August 10, 2021 at 8:47 am #169468
I actually agree with this. Our lack of pitching depth is what ruined the season.
I think most #STLCards fans fail to realize that if the pitching staff didn’t live on the IL season, the team is likely within 3 games from the division lead — worse case scenario
— STL Sports Central (@stlsportscntrl) August 10, 2021August 10, 2021 at 8:57 am #169469
A better statement might be that most of our rotation got wiped out by injury and our depth wasn’t quite ready yet.August 10, 2021 at 9:08 am #169470blingboyParticipantPaid - Annual
It’s hard to finish near the top when your offense is near the bottom. But I agree we would have done ok in such a weak division if our pitching depth was adequate.August 10, 2021 at 9:48 am #169472
Most losers fail to realize “if” is a big word. That’s kind of like saying if the Cards were competent in at least one area, then they might not suck this year.August 10, 2021 at 10:56 am #169474
Well, it’s nice to have Goldy and NA on the team, both offensively and defensively. It’s nice to see he outfield starting to develop. It’s nice to see Reyes healthy. It’s nice to see grizzled vets Waino and Yadi doing their part. This is not trolling. It’s just a different perspective.August 10, 2021 at 3:45 pm #169487
I don’t recall our 2019 offense being that explosive yet we made it to the NLCS. If we had invested in more pitching depth this year the season would have been a different story.August 10, 2021 at 4:26 pm #169489
That would have been great, gscottar. Here were the pitchers on the opening day 40 man. Where specifically would you have added depth? Thanks.
Also, what would you have paid any additions, and how would that have fit into the payroll?
Lastly, whom would you have take off the 40 man and possibly lose them?August 10, 2021 at 5:11 pm #169490
Of course it’s a combination of run prevention and run production. If you do poorly in one aspect, you aren’t going to be very good. If you do poorly at both, you’ll suck.
However, if you want to focus on one aspect using 2019 as a comparison, which would you rather have to make the Cards more competitive this year?
1 – Trade this year’s run prevention for 2019’s run prevention?
2 – Trade this year’s run production for 2019’s run production?
Cards gave up 4.09 runs per game in 2019. They are scoring 4.01 runs per game this year. So, if they had 2019-level run prevention to go along with this year’s run production, they’d still be scoring fewer runs than their opponents.
Cards scored 4.72 runs per game in 2019. They are giving up 4.41 runs per game this year. So, if they had 2019-level run production to go along with this year’s run prevention, they’d be outscoring their opponents by 0.31 runs per game.
Both aspects have degraded this year compared to 2019, but run production has worsened over twice as much as run prevention (run production is down 0.71 runs per game and run prevention is worse by 0.33 runs per game).August 10, 2021 at 6:08 pm #169495
Big offensive hole at middle infield, and not enough pop in the OF. I complained ad nauseam in the off season about an unproven outfield of O’Neill, Bader, and Carlson. Do to injuries and other factors, this outfield has a total of 39 home runs this “season to date”. That’s an average of 13 per outfielder. Almost 70% of the way through the season. That speaks for itself.August 10, 2021 at 9:22 pm #169516forsch31ParticipantFree
bc, O’Neill, Bader and Carlson have 250 games played of a possible 333 games played. (111 games times 3 OF positions for each game) There are another possible 83 games to hit home runs IF you were only counting those 3. In all the major leagues for 2021, only 1 of every 4 OFs that have at least 130 plate appearances have at least 13 home runs, per FangraphsAugust 10, 2021 at 10:33 pm #169526
Okay, Forsch. But most high end playoff teams simply score more runs than the Cardinals. Bottom line, the Cardinals rank 26th out of 30 teams in MLB in runs scored right now. That’s putrid. The OF represents 37.5% of the position players. They have to share some in the “blame”.August 10, 2021 at 10:56 pm #169528ZTRParticipantFree
We can revisit who said what in March all day long but what it appears is that if this team had stayed reasonably healthy they are competing for a playoff spot.
Carlson, O’Neill, Bader in the of seems ok – need a 4th.
Should have kept Wong, Edmon can be a utility guy but OBP of .300 stinks esp. at leadoff. Need 2b.
DeJong & Carpenter are disasters. Need SS, bench bat.
Arenado & Goldsmith are good enough.
Starting pitching for next year Flaherty, Wainwright(40), Hudson(?). Mikolas(?), and (?).
Cannot go into next season with this. Flaherty and a prayer. Sure it COULD turn out but are you betting on this? Need 2 SP – and no I will not count LeBlanc, Lester, or Happ – not doing it.
We got enough beef to have a good bullpen and if the SP is better then the bullpen will likely not burn itself out and be better….August 10, 2021 at 11:16 pm #169529forsch31ParticipantFree
You singled out the OF and only mentioned the middle infield being weak. You knocked the highest batting average player on the team and the 2nd highest batting average player and the other regular outfielder just because you thought they should be hitting more home runs. It has been shown that they are performing well.
The biggest problems are at shortstop (low batting average, high strikeouts), second base (low batting average, very few RBIs), catcher (low batting average) and bench (no one is standing out). An even bigger problem might be the inability to get on base. They need to get on base in order to score. There, the three named outfielders are #1, #2 and #3. By OPS, O’Neill is #1, Bader #3, and Carlson #5.
However, maybe we need to let this thread get back to talking about the rotation. There are other threads to talk about the offense.August 11, 2021 at 8:25 am #169535
Okay. The rotation for next season is probably Flaherty, Hudson, Mikolas, Reyes, and Wainwright. Backed up by Oviedo and possibly Libby and Thompson as the season wears on. The one pitcher I would go after hard is Scherzer. I still think he wants to pitch for the Cards.August 11, 2021 at 9:08 am #169540blingboyParticipantPaid - Annual
I think that rotation would come apart like a cheap suit.August 11, 2021 at 9:18 am #169544
Fine to criticize, BB. How many more starters would you add? Where would all of them start the season, assuming all are healthy? What percentage of your payroll would you be tying up in your rotation? Just some basic questions. But it brings up an interesting question. I wonder if the Cardinals have a payroll number in mind for each position, the bench, the rotation, and the bullpen. I wouldn’t be surprised. I remember when they didn’t sign Mark Grudzielanek because he was over the budget they wanted to pay for a second baseman.August 11, 2021 at 9:57 am #169546
As the Post-Dispatch writers have mentioned several times recently, the problem the front office made is that they waited way too long to bring in reinforcements. When the rotation started getting obliterated by injuries in May and June that was was the time to address it, instead of July 30, which was too late. I understand that is difficult to make trades in May (although the Brewers did it) but there were cheap options available back then I am sure.
This team was built to win with pitching and defense, like 2019 was, but we overestimated the quality of our depth big time. We relied too much on hope.August 11, 2021 at 10:01 am #169547
I like what we have seen out of Happ and LeBlanc so far. Lester, not so much. It will be interesting to see who stays in the rotation if both Flaherty and Mikolas make it back.August 11, 2021 at 11:22 am #169548LACardFanParticipantFree
Big offensive hole at middle infield, and not enough pop in the OF. I complained ad nauseam in the off season about an unproven outfield of O’Neill, Bader, and Carlson. Do to injuries and other factors, this outfield has a total of 39 home runs this “season to date”. That’s an average of 13 per outfielder. Almost 70% of the way through the season. That speaks for itself.
Team Leaders in OBP (more than 100 PAs):
1. O’Neill – .346
2. Bader – .341
3. Carlson – .340
4. Goldschmidt – .333
5. Carpenter – .330
6. Sosa – .328
7. Arenado – .318
8. Knizner – .315
9. Edman – .300
10. Molina – .296
11. DeJong – .291
Team Leaders in Slugging % (more than 100 PAs)
1. O’Neill – .518
2. Arenado – .496
3. Bader – .468
4. Goldschmidt – .446
5. Carlson – .421
6. DeJong – .387
7. Edman – .376
8. Molina – .373
9. Sosa – .353
10. Carpenter – .323
11. Knizner – .276
I don’t see how the offense is the outfield’s fault, when they are the three top performers in on base percentage and three of the top five in slugging percentage.August 11, 2021 at 11:27 am #169550
This mistake is assuming this team was built to win. Period. It wasn’t.August 11, 2021 at 12:00 pm #169553stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
This mistake is assuming this team was built to win. Period. It wasn’t.
If you’re saying they weren’t built to win the World Series, I agree.
If you are insinuating that they weren’t built to win the Central, then I will kindly disagree with you. The Cards won the Central in 2019, would have made the playoffs last year even in today’s format despite a brutal schedule, and added Arenado to the mix. There was enough talent in the lineup, rotation and bullpen to carry the club in a normal year. Injuries have simply been the killer and trading from depth to get Ozuna, Goldy and Arenado left us without the needed depth to account for an unusually bad injury year.
This is one reason that I’m not in love with the way the Cards have acquired their top end talent lately…they trade solid prospects who turn out to be big league average or better in hopes of getting a star. Said star is around or over 30, meaning they are likely in regression time anyway. Then they pay free agent prices to extend said player. (Or in Arenado’s case, nearly free agent prices to take on his deal). Then they are surprised when the deals turn sour before they hoped.
For all those hoping we don’t spend big money on a SS or OF or P this off-season…at least it’s only money and not prospects too. Quit swimming in the shallow end, Mo. Go big or go home.August 11, 2021 at 12:22 pm #169555
Heckuva post, 25. Good stuff that’s so true.August 11, 2021 at 2:02 pm #169558
This mistake is assuming this team was built to win. Period. It wasn’t.
We were in first place until the rotation got decimated. The front office thought we had the internal depth to replace the injuries. We didn’t. So yes, from that point of view, we weren’t built properly.August 11, 2021 at 3:16 pm #169562
Then we didn’t properly rebuild early enough during the season?August 11, 2021 at 3:19 pm #169563
stlcard25, your post is good. Obviously, “built to win the division” is in the eye of the beholder. I didn’t believe that when they decided to bypass Wong and not add meaningful depth pieces for OF/pitching. They were just counting on everyone else in the division out-crapping the Cards and it didn’t happen this time.
Getting Arenado was nice, but the Reds and Brewers have been more aggressive in recent years. So this was a trend and was predictable because Milwaukee was already right there with the Cards in ’19 & ’20 and the Reds in ’20. It was just a matter of time before they caught and passed the Cards and this year was the time. Injuries didn’t help, but that’s why you need a better roster. So I don’t believe the Cards were “built” to win anything.
Speaking of injuries, it seems all my teams get significantly impacted every year by personnel losses (Cards, my NFL team, my college football and basketball teams, etc.). I wonder how much of that is we just don’t notice those issues as much with other teams. I see people commenting to that effect with the other teams I follow, i.e., next man up is reality for everyone. Regardless, it’s part of what you need to plan for, so teams will either have viable substitutes ready to go or excuses to placate their fan base.
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