Biggest Disappointments

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    I always try have a glass half full outlook, but maybe it’s time to ananyze our biggest disappointments to date so we can try to predict what moves may be made this week. How would they stack rank?

    Piscotty (all around)
    Diaz (defensive improvement, chasing)
    Peralta (effort)
    Oh (meatballs)
    Rosenthal (control)
    Cecil (hittability)
    Siegrist (hittability)
    Bowman (hittability)
    Grichuk (OBP, chasing)
    Fowler (leadership, positivity)
    Wong (power)
    Carpenter (BA, base running)

    One big question on this week’s potential moves –
    why haven’t we gone more to Tuivailala, Montgomery,
    Brebbia, Sherriff, now Duke, etc.?

    Brian Walton

    Paid - Annual

    I will comment on the items that caught my eye as ones I don’t totally agree with.

    Bowman’s batting average against this season is only .232. That is not very hittable. I think your expectations for him may be too elevated because others in the pen are not doing their jobs consistently.

    Fowler has played below expectations, but we cannot fairly measure “leadership and positivity” from here.

    Wong is slugging .418. That is better than Molina and Piscotty, among others. Personally, I am glad Wong has hopefully stopped trying to be a slugger, though. That is not his role. Far more importantly, Wong’s OBP is .388, tied with Pham for the team lead. That is pretty darned good, if you ask me.

    You would have to ask the manager why he does not better use the relievers available to him. Montgomery and Sherriff are not on the 40-man, and especially in the latter case, there are already four lefties in the pen, so adding a fifth would not seem wise at this time.


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    For me, it’s Diaz and the back end of the bullpen, mostly.

    I never expected Diaz to be an amazing fielder, but I did anticipate the bat being able to play well enough. He’s just lost this year and isn’t even hitting at Memphis right now. Last year may turn out to be a huge anomaly for him, which really stinks. We were expecting him to be part of the three headed OBP monster and driving the lineup.

    Cecil, Rosenthal and Oh have combined to make a real mess of the 8th and 9th for a good chunk of the season. Other relievers have been poor as well, but these three are the money guys (Oh to a lesser extent, but he was so good last year and the ‘closer’ to start this one) so to have them falter makes the whole pen look even worse.


    It’s not a refutation scenario, please. It’s looking at the disappointments (whatever and whoever),
    thinking who may return to (or exceed) career norm, checking the capabilities on the Memphis roster, and summarizing where we need help from the outside. The O’Neill move has already been made. What’s next?
    Closer? Hold artist?
    Veteran defensive SS? #3/4 bat? Who’s specific disappointments have created the need(s)?



    O’Neill will play next year but rookie struggles should be expected. Probably 2019 to expect production there… But he is probably a legit 3-4 bat if he pans out.

    I’m guessing they fill the bullpen internally. Reyes will be there for a year for sure and he should upgrade someone even with occasional struggles with control.

    Alcantara might fill a hole there too if he continues his run. Weaver, flaherty etc we all know we have some arms that could spend a year doing the wainright path and probably succeed.

    I’d honestly bet the guys we go after are ones like gleyber torres. Maybe not him specifically. O’Neill fit that mold and nobody here brought him up. Just looking at it… They will still try to win next year(and should improve) but a true reload is looking like 2019.

    Brian Walton

    Paid - Annual

    (Scratches head.) So, it is not OK to disagree with some of those players you chose to label as disappointments by citing real numbers in support of my view?

    OK, then proceed with your squishy discussion without me…


    IMHO, they are stacked with starters. Lots of minor league possible trade chips besides Weaver and Flaherty – Gant, Mayers, Artie Reyes, Pearce, Gomber, Helsley, Woodford, Hicks, and yes, even Alcantara, Fernandez, and Oviedo. Maybe zero in on a proven back of the bullpen flame thrower? If they get a proven ML SS, that forces a choice between Wong and DeJong for 2B. Is Gyorko the long term answer at 3B?



    I thought about listing other names we could go after for next year and beyond…

    But then I realized I could shorten the list a bit and just say about five or six durham bulls… Go look at the team it is similar to memphis… Young and ridiculously good.


    Paid - Annual

    I have noticed that the Cards have only 4 “qualifiers” as far as batting stats goes. That is abnormally low. Most teams, including all the better teams, have 5 or 6. Among the 4 qualifiers, Carpenter and Gyorko are putting up good numbers. Fowler and Molina, not so much. My take is that we have 2 of the 8 hitter slots producing day in and day out. That is not going to get us anywhere. I would classify all the position players but Carp and Jed disappointing.

    All starters are “qualifiers”. That is stability if nothing else. No real disappointments there.

    As to the pen, there is no pen. Not sure how much of that is front office and how much is Mad Mike. I count both as disappointing.


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    My biggest disappointment is in the front office thinking that the team they assembled was going to be a winning team. Many of us posted on here during the off season and during the Spring that we were being too complacent and that we didn’t have a big bat and that the bullpen seemed shaky. Unfortunately those issues have proven to be true.

    I find it a bit disingenuous for Mo to trash the 25 guys in the club house when he didn’t do his job in the off season.


    IMO Diaz is the biggest disappointment. Many regs here expected a repeat season from him and we got everything but that. Last season he filled the 2 spot very nicely, but the big improvement by Pham negates the loss. Tommy has put up similar numbers and has taken over Diaz’ spot in the order.

    Next is Piscotty because we expected him to improve on his ’16 season. He hasn’t come close. I suspect that his personal troubles have effected him even more than his physical woes. He was supposed to be a middle of the order bat.

    The middle of our order is not one you’d find on a successful team. Fowler-Gyorko-Molina are far from the what we’re used to seeing. Fowler is not fulfilling the billing that he was given and he will be out as the CF long before that contract ends. Gyorko would be a good 5th or 6th batter and Molina in the 5 hole makes that spot really soft. Yadi is slipping, offensively and defensively as his age would dictate.

    The rotation is about what we could’ve expected. Perhaps Wacha is the exception because many figured we wouldn’t get much from him at all. Of course the loss of Reyes was critical. A couple more disappointments are relievers. OH tops that list along with Rosenthal, Siegrist and Cecil. That more or less set the tone for a weak back of the bullpen, and that has to be addressed.

    Pham is a new man with new eyes this season and has produced accordingly. I think the play of DeJong is understated. I feel we can project him to be a long-term starter and I can see him filling one of the middle spots in the order. He may serve us better as a second-baseman. We can sell a little higher on Wong right now as he has started to hit. His one dimension doesn’t fit here.

    Basically, this is a team with mediocre production from multi-positional players. Voit and Wong aren’t even that. We’re using band-aids to fill needs and it isn’t working so far. I think that we should cash in on some of the dead weight and wait for some prospects to revitalize this team. This team is horribly boring but I can envision some solid help from the farm to change that. You can’t run this bunch of guys out there every day and expect to win a division.
    ps. we need to get a pure #4 bat…. we ain’t got any around, period.


    Wow, Brian. That’s quite a reaction. Sure didn’t mean for this to be a “squishy” discussion. Just one about our weak areas that need to be buoyed up before the deadline so we can make a legitimate run at a playoff position. Some disappointing player performances have caused that.
    That’s all. Didn’t mean to put a bee in the bonnet.


    Forget the bees… you opened a can of worms.



    Biggest Disappointments:

    Front Office – choosing path of least resistance last offseason, going with short bench first third of season’ – setting the tone for the season with their lack of interest in improving

    Management – naming Peralta as starter at 3B for no reason other than his contract; I can’t state this enough – but if players see someone win a competition, and then the starting job goes to someone based on their contract, you can’t say you are trying to put the best team on the field

    Defense – Fowler, Wong

    Overall Disappointment –
    1. Diaz
    2. Oh
    3. Cecil
    4. Fowler – BA/OBP are below career averages, defense is terrible, seems like he just doesn’t care at times
    5. Grichuk though I kind of suspected this type of season
    6. Piscotty – people want to give him a mulligan, but his mother is only going to get worse, are we going to give him a mulligan the next 3-4 years?


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    My biggest disappointment is Diaz. He really progressed during the season last year and had good at bats. Even improved his defense. But this year he is swinging the bat wildly and lunging after almost everything. I am not advocating that we dump him. Wouldn’t bring much now anyway. You can’t teach his bat speed and potential power. Beginning to think that we may not be able to teach him good batting fundamentals either. If anyone can it will be the Budda (Mark Budaska, batting coach at Memphis).

    Second is both Fowler and Cecil. We have a lot of money committed to them with abysmal results. We probably have at least 4 center fielders in the minors who are better defensively than Fowler. I may feel better about them later in the season as it often takes some time for a player to settle down and produce after a big transaction bringing them to a new team.

    I am disappointed on our base running, particularly Carpenter. When he is on base and a ball is hit he usually ends up one base short of where I expect him to be at the end of the play. Yadi trying to steal a base with arguably our best home run hitter batting and one who is likely to strike out if he doesn’t hit a home run.

    I am most disappointed at our lack of focus at times. How can a veteran pitcher fail to cover first base in a crucial situation. That is a Class A or rookie league blunder.


    Paid - Annual

    We might want to include ourselves in the disappointing category to the extent we convinced ourselves various guys were something they are not. Diaz is the case in point. Remember that there was not a big glut of teams slobbering over him when he first signed, and then not that long ago anybody could have claimed him for a bag of balls and nobody did. Maybe we saw what we wanted rather than than what was plain enough to everybody else. We also seem to convince ourselves that complementary piece type guys like Piscotty and Grich are guys an offense can be built around. The front office seems to make the same mistake.


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    Quite a few disappointments this year. Diaz of course is a huge drop, but then his loss has been mitigated somewhat by the play of DeJong.

    The bullpen is probably the biggest disappointment I see. We have lost far too many games that were close late. This Cub series was a classic sample of our season – we outscore them by 4 runs in the series, but lose two of three, both losses being in late-close games.

    Another point that has not been brought up that I think has hurt our club is not sticking with Carpenter in the three spot, and giving in to the whole “he can only hit lead-off” mantra. One of the big reasons Fowler was thought to be worth the deal we gave him was to settle our lineup, bring in a true leadoff man, and hit Carpenter in more of a run-production spot. To abandon that some 40 games into a five-year deal is extremely short-sighted. I don’t have a break down, but Carpenter is probably not hitting much different at lead off than he did at #3, and most likely would have about the same numbers today had we stuck with him at 3.

    Now we have Dexter Fowler at 3, which makes our 3 and 5 hitters, including Molina at 5, as probably near the weakest twosome in the league.

    Then after that, Piscotty has been a major disappointment. You have Grichuk, Piscotty, Molina and Diaz (when he was with the big club) all around .700 OPS. That is tough to overcome, and then with a shaky bullpen it’s a wonder we are not further below .500.

    But then the reason we are where we are is that Pham and DeJong have picked up much of the offensive slack, and the starters have been mostly good.



    Carpenter was batting .209 when they moved him to leadoff. I don’t remember what his OBP was, but I am pretty sure it was under .350. So, he has raised his BA by nearly 40 pts and his OBP by nearly 30. Fowler was about 10 pts ahead of Carpenter when they made the switch. He has also improved his numbers. Fowler and Carpenter have been nearly identical the entire year in terms of hitting, so saying we’d be better off with Carpenter at 3 doesn’t hold water, especially since both of them improved after the switch.

    Fowler was never worth the $16.5 million they are giving him – they did that because they boxed themselves into a corner saying they were going to get a CF to improve the defense, and they refused to trade prospects to acquire a legitimate CF. So, they overpaid Fowler.



    I agree – I think the front office places too much value in average guys (Piscotty)…I hope that as depth builds in the minors they are more willing to flip guys for assets and hold actual competitions for starting jobs…I think all of the current outfielders can be upgraded.


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    Good point about Fowler. He may be the most concerning disappointment because of the remaining contract. The Cardinals don’t like to eat big bucks. Clearly, we are not stronger up the middle defensively this year like was advertised. Along the lines of value, Waino is one of the biggest negatives as far as value of WAR vs salary. He may be coming on, though, but unless he can go 9 every time it may not matter.


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    Wainwright has 2.3 WAR on the year per Fangraphs, which gives him a full season WAR of 3.8.

    He has a 0.8 WAR on the year per, which gives him a full season WAR of 1.3.

    Depends on which site you use really.

    Free Agency WAR per $$ is around $8.15M this year and Wainwright makes $19.5. His Fangraphs WAR paints him as giving us $31.0M of value this year or an excess value of $11.5M. Or negative excess value if you use WAR.

    Now, that money may be spent in better ways given our pitching depth (Weaver, Gonzales, etc) but Wainwright hasn’t exactly been a disappointment. Remember he is giving us nearly an extra win worth of WAR with his hitting (over that of a normal pitcher) too.


    Offensive slash line numbers only, with 2017 OPS comparison to 2016 and career –

    Yadi –

    Career – .284BA/.336OBP/.736OPS
    2016 – .307/.360/.787
    2017 – .266/.301/.704
    OPS is down 83 points from 2016 and 32 from career.

    Carpenter –

    Career – .280/.376/.837
    2016 – .271/.380/.885
    2017 – .248/.378/.827
    OPS is down 58 points from 2016 and 10 from career.

    Piscotty –

    Career – .272/.348/.794
    2016 – .373/.343/.800
    2017 – .236/.348/.719
    OPS is down 81 points from 2016 and 75 from career.

    Grichuk –

    Career – .248/.298/.783
    2016 – .240/.289/.769
    2017 – .226/.281/.729
    OPS is down 40 points from 2016 and 54 from career.

    Diaz –

    Career – .284/.340/.803
    2016 – .300/.369/.878
    2017 – .260/.293/.688
    OPS is down 191 points from 2016 and 115 from career.

    Fowler –

    Career – .266/.364/.788
    2016 – .276/.393/.840
    2017 = .244/.334/.791
    OPS is down 49 points from 2016 and up 3 from career.

    Peralta –

    Career – .267/.329/.752
    2016 – .260/.307/.715
    2017 – .204/.293/.462
    OPS is down 253 points over injury ridden 2016 and 290 from career.

    Now, on the positive side –

    Gyroko –

    Career – .245/.305/.734
    2016 – .243/.306/.801
    2017 – .287/.352/.843
    OPS is up 42 points over 2016 and 109 over career.

    Wong –

    Career – .253/.319/.694
    2016 – .240/.327/.682
    2017 – .294/.388/.806
    OPS is up 124 points over 2016 and 112 over career.

    Pham –

    Career – .271/.357/.841
    2016 – .226/.324/.764
    2017 – .283/.371/.871
    OPS is up 107 points over 2016 30 over career.

    Summary –

    It was probably a very good assessment to say that management “over expected” on several players to be at or above major league average at their respective positions. That would include both corner outfielders plus SS and 3B. Maybe 1st base too. Thank goodness Gyorko, DeJong, and Pham have helped considerably.


    Paid - Annual

    The unknown is: Has Carpenter improved due to moving to leadoff, or is it more a normal progression towards his career average? Maybe some of both? Maybe had he stayed at 3 he would have done even better? We’ll never know of course.




    His steep decline caused some issues due to other players not stepping up offense and Matheny playing him even when he was unplayable for several weeks. Piscotty has been banged up mentally and physically. Grichuk hasn’t turned a corner. Molina has regressed (expected) Carpenter has had a tad of a decline. Then again Dejong, Pham, Wong and Gyorko have played over expectations. Imagined if everyone was able to make up for Diaz downturn? We’d be in a little better position for sure. Oh and 2 of those guys listed didn’t even make the club out of spring.

    Oh has been almost a failure. His inability to nail down the closer made this bullpen a bit haphazard. Other guys contributed to that by performing poorly out of the gate. Clearly though he’s be #2 on my list.

    inconsistent lineup and bullpen makes this team what it is. The baserunning and overall substandard defense makes it worse than what it should be.



    What prospects could we have traded this last offseason to acquire an OF? How much would it have cost?

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