October 17, 2017 at 11:15 am #36312
Yes, many complained about his bullpen management even when we were winning. I was not one of them, though the Wacha playoff move still has me scratching my head.October 17, 2017 at 11:19 am #36314
If they thought that about Wong, what did they think about Piscotty? I find that hard to believe though. These guys know that that is the trend and what has made some teams successful.
I also would hope they are professionals and wouldn’t let something like that affect their performance. Which leads to Matheny. Shouldn’t a strong leader be able to difuse a situation like that?October 17, 2017 at 11:58 am #36315
When Wong got the contract, he came into Spring Training acting like he was now “one of the core”. He proceeded to start trying to teach and mentor the “younger” players. It ticked off several of the veterans – especially Wainwright. That’s why they had to have several air cleaning team meetings a year ago Spring.
Mo has recently also broken the mold of not giving long term contracts to players whom they haven’t had time to assess as teammates, as members of the organization, with the fans, and in the community. Leake, Fowler, and Cecil are examples. He probably needs to get back on the game plan. Short term free agent contracts (if possible) and trades for guys who only have a year or two left on their contracts.
Thoughts?October 17, 2017 at 12:05 pm #36316
As far as diffusing the situation, that can be difficult. You can be a good leader, but grown men can seethe and teem. Sometimes the only answer is to get rid of players who don’t fit in. Leake wasn’t a bad guy, but he didn’t provide the leadership that they had hoped. Apparently a bit of a loner. They’re probably looking closely at Fowler right now. Contrast him with Holliday. Holliday was one of the first to the ballpark everyday and one of the last to leave.October 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm #36317
I am troubled by the inconsistency of the team although they performed on the total season stats about where they finished in the standings. But you are likely to have a down year when you score 3 runs or less in 66 games. Thought we did improve our baserunning and defense as the year progressed. Was suprised to see that we were successful in 72% of our steal attempts.
I am also troubled about the serious injuries to pitchers and the lack of progress by some of our key starters (Wacha, Martinez). Also fading of some of the hitters. Seems they can go to Memphis for a bit and come back rejuvinated.
I have never been too troubled by his handling of pitchers in spite of all of the studies saying he is so bad. If he is so bad how did we finish 11th of the 30 teams in holds and 5th in percentage of saves vs opportunities. And in a year that our bullpen operated without an effective closer a good part of the year. Had a good stretch by Rosenthal before his injury and by Nicasio at the end of the year.
I think that many of the Sabermatics adherants are of the opinion that you should use the closer at the most critical point of the game rather than mostly in the 9th inning. I don’t need advanced stats to determine AFTER the game when the most critical point of the game was. I felt that Matheny was trying to get Brebbia and to a lesser extent Tuivalala into more pressurized situations but it appeared that they were not quite ready for that pressure. I think both could be very key to our bullpen in 18.
By the way I am an adherant to the advanced stats. Some holes and the defense stats are improving but I seriously believe that the WAR measurement, while not perfect is by far the best measurement of a players ability.
I do not agree with some of the posts I have seen. I don’t think this is the year to deal Piscotty. I expect him to rebound in 18. But if someone is willing to pay a price expecting a rebound, game on. I agree with the handling of Pham. He hit .226 in 2016 fanning 71 times in 159 AB’s. Martinez had a brief but strong stint in the same year. Then in spring training Martinez had 4 homers and a 1.248 OPS while Pham hit .209 with .599 OPS. Would not have been hard to chose Martinez in spite of Phams very strong defense. Then when Pham got it together at Memphis he was brought up. I guess you could say we should have kept 5 outfielders and kept Pham on percieved upside.
I think one of Matheny’s clear strengths is the ability to identify the minor league players who are ready to help the big team. Most of our call ups have been pretty successful over the years.
If you look at 2017 results comparing contributions of system developed players performance with those signed as free agents or obtained in trades you may conclude that the 2017 dropoff maybe should be more on Mo’s shoulders.
Finally I will apologize to Black Hills for saying that he bashed neutral posters. He once did say I had my head in the sand but the apology is still offered.
October 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm #36319
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by SoonerinNC.
Yes, many complained about his bullpen management even when we were winning. I was not one of them, though the Wacha playoff move still has me scratching my head.
The Wacha decision wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things. We had just lost two games in two days with sub-par pitching and the bullpen had been rode hard. Rosenthal wasn’t very sharp that season either and Matheny had mentioned several times that Wacha was the guy if we were going to go into multiple extra innings. He also had been doing bullpen sessions and warming up. Neshek’s blown pitch to Morse in the 8th was a bigger problem to me. Also, Matheny got owned in his PH changes in the top of the 9th. Wacha was superb in 2013 so I assume he thought he’d rekindle that performance.
It wasn’t the right move, nor did Matheny even think he made the right move, but we were down 3-1 already, the bullpen was on fumes and wasn’t very good in general.October 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm #36323
Why was Waino ticked off? Isn’t him a professional baseball player? Why do other players care or mind what contracts are given out, when, and why? I think if each one of them will keep their minds on the task at hand the team will be better off. You don’t have to agree or like what is going on to be able to do your job, if it is that bad ask for a trade. You spent a lot of time with the same guys day in and day out during the season. Being aggravated is fine but making a big deal and let it affect your play is another matter. You have the meeting you move on. Players are human and they all have their quirks. I bet Waino has them too. Holliday would have retired eventually, Waino is on the later part of his career. If the players didn’t perform because the missed Holliday’s leadership and work ethic shame on them. Matheny is in charge his job is to make sure he gets the best performance out of each players by putting them in the best situations to succeed. I don’t get why Waino, Molina, and Matheny get a free pass while the new players are the problem. Maybe the “core” needs to embrace change and new teammates without expecting them to adapt to their way. Change is part of life and if Matheny and the core won’t embrace it a adapt to it the team has no chance.October 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm #36325
The best teams are said to have a strong core of veterans providing leadership.October 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm #36326
How many veterans make a strong core? 2? 3? More?October 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm #36329
As a pure guess, I’d say 3 or more position players and 3 or more pitchers. Displaying a team first concept and how hard work pays off. Holliday apparently spent more time in the weight room and batting cages than anyone.
Wayne Gretzky used to stay out on the ice for a half hour after practice was over shooting pucks at a medallion he would hang from the crossbar of the goal in various positions.
Leadership also probably involves teaching younger players how to physically and mentally prepare for longer seasons than they’ve ever played. From what they say, John Jay was good at that.October 17, 2017 at 3:39 pm #36330
One of the key aspects of leadership is developing other leaders!
Makes no sense that you trade Leake because he was not a leader unless you are replacing him wuth someone who.is a leader.
Since Matheny isnt observing tbe minor league games and I’d be shocked if he had time to analyze more than the peripheral stats, I doubt he has a large say on who is called up during the year.October 17, 2017 at 3:42 pm #36331
Generally speaking, the GM sets the roster and the manager sets the lineup, but of course, there is dialogue both ways.October 17, 2017 at 3:46 pm #36332
That’s a really interesting question. I wonder how much conversation takes place between Mike Matheny, Stubby Clapp, and Mo as moves are made. Movement both to and from Memphis.October 17, 2017 at 3:58 pm #36333
My guess is the manager’s role is more in defining needs but it may vary from org to org.October 17, 2017 at 4:06 pm #36334
I would think that Mike would talk to Stubby about which players are ready. What their strengths are and what they still need to work on. How they perform in certain situations. Also, look at the opponents coming up and decide which players might perform best against those opponents based upon their strengths and weaknesses.October 17, 2017 at 4:13 pm #36335
When I have asked Matheny about players at Memphis, he always seemed to be aware of how they are doing. However, I know the minor league managers provide extensive reports following each game and I would imagine that is Matheny’s primary info source.
Though I am obviously not in the conversations, my perception from working around these people for some years now is that the manager may explain his need to the GM, who checks with the farm director about which players may be most ready and are the best fit. The farm director is in daily contact with the minor league managers. As we have seen numerous times in recent years, a call-up may or may not come from Memphis. This year, we even saw one from Palm Beach!
The field manager’s primary job is to best deploy the players assigned to him, but that does not mean he does not have input on and awareness of call ups. It is just not his primary call.October 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm #36336
I would hope that the organization is ran so that the GM discusses with Matheny what Matheny needs. Then the GM identifies what fills that need internally or externally and makes a move after discussing minor league players with their managers and the teams’s scouts and minor league instructors. Once a move is made, I could see the GM providing Matheny with a complete scouting report on the player that is being added to the team. If Matheny needs more info, he would then contact the player’s minor league manager or whoever in the organization has that info.
I would hope that Matheny spends almost all of his time thinking about the team he has to work with and the opponents he has to face. It is not his job to keep track of minor leaguers, too.October 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm #36337
That’s great input from inside, Brian. Thanks.October 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm #36338
Brian, you must have posted your post as I was composing mine.October 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm #36339
IMHO, the move that most messed us up this year was signing Fowler.
It pushed a player who prides himself as a selective lead off player who draws a lot of walks into the #3 hole. Mo should have left Carp where he was and gone after a proven #3 hitter.October 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm #36342
My guess is that when they found that Leake didn’t have the leadership qualities they were looking for, for and his pitching regressed, they wanted to dump as much of his salary as they could.October 17, 2017 at 6:39 pm #36343
It is Mo’s fault.October 17, 2017 at 6:47 pm #36344
You can say that keeping Carp at leadoff was the better approach NOW, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. The problem is that he was the team’s best player – period. It was easier to get a leadoff man.
Yes, Carpenter is very good at OBP, but is also a below average station-to-station baserunner, so not an ideal leadoff man. The last two seasons combined, he is 2-for-7 in base-stealing attempts.
In terms of his fit in the middle of the lineup, he slugged over .500 in both 2015 and 2016 – way better than everyone else on last year’s team, including Holliday, Moss, Adams, Grichuk, Piscotty, etc, – except he was just a few points behind Diaz. The only person on the 2016 team to drive in more runs than Carpenter was Piscotty. He was just two off the team lead in doubles.
I am not ashamed to admit that based on that profile, I thought Carpenter would and should deliver better results for the team batting third than first. The reality that he apparently cannot do it because of where his name is written on a piece of cardboard each day is no one’s doing but his own.
To the best of my knowledge, no one told Carpenter to alter his approach at the plate. Unless they did, I cannot assign blame to Mabry or Matheny and certainly not to the then-GM.October 17, 2017 at 6:57 pm #36345
The other thing I think the Cardinals do well is give their top prospects a lot of exposure during spring training. They seem to do a good job of identifying those they think have a good possibility of helping the team. I recall a report during spring training that they were very impressed with DeJong’s exit velocity. I seem to remember that I heard a comment on Rosenthal during spring training after his AA season at Springfield.October 17, 2017 at 7:11 pm #36346
Maybe Carp doesn’t need to be a headcase and hit from somewhere else in the lineup?!?
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