Subscribers-only Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Subscribers-only Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cards and MLB questions and comments to a live chat with Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold at 11 a.m.. Our Cardinals chats this spring are for subscribers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Lefty reliever and multi-inning guy to start the season as they get creative with pitching.
    In your opinion ifthe DH had already been in force for this season would the Martinez Arozarena for Lib trade still have been made?
    Yes, it would have. Yes. Many times over, yes.
    Having moved south recently, no longer in SeMO, may I say how pleased I am that a revised subscription allows me to follow the baseball observer/beat writers I've always appreciated the most. So, Derrick, why do you think the MLB Commissioner has dropped these little gimcrack nuggets like 2d-base start in extra-innings into the mix. Need some respect for the game's history!
  • It's all part of his pace of play initiative and it speaks to the many many different directions he's trying to go while avoiding a few of the things that actually contribute to the pace of play issue -- the length of commercials between innings (not changing) and the advent of analytics directing the game, not just evaluating it (could change). It's a gimmick, like you say. And it's a distraction. It does not get at the heart of the issue to improve pace of play. Instead of getting messy and changing the car's oil, he's putting a flame job on it.
    Entirely possible. And the agreement being considered has a facet that accounts for that.
    I worry about the future of minor league baseball (Big Memphis Redbird fan). With no 2020 season I'm afraid some teams may fail. Would MLB finance
    AAA, AA and A baseball. (90 teams?)
    Some teams will fail. Some leagues could vanish. And MLB wants to shutter teams -- not pay for them. So, don't expect a helping hand there. Not at all. Minor-league baseball is going to take the first heavy brunt of this, and that's partially because MLB already wanted to downsize. The Cardinals could lose two affiliates -- Johnson City seems for sure, and State College is up for question, though there could be some shifting of affiliates, too -- and other teams could lose more. They're not going to rush to the rescue and some cities that are vibrant, historic minor-league teams could be without baseball. It's awful.
    It's 4 p.m. in St. Louis and do you know where your player rep is?
  • The MLBPA executive subcommittee is schedule to convene right now as I type this to talk through the proposal from the owners and make a decision that could speed them toward reporting to Spring 2.0 -- or lead the commissioner to impose the season by dinner time.
    DG,
    I think the NHL, the NBA and the NFL are just fooling with us. If any sport can play while “socially distancing”, it’s baseball. All of these other sports include contact on every play, with the NFL the worst – every play results in some sort of pile-up of huffing and puffing players. If MLB and its players are worried about their health and safety, what must the other sport players be thinking? But we are expected to take their happy-go-lucky talk that they plan to play as gospel…
  • You are not. And you should not. It's all about discipline, practices, health protocols, testing, testing, testing, testing, testing, and did I mention a commitment to discipline? Teams are doing it in the KBO, for example, so it's possible.
    If a season starts July 19 or whenever was proposed...would Hicks be ready?
  • Entirely possible, yes. His performance in Live BP in the coming weeks would reveal that. He would not have the benefit of competition through a rehab assignment so it's going to have to come in another way.
    Are there certain teams that you think this weird season might help, and teams it might hurt?
  • Absolutely. Teams with deep pitching talent will be helped. Teams that field the best possible roster from their entire organization will be helped. Teams that cut costs and shed players and choose service time over talent could be hurt.
    On my drive into work - I was listening to MLB Radio on Sirius and the talk was about when a trade deadline could be set. That morphed into that some NL teams could be in the market to add a top-line hitter as a DH. And the first thought they had was J.D. Martinez to the Cardinals. I realize that's a big salary to take on - but it'd really only be for one year - next season. Aside from the working out a trade part - do you see any way that the Cardinals could pursue something like that?
  • Maybe. Depends on how they feel about their chances this season, and where they are in the season when a trade deadline approaches. As of right now, the Cardinals see the DH as an outlet for Brad Miller and a place for Tyler O'Neill and a chance to get Edman in the lineup and Carpenter at DH and on and on and on. That could change of course given performances, and having a DH means it's possible to look at a Martinez or a Castellanos differently than when the Cardinals had a chance to go after either before. Not saying Castellenos is a possibility. Just bringing him up as an example of a bat-first player the Cardinals have previously avoided.
    What do you think of the idea of having computers call balls and strikes?
  • Against it until it does it foolproof, 100 percent of the time. Period. It has to be flawless, zero-defect or else it's not better than the umps.
    If Carpenter and Fowler get off to slow starts this year and struggle through this short season and through the playoffs (if there are any) how do you think they will be viewed at the start of the 2021 season even though both have one year left on their contracts? Will the hard decision be made to release them with big money due both of them? Hard to imagine two 35 year olds if they have a poor 2020 at their ages and the downward trends of their careers turning back the clock next year.
    It is even harder to imagine a team with a dramatically reduced revenue would choose to spend more money than it has to be releasing players and paying out their guaranteed contracts when it's not necessary. Better to call it a wash, see what it looks like next year, and make a decision like that when revenues are returning and the cost is less. It makes ZERO sense with expanded rosters and less cash coming in for a team to willingly take on a cost like that when it just does not have to. They don't have to play. They don't have to be in the lineup. And they're not getting in the way of anyone being in the lineup or on the roster or in the dugout with expanded roster. Again, it just makes no sense to make a move like this in 2020.
    I'm not saying I side with ownership, but here's an angle to consider. If you and I were handed a billion $ to invest as we pleased, my bet is we wouldn't invest it in owning a baseball team or any sports team for that matter. When you start looking at return on investment, risk-reward, etc., you can see where owners are coming from. As we always say, it is a business.
    I might. I'm not really good with money, though. I also might buy Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 or Amazing Fantasy 15.
    Oh, who I am kidding ... I'd buy both.
    Can you show me the way to the memorial service for baseball purists? Ads on uniforms? A mandated DH? Men on second who didn’t earn it? Goodbye cruel baseball world....
    I did not get an invite. Alas.
    Thanks for the chats. Been a fan for over 60 years. Have forgotten, for the most part, the previous strikes that lead to shortened seasons and no World Series and the various idiocies with respect to the All Star Game. But this is different. I’m totally surprised by how little this lifelong sports fanatic misses sports. Whether they start the season or not, I don’t think it will finish because the virus will stop it.
    An entirely fair point of view. And one that will be interesting to see how common it is, especially as we've all been challenged to explore other interests.
    I recently rewatched a game from August 2016, in which the Cardinals came back from a 4-0 deficit in the 9th inning to win on a HBP of Yadier Molina to drive in the game-winning run. But something I didn't realize before was that with the Cardinals down 4-3 with two outs, Matt Holliday walked to load the bases, and Mike Matheny sent Mike Leake out to pinch run for Holliday at 1B. Why in the world did Matheny do this? Stephen Piscotty represented the winning run at second.

    In my mind, the Cardinals were lucky the game didn't go to extra innings, where they would've been stuck without their 3-hole hitter for reasons unapparent. And I don't miss the nightly head-scratchers we encountered with Matheny, but I didn't remember this one in particular and found it especially absurd. Do you remember anything about this game or why he may have done that?

    Thanks Derrick!
    Off the top of my head -- Holliday was playing with a bad hamstring. The move revealed how compromised he was and that they didn't want to put him in a bad spot. That's all. I know there was a game where a move like that was made and that was the reason. There were also other moves behind the winning run or tying run that were curious. But this was not one of them, not back then.
    Apologies if this has already been asked, but has the team said anything about whether Hicks' return will be affected by his type one diabetes? Different sport, but I know the Montreal Canadiens said they wouldn't let a diabetic player they have, Max Domi, play if it were deemed unsafe.
  • Mentioned earlier. The team is taking its direction from Hicks, and he has indicated to them that he wants to do what's possible to play this season. He has been proactive by being precautionary. Or, that's every indication I've been given. We'll know more as the preseason camp progresses -- if it can get off the ground here as we await the vote.
    Hi Derrick, greatly appreciate the job you do! In the case of Miller, his contract states that he must pitch a certain number of games in order for his contract to extend into 2021. How does that work in a short season? Is it the same number of games or pro rated based on % of season actually played?
    It's not clear. But it's expected that such language in contracts would not translated to the prorated side of the game, making it difficult for them to vest. But that could be part of the negotiations that have not surfaced yet. The only thing I know about that is from what was originally stated. Those elements would remain as is, and in a 60-game schedule would obviously we tricky to pull off.
    DG thanks for the chat as always. It seems to me that MLB is in an almost unique position to do some good here. To state the obvious we have national emergency with a pandemic going on. Based on my reading of the CDC and Census data, easily the hardest hit of our citizens are of Hispanic/Latino origin. They account for about 34% of the cases, but only about 19% of the population. To me these are staggering lopsided numbers.

    Of the three "Big League" sports in this country, MLB has the highest, by far, demographic percentage of Hispanic/Latino player representation. These are known voices that will be heard in the Hispanic community if they choose to speak.

    This puts MLB in a position to do some very, very meaningful good in our country right now. What are they currently doing about it, and what is your opinion of what they should be doing?
    Dr. Lawrence Rocks, the father of Paul DeJong's agent, told me during a video interview that baseball has the chance to lead the way back from the virus. That was more than a month ago -- but his statement has new resonance with me. If baseball can follow the example of the KBO and NPB and other leagues -- and not the models set by some cities and states, then perhaps, yes, it can be part of the solution and the way back by being an example of discipline, awareness, and respect for the health of others.
    The poll is trending 3/4 in favor of the 60 game proposal, as for the How and Why question, COVID 19 can strike with or without baseball, and is that why the 50 man taxi squad exists, those at risk might to sit, players or staff, but I think a lost season would be devastating to the game going forward, we all precautions the best we can, reporting to work as required, just sharing a thought
    A welcome point to make.
    Given what we have seen in the last few days with spikes in Covid cases that it becomes more important to have safety plans in place before we play? And is it even worth having a season at this point? 60 games? Teams are going to miss games due to infections and what do you do when your bullpen gets a case? Does that mean the entire bullpen is done for two weeks? Sounding like virtually all sports except horseracing will have trouble through end of summer and with baseballs continuing saga of fighting over money why bother.
  • Again, they're playing baseball in Korea and Japan. What does that tell us?
    Is it possible that fans will like the shortened season? Could this lead to shorter seasons in the future?
    Could you tell me how many players are currently under contract in the whole Cardinals system and if they eliminate two teams do they currently have enough players for these teams or will they be looking for more free agents next spring?
    Neal F.
    Fremont In
    I don't have the precise number off the top of my head. I know that there were about 170 players headed to minor-league camp. There were around 60 in major-league camp, right? And there have been about 30 players released and 15 players added. So you're talking around 210-215 players on rosters at this time. There are plenty of players to stock the rosters for the affiliates, yes. Oh, and that number doesn't include all of the players who would report to play for the academy team(s) in the Dominican Republic.
    What happens if they agree to 50 to 60 games starting August 1st, they play 25 games and the pandemic gets so bad they have to completely shut down and that’s the season? Isn’t that the worse thing that can happen? Utter chaos then.
    That is the fear of the owners and players, yes.
    It is getting close to “Go crazy folks, go Crazy” time
    It's on the background. Good call. Will it coincide with the results of the vote? Will the timing be perfect. Will we write the heck out of that in the morning paper? Tension abounds.
    Why not play all 60 games, or whatever number they can agree on, against only a teams division? That would produce a real division champs. I would just like to add that I am very frustrated with owners and players, but I will be in front of my television as soon as the games start.
  • No one has explicitly said that won't be the case. One thing I was told long ago was that they did want to minimize travel and maximize chances to play, so they could get teams into Chicago, play both teams, bevy of games, and move on. You could do the same thing in Missouri. The same thing with Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and it's not too far from Milwaukee to Chicago or Minnesota for that matter. Make the most of the need to travel and the commitment to do so as a group.
    Hi Derrick. Thanks for hosting a chat again. I have a few questions and want your opinion about the Cardinals draft. Some experts rate the draft as being pretty good for the Cardinals, however my opinion is that they missed out on what could have been an outstanding draft. They passed on some really good picks and were just sitting there for them to pick. For the sake of brevity I will just give you an example of the first few rounds and where they could have picked better players or at least players more certain of making it to the majors than the hope and prayer shoot high upside picks they chose. For instance, I think their 1st rounder Walker has too much swing and miss, he has a loopy swing with many holes leading to a ton of strikeouts.

    My picks:

    1st round: Cade Cavelli - Upside top of the rotation pitcher
    2nd Round: Logan Allen - Good Curve and Change (Marco Gonzales clone)?
    2nd Comp: Clayton Better - Great upside
    2nd Comp B: Cole Wilcox - Top of the rotation starter (Best stuff in the draft)?
    3rd Round: Blaze Jordan - Big time power

    I think these picks are more of a certain thing and have a better chance to make it to the majors than taking a chance on a high school player that Cardinal historically have failed to develop. See Nick Plummer, Paul Coleman, Delvin Perez. College pitching has historically been the Cardinals strength and they should have stayed where they are familiar.

    One last question: Why don't the Cardinals try and sign more International Free Agents anymore? They have not been players in the International Free Agent market since Luis Robert (Which they should have out bid the White Sox), he is going to be a great one and the extra couple million would have been worth it. Can you imagine Robert in the outfield with Carlson? Would be the makings of a great outfield and perhaps make the Cardinals contender for years). Thanks for your time and look forward to your thoughts.

    Thanks,

    George
    I think the Cade Cavelli pick is one to keep an eye on. Has the potential be something the Cardinals and fans look back on in the same way they do Walker Buehler. Absolutely. Blaze Jordan is interesting, but we'll see if Boston can sign him. I'd like to see that number before really knowing if the Cardinals didn't get a better mix of talent than the Sox will claim. Count me as a fan of Cole Wilcox, too. Intrigued to see what he does.
    They have signed a bunch of international players. Lots. Seriously. I'm not sure what you're talking about, honestly. It could be that they spent two recent years in the "penalty box" and could not spend on the big ticket players. They had a cap limit of $350,000 bonus on any one player. They emerged from that this past signing period, and now there is -- well, the pandemic happened and there's no spending on going there, and won't be on the July 2 market like usual.
    The Cardinals missed on Robert, for sure. Give credit to the White Sox for doing what it took to sign him -- and that also means recruiting him and wooing him and not just linking zeroes and commas.
    Those those help.
    At this point, I don't see the point to a 2020 season from a fan's standpoint. Playing a third of a season is meaningless--imagine a 5 game NFL season. Stats will be skewed, players who get off to slow starts won't have the same kind of time to figure things out, and fluke players with hot starts won't feel the same tug of regression. The game will not look like the game--if people thought bullpens were overused before, think about what this will look like with expanded rosters and a much, much shorter season. I imagine strikeouts will continue to soar.

    And perhaps most important: what will a championship really mean? It won't be a real season, and it won't be shared with fans. I know there's money to be had for players and most owners, but for me, it would seem like a very long exhibition season.
    I say go crazy folks, go crazy. When ever has a spot had such license to experiment in the middle of its history like this? Let's go. Have fun. It could be an absolute blast. I am still conflicted on playing in front of empty seats. But here we are. So we wait. Players are talking right now. A vote is imminent. The commissioner has been trying to make some last-minute suggestions, offers to assure a positive vote and avoid imposing a season.
    You think a runner at 2B is worse than a tie? Color me a No on that. At least the game is decided. Even the NHL will not allow teams to end in a tie.
    I said what I said and I meant what a said. Innings should start with the bases empty. There are no such things as Team ER. Bogus. Play the game. Don't give me some showcase of situational hitting and sacrifice flies to win a game. Yawn. I'd rather have a tie.
    The meeting for the players continues. We await word. News will happen. There will be coverage at StlToday.com. Clock ticks. And the chat comes to a close. The inbox empty.
    Forget big week for baseball. Big hour for baseball.
    Thank you to the many, many, many of you who asked questions. Great stuff this week. And great illustration of the different feelings and opinions from fans. We will be back next week, whether there is a preseason camp at Busch Stadium or not -- there will be a chat. We'll have plenty to discuss, for sure. 
    Stay tuned. Stay informed. Stay healthy.
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