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By all indications, Tom Stillman lets Armstrong make the personnel decisions. He is the one responsible for this year's mess, but I assume he is in ownership's good graces because of the success the team has had over the last six years.
I din't attend any of Mizzou's basketball games this year. I've followed them from afar and by reading Dave Matter's thorough coverage. With all the said, it's pretty evident that Mizzou will start looking for a new coach. The last game against Texas A&M was quite embarrassing. I would assume he'll be fired soon after the last game Mizzou plays. I hear Kim Anderson is a world class person, so it's sad that he hasn't made it work there.
Edmundo Sosa really stands out with the way he carries himself. He is the 20-year-old shortstop out of Panama. Baseball America rates him as the Cardinals' eighth best prospect. He is ranked right behind outfielder Harrison Bader and ahead of RHP Dakota Hudson. He'll turn 21 on March 6, and I assume he'll start the season at Class A Palm Beach. He finished at Palm Beach last year, hitting .294 with two triples and four RBIs over nine games.
He has looked good early. Jhonny Peralta has told me he feels good physically, and that's really half the battle with him at this point.
You make some really good points. I must point out that I don't write the headline. I said they surrendered, which is essentially the same thing. The Blues continue to take steps back because Armstrong didn't put this team in position to succeed. As you point out, the Bouwneester and Lehtera deals don't look very good. They are paying dearly on the ice for Armstrong's failure to read the Vladimir Sobotka situation. Somehow the Blackhawks and Penguins have GM who can maintained within rosters despite the salary cap.
At this point, Carson Kelly's future is behind the plate. I don't see any scenario where he plays first base in the near future. Moreover, the Cardinals are committed to keeping Carpenter at first base. I cannot stress enough how much the Cardinals don't want to see Carpenter at third base. They want to see him settle in at first base.
I really appreciate your very nice compliment. I will tell you that we will never recover from the loss of Joe Strauss and Bryan Burwell. You simply cannot replace those men. I try hard to live up to their legacies, but I'm honestly still just 11 months into my first job as a columnist. Burwell was one of the all-time greats, and Strauss was a bad ass too. I can honestly say that nothing about this spring training has made me change my opinion about the 2017 Cardinals not being ready to compete with the Cardinals. Alex Reyes' injury was a huge blow. With that said, I think the Cardinals are quietly setting themselves up to be quite strong in 2018 and 2019. They won't tank because that's not something they would do to their fans, but this year is all about remaining in wild-card contention and then making another step forward in 2018. You never know with prospects, but I returned back to St. Louis feeling quite optimistic about the Cardinals' future. I cannot wait to see how Sandy Alcantara develops. I'm eager to see Harrison Bader and Carson Kelly and Edmundo Sosa and Adolis Garcia. The future, in my opinion, is very bright for the Cardinals. You'll just have to be patient through 2017 and hope for a wild-card berth. I stand by my prediction that they'll win between 84 and 86 games. With Reyes hurt, I'm leading more toward predicting 84 and second place in the NL Central.
I love watching the Blues. I readily admit that I didn't watch much hockey, and I'm still learning the sport every day. I have put in lots of hours watching practices and games, and I hope to be more knowledgeable over the next few years. I absolutely love it. I think it's more exciting than watching baseball, and I love baseball.
You would think they probably need to acquire a center. I want to see how Jake Allen finishes the season. He's locked up, but his "mental block" really sabotaged the entire season. If I were GM, I'd bring in another goaltender and try to see if anybody would take him off my hands.
Adolis Garcia looks like he could start at safety in the SEC. When Mike Matheny described him as "a specimen" he meant the kid is chiseled. Garcia has muscles on top of muscles. More importantly, Aledmys Diaz told me that Garcia is a "five-tool player who can do it all."
I really enjoyed covering spring training in Jupiter. I must say that I was quite surprised at how accessible John Mozeliak is in spring training. I was stunned and quite appreciative. My biggest takeaway from spring training in Jupiter is that the Cardinals have a lot of really good young talent. There are quite a few impressive young arms, beginning with Sandy Alcantara.
I would agree that the Blues were doomed to mediocrity by all the offseason decisions. Trading Shattenkirk merely made the surrender official.
That's an interesting point. It seems that Doug Armstrong has really missed on some of his goaltending decisions since he arrived here.
The Robby Fabbri injury was a huge blow to the Blues. Unfortunately, you are right about the Blues' lack of a Robin to Vladimir Tarasenko's Batman.
He also was their second-leading scorer this year. The Capitals clearly thought he could help them this year.
I don't know what you're implying, but I have to believe that all those Blues greats would have a place with the organization regardless of the general manager in place.
That is the big question right now. I've found that it's really impossible to predict these things. All I know is that the Cardinals are definitely interested.
I still think that Tommy Pham and Jose Martinez are the front-runners for those spots. Martinez is getting plenty of work at first, and he may ultimately surpass Matt Adams as the backup first baseman if Matt has a poor spring.
The fan base didn't cover itself in glory in that situation, but keep in mind that Fowler has been around long enough to know that there are knuckleheads with every franchise.