Good afternoon. Thanks for joining this week's live chat. I hope you've all had a wonderful week. Fire away.
Yes, you are absolutely correct. This Cardinals bullpen could be special once Holland gets straight. Bud Norris has been a godsend to the Cardinals, especially if you consider that Gregerson wasn't activated from the disabled list until this week and Brett Cecil has been on the disabled list most of the season. John Mozeliak and Michael Girsch deserve a lot of credit for signing Norris. They were willing to give him a big league contract when others weren't.
It would have to be his idea. The Cardinals believe they can give him the opportunities necessary to work himself into form in the majors, but I bet they would be open if he suggested it. The fact that he would need to stay down 10 days in the minors if he accepts an options makes it a bit of a gamble, but it's not an unreasonable request.
As of 1 p.m. the Cardinals had not informed the player who will be sent down to make room for O'Neill. Moreover, I'm not in Chicago with the team, so I don't have an update on Pham's health status. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cardinals went with 12 pitchers and 13 position players if they think that Pham doesn't need to be on the disabled list.
I checked in with people who would know, and I've been told the Cardinals haven't spoken yet with the player who will be in the move necessary to make room for O'Neill to come up from Class AAA Memphis.
That is a good question. Fowler hasn't played center field this season, but I don't know how comfortable the Cardinals would be with O'Neill in center field. Keep in mind that O'Neill has played all but one of his games at Memphis this season in left field. He played the other in right field. If Bader remains, I wonder if he'd be the best option to start in center field. But if the Cardinals bring O'Neill up to start consistently, I assume the best move would be to have Fowler in center, O'Neill in right and Ozuna in left.
I don't think anybody in the big leagues could have predicted these many rainouts this early in the season.
Jose Martinez does work on his defense.
The Bud Norris signing is one of the best under-the-radar signings in baseball so far. He's been a godsend to the Cardinals.
If Pham is healthy, you can assume it's going to be a reliever. Unless Holland decides that he wants to go work himself back into form in the minors, you can almost safely assume that the last reliever called up will be the one sent down to make room for O'Neill if the Cardinals decide to go with seven relievers.
Yes, Bud Norris has been outstanding. He's 4 for 4 in save opportunities with a 1.93 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 9 1-3 innings. He's played a key role in seven of the Cardinals' 10 victories so far, finishing half of the victories and six games overall. Even though the Cardinals signed him as a potential closer, I don't think they would have expected that he would play such a significant role in the first month of the season.
Mike Matheny and pitching coach Mike Maddux are closely monitoring Hicks' workload. I expect they'll monitor his workload closely all year.
Interesting. I hadn't noticed that.
He's the only healthy lefthander on the pitching staff right now.
It will be interesting to see how much patience the Cardinals show with Wong overall and Carpenter in the No. 3 spot. For all of the whining about Carpenter, he has driven in some crucial runs over the last two weeks. He was the late hero last night, and don't forget his walk-off blast last week. He's better suited defensively at second or first. Gyorko at third would provide much better defense.
You're just being picky now.
I agree 100 percent with your assessment.
If O'Neill starts, I would assume Fowler would be the best option at center. If Bader starts, I would assume the best move would be to put Bader in center and keep Ozuna in left and Fowler in right.
O'Neill has clearly earned the chance to play in the majors with his power display at Class AAA Memphis. He has six home runs and 18 RBIs with a .388 batting average (19 for 49) and .837 slugging percentage over 12 games at Memphis.
I don't imagine that happening this year.