November 25, 2020 at 7:59 am #148175mudvilleParticipantPaid - Annual
If O’Neill finally finds himself as a hitter, our outfield problem is almost solved. Then, it’s just a matter of finding enough AB’s for Thomas.November 25, 2020 at 8:06 am #148176
The easy move is to bench Fowler, who has only one stretch of decent hitting since late 2017. I don’t think he will suddenly become irreplaceable, and I think Mo will force Shildt’s hand to bench the 90 OPS+ Fowler sometime in May 2021.November 25, 2020 at 8:36 am #148184
Last season Edman was a starting outfielder for one-third of the team games. Today he appears to be the 2Bman. There’s a third of a season for someone to start in the outfield. Whether that’s 54 starts, or 20 remains undecided.November 25, 2020 at 8:58 am #148195mudvilleParticipantPaid - Annual
For whatever reasons, baseball managers don’t bench veteran starters unless it somehow becomes personal. It’s got something to do with respect and team chemistry, I think. La Russa kept writing Ron Gant into the lineup even after publicly calling him out for ‘looking good striking out’. Fowler will be our starting right fielder in 2021.November 25, 2020 at 9:09 am #148199
If it’s June 1st and Fowler has a .680 OPS, Carlson is playing well, O’Neill is hitting better, Bader looks the same as in 2020, and Thomas is in Memphis looking good, you really think Fowler is going to keep playing RF? I don’t. This is where the FO has to step up and stress to the manager that your aging veteran doesn’t get preference without performance. Staying with Fowler too long unless he’s playing like he did early in 2020 could easily ruin multiple seasons.November 25, 2020 at 9:26 am #148200Brian WaltonKeymasterPaid - Annual
What has not been mentioned is the factor that I think is most important – Is the team winning?
For example, if the Cardinals are playing well as a group and are comfortably in first place even with Fowler struggling, there would be far less pressure to make a change. Of course, the reverse would apply, as well. Few if anyone expect the 2021 Cardinals to be a juggernaut. And struggling teams have a need to seek a spark.
P.S. This isn’t specific to Fowler. The same could apply to Carpenter, for example.November 25, 2020 at 9:26 am #148201
25, so you have Fowler as the worst outfielder getting benched and Carlos as successful and being traded at the deadline. That’s the opposite of last season, so most recent production is carrying very little weight for you.November 25, 2020 at 9:53 am #148203
Fowler had a couple of good weeks in a short season. He’s been consistently below average (sometimes well below) since 2017. He’s also past prime so you can’t really expect that to change much.
Carlos had COVID and hardly pitched. He’s been the same pitcher rate wise basically since he came into the league. Unless he’s injured, he will be a good pitcher, and that can be realistically projected for a guy in his prime at 29 years old.
So take that for what you will…I guess that means recent results don’t matter as much, dependent on context.November 25, 2020 at 9:58 am #148204LACardFanParticipantFree
So again, if you have Bader (whom you like) in CF because of his defense, how do you get O’Neill and Thomas enough at bats to really see what you have there.
Since the Cardinals seem to be in penny pinching mode, if Edman is your 2B and Carpenter is your 3B, then Fowler becomes your DH and you start Carlson in LF, Bader in CF, O’Neill in RF and Thomas as 4th OF. Emphasize run prevention.
Of course, the Cardinals should do everything possible to limit Carpenter’s AB’s so his option doesn’t vest…November 25, 2020 at 10:17 am #148206
25, your scenario could come to pass, it is a possibility, but it reads more like an accelerated wish list that I’d bet against.
Seems you want Carlos and Fowler out of the picture asap, by benching Fowler and trading Carlos. The patient approach of wearing them off the seasons roster, like Carpenter and Miller, seems much more likely.November 25, 2020 at 11:22 am #148208gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
I wouldn’t count on the front office to pressure Shildt to remove Fowler from the lineup. The front office has tried for four years to prove that the Fowler signing wasn’t a mistake so I doubt the fifth year will be any different.November 25, 2020 at 11:35 am #148210
I could see the 2021 season going many ways. What I can’t know is what Shildt will do. The logical thing to do is to sit Fowler if he is hitting around 95 OPS+ or less after 6 weeks. Even if O’Neill, Thomas, Williams and Bader are all hitting less than that, it makes sense. The offense is going to be dependent on some improvement from the OF and 3B in order to have any opportunity in the post-season. It is possible to get that improvement from 1 or 2 of the 4 mentioned outfielders but they need to play to do it.
Obviously, the easy solution is to sign or trade for players to make the improvements, but it doesn’t account for salary constraints or acquisition constraints.November 25, 2020 at 11:40 am #148211Brian WaltonKeymasterPaid - Annual
I am not defending or attacking anyone, but if Carlos gets a partial pass due to two hospital stays due to COVID (which seems justifiable), why does Fowler not get notice for trying to play through a stomach ailment that weakened him and put him on the IL because the medication was so strong it make him vulnerable? I am not saying he will return to his career peak in 2021, but he may not be toast yet, either.November 25, 2020 at 11:55 am #148212
Carlos ERA+ the last 6 years: 130, 133, 116, 125, 134, 44
Dexter OPS+ the last 6 years: 109, 123, 122, 59, 100, 92
Carlos will be 29 next year, and Dexter 35. It’s easy to see 2020 as an outlier for Carlos, and part of a trend for Fowler. Of course, Carlos could completely tank and Dexter could have a late career renaissance, but which is more likely? That’s why the pass for one and not the other.November 25, 2020 at 12:08 pm #148214
I am pretty sure Brian’s post is not influenced in any way by mine but, just to be clear, I am saying that Fowler should sit when he doesn’t produce at league average after a reasonable period of time.November 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm #14822014NyquisTParticipantNovember 25, 2020 at 4:08 pm #148234
Is a stomach ailment contagious?November 26, 2020 at 1:21 am #148243Card4EverParticipantFree
I like Dexter and hope he lives up to the $$$, but I can’t buy the idea that Mo is going to go against the “contracts play” idea.November 26, 2020 at 10:27 am #148261Christopher JeskeParticipantPaid - Annual
Just speculation, but I think I remember when the Fowler contract was signed, the FO indicated they preferred four years but the fifth year was the cost to finalize the contract quickly. Maybe the FO sees the calculus of the last year of the contract, one that they didn’t expect to be a value a little differently?
Also, even if he would be a part time player, it seems the FO values having a veteran presence like Fowler in the mix with the younger outfielders. Otherwise, I think Bader has the most service time of the 40-man outfielders.November 26, 2020 at 6:14 pm #148276kscardfanParticipantFree
The Cards have the worst hitting OF that I can recall. I watched Stan by the way. What a mess. Bad decisions. Time for a change upstairs.November 26, 2020 at 7:00 pm #148278
Our hope for a starting outfielder on a Championship team?November 26, 2020 at 7:02 pm #148279
What did Mcveigh have in mind?November 27, 2020 at 8:51 pm #148337
Our hope for a starting outfielder on a Championship team?
He’s in no different situation than the one OF who had a .616 OPS in just 38 less PAs in 2020 who you keep heaping praises on. Maybe the one who had a .616 OPS will do much better but he is just as suspect a starter for a championship caliber team as any of the other OFs who had more PAs than him. As a matter of fact, you are wanting to just get rid of the best hitting outfielder on the team in 2020.November 28, 2020 at 7:55 am #148344
Poor comparison, Forsch.
1.) Carlson was one of 3 outfielders named to the Baseball America all minor league outfield in 2019. That’s all minor league teams at all levels.
2.) Arozarena was one of 3 outfielders named to the All 2019 AAA team, which includes both the PCL and the Internatuonsl League. Which MO might have missed in his assessment of talent.November 28, 2020 at 9:07 am #148357
O’Neill would have likely been the player of the year for the PCL in 2018 had he played the whole season. If he’d had as many PA as the winner, he have projected to a .311/.385/.693 line with 56 HRs, 135 RBI and 131 runs. So as you can see, minors stats and awards may or may not lead to majors success.
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