Better in 2019

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This topic contains 102 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by Avatar gscottar 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #81944
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    Bob Reed
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    “Different people have different egos and approaches toward their jobs, but that is their business, IMO. All I really care about regarding Dexter Fowler is how he performs on the field. Skip all the talk and play ball!”

    Well we can certainly agree about the above, Brian. Bring on the games! (And I did enjoy our debate. Thanks for all of the responses.)

    #81945
    Brian Walton
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    Ditto, Bob.

    #81961
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    bccran
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    Mainly still wondering how the bullpen is going to work out.

    Miller (L)
    Hicks
    Hudson
    Reyes
    Brebbia
    Schreve (L)
    Webb (L)
    Gant
    Ponce
    Cecil (L)
    Gregerson
    Gomber (L)
    Leone
    Mayers
    Gallegos
    Helsley
    Cabrera

    That’s a lot to figure out.

    #81963
    Brian Walton
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    No real answer until their performance in games separates them, bccran.

    It is a lot easier to get your arms around when you start with the guys without options or with too much service time to send down:

    Miller (L)
    Shreve (L)
    Gant
    Cecil (L)
    Gregerson
    Mayers

    There are six right there and the early word is they will open with only seven relievers. Of course, these guys could pitch themselves off the team or get hurt, but if everyone would perform equally, these guys would likely have preference. As of today, they all have ERAs of 0.00. 😉

    #81964
    stlcard25
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    You’d have to imagine that one of Shreve or Cecil will lose their job before the season starts. Mayers might as well. No way Hicks is on the shuttle. If Reyes is fully healthy, he will be on the staff in some way or another, too. Brebbia and Hudson both pitched well last year, but I’d think Hudson will probably be a starter ready to fill in, kept at Memphis.

    #81991
    jj-cf-stl
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    Working off Brians six above….

    Today I’d expected Shreve to be bought out for a % and if he clears, stashed in the minors. Maybe a trade but Shreve not making the 25man, is my guess.

    If available:

    1) Miller is a lock.

    2) Cecil makes it for the first half-ish. If he’s still ineffective it’s justifiable to eat 10mil and release him. The Holland path. I can’t see the FO eating 15mil by opening day, on Cecil. Would love it if they surprised me, just don’t expect it.

    3) Gant as Wainwrights piggy back and ready to step in as SP5.

    4) Hicks has earned it.

    5) Leone has never been demoted by stl. If healthy I expect that trend to continue.

    6) Gregerson or Brebbia. Just a matter of time before Gregerson goes DL. Brebbia has a history of shuttle riding and doesn’t deserve the demotion but……

    7) Mayers no options…

    40man demotions: Ponce, Gomber, Hudson, Reyes, Helsey, Cabrera, Webb and Gallegos.

    Nothing from 2018 suggests Wainwright, Cecil, Leone or Gregerson are members of the best 12. Yet, if available, I wouldn’t be surprised if they all make the opening day 12 man pitching staff.

    I’m curious about Leone’s future effectiveness, but the other three I expect to throw batting practice in games the majority of the time.

    #81993
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    gscottar
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    I think you nailed it JJ. The Cardinals are going to give the veterans with contracts every chance possible to be on the 25. It won’t be our best eight relievers but we all know that is how it works unfortunately. It wouldn’t surprise me if Cecil and Gregerson are unemployed by July 1 but hopefully they won’t do too much damage by then.

    #82074
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    14NyquisT
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    Neither Gregerson or Leone have not had a good shot at proving their worth. Either one could give us a ’19 surprise ala Norris in ’18. It could happen.

    #82133
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    mudville
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    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is posting pictures of players at spring training who are working on fundamentals, doing drills, practicing. I’m sure glad to see that. No more laid back, lackadaisical workouts. Shildt and his staff are back to taking spring training seriously. The defense will surely be better this year.

    #82134
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    dac8b9
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    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is posting pictures of players at spring training who are working on fundamentals, doing drills, practicing. I’m sure glad to see that. No more laid back, lackadaisical workouts. Shildt and his staff are back to taking spring training seriously. The defense will surely be better this year.

    I agree and am glad to see that Shildt really prioritizes defense and fundamentals. One of the things that used to drive me nuts about Matheny was the erosion of defensive fundamentals and that he frequently erred on the side of more offense at the expense of defense, like trying to play Jose Martinez at first and benching guys like Wong and Bader if they had a bad week at the plate.

    #82174
    bicyclemike
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    To recap, Hicks started his professional career at age 18, same as Waino, Reyes, and Carlos Martinez. The latter three pitchers logged an average of roughly 500 pro innings cultivating their stamina and skillset before making their MLB debuts. Hicks got just 166 before being shoved to the majors.

    Martinez, Reyes, and Wainwright got an average 220+ innings at Double-A/Triple-A to truly hone their craft. Hicks of course got zero.

    Another classic analysis from Bob Reed. Sometimes I look at professional sports from the view of an accountant, which I am in real life so it is natural for me (but please, don’t hold that against me 🙂 )

    With a guy like Hicks and that unbelievably valuable right arm, you need to treat that as an investment. You need to maximize your return in the long-run, and let it grow and mature as an asset.

    Instead the Cardinals are using it as an expense, and burning whatever they can get now rather than increase their future returns. From experience, we will likely see another Trevor Rosenthal situation, where we use up his value in a less-than-optimum way.

    As the old Spinners song refrained, “It’s A Shame”. It not only hurts the Cardinals, but it will limit Jordan’s earning power over the course of his career.

    #82175
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    bccran
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    Here were the pen WHIPs in 2018 –

    Gallegos – 0.75
    Ponce – 1.12
    Ross – 1.14
    Brebbia – 1.16
    Reyes – 1.25
    Gant – 1.30
    Hicks – 1.34
    Hudson – 1.35
    Mayers – 1.43
    Webb – 1.43
    Leone – 1.46
    Gomber – 1.51
    Schreve – 1.57
    Gregerson – 1.58
    Cecil – 1.96

    If I were to guess right now, I would say the pen will be –

    Miller – co-closer
    Hicks – co-closer
    Hudson – set up
    Brebbia – set up
    Schreve – Loogy
    Ponce – middle relief
    Gant – middle/long relief

    If they go with 8, I’m betting on Gallegos as the dark horse.

    Guessing Cecil and Gregerson will be gone.

    Possible surprise sometime during the season? Either Helsley or Cabrera. Or both.

    #82185
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    mspaid
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    I’m guessing that Cecil is in the pen along with Leone. Junior doesn’t eat salary very often. They’re not worthy of being on the team but they will be.

    #82187
    stlcard25
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    People rag on Leone, but he had an uncanny high BABIP allowed and a fluky high HR rate. The K and walk rates were decent for a reliever, and we don’t know exactly what effect the nerve injury had on him. He was a great pitcher in 2017, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him excel this year. His ceiling is higher than most in the pen, so I want him to get a shot.

    #82189
    Brian Walton
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    FWIW, I agree with stlcard25 on Leone. I think he could be a very positive factor in 2019.

    #82192
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    bccran
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    I also agree on Leone. Sorry for leaving him out. He can be outstanding. He may replace Hudson who could be stretched out as a starter and be ready to move into Waino’s spot during the season – or replace a starter that goes down with injury.

    #82317
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    gscottar
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    I liked this exchange from Ben Frederickson’s chat yesterday in the STL PD. It summarizes a lot of what we have talked about here.

    QUESTION: Does the Cardinals’ front office lack a killer instinct to put a World Series team together? They added good pieces, but don’t they still lack a true ace and true shutdown closer?

    BENFRED: The Cardinals, under their current model, are probably never going to look like a World Series favorite — if that title is supposed to come from the moves they make in the offseason as opposed to the players they develop. This front office has built World Series teams. They did not scream WORLD SERIES TEAM in February. The Cardinals aim to be competitive year in and year out, with the belief that the sustained success approach will lead to more World Series success than going all in on one year, then suffering the consequences in other years. I feel like we go over this every week. That’s their model.

    The three missed postseasons made them change it a hair, with the Goldschmidt move. But they see that hair as a significant tweak, and fans who are tired of missing postseasons see it as a baby bump. Yet, Cardinals fans are smart, so they also know and appreciate this team can compete, and might wind up being really good, so while they are a bit frustrated, they are still very much interested. And so it goes.

    As for not having a true ace, what did Miles Mikolas look like to you last season? I think the combo of Andrew Miller, Jordan Hicks and — who knows? — maybe Carlos Martinez is pretty potent at the back end of the bullpen. My concerns at the moment are starting pitching — excellence, not depth — and corner outfielders, as in both.

    #82327
    Brian Walton
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    Playing devil’s advocate, which team(s) are “going for it” this winter? The Yankees are the betting co-favorite and a significant segment of their fans are up in arms because they did not try for Machado or Harper (it appears). The other World Series favorite, the Red Sox, is taking major heat from their fan base because they will not ante up to bring their closer back, Kimbrel.

    I honestly believe one by-product of this winter’s slow market is that every single team’s fans are wishing their team would spend more (and add the free agents who normally would have been signed by now).

    I also think the agents are getting off scott-free for their role in the slow market. It is no coincidence that the majority of big names still unsigned are Boras clients. He has conditioned owners to not make competitive offers early because he will just use them as leverage with other teams.

    gscottar, this is not a knock on Boras. He sees a weakness in the system and exploits it for his clients. What makes me upset is when the players scream about the market without acknowledging the other factors that play into the situation. The system needs a revamp, but until then, no sense in sniping about it in the press for anyone – owners, players or agents. (Fat chance they will stop doing that, but I am already weary.)

    #82343
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    gscottar
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    My interpretation is that BenFred’s response had little to do with Boras or the state of the marketplace but more specifically on how the Cardinals build a team and how sometimes that can lead to a disconnect with the fans.

    As for the Yankees, some of their fans may disagree but I think they have had a very aggressive offseason. Britton, Tulo, LeMahieu, Happ, and Paxton isn’t too shabby. They have a $199M payroll and the only dead weight is Ellsbury.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Avatar gscottar.
    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #82349
    Brian Walton
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    BenFred just re-iterated what DeWitt himself told the fans in October is his strategy (and I re-posted elsewhere on this thread, I believe). The problem is that some fans don’t like the message or pretend they didn’t hear it.

    #82378
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    gscottar
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    Brian Walton
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    BenFred just re-iterated what DeWitt himself told the fans in October is his strategy (and I re-posted elsewhere on this thread, I believe). The problem is that some fans don’t like the message or pretend they didn’t hear it.

    I think that is it.

    #83033
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    14NyquisT
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    (I copied this from the Mikolas topic) Itza mor betta spot.(accent)

    The Cardinals are obviously determined to stick with the “sustained success” model but it would be nice if just once every few years we could “push all of our chips in” and go for it.

    There might just be the thought that any one, two, three+ of the players already on the roster will have career years in ’19 and that will be enough for us to make a run at the WS. It may be wiser to think in those terms rather than acquiring a player with good numbers that might flop. We certainly know that is a possibility.

    The teams that eventually win are ones that have a couple of players turn into Hank Aaron for a season.
    Its a matter of how the stars(astral) line up. Also chemistry and flat out luck. World championship teams are not necessarily the MLB best team, only the best team in October.

    #83036
    Brian Walton
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    … as we saw in 2006 and 2011. Those Cardinals teams were nowhere near the best for six months, but they won the games that mattered most.

    In 2006, they had the 13th-best regular season record.
    In 2011, they tied for the 8th/9th-best regular season record.

    Both teams won the World Series.

    #83042
    stlcard25
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    Good point, Brian. IMO the Cards had the best team in baseball in 2004, 2005 and 2013 and came up with nothing. Those other teams were mediocre by comparison but got hot. The playoffs can be such a crapshoot.

    #83043
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    NJ315
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    I agree but they did have a superstart both years. They haven’t since. Goldy may or may not be the superstart they have been lacking but he sure is on the wrong side of 30.

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