First of all, thank you for joining this week's live chat. I really appreciate it. I look forward to visiting with all of you each week. Fire away any questions on the Blues, Cardinals and anything else you'd like to discuss.
It would be unfair to expect the Cardinals to play at a .750 winning percentage as they have during the recent 20-game stretch, but I do think this recent stretch is more indicative of how they can perform. You can only beat the teams that are on your schedule, and the Cardinals have done that. Moreover, Carlos Martinez's return to form along with the way Lynn, Leake and Wacha have performed has to make you feel good about the Cardinals' postseason chances this season.
The people I respect within the organization have plenty of optimism about Wainwright because they know he's extremely competitive. It's perhaps unfair to expect him to return to his old dominant form, but I have full confidence that Wainwright will find a way to finish the season as a solid No. 4 pitcher who wouldn't kill your bullpen.
Until further notice, I will assume it's dead. I heard some rumblings two weeks ago, but the chatter stopped. I realize there was another report out there earlier this week from a respected St. Louis sports journalist, but I couldn't verify it and thus cannot add to that report. I wouldn't shoot that report down either, though. Long story short, I am going to assume MLS2STL is dead until Mike Faulk reports otherwise or until my MLS sources tell me otherwise.
I thought the had a decent showing against Nashville, but they hurt themselves way too often in the series. As Doug Armstrong noted yesterday, this Blues roster probably maxed out to its potential. Considering how wide open the Western Conference is, they might have reached the Stanley Cup Finals if they had caught some breaks. It was essentially a rebuilding year, and I'm sure most professional teams would be pleased to reach the second round of the playoffs in a rebuilding season.
I actually spoke with John Mozeliak for a bit yesterday. We'll know more about Piscotty and Martinez in the coming days.
I'm really excited about watching Sierra. He has really taken full advantage of his promotion to the majors. I was telling John Mozeliak yesterday that one of my biggest regrets of this spring was not getting to know Sierra better. There's actually a chance that I'll speak with Sierra via phone today. He's an exciting player who has shown that he can compete at this level already. As I wrote late this spring and often in this chat, I'm quite optimistic about the Cardinals' future because of the farm system. Sierra is a special player. Mozeliak and his staff deserve credit for putting him on the 40-man roster last winter to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
I definitely think that Sierra is the Cardinals' center fielder of the future. He's not overwhelmed by major league pitching, and his defense is obviously superb. It's quite early, but he's clearly capable of helping this team for many years. I assume he'll return to the minors over the next two weeks, but he'll leave a few marks on this season and perhaps be ready to stay for good next year. Can you imagine how much of an impact he'll make as a September call-up, if healthy?
At this point, Jedd Gyorko has claimed the third base starting spot. There's no way anybody can think he doesn't deserve the starting job at third base. His .333/.386/.634 slash line is pretty good. Let's see how he plays over the next two months. He has six home runs and 15 RBIs.
I would think the Cardinals will probably win the next St. Louis championship. History is on their side.
I will be the last person to throw stones on somebody else's glass twitter actions. I've embarrassed myself on more than a few occasions with stupid tweets that I wish I could have back or pretend that I never sent out, so I'm not going to pile on the Cardinals for a silly tweet. With that said, I thought it was quite funny that they sent out a retro mindset tweet to promote their 1967 World Series title ring giveaway.
I'm starting to assume we will see Flaherty in the majors later this season. I had a good conversation about him with John Mozeliak yesterday. Flaherty is having a real good season at Springfield. He's probably going to be there for a little bit longer before moving up to Class AAA Memphis.
The Aggies are no longer the little brothers in Texas. Sumlin will be fine. The move to the SEC makes Texas A&M the top in-state destination for Texas kids who want to play in the best conference in America, but it's also important to understand that Nick Saban at Alabama makes every SEC West coach's job difficult. SEC West football coaches surely can appreciate what Pac 10 basketball coaches must have felt when John Wooden was on his magical run at UCLA.
Mike Trout will be special for at least 10 more years if he remains healthy. He is also under contract through 2020 with the Angels. With the young Astros ascending to the top of the AL West, Trout and the Angels might have to settle for chasing the wild card before Trout becomes a free agent.
I'm a tad old school, and I wouldn't wear a jersey with another man's name on the back. That's just the way I am, but I don't judge men who wear another man's last name on his jersey or wear their own last name on a jersey. I will tell you that one year one of the soccer teams I coached gave me a U.S. national team jersey with my last name on the back. I gave it away to one of my sisters because I just couldn't fathom wearing it. The Dynamo also gave me a few jerseys with my last name on them, and I never wore them. I just couldn't bring myself to wear them.
Don't underestimate Wainwright's competitiveness. He'll find a way as long as he's healthy. He can be a solid No. 4-5 starter. Also, keep in mind that injuries happen. Weaver needs to be ready to step in when/if a starter is hurt. Then he can make a case to remain in the rotation and try to bump somebody else from the rotation if he excels.
I don't know what you mean about cheerleaders. Two weeks into the season I wrote a column saying Wainwright needed to pick it up. Wainwright has earned a lot of equity in this town because he's a pro's pro who usually finds answers. Is he a No. 1 or 2 or even 3 starter? No, but he's still has a chance to be a good back-of-the-rotation starter who can help with his leadership as well.
I would say Minute Maid Park.
This will be a very interesting series at Busch Stadium. After a difficult first two weeks, I don't think anybody could have expected the Cardinals would be atop the NL Central standings at this point.