Judging by their record on doubleheader days, which was 13-9, those 11 twin bills might have had been an advantage on those days because the Cardinals had pitching depth. But their record of 17-19 on one-game days suggests there was a residual negative effect after some players had played 14 innings or so the day before and that none of the pitchers who appeared in many of those winning doubleheader games was available the next day. And, yes, go Blue Devils.
I will be opining on that series from my home office. I am not driving to San Diego under any circumstance.
"Realistically" is the key word here, in how much money do you have to spend or what players they have to trade. One of their potential trade chips is gone with Hudson out for most, if not all, next season because of elbow surgery. Martinez also is damaged goods right now, so it's going to be hard, not made easier by the fact they the Cardinals have Carpenter's $18.5 million on the books for next year and Fowler's $17.5 million. But there's always a hitter, if you look hard enough. There may be more than you think if teams decide not to tender high-salaried players they don't think they can afford with no revenue coming in. With so many variables involved, it's a little early to zero in one or two but the offense definitely needs a transfusion.
I don't think the Cardinals have guaranteed replacements for either and the strength of their team is pitching and defense. So, as long as you're not tied up in long-term deals for either, I would choose to retain those two players and attack the offense by trading some pitching.
It helps everyone but mostly the everyday players because Mike Shildt and Mike Maddux have been careful about almost always giving a reliever a day off between appearances. The starters had no such luxury and often played in both ends of the 11 doubleheaders.
The playoff rotation has been set up for weeks with Flaherty, Wainwright and Hudson as the top three. Now that Hudson is out, Kim moves up a slot. Flaherty still is your best shot at winning the first game but he has to be more consistent and not drag himself down with 90 or so pitches in five innings.
Martinez didn't figure as a starter--or anything, really--next year anyway. Waino provides value on and off the field, so I think he is a priority. Yes, there are enough starters now with Gomber, Ponce de Leon, Reyes and even Oviedo as possible candidates to go with Flaherty, Kim and Mikolas.
Bader is a more valuable outfielder because he can play center field, while O'Neill has not done much of that. But O'Neill has turned out to be well more than adequate in left field and you could use him there if he didn't hit .175.
Believe it or not, he will be turning up at Lambert sometime today to head to San Diego.
The Cardinals' offense is inferior to anybody else in the field, other than perhaps Miami. But in this very short series, it takes only two hot pitchers to pull off a win. And the Cardinals have pitching depth. With Clevinger doubtful for the Padres because of arm issues, Zach Davies, formerly of Milwaukee, becomes a key factor and he has only a 4.55 ERA against the Cardinals while pitching for the Brewers. This is doable for the Cardinals but their pitchers can't be walking people ahead of all that firepower in the Padres' lineup.
I chose Tampa Bay to win the World Series when the season began and I see no reason to alter that choice now.
All teams are rethinking their budgets for next year, and, unfortunately, that means other employees are getting let go, along the way. But, you are correct, there may be some bargains as non-tenders, so there is no reason to key in on one or two hitters just yet. Let's survey the field in late November and early December.
Goldschmidt and Kim are acquired players, so this hasn't been a total wipeout. But the Cardinals' record for signing higher profile free-agent pitching hasn't been good recently, no question. And. . . you're welcome.
Reyes is getting there. He's still walking too many but I like that 98 to 100 he's running up there with good off-speed stuff, too. I could see him in next year's rotation and I could see him as next year's closer unless they're sure about Hicks' return. Then I have Hicks at the back end and Reyes at the front end.
O'Neill did provide a big steal on Sunday. But neither he nor Bader has been on base much in order to steal the next one. I would like to see the Cardinals run more to stay out of double plays or just to put pressure on the defense. A ton of strikeouts does not apply much pressure to the defense.
Sixty games was all they had. Thomas was disappointing, not only with his bat but his defense and decision making were shaky. I don't think they see him as a top prospect anymore. Bader and O'Neill probably are good backup outfielders and Bader could be a regular if the Cardinals had more offense around him, which they don't. In short, the Cardinals won't be going into next season saying, 'Let's see what these guys can do.' They've seen enough to make those decisions.
A four-run lead in the eighth inning doesn't scream "bunt!" to me. The Cardinals trust their bullpen to hold a four-run lead that doesn't need to be six. Hit away. Besides, Shildt is not a big fan of the bunt. And aren't triple plays fun to watch?
San Diego has been in place for a long time in the NL as the second-place team with the best record so the Padres were going to be at home against the next best second-place team, which is the Cardinals.
I'm guessing $25 million for two might be an offer to be discussed.