A Few Observations

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by jj-cf-stl jj-cf-stl 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • #65832
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    SoonerinNC
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    As a disclaimer I will admit I am a Mike Shildt fan. I first observed him in 5 games I watched his first Johnson City championship team play which included Oscar Taveras. Oscar moved on but Shildt stayed and won another championship and then another later at Springfield. I was impressed with the way his team approached the game and also with his thoughts about the game and players I heard in a number of interviews later. It appears that he is one of those guys who have sat back and asked himself what would I do if I become manager. Also appears that he had a good idea of what to do day one when he took over.

    Team is hot and emotions are high and we may again see the team that has frustrated us over the first half of the season. I for one do not think that will happen.

    Now on to observations.

    It seems almost impossible for us fans to know who is the driving force behind decisions. Is it DeWitt, Mo, Giersch, or Shildt or all of the above. But some key decisions have been made.

    Trading Pham to open up opportunity for Bader. Fowler moved to right field for Pham and then Pham seemingly struggling at the plate and with reads in center field. All the while we probably had a gold glove on the bench in Bader who is also holding his own at the plate and moreso on the bases. And possibly we picked up a pair of pretty good pitchers.

    Bringing up the young pitchers rather than searching the waiver wires for marginal pitchers when 3 of our starters went down with injuries. Appears that someone in the decision making chain was pretty sure the young guys would hold their own at the major league level and so far they have and more.

    Bringing up Wisdom when he had been removed from the prospect lists and written of as a post season free agent. May not work out over the long run but Wisdom is a plus defender at 3b and has some pop. And more important has improved his plate discipline.

    Somehow it appears that from day one with Shildt that we became more aggressive, changed our approach at the plate and cleaned up the lacadaisical defensive play. How do you clean up all of that overnight. Maybe the players and the organization was prepared to change. Sometimes continuing to do the same thing when it doesn’t work is very much a downer and something different energizes people. Also maybe it was a widespread feeling that we had better player available than what we were putting on the field. Changing that can also be energizing.

    Again this may be a short honeymoon that will crash but it so far has been a good ride.

    The only thing I don’t understand is why Jose Martinez was not traded. He is valuable to the team but would seem to be much more valuable to an American League team that could use his as a DH. Maybe they just didn’t agree with me as to how valuable Martinez would be to them.

    #65834
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    Cardinals2016
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    Bringing up the young pitchers rather than searching the waiver wires for marginal pitchers when 3 of our starters went down with injuries. Appears that someone in the decision making chain was pretty sure the young guys would hold their own at the major league level and so far they have and more.

    After Mo said last year how the Cardinals got boxed in by too many guys without options and not being able to use the Memphis shuttle, I was surprised they went out and acquired so many relievers this offseason. One worked out, the others were disasters. If you are going to go after middling relievers and hope for bounce backs, just don’t.

    The only thing I don’t understand is why Jose Martinez was not traded. He is valuable to the team but would seem to be much more valuable to an American League team that could use his as a DH. Maybe they just didn’t agree with me as to how valuable Martinez would be to them.

    The Cardinals clearly shopped JMart. The only playoff team that could have used an upgrade at DH was Houston. In the offseason, there will be an additional 2-3 teams seeking upgrades/replacements at DH. That’s it, that’s the entire market for him. He’s fine as a 5th outfielder, valuable pinch hitter and DH for 20 games per year. What he is not is a first baseman or starting OF. The only thing that makes his defense palatable in RF is that he is not really a downgrade from Fowler out there.

    #65835
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    gscottar
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    Good observations Sooner. I like Shildt too. The FO deserves credit for the bullpen makeover but there is no guarantee MM would have had the same success because he handled a bullpen much differently.

    Shildt just does a lot of things better. He believes in playing the best defenders (except JMart, he believes in a set lineup, he believes in starting the runners instead of going station to station, he isn’t afraid of yanking a starter in the 4th or 5th inning if they are struggling, and he thinks a middle reliever should go multiple innings so we don’t have to use 7 pitchers per game. Most importantly he is confident in his decisions and isn’t afraid to explain them. That confidence rubs off on the team.

    As for JMart, yes he would probably be better in the AL but when you hit the way he does, and makes the league minimum, and is under team control for many years, the team isn’t going to give him away for peanuts. They will have to get quite the haul or they will just hang onto him. He doesn’t do as much defensive damage in RF since Bader can cover so much ground.

    #65924
    jj-cf-stl
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    We live with Matt Carpenters glove at 1B because his bat is worth it. Same for J. Martinez in RF.

    Neither is a good defender. Both are DH types being hidden (best as possible) in the NL.

    Jmart (bozo) is the 2nd best bat on the team and his career sample size is approaching 800 pa’s.
    You can’t shift against him. He hits in the 30 percentile to all three fields and he makes consistent contact w/a low K%.

    Lets look at career numbers briefly.
    OPS+, carp 132, bozo 131
    RC/G, carp 6.9, bozo 6.5
    wOBA, carp .368, bozo .370
    wRC+, carp 134, bozo 133

    Yes Carps sample size has much more credibility, but what bozo has done over three seasons is right there w/carps career numbers offensively. These are not fourth outfielder results.

    Yes Carp will whiff on pickoff throws, and drop infield throws, because he’s a DH. And it won’t be long before Bozo looks like a complete klutz in RF, again.

    If you put Bozos offensive numbers in the OF he’s top five in the NL this season, bumping Markakis to 6th by the metrics above.

    Have a defensive replacement ready, but start the 2nd best bat on club consistently.

    #65925
    stlcard25
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    Yes Carp will whiff on pickoff throws, and drop infield throws, because he’s a DH.

    He’s been awfully good at third this year for a DH.

    Then again, he’s not a DH. At worst, he’s an average 1B. Unless your idea of an average 1B is prime Pujols, then I suppose that Marp is a DH.

    Martinez is a classic DH, though. Nothing wrong with him playing a few inings in RF where he’s not likely to cost you very often though.

    #65929
    bicyclemike
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    Without knowing the clubhouse culture, it is tough to say exactly how much of a difference Mike Shildt has made on the team other than they are simply playing better. But I like his managerial style much more than the prior “Mike’s” methods. Shildt puts his best guys at each position and stays with them. Matheny tended to tinker around with different lineups and batting orders almost daily, with too many games and innings where guys were out of position. Shildt will stick with a bullpen guy 2 or 3 innings at times if he is going well. Matheny rarely let a guy go more than one inning, and used his closer at times to build stats rather than look at the big picture.

    The turnaround is due in a large part to Carpenter being a different hitter since July, and better work out of the bullpen. But again, some of that good bullpen work is that the better pitchers are accumulating more innings. I also get the sense that the clubhouse atmosphere is better under Shildt. Matheny seemed a bit cold and stubborn. Again, I may be wrong on that, but I Shildt comes across much more as a player’s manager than Matheny. The caveat to that is winning, which in itself will create a better culture so there may not be much to the manager switch in that area.

    And a finally, Shildt is much more open and honest in his comments about his decisions. Matheny never wanted to admit a mistake, and would sort of pass off a move that went wrong with something like “I felt good about him in that situation”. Obviously he did or he would not have done it, but what did he feel good about? Shildt gets a little more personal in that area, whereas Mike M. seemed to be afraid to open up. He wanted everything he did to be the right decision – sort of like the Jim Bouton book title, “I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad”.

    #65940
    jj-cf-stl
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    25,
    We’re no different than roughly half the mlb teams hiding a DH on the field. Todays game is about RS.

    In the AL it’s their 2nd DH, and 1B / RF seems to be common landing spots.

    So is Carp “average” at 1B? I’ll give you that, considering the lack of quality 1Bmen.

    Belt, Rizzo, Hosmer types are 1Bmen, to my eyeball test.

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