Good afternoon. I hope you all had a great week. Fire away.
I'm pretty certain this was addressed in the Post-Dispatch over the weekend. Carpenter will move back to first base when Wong returns. Carpenter is expected to move to second at times, though, when Mike Matheny sees a better chance to sit Wong against a lefthander so that Voit can start at first base. Until further notice, I would expect Paul DeJong to be the starting shortstop.
Garcia is not on the 40-man roster, but he is definitely knocking on the door. The Cardinals have plenty of outfield depth in the minors when you consider Garcia, Harrison Bader and Magneuris Sierra, not to mention Jose Martinez. Grichuk is under tremendous scrutiny to produce.
Carlos Martinez is the closest thing to an untouchable in St. Louis. Injuries are a concern for every pitcher, but keep in mind that Carlos Martinez is actually bigger and heavier than Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez was during his career. He is under a very team-friendly contract, so I think he'll be around here for a long time.
Diaz must regain his swing, keep working on his defense and then hope there is another chance up in the majors. Paul DeJong has taken control of the starting spot at short, so Diaz must hope to be ready if DeJong falters or is injured. If Diaz is tearing it up at Memphis and he is blocked at short by DeJong, I could see him earning another shot up in the majors if Wong suffers another injury.
Because he has been around since 2013, many fans forget that Martinez is still one of the Cardinals' youngest players. He was actually the second-youngest player on the 25-man Opening Day roster. He has yet to truly hit his stride. If he remains healthy, he should have a very special career.
I cannot pretend to know what is in Stan Kroenke's heart or on his mind.
I really assume that most organizations would give Matheny the same credit the Cardinals give him for all of the winning seasons he has had. I wouldn't say he's perfect, but it's important to recognize his winning seasons.
I would assume Kroenke realizes a jury of his peers would be a jury of people who probably don't have a favorable view of him.
I'm of the opinion that the Cardinals could field a $200 million payroll and not lose money.
Giancarlo Stanton's $325 million contract was heavily backloaded. He's earning only $14.5 million this season, but it will jump to $25 million next year and $26 million in 2019 and 2020. He can opt out after 2020, but he's due $29 million in 2021 and 2022 and $32 million in 23, 24 and 25. Then he's due $29 million in 26 and $25 million in 27 with a $25 million club option 28. He'll be 38 by the club option. Considering how much he is owed, I would assume a team that is trying to unload contracts might not require a significant return. There's not going to be a huge market to take on that contract.
The Cardinals aren't going all-in on buying or selling.
The Astros could use a front-line pitcher, but I don't think they would view Lynn as the No. 2-type starter they would want to go after a World Series title.
We have a pretty good debate about Yelich in the press box last week at Busch Stadium. A good argument was made that Yelich isn't a better option than Tommy Pham.
Molina is one of the best catchers in baseball. He is an All-Star this year. Why would you be in a rush to replace your All-Star catcher. He signed a three-year extension before Opening Day. He's here until 2020, at least, and I would assume he will be the starting catcher as long as he's healthy.
If they do nothing at the trade deadline, it would mean that they'll try to re-sign Lynn and make a run at the Central with the talent on hand. I agree with John Mozeliak when he says there's not just one thing that he could do to fix the club.
This question would be better for folks who have been here a long time. I've found that for the most part folks in MLB don't care what your culture is as long as you can help them win. Matheny wants to win, and to think otherwise is to truly not understand the man.
As I noted earlier, I would pick up Stanton's contract, but I wouldn't give up much for him in return because of the weight of that contract.
If the Cardinals are within 4 games of the NL Central lead at the trade deadline, I would add a middle-of-the-order bat to try to make the playoffs. If they are more than 7 games back, I would unload Lance Lynn and see if anybody would give me something for Matt Carpenter and try to plan for 2018.
Interleague play has taken away some of the spice from the All-Star game, but I would still take the MLB All-Star Game over any other All-Star Game in professional sports.
That could be a good deal, but I would try to keep Gyorko. You need Gyorko's bat in the lineup if you want to make a run at the playoffs.