They don't need a new chef. They just need a better roster.
Everything is possible. Machado would be the perfect fit for the Cardinals, but he's going to be costly on the free agent market next winter. You have to believe the Cardinals will kick around a potential trade for Machado. As I've noted, nothing is off the table for the Cardinals this winter. They know they must make upgrades. Machado fits the description of the bat the Cardinals mentioned yesterday.
As long as Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are policing that clubhouse, don't worry too much about chaos in the clubhouse. They know they must get better. They know they need to be more proactive with analytics next season with their pitching staff, so they're taking a positive step. Keep in mind that it's actually not very unusual for teams to implement new pitching coaches and bullpen coaches. A little tension on the coaching staff is good too if it means that the new pitching coach pushes the entire coaching staff and pitching staff into the 21st Century. If you're not buying into the benefits of using analytics in 2017, you've been passed behind by the Cubs and Brewers, Astros, Dodgers and almost every other team. One bat isn't going to change the makeup of the clubhouse. I'm embarrassed to admit that we may have actually made too much out of Fowler's potential impact in the clubhouse. Truth be told, Fowler probably didn't have much of an impact in the clubhouse. Ultimately, the voices that kept everybody in line where the same, Molina and Wainwright.
Let's dissect Rosenthal's season. He was 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and 11 saves, two blown saves and 12 holds. He was 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA and two saves in eight appearances in April. He was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in May and then 1-2 with a 7.15 ERA in June, the only month in which he made more than 11 appearances. He made 14. As soon as the Cardinals tried to ride him, he sputtered. Then, he was 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA over 11 appearances in July. He posted a 3.68 ERA in August over six appearances. I noted in May that the Cardinals would be wise to sell high on Rosenthal because he wasn't the type of arm they could rise. Matheny took a lot of criticism for his bullpen use early in the season, but few people would acknowledge that he was handicapped because he had to be careful with Rosenthal and Kevin Siegrist. I would give Rosenthal a C- for this season.
If the Cardinals cannot find a proven bat that fits the description that Mozeliak gave Tuesday, they would be wise to stick with their own players and upgrade the starting rotation and bullpen. They cannot gamble away prospects for another guy with "potential." Remember, potential essentially just means you haven't done it before.
With all due respect, if Lilliquist's firing and Mabry's place on the Cardinals' coaching staff makes you think the world has gone crazy, you live a charmed life. There are much greater examples out there of the world going mad. Did you know there was a horrible mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday? The Cardinals and all professional sports teams are just entertainment. Don't make it anything bigger than that.
Check out the comments to the blog I wrote when the Cardinals failed to sign Edwin Encarnacion last winter.
I think the Texans have finally found the quarterback the franchise has been missing for years. I'm still stunned that the Rams beat the Cowboys. The Chiefs might be good again.
Wow. I had never thought about it this way. I must admit that I've seen way more jean shorts in St. Louis than any of the other markets I've worked in - L.A., New York, Houston - but I wouldn't describe he Cardinals that way. I would say that the Cardinals are in that uncomfortable place where you know you're almost good enough but still a few pieces away but just bad enough to know another step back is possible if you don't upgrade soon. Their closet has some expensive suits and some bright new outfits, but it's still missing enough pieces to keep up with the Cubs.
The Blues must get healthy soon. They must find a way to tread water while they cope with so many injured pieces. They need Jake Allen to be the dominant figure he was at the end of the season and the playoffs. They also need Vladimir Tarasenko to remain healthy all season and for Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo to anchor the defense.
I think it's unfair to compare Matheny to La Russa. Also, keep in mind that the manager gets too much credit and too much blame. He had a very young team that made some very stupid mistakes in terms of defensive fundamentals and base running at times, but they improved in those aspects as the season progressed. I don't think you can fairly judge Matheny this year without knowing how he would have done with a bullpen scenario that wasn't a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't. Some of Matheny's biggest critics never show up to games, so they have no damn idea when some relievers are unavailable. It's easy to rip a manager for his bullpen use when you don't have all the information on which guys were available on any particular day. I attend games, email Matheny or call him when he's on the road to try to at least understand why he makes some moves. It's part of the job. It's easy to rip a guy when you have no idea why he used this guy or that guy. With all that said, Matheny knows he's not perfect and needs to improve.
Martinez grew tired toward the end of the season. He also needs to work on fielding his position. He needs to take more pride in his defense. He's so athletic and hyped, he failed to slow the game down and make the simplest of throws way too many times this year. And, yes, four times is way too many. You have to expect injuries. The Mets entered the season with seven potential starters, and how did that work out for them. I will address this issue at length in my next column, so please check out Friday's column.
This is a very good question. Matheny protects his players. Contrary to the impression that was left during the Molina controversy, he does protect his players. I was out of town and didn't find out the whole story about the Molina controversy until I returned and spoke to Molina and Matheny. Long story short, if I had been working that day I would have followed up to make sure that Matheny meant to say Molina was tired. Considering how big of a controversy that became, we owed it to Matheny to have asked him if he was really meaning to say that Molina looked tired. Matheny is quite confident in his abilities, which is why he's willing to take some bullets to protect his players.
You make a compelling case. The veterans definitely need to step up to help keep the Blues afloat while they cope with some big absences. Schenn will be a keep piece. The Blues will count on him quite a bit. The Fabbri injury is a tremendous blow because the team was really counting on him heading into this season.
That is a very good question. The hitting coach has the confidence of the manager. Also, consider that Tommy Pham and Jose Martinez really blossomed this year in a way nobody could have expected. If you're going to blame Mabry for Piscotty, you must credit him for Pham and Martinez. Martinez had never stuck in the majors until this season.
As I noted last week, scouts that I recently went drinking with predict that somebody will severely overpay for Martinez this winter. That reminds me, I need to talk to my boss to see if I can start putting my bar tabs on the expense account. It will be a huge risk to sign J.D. Martinez, but all of these deals are huge risks. Nothing is guaranteed. We are all day to day. Pick your trite line.
If I had to say right now with so much also at stake in St. Louis and the comptroller's antics with the Blues' Scottrade Center renovations funds, I would say now is not the time to expect the MLS to come to St. Louis unless they can sucker the county into paying for an MLS stadium.
I don't really have much inside info other than what Mozeliak said Tuesday. It's pretty clear that the Cardinals didn't think their pitching and bullpen coaches used the analytics available to them enough. It's actually a shame in this day and age for a person to not take full advantage of all the stats available. Coaches and managers know they are hired to be fired. The starting pitching staff did well while carrying the team early in the year, but the bullpen was a disaster. I wonder if the bullpen coach paid the price for Rosenthal pitching hurt in his final appearance before Tommy John surgery.
I wouldn't say St. Louis is ignored nationally. The Cardinals remain one of the most relevant sports franchises in America.
There's no doubt that Lynn was the Cardinals' No. 2 pitcher, but I wouldn't say he can be considered a No. 2 for a championship team. With all that said, he'll probably be priced out of the Cardinals' comfort range this winter.
I hadn't noticed that. I cannot answer for why broadcasters refer to something that I haven't heard them discuss. Sorry.
I just took at as an honest disagreement. Mozeliak merely wanted to make clear that the Cardinals don't think missing the playoffs is something that will be considered common place by the front office. They're disappointed about missing the playoffs, and it shows. That's actually a good thing. Pham is quite candid, and so was Mozeliak. Nothing more, nothing less.
Nicasio would be a solid candidate as a setup man, but the Cardinals would be wise to also add a proven closer.
There's a good argument to be made there, which is why I will address it in my column in Friday's paper.
I would say that Martinez can definitely hit in the majors. His defense also improved. The key question has been whether his glove could catch up.
It's important to remember that this team didn't play well enough before the All-Star break to make the front office believe that they were worthy of giving up pieces at the trade market to try to fix the club. Keep in mind that the Cardinals didn't appear like a contender until they went on their eight-game winning streak, which didn't start until Aug. 5. Also, they weren't going to just give up Lance Lynn for nothing at the trade deadline. Contrary to what some fans believe, there really wasn't much of a market for Lynn at the trade deadline.
Thanks for participating in this week's live chat. See you next week.