Howdy. I hope you are having a great day. I'm here to answer your questions. Please fire away.
That is a very good question. It's clear that MLS wants to put a team in St. Louis. I strongly believe that they will find a way to bring a team to St. Louis, but it's just a matter on whether the aldermen or the SC STL folks blink first. If I were a betting man, I'd bet that the SC STL folks will still find a way to land an MLS franchise in St. Louis even if they don't get the funding they are requesting from the city.
I would assume that the Cardinals are done in terms of major moves. The roster is essentially set in terms of the big pieces, so I would assume only minor moves are remaining.
At this point, I wouldn't want to saddle Diaz with the burden of trying to bat in the No. 3 slot. Keep in mind that Diaz had his best production out of the No. 8 spot in the lineup, where he hit .376 with a .431 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage over 26 games. He played most of his games batting in the second slot, where he hit .265 with a .346 on-base percentage, .436 slugging and .782 OPS over 65 games. He didn't hit third or sixth at all last year, but he started a game in every other slot in the batting order. I cannot imagine that he'll hit third.
It would be quite expensive to acquire a player of Longoria's stature. I'm sure you can get him without giving up Reyes, but you would essentially give up several important pieces in the farm system.
Matt Adams is a bit underrated, in my opinion. He's not a Gold Glove player at first or left, but he's not a total stiff either. I think he's definitely a valuable backup piece that can hit for power.
I still cannot believe the Texans lost. Just kidding. I was only teasing my sister, a Patriots fan, with my silly Texans prediction. Anybody who has watched the Texans play knows they were lucky to even be in the playoffs. They have no quarterback.
Jake Allen's problems have nothing to do with Hitchcock. To answer your question, though, Hitchcock doesn't address Allen's issues with Allen. He has had goaltenders coach Jim Corsi address the goaltending issues with Allen and Hutton.
First of all, I didn't say they didn't care about winning. I said they weren't committed to winning the division. Everybody in baseball cares about winning. Nobody in baseball likes to lose. I covered the Astros when they were tanking, and they still claimed that they wanted to win. They all want to win even when they're not doing enough to win. If you're asking me if I think DeWitt and Mozeliak have done enough to be considered NL Central contenders, I would say not quite. If you're asking me if they've done enough to be playoff contenders, I would say absolutely.
I honestly don't know. Nobody knows because Major League Soccer really won't say. MLS claims there are 10 cities vying for 4 expansion spots, so one would think they are misleading other cities if they clearly want to bring a team to St. Louis. The SC STL leaders say they cannot have a team without public funding for a stadium. I've made my stance clear on public funding for pro stadiums. With spring training coming around and the Blues fighting to straighten out their season, I've pretty much been focused on baseball and hockey. I'm headed to spring training in less than three weeks, so I'm going to wait until there is actual MLS news before I weigh in on SC STL.
I spoke to Kevin Shattenkirk about this issue, and he knew this was a serious possibility. If the Blues trade him, the return piece will depend on whether Shattenkirk is willing to sign an extension with the club that acquires him. If he signs an extension, the Blues should be able to get a good return. If not, you probably will have to settle for a draft pick.
Because of Peralta's recent injury woes and his struggles, he doesn't have much trade value at this point. The Cardinals must hope he bounces back and has a strong season as he tries to earn another payday next offseason.
There's no way that the Cardinals would allow a second MLB team here, so that's not even an option. The city isn't big enough for two MLB teams.
I bet the Cardinals would be very pleased if they could get 145 games out of Peralta with 15 home runs and 70 RBIs.
I would start Carter Hutton on Thursday. I just don't know how you could bench a guy who had 34 saves against the Penguins. If I were Hitchcock, I would sell it as another opportunity to give Allen a few more days to clear his mind. It's a huge gamble, though.
That is a very good question. The NFL seems to be more accepting of franchise moves.
It is so difficult to predict whether the Blues will make the playoffs because they are so inconsistent. Just when you think they are going to be destroyed, they dominate the Sharks and the Penguins. Yet, they can also appear like the worst team in the NHL at times. It is all going to depend on how the goaltending situation works out. If Allen doesn't bounce back, the team is toast.
There really is no way to answer this question. Until the guys begin throwing in spring training, you don't know how the offseason workout regimen has helped them.
The Blues are very inconsistent. That's pretty much been the story of their last two months. They win games you expect them to lose and lose games you expect them to win.
I would have to bet the under, but I think they will be at least within three victories of that figure.
I predict the Cardinals will be a wild-card contender. As long as the pitching holds up, they'll make a run at a playoff berth.