entire pitching staff for the Cardinals staff? There are arguments to be made regarding the position players but this doom day's stuff leaves me shaking my head.
    There is great potential, true. I'm not sure what the team will get from Mikolas this season, but Kim looks like he will add something and an interesting group of younger pitchers is assembling behind the established guys.
    Hi Jeff. How do the Tampa Bay Rays win 96 with a tiny payroll in the AL central ? Obviously there doing something right .
    Tampa Bay had four straight losing seasons -- including one straight-up tank job -- before winning 90 and 96 the last two seasons. They draft well and they get value when they flip veterans for prospects. They absolutely robbed the Pirates with that Chris Archer trade.
    Seems like lots of us are already giving up on the lineup -- batting wise.....as in Carp & Fowler not adding value and I agree to some extent, BUT I have to say I'm excited by the young guys amd just wondering how you're feeling -- good, bad, too early, excited, wait till next year???
  • Nothing matters until the real games start. I will believe in Matt Carpenter's resurgence when he is roping doubles into the left-center field gap against quality pitching. I am not holding my breath for that. My guess is this team will evolve as the season progresses. The Cardinals don't want to rush guys like Dylan Carlson, but they absolutely will not hold anybody back this season. They want to find out as much as they can about the younger guys as quickly as they can.
    Jeff, with all due respect, how in the heck does Rob in St. Charles know whether or not Tarasenko will be ready for the playoffs? Does he have a mole in the Blues locker room? If Tarasenko says he's ready and cleared by the medical staff, you play him. End of story. As you pointed out in your reply, the Blues are playing for the Stanley Cup again. Myself and nearly everyone else out there wants Tarasenko out there.
    This question came up for Doug Armstrong the other day and he made it clear that the doctors say OK and Tarasenko says "I'm good" then No. 91 would play.
    Why did the Cards say they were open to resigning Ozuna if they weren’t? Once he turned down the QO, they got their draft pick and should have said they were moving on from Ozuna, but didn’t. They kept saying the door was open. When he came back to them at the right price, they said no. Time will tell if it was the right decision, but my issue is the veracity of the FO. Go ahead and defend them.
    I imagine they were trying to dump some salary while keeping the Ozuna door ajar. Obviously the team did not move Fowler and that's where Ozuna money would have come from. Had Marcell taken the qualifying offer, then Mozeliak would have had to create a payroll slot for him one way or another. For instance, the Cardinals likely would not have added Kim if Ozuna had jumped at the QO. Same goes for Brad Miller.
    Jeff, may I add to your earlier comment that the Cards season could range anywhere from disaster to winning the NLC. Seems like a much better chance of disaster when you start the season with what is projected as the worst outfield in baseball, no cleanup hitter, an aging and oft injured Carpenter, an average rotation with expected regression from Wainwright and Hudson, and this before Mikolas injury, and no designated closer. As for winning the NLC, at least on paper, Mil, Chic, and Cin will start the season with more talented players on their rosters. Would you agree?
    I don't agree because I do not know how the Cardinals will look on Opening Day. If Edman, Carlson and Thomas have huge springs and make the everyday lineup and Paul DeJong figures out how to get runners in from third base with fewer than two outs, then this team could look a lot different than it is projected. Or maybe Carpenter and Fowler turn back the clock. The Cardinals routinely outperform their projections and it could happen again. Or, like I said, it could all go horribly wrong.
    About your comment of the Cardinals adjusting on the fly -when was the last time the Cardinals made an in season adjustment of any merit? Don't hold your breath as this is what we have to dance with.
    Well, last season Tommy Edman arrived in midseason and made a huge impact (.850 OPS, 15 stolen baases) in the offense, ultimately displacing Matt Carpenter for a stretch. Ryan Helsley strengthened the bullpen in the second half (2-0, 2.73 ERA in 17 games).
    Rumors out of Toronto say the Leafs would consider moving one of their top forwards if it meant landing a number 1 right-shot Dman. In hockey what's more valuable to a team, a forward like Mitch Marner who will consistently get you 70-90 points a season or a number 1 Dman like a Petro or a Parayko?
    A No. 1 defenseman. And that explains why the Blues are Stanley Cup champions and the Toronto Maple Leafs remain one of the NHL's largest disappointments for all of their offensive talent up front.
    I was happy to see that the Cards were the first team to bean Bregman, although it was a curve ball and likely not intentional. I guess I should not advocate violence, huh?
    The Astros will get pitched inside a bit this season. Nothing wrong with that. They have been forewarned. But, in all seriousness, there is no reason for this to get to a place where people are getting hurt.
    This team has been one of the if not THE luckiest team in professional sports for a few decades. The last two World Series were the result of a perfect storm of luck and happenstance as opposed to having talent laden teams. The mean reversion is coming and this year has all the makings. Without 10 NL teams tanking last year they don't even make the playoffs.
  • No team is THAT lucky. The Cardinals are the only mid-market team that has tried to contend every year. When you do that, you give yourself more chances. And it's not there problem that other teams are willing to take three or four years off at a time.
    Carlson seems to be as good as advertised. What does he need to do to break camp w the big league squad? You think he is on track?
    If he keeps hitting, he will make the team. That doesn't just mean batting average, that means how he handles each at bat, each count, each type of pitch he sees. He does a lot of things well. He fields well. he runs well. He works. And when you look at what some of the incumbents hit last season, he knows there is opportunity with the big team. Now, if guys like O'Neill and Thomas crush the ball as well, he may start in Memphis to see if the older guys can get in done in the real games. But barring disaster, Carlson WILL be a Cardinal this season.
    @doilooknervous... It stands to reason that since Tarasenko has been out since October that he is NOT in game shape. You can skate around in practice all you want and it's not the same as playing in an actual game. Heck, he hasn't even had any contact in practice. Basically what he's going through now is just what he did last August/September. It's his pre-season all over again. Playoff games are different than games in mid January. All you have to do is look back to this years playoffs and see how much different the games are. They are a lot more physical. I hope I'm wrong but I'm gonna bet he'll have to wear some shoulder harness type support because when Jamie Benn crunches him into the boards, or anyone else for that matter, he'll need it. And when he does get hurt he won't available for the beginning of next season. Shoulder injuries take more than 5 months to heal 100%.
    Sounds like you are pitching for work on the Blues' medical team . . .
    Will constant conversations this season about trying to find at-bats for the "young players" cause anyone in the Cards' organization to start pushing for the DH in the National League?
    DeWitt has been pretty firm with his view on the DH, but he appears to be swimming against the tide on this one. I believe we will see a universal DH, expanded playoffs and more extensive interleague play as part of the next CBA settlement.
    Who do you see as the biggest threats in the west to the blues getting back to the Stanley cup?
  • Colorado is the team everybody points to -- and the 'Lanche have done an amazing job overcoming injuries If they ever get healthy (Rantanen, Kadri, Grubauer) they will be quite a handful. Vegas has a deep team as well. Dallas has played fabulously on the defensive end, but Seguin and Benn aren't the most dynamic offensive duo anymore.
    Was the bad outing by Reyes a result of rust or has he lost his control? Have all the injuries hurt his performance?
    Yes, injuries have impacted his performance. Healing is one thing, regaining well-oiled mechanics and pitching feel are different things altogether. For a dramatic example of that, look at Trevor Rosenthal. He regained velocity but not command after repairs.
    Fowler's going to have to "compete for at bats"? Sorry, you must be new here. Dex has been on scholarship for two years now, and nothing's going to change that. In 2018, Fowler was historically bad, and management tried to pretend he'd have to earn in his spot for 2019. Spring of 2019, and Fowler did nothing, and management tried to tell us he was hitting the ball hard all spring despite what our lying eyes were telling us. He then went out and put up an OPS in the bottom 10 of NL players who qualified, completely disappeared in September and October, and still remained in the everyday lineup. I've never blamed the Cardinals for being cheap because they're not, but they've cost themselves a lot of games trying wring blood from a stone, i.e. get value from that horrid contract. They'll continue to do so this year.
    Dylan Carlson wasn't behind Fowler last season. Harrison Bader and Tyler O'Neill both hit very rough patches. Lane Thomas showed promise before he got hurt. Tommy Edman took a lot of at bats in the infield instead of the outfield. Justin Williams missed a big chunk of the season at Triple-A. So even with Ozuna, Martinez and Arozarena gone, there will be competition for at bats. Shildt played Edman over Carpenter last season, so he has established that his patience with veterans has limits.
    My years-long loathing of our FO abated last year when we rode our way to the NLCS. Yet, I nearly fell off the (band-) wagon when we shipped 2020 All-Star R. Arozarena to Tampa instead of 40% K-King T. O'Neill. Now, opting 4 Fowler over NL ROY D. Carlson threatens my support all over again. Every time we commit an act of ineptitude, I think "What would the Yankees do?" In this case, I am certain, Fowler would provide an option off the Yankee Stadium bench so Carlson could start on day 1. What say you?
    Where has it been written that Shildt is committed to giving Fowler 600 plate appearances this season and Carlson won't play. As for Arozarena being a 2020 All-Star, the man has 23 MLB plate appearances in the regular season. Simmer down.
    With the exception of Dallas tomorrow, the upcoming schedule for the blues seems pretty favorable. Would you say this is the time to separate ourselves from the rest of the division?
    The six-game winning streak is a start. Job One is to make the playoffs and they are getting closer to locking that down. There appears to be real value in winning the division to avoid Colorado or Dallas in Round 1 and the Blues have a lot of work to do on that. Colorado has games in hand and that team will get healthier for the stretch.
    My question concerns the financial strength of the Blues franchise and how that impacted moves near the deadline. It has been my understanding that after years of losing money, they are doing well to make a few million over their expenses for a year.. As I understand it, if a player (JayBo and/or Vladi) is on the long term injury list, their salary would not count against the cap. It seems that creates an avenue to spend money to stay competitive for the season, which is a good thing. However, it obviously does not allow the team to not pay the injured player. Because the FO is paying the prorated $4M salary for Scandella to replace JayBo, could they also have afforded to pay the pro-rated portion of a $6M- $7M replacement player for Vladi? I wonder how much that potential extra cost played into the decision not to replace Vladi for the stretch run/ I agree that their play at the time was the most important part of the equation. Thoughts?
  • The Blues expect Tarasenko to return for the stretch run of regular season. So his $7.5 salary cap hit will return to the books when that happens. Had the Blues spent that $7.5 million on somebody else, the team would have had to subtract $7.5 million in cap money in order to bring Tarasenko back in season. They could have circumvented that by waiting until the playoffs to bring him back, but throwing him into the postseason without a few weeks to regain his game would not have been smart. Then you add in the facts that Sanford and Kyrou have played so well and the team chemistry is good as is and that's how the decision to pass on another forward was made.
    Jeff, I'm no doctor... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express before.
    My guess is that Arenado gets dealt in the offseason, as the trade deadline is too hectic to work out such a big deal and the Rockies will likely still be in the hunt for a WC. Would the Cards approach an offseason trade for him like they did Goldy—make the trade and then try to charm Arenado into signing long term? Or would they insist he waive his opt out?
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