2021 Spring Training news

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  • #154628
    Avatar1982 willie
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    I want to see knizner get more at bats but at same time, I’m not sure about these plans. I still believe yadi is the better all around defensive player. Hopefully they will mix it in such a way it doesn’t hurt us a lot.

    #154634
    AvatarNigel T
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    Paid - Three Months

    Let Yadi play his little heart out. He has earned that;it is very much who he is and why he is great. Yadi seems to be able to play just under 100 games. Let him play with abandon; his body will demand Knizner play 65 games no matter what Yadi’s heart wants.

    #154635
    Avatar1982 willie
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    Nigel t. I see no reason yadi wouldn’t be able to play his normal 140 games. I doubt he will going by the Cardinal brass but he still should be able to, nothing so far to suggest otherwise.

    #154654
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Shildt Saturday Zoom:

    On time to get pitchers ready. Nine fewer games than historically and one extra off day. Nothing that can’t be overcome. Guys will still get built up with the help of B and sim games. Will be able to get them all ready.

    Maddux likes B/sim games. Good tool, doesn’t require forcing guys into the stadium schedule. Using this year because there are not enough (game) innings to go around.

    Hudson is unlikely to pitch this year. Never say never. Going good for him. Reported early to FL. Flexibility ahead of schedule. On a non-throwing program including PFP and running game info. Is where they expect him to be. Could rehab late in year in minors, assuming and hoping such assignments are allowed. Much to see between now and then.

    Hudson has evolved over last couple of years mentally. He has a lot of support and great mindset. Head is in the right place.

    On how to balance winning daily and evaluating outfielders. Balanced it the last several years. Feel they’ve been able to accomplish this, though some players likely wish they had more opportunities. Cited Bader having been “pretty much an everyday player” and O’Neill “2020 Gold Glove” as those who had chances. Noted Thomas’ hamate setback in 2019 and COVID in 2020. Dean had good spring and summer camp, but injury and other things took him away. Williams had great 2H 2019 at Memphis. Fowler trade created more opportunity. Guys will continue to grow.

    Having minors in 2021 changes the equation. Opportunities for guys to compete in game setting against guys wearing other uniforms. Made best of alternate camp in 2020.

    Had Reyes at Memphis in 2016, but did not have a lot of prior experience with him. Plan by he and Gerdy (them Mem pitching coach) was to watch him and let him share his assessment after, then discuss. Saw super talent – change up, curveball, fastball with life – three plus pitches. Fierce competitor, strong competitive fire, desire to be great, committed to work hard.

    Meeting with groups of players every day. Guys want to know “What do I need to do to make the team (or for Reyes, the rotation)?” Tells them it doesn’t happen in one day. Need consistency. Sometimes others do the job, too, and there just isn’t enough room.

    #154655
    Avatar1982 willie
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    Interesting notes there Brian. Hopefully hudson comes back strong. I’m still not big on williams or dean. Thomas I like a little but can he stay healthy, a big question. Interesting the questions from players on wanting to know how they make the team. All one can do is play the best they can as consistently as possible and hope for the best. If they don’t make it, play your butt off in minors, and maybe get a call up or some other team likes what they see.

    #154660
    AvatarCardinals27
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    Paid - Annual

    Wonder when TV schedules will come out for ST? First game is in a week.

    #154726
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Monday Shildt zoom

    Bader – Shouldn’t minimize success, give credit for success vs lefties. Needs consistency vs. righties.

    Normal 1st day speech with entire staff and players cannot do. So this year, mandatory Zoom on intake also included various department heads this year. Shildt focused on guidelines.

    Today, Shildt delivered same 15 minute message with four groups (P. C, IF, OF) Last stop as part of physical process. Maybe better in smaller groups as more intimate.

    OF competition. I like competition. Super healthy. Hope they embrace competition. Some people are super intentional helping other people even though they are competing for their job. Wants healthy competition…

    Hitters still getting acclimated. Not Game 7 intensity day 1.

    All players present and accounted for and ready to go.

    One hitters group (he wouldn’t say who) had to face Cabrera/Reyes/Helsley/Gallegos today. “Welcome to camp.”

    Factors in putting together hitting and pitching groups. Want to have LH and RH in both groups to give different looks. Also put more experienced guys together. NOT targeting any matchups.

    Andrew Miller had a good offseason. As 13 or 14-year veteran, ne knows what he needs to get ready for season. Overall, have individual plans for everybody. Knows what schedule needs to be to get ready for season.

    #154727
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    One hitters group (he wouldn’t say who) had to face Cabrera/Reyes/Helsley/Gallegos today. “Welcome to camp.”

    Hopefully not a young group with fragile confidence. That’s a heck of a quartet and the guys I expect pitching in high leverage roles (along with Hicks) this year.

    #154729
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Mo Monday Zoom:

    Two readiness criteria are intake (all players and staff tested negative) and what kind of shape players were in entering camp (had a “download” meeting with medical staff and was encouraged by shape every one is in.)

    Using all 6 fields creates distancing. Different this year.

    Tent mode. Seeing more people having “team-building conversations”. Helps take place of some of clubhouse conversations held in the past. Roger Dean almost built for being outside. Movement between tents is seamless, inviting.

    Two questions on Carlson.
    1) Performance. Want to see if second MLB stint last year continues this year.
    2) Confidence. He felt that way last year too.
    O’Neill should play more in LF and Carlson will play more in RF…

    Bader defensively. We were blessed with opportunity to watch Jim Edmonds play. Some parallels there. One of the more elite defenders in the game. Having 4 of more Gold Gloves on the field at once is exciting.

    Arenado feels good about players, meeting them. Moving from informal setting to program starting now.

    “We feel like we’re going to be pretty good, so let’s go to work,” say players.

    3 questions to answer in camp next 5 weeks:
    1) What is rotation? Bullpen jobs evolve from there. No head scratching over 4th/5th starter candidates like some years before.
    2) Competition in outfield. Very comfortable with depth.
    3) How to maximize Carpenter?
    Confident they have internal answers for all.

    Offense. Last year frustrating. It would stall. This year, keep the line moving. Score more runs. More runs in 2021 due to Arenado and more production from OF. Likes Carlson’s style. Can turn lineup over.

    Reyes is talented enough to start. Will have to earn spot. Hasn’t pitched a lot in last 3-4 years. Maybe take baby steps in 2021 and pencil in top 5 next year.

    Outfield. Cleared the deck to create opportunity. Now take advantage of it. Is athletic group. 4 of 5 could play CF. Unique power in group. Give them a chance to play.

    #154734
    Avatarso_cal_cards_fan
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    #154736
    Avatar1982 willie
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    Bader is great defensively but he’s not Jim edmonds. But I haven’t seen anyone else be that either in a long while. I think we have a lot of options in the outfield which is good. I think all the guys that make the team need to see a lot of at bats but that doesn’t mean any of them have to play every day. I like the ideal of earning your playing time but at the same time, I don’t think anyone out there has shown me they deserve to be penciled in every day. In fact only goldy and arenado really fit that mold. Maybe edman when he’s hot. I’m not sure that 4 or 5 of them can play center field, sure they all can but doesn’t mean they should I guess I should say.

    #154740
    Avatarbccran
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    5 unproven players in the outfield. No experienced players out there, that you know you can count on. Unprecedented for this franchise.

    #154743
    Avatarmspaid
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    That’s what the Front office said they’d do…check out the youngsters. And we’ll find out which ones are keepers and kick the rest. Dumping Fowler was iron clad confirmation that they will go with what they have. I’m not much for prospects but I think this season will be interesting watching these kids play themselves on or off the team…could be a couple of stars. My money’s Carlson and Thomas.

    #154744
    Avatarblingboy
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    This whole thing with the outfielders seems pretty irrational. A bunch of guys who hit .235 last year. But we are to discount that as small sample size and highly unusual 2020 season. But the driver for Mo seems to be not to let another Arozarena happen. So evidently we are not to dismiss his small sample size-unusual season 2020 results. Time will tell but there is a problem with the inconstancy.

    #154745
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    But the driver for Mo seems to be not to let another Arozarena happen.

    No doubt this is part of it. But let’s be honest…the main driver is payroll “flexibility” so that they can weather the storm until fans get back in the seats. We’ll see if spending opens up if fans are more plentiful nearer to the trade deadline.

    #154753
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual


    Shildt Tuesday Zoom:

    Kim, like Miller, is more experienced, so will ease into camp. He is a little bit of the pace car. Will throw live sessions coming up. He is in a good spot to start the season in the rotation. He is a pitch maker. Can adjust to Central Division hitters who saw him and will be ready for East and West batters this year.

    Gorman has to show confidence in turning double plays before playing in games. The blind pivot is where he is exposed to potential injury. When he gets comfortable through repetition… Possible he could play there in games this spring, but they have other options at 2B.

    Never said he liked three-batter rule. Working within the rule. Have to be aware of the lineup (next three hitters) and bench to set up best matchups. Know tendency of opponent to pinch hit. If pitchers’ spot is one of the three, it changes the dynamic. A factor in play this year that was not in 2020.

    Carpenter has put his ego aside. He is very happy about Arenado decision. The two couples have vacationed together. Carp will get defensive work at three positions (3B, 2B and 1B) and get at-bats to be ready for the season.

    #154771
    Avatarbccran
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    blingboy – Carlson should be fine.
    He’s the real deal, and the complete package. The rest are question marks. The guy who could really help, though, is O’Neill (if he can close the holes in his swing).

    Bottom line, the key to scoring a lot more runs this year could very well be DeJong,
    Edman, and Carlson. Goldy and NA are
    knowns.

    #154789
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual


    Flaherty Tuesday Zoom:

    Arbitration not a fun process. It sucks. Going back and forth with team, hearing not a fun process. Made for a long day. Does not see winning as validation. We stuck with our guns and were right, but could have gone the other way. Kind of sucks that it has to be considered a victory.

    It does not change his relationship with the organization at all. The arb process is bad as it does not consider inflation. Looks back 7-8 years. Especially bad since 2020 was a different kind of year.

    Three different contract routes for young players. Tatis (big deal now), Acuna (extension two years ago, see difference now – compared to Tatis) and Soto (same level as other two, two more years in arb). System is difficult to manage as a player.

    Does not need to draw outside motivation. (Asked if going to hearing and what happened motivates him.)

    Dodged talk of long-term contract. Focus on what he can control. Take care of business in weight room, on mound. Wants to help team win.

    Went into offseason feeling pretty good because 2020 was short season. Good to have a normal offseason.

    Exciting to have Waino and Yadi back. Leaders, camaraderie, team chemistry.

    It was smart in long term perspective for Cards to take it easy with him in 2020. Starts and stops and time off. He appreciated it.

    Players speaking out is never going away. Thinks they believe in.

    Would not say if his view of a long term deal is affected by new CBA. Went back to the control what I can control line and see what happens later. Hope to win the whole damn thing.

    Preparing for 200 innings, starting every fifth day. Will probably be gauged as year goes on.

    On whether him becoming an free agent is inevitable, he said, “Nothing is inevitable”. Stay in present moment. FA is 2 years away. If he said it was inevitable, he would have had to have thought about it.

    Felt like back to normal in 2020 playoff game. Did not think stuff was as crisp and sharp as expected before that. Tried to do too much coming off outings that were not his best. Will try to carry playoff start into this year.

    Threw today. Felt good to have a hitter in the box. Looking forward to going against another team again.

    #154792
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual


    Bader Tuesday Zoom:

    Puts it on himself to communicate with other outfielders (and infielders). Need to play as unit.

    Dexter Fowler was always a positive influence on his career, on and off the field. Nice to be able to lean on guys who experienced the same things before. Will always stay in touch with him. Trade is business. Will try to be to others on team as Dex was to him.

    Means a lot that the organization has confidence in current outfielders. Referenced Wieters quote, “Does confidence get you hits or do hits get you confidence?” Couldn’t be any better than to have personal confidence and organizational confidence. Mental is important part of game and these can be little separators.

    On Gold Glove: “I want to win one more than anything.” His contribution starts with that side of the ball. Gold Glove = standard for how you go about your business. Standard he is achieving. OF is capable of winning a bunch of GGs.

    Wasn’t surprised about Arenado. Have great front office. StL expects playoffs and championships and they should. FO reflects that. Goal is to put the best team on the field. Arenado is a baller. Goldy is best player he’s played with. Bader wants to go out, soak up energy and compete.

    #154799
    AvatarCardinals27
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    Paid - Annual

    I think Herrera would start at Springfield wouldn’t he?

    #154800
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    I don’t think so. I’ve tried to explain the impact of the schedule delay, including in the article on the home page today. The key point is that the Memphis roster is coming from the players in camp right now.

    Springfield’s opener isn’t until May 4. Herrera will likely be at Memphis for its Opening Day on April 6. My guess is that he will get a month to show whether he is ready for Triple-A.

    Substitute Liberatore or Thompson or Gorman and my answer would be the same. The only caveat for Gorman is if he needs more practice time at second base and isn’t ready defensively to play in games. Can’t tell about that here on the second day of camp.

    #154812
    Avatarblingboy
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    Paid - Annual

    blingboy – Carlson should be fine.

    Of course he will cranny. He hit .280 in the Texas League two years ago. There’s no arguing with credentials like that.

    #154813
    AvatarNigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Blingy, Carlson is a budding star. He dominated at the AA level. You should look at his stats relative to age at the level for a better frame of reference than whimsical batting averages.

    #154814
    RatsbuddyRatsbuddy
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    Free

    Nobody knows if Carlson is a budding star or not. Same with Gorman. Bottom line is that both are unproven at the MLB level so who knows. However, their minor league stats do NOT suggest they are going to be big time stars. Pretty good players perhaps.

    I dont care if they have a PGT of 6.3 and a BABIL of 3.45 an a RZR of 31.6. There’s nothing in their past performances that should make anyone logically predict stardom for them.

    r/Esteemed Rat

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by RatsbuddyRatsbuddy.
    #154816
    Avatarbccran
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    You’re not sure Carlson is going to be fine, blingboy and Rats? I guess you haven’t seen him play. Oh, by the way, in 2019 between Springfield and Memphis he slashed .292/.372/.542/.914. Hit 26 home runs and had 7 triples. 20 stolen bases.

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