Good afternoon. I hope you all had a blessed day. Feel free to fire away any questions. Thanks.
Pitching is quite expensive. As far as Carlos Martinez's deal, many folks in baseball - whether front office folks or agents - will tell you that the Cardinals may have gotten a good bargain. Those option years on Martinez's contract could prove very favorable to the team. Granted, he needs to continue to develop into an ace and remain healthy. I think Derrick Goold's projection is spot on regarding Lance Lynn.
In some cases, you cannot blame the coaches for the ridiculous errors that are made or the defensive lapses in terms of throwing to the wrong base. Ultimately, guys are what they are. Aledmys Diaz might ultimately be better suited to play second base instead of a premier defensive position like shortstop.
There's no doubt that Oquendo's absence has been felt in St. Louis. I don't know that we can quantify just how badly they miss him defensively, but keep in mind that he worked with Aledmys Diaz most of the offseason. There is definitely something missing, but there also comes a point where you have to wonder if the talent is good enough for some of these players to be excellent defensive players. You can't make Matt Adams a good defensive left fielder or expect Jose Martinez, a right fielder, to perform as well at first base if he's not experienced there. There are a lot - perhaps too many - moving parts in the Cardinals' lineup. Sooner or later you pay the price for having guys trying to learn on the job at a different position.
That is a good question. Mike Matheny and I had scheduled a visit today before batting practice, but that visit will be pushed back. I don't know why Lyons hasn't pitched.
I think the Blues will win it in six, perhaps 7. I expect a close series dominated by great goaltenders.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate it. It means a lot to me. We won't always agree, but I promise you I try to make informed decisions while being accountable to the readers, my bosses and the people I cover. I cannot tell you how much I've heard from the Blues and Cardinals that they appreciate it when I show up the next day after writing something critical. They know that I will give them a chance to give me their point of view too.
It may be difficult for some to believe, but this Cardinals team isn't far off. They are close to .500 despite sleepwalking through the first two weeks of the season. Lance Lynn, Mike Leake, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright give me optimism that this team will be good enough to reach the postseason once the bats wake up and the defense quits making so many stupid mistakes.
Unexpected hero? It might be one of the defensemen, perhaps Joel Edmundson again with a surprise game-winner. I bet you there will be several surprising moments, just as there were in the last round.
I think it's fair to assume Jedd Gyorko is the starting third baseman now, but don't go overboard and proclaim him an All-Star yet.
Bader is not a shortstop. He plays the outfield. Once the Cardinals have an exceptional defensive shortstop ready to go, I'd love to see Aledmys Diaz move over the second base. He may prove to be the Cardinals' second or third best player this year, so I would find a way to keep him.
Manager shaming by the media? I don't see that at all. I've learned a valuable lesson not to criticize other media. I can only and will only speak for myself. I'm a sportswriter, not a sports media critic. I try to be fair. I think Matheny and Mozeliak would tell you that I've criticized both of them for moves and praised both of them for moves in the past. My recent blog on the team's defense points out that there is plenty of blame to go around, and there is.
That's going to be a major question today. I've only followed this from afar, but I could see Smith goings to Illinois and perhaps enticing Tillmon to give the Illini another look.
You make great points. I also assume this series goes at least six games.
Lots of good friends have been laid off today. I pray for them and their families.
Jake Allen and the defense.
I wish I could tell you it isn't mental, but I think some of the blunders are more mental than physical. This team makes way too many mistakes that shouldn't occur at Class AA Springfield, much less Memphis or St. Louis.
One of my spies told me that there's momentum again on the MLS2STL front again. I have put in some calls to my sources in the MLS. I'll have more on that front once I get it. Regardless of what anybody says, though, the MLS2STL train isn't dead.
I really have no idea. I'm still trying to get an understanding of my job here as a columnist in St. Louis, so it would be ridiculous for me to address a subject I'm not knowledgeable enough to address. Sorry.
In defense of Matheny, there haven't been better options at times this season. Remember that most of the guys in the bullpen story off poorly.
I have written in the paper, on-line in blogs and here in live chats, that the 2017 Cardinals are competing for a wild-card. I've been quite adamant that they didn't try to break the bank this winter to take a free agent shortcut in hopes of catching the Cubs this year. This team is good enough to compete for the wild-card, especially with the Giants taking a spin down the drain. They'll be a healthier, stronger organization in the long run because of their patience/conservative approach this winter.