Cardinals’ Off-season Needs

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  • #148490
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    Tyler O’Neill’s pathetic adjustment to cut down on strike outs last season sent him spiraling down in my estimation. Frankly it was hard to watch.

    Agree. They threw away the baby and just some of the bathwater with O’Neill last season. I suppose you could have him bunt every time if you want to further reduce the Ks, but it won’t be a net positive for TO or the team. Not all contact is the same.

    #148499
    Avatarmudville
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    I’ve said before that O’Neill is still developing, so he’s going through changes. One of the changes that I noticed is that, when he first came up, he looked like a body builder playing baseball. He looks more like a baseball player now, IMO. I think it’s too early to relegate O’Neill to a certain set of criteria and a certain role. Give him at least one more year.

    #148506
    AvatarNigel T
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    It may take more like three more seasons. How much do you love seeing growth compared to how much do love seeing the team win is the biggest question.

    #148508
    Avatarbccran
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    When it’s already a weak lineup, you can’t afford to have 1-2 weak hitting outfielders.

    #148513
    AvatarNigel T
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    That makes Brantley very attractive because you have your DH and added punch. He doesn’t clog up the outfield giving the younger guys time.

    I was totally confident Bader did all the right things. I felt like O’Neill would be close enough to Ozuna that you couldn’t pay for the difference. (that is what my opinion is worth) I was excited about the Dean trade and knew Rovelo was just as good as Martinez. How in the world did every one of these guys play so poorly that I don’t even have to mention Lane Thomas’s alligator arms or Justin Williams’s glass hand.
    I am all in on giving every one that one last chance if they trade for Lindor and add a short term fix like Brantley whose money could come off the books with all the others.

    #148514
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    How in the world did every one of these guys play so poorly that I don’t even have to mention Lane Thomas’s alligator arms or Justin Williams’s glass hand.

    Coronavirus. People pooh pooh it, but this was far from a normal type of year. Lane Thomas dealt with spells of dizziness and weakness even after he recovered. I was in the same boat with you before 2020, and I remain there. There is talent here that is a risk to go Luke Voit if we give up on them now. Old man Brantley is only attractive if the DH is here for sure. I’m not so sure at this point that it will be and we have been burned on high $$, older free agents a lot lately.

    #148515
    Avatarbccran
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    I’m of the other school. We went into 2020 with an outfield that had an aging veteran playing out of position and the rest unprovens. It came back to bite us. And now some posters want to do the same thing again.

    #148516
    Avatar858booyah
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    Is it that some posters want to do the same or expect the ownership to do the same thing? I’m expecting the ownership to roll out the same outfield options they had last season and hope that a full season will give a guy or 2 a chance to produce. I’m not in favor of it but reality is setting in that with all the lost revenue the team will pinch pennies.

    #148517
    AvatarNigel T
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    I expect Carlson everyday in center, and I expect him to be one of our best hitters. I expect Fowler to play right and have a surprisingly average season where he gets regular rest against lefties. Those are givens. If we hit with any of the other six, we are golden. By adding one hitter like Brantley, we can buy a year of patience at a depressed price.

    It’s not the only plan for sure, but other options like Pederson will play in the field so none of the six young guys get an opportunity without an injury senario.

    #148518
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I’m of the other school.

    In other words, you believe every player but Goldy magically going into the tank with the bat and the team that led the league in steals suddenly being one of the worst base stealing teams was just true talent shining through?

    But wait, unproven Arozarena would have been the difference maker.

    #148530
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Top 3 ops+ from last season, remaining on the roster.
    Goldy 142 infielder
    Bader 111 outfielder
    Fowler 92 outfielder

    Where is the infield?
    Keep scrolling down the ops+ column.

    #148531
    Avatarbccran
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    We all have our opinions, 25. I respect yours. Mine is just different.

    I didn’t talk about every hitter going in the tank but Goldy. I took a realistic look at a team that came in last in the major leagues in doubles, home runs, and total bases. Catcher is a question mark. First and second base should be fine. Hopefully DeJong will play back up to his potential after being weakened by the virus. Most don’t expect much from Carp. So the outfield has to be better than batting 7th, 8th, and 9th in the lineup. Carlson is an exciting hitter, and should be fine in center. Developing MOTO bat. Could hit second in 2021. Can’t do any ything about Fowler. With his pay, he will play. He’ll be fair. A light bat though, in a RF power spot. And then you have O’Neill. All for him to have a breakout year. We need it badly.

    Stolen bases? I never mentioned those. But they’re now pretty much out of fashion in MLB now. So leading the league with a modest number isn’t saying a whole lot.

    #148533
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I took a realistic look at a team that came in last in the major leagues in doubles, home runs, and total bases.

    Would it be realistic to admit that the team’s compressed schedule and COVID outbreak may have had a lot to do with how poorly the team performed? That it’s highly possible that worn out legs will most impact the ability to repeat explosive muscle movements like hitting for power and stealing bases? This is my point. The offense looked way, way worse than it actually was. In a normal year, I believe they would have been very close to average. There’s definitely room for improvement, but it’s not as if the true base line is the worst offense in the league.

    Would you work your employees 100 hours a week and then question why they got less done in the last 40 hours than the first 40? No…because it’s not realistic. Human beings can only perform at the highest level for so long, and the Cards were absolutely crushed by the way the year played out.

    #148536
    Avatarbccran
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    The problem with that logic, 25, is that the issue started before the 2020 season. In 2019, the Cards ranked 19th in MLB in average runs scored per game. They came in 3rd from last in MLB in doubles. They came in 24th in home runs. They had only 2 hitters in the lineup with an OPS of .800 or greater. Then in the off season, they didn’t extend Ozuna (one of the two .800 OPS batters) and traded Arozarena, who had been their hottest outfield prospect. They went into the season with an aging outfielder playing in a position he wasn’t signed to play. He didn’t have the power to play RF. The center fielder was coming off a season of .205/.314/.366/.680. The left fielder to replace Ozuna had struck out 53 times in 151 plate appearances. The writing was on the wall for a poor offensive season in 2020, virus or no virus.

    #148538
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Goldy had his career worst year in 2019, so it was fair to expect him to bounce back. All the rest could have been expected to produce similarly to what they did in 2019, if not better. Again, it’s easy to revise history. The offense should have been about the same. The difference was COVID, not talent. That’s where you and I differ. 2021 may give us a better idea if it even happens.

    #148543
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I will return to a post I make periodically.

    Almost the entire Memphis roster went crazy with the bats in the final month of 2019. Here are their OPS’es:

    Bader 1.165
    Garcia 1.160
    Carlson 1.098
    Arozarena 1.053
    Williams 1.010
    Knizner 1.005
    Nogowski .954
    Urias .912
    Sosa .894

    The hottest prospect with ST. LOUIS was actually Lane Thomas until he got hit by a pitch and suffered a fractured wrist. Called up to conclude the season were Bader, Knizner, Ravelo, Sosa and Arozarena.

    Randy was a fine prospect and had a great 2019, but we need to keep it in context.

    #148545
    BlackHillsCardBlackHillsCard
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    Arozarena, like Knizner and plenty of other players (ie Voit), was never given an opportunity. The brief chance he got he performed and then was shipped out for another pitcher who might be able to contribute in a year or two.

    #148546
    Avatarbccran
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    BW – The hottest prospect was the 2019 BA All Star outfielder at the AAA level. Randy’s stats at AA and AAA blew Thomas away. Thomas had a decent start with the Cards, but that was a small sample – only 44 plate appearances.

    Yes, it was expected that Goldy would have a better season in his second year here.

    But if anyone is happy with coming in 19th in MLB in average runs per game in 2019, and then losing both Ozuna and Arozarena, I can’t join your group. The writing was on the wall for a weak offense in 2020.

    #148549
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    It’s a shame we had Ozuna blocking Arozarena, but that financial commitment plays.

    #148550
    Avatarforsch31
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    I have never seen anyone on this site say they were “happy” with the 2019 offense. Most have said they understand why the Cardinals did what they did. Sooner or later those highly thought of prospects needed to be given a chance to show what they can do. If they aren’t going to give prospects an opportunity, they might as well trade Carlson, now.

    If you want to talk about whether they gave the right prospects the opportunity, that’s a totally different argument. I think they should have kept Arozarena and basically said that at the time he was traded. If I thought the Cardinals could have signed Ozuna for 1 year at the same contract the Braves gave him, I would have been very happy to re-sign him. The Braves got lucky and Ozuna benefited from hitting in the Atlanta stadium and the other bandboxes in the East Divisions.

    #148551
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    We still have Fowler blocking the young outfielders. Lets not make it worse by signing another FA outfielder.

    #148552
    Avatarbccran
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    Forsch – stlcard25 said the offense in 2020 should have been about the same as in 2019 if it weren’t for the pandemic. That was actually my point. They did nothing to improve it.

    #148554
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Ozuna 109 ops+ in 2019
    Miller 120 ops+ in 2020

    “They did nothing to improve it”

    #148555
    Avatarforsch31
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    jj, you have to admit that Brantley is a totally different hitter than Fowler. Brantley strikes out half as much as Fowler and has a higher XBH%, especially over the last 3 years. O’Neill MIGHT be able to produce as much as Brantley but what is the chances of that? I am losing some of my comfort with O’Neill being able to produce in the majors. The ONLY way I would want Brantley is on a 2 year contract.

    #148556
    Avatarforsch31
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    bccran, you cite us being 19th in runs per game in 2019. By scoring 1 more run in every 16 games, they move up to 14th. They were solidly in the league average in runs scored per game. It’s not like they were in the bottom of the league. They would have dropped to 21st with 7 less runs scored but in order to drop to 22nd they would have had to score 36 less runs.

    I don’t see a huge reason to try to improve a league average offense. That’s a situation where you take advantage of an opportunity to improve if it makes sense. You don’t actively make every effort to improve it.

    It is reasonable to expect Goldschmidt to improve his numbers in his 2nd year. It is reasonable to expect a highly regarded prospect like O’Neill to perform much better than he did. It is reasonable to think that Bader could rebound from a poor 2019 to be closer to his 2018 numbers. Yes, it could be risky, as 2020 showed. However, it is reasonable.

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