September 27, 2017 at 6:02 pm #34359
Really tough when you don’t have any games left with one of your two wild card competitors. Relying on Rockies to lose is disheartening position.September 28, 2017 at 6:59 am #34400
Magic numbers for wild card elimination:
At least it looks like the Brewers will not also be celebrating making the playoffs at Busch this weekend. Once is more than enough.September 28, 2017 at 7:07 am #34402
Over in the AL, Minnesota (with the same record as the Brewers) claimed the second wild card, along with the Yankees. Last season, the Twins lost 103, which gave them the #1 pick in the draft. Quite a turnaround, but I don’t think they have enough pitching to advance very far. Still, they have to be delighted just to make it.September 28, 2017 at 9:36 am #34430
Nice step forward for the Twins. The Rockies lost 87 games last year, so they are also having a nice turn-around. I’ve been impressed with their GM as well, Jeff Bridich. He’s come to a couple of our SABR gatherings, and has been very good about answering questions and taking the time to explain the organization’s plan going forward and what they hope to achieve.
Let’s hope next year the Cardinals can reverse this trend they are on, and get back to a post season berth. I would like to see Lance Lynn back, but doubt that will happen. If he stays in the division, we may regret letting him walk. He seems like a good fit to replace Lackey in Chicago, and I don’t think the Cubs would flinch at the cost although I am not familiar with their potential prospects who might fill that role.September 28, 2017 at 9:53 am #34432
Gotta agree, bikemike. The Cubs may also have to replace Arrieta and Lester is moving into the later stages of his career. Chicago could be very active in the pitching market this winter and nabbing Lynn would be just the kind of move they could make – with a potential double benefit to them.
All things considered, I would still prefer the Cardinals spend the majority of their money on offense, and on the pitching side, on relief.September 28, 2017 at 10:05 am #34434NJ315Participant
I agree let Lynn walk and spend the money where it is desperately needed the offense.September 28, 2017 at 10:21 am #34435
The offense and the bullpen certainly were the weak spots in ’17, although both got better in the second half. Bullpens are a bit tricky, as relief pitchers sometimes have bad years followed by good years. So it can be a case of chasing a moving target when building a ‘pen.
On offense, we definitely need to find more production from right field. Maybe Bader can be the guy. Our best outfield next year, assuming we do not bring anyone from outside the organization, might be Fowler, Bader, Pham left to right. We could also use more of a run producer at first base, moreso than an on-base guy that is. Put Carpenter’s numbers on a good defensive middle infielder or center fielder, and you have a nice player. On a first baseman, and you have a passable player when others are providing the run production. Unfortunately we did not have enough run production elsewhere.
I think third base, the other traditional run producing infield spot, is acceptable with Gyorko. You might look to upgrade there, but it would depend on how much you can improve compared to the cost.
It will be interesting to see if DeJong can be as good next year, or better, or if he slips back ala Diaz. We also will need Wong to stay healthy in ’18.
Bottom line, I can see us being better next year without making a lot of moves. But that depends on some younger guys continuing to improve. As a GM, I would be open to dealing Carpenter and Piscotty for a legitimate run producing first baseman, although I do not who that guy might be.
And heck, Carp might be better next year if his right shoulder is 100%. But you still have that “can only bat leadoff” stigma with him.September 28, 2017 at 10:31 am #34437
Like you observed, Mike, the Cubs are clearly the better team. Would the actions you mention be enough to close the gap?September 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm #34442
Probably not. But then if we have some key guys have good years, and they have some key guys have off years, then maybe we can stay even or even a bit better.
Not sure that a big move is realistic. People want Stanton, but can that be done without taking a big hit elsewhere? And then can you justify that contract?September 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm #34446
Feels to me like the scenario you described was sort of like last winter. Do some tuning and hope guys step up to fill the void. It didn’t happen. In fact, without winning out, this team will end up with fewer wins than last year and quite possibly in third place instead of second. The trend is not positive.
I sense that counting on the same basic approach could lead to a similar result in 2018. I feel like it is time for a big move or two. They could afford to be risk-averse when on top. That is no longer the case.September 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm #34450BlackHillsCardParticipantFree
Can someone remind me what the Cardinals final record was predicted to be back before Spring Training?September 28, 2017 at 2:55 pm #34452
The Cardinals rank 13th out of 30 MLB teams in runs scored. The starters rank 7th in ERA. The bullpen cost us the playoffs.September 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm #34453
BHC, I wrote an article about that very subject three days ago and posted about it on page 1 of this thread. Here is the article link again. It did not elicit any comments then. If you have any, please share.September 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm #34454
Most any team that is close, but not quite there could benefit by making a big move. It is easier said than done though. Still maybe it is time to be aggressive. But the cost could be high, with names like Weaver, Reyes, Kelly, Flaherty, Hudson, Bader and others being thrown around as going the other way.
I normally favor trades the other way. Like dealing say Carpenter for a couple of good prospects. We could look to do both – deal an established veteran or two for prospects, then make a splash with prospects for a key veteran.
That sounds like a sideways approach, but depending on the personnel it might be the way to go.September 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm #34457
The Cards have quantity. They need quality. Get the best player in every trade or spend in the free agent market.September 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm #34458
Let’s see, bccran, you noted these MLB rankings.
Offense #13 in runs scored
Starters ERA #7
So you place the blame on the pen, which you left out had the 12th-best ERA! Whoops! Perhaps it is not quite as cut and dried as you suggest.September 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm #34466mspaidParticipantFree
The Cards have quantity. They need quality. Get the best player in every trade or spend in the free agent market.
You are absolutely right, Brian but they never do that. They get second tier players and the results bear that out.September 29, 2017 at 7:10 am #34520
Even though St. Louis’ playoff odds are now officially zero, they still have a lot to play for in the final three games – more than just to be spoilers for the Brewers.
The Cards need a weekend sweep to avoid their first third place or worse finish since 2008. Though their focus surely remains on the wild card, Milwaukee needs just one win to clinch second place in the division.
Even with a sweep, the Cardinals are already assured of ending with the fewest wins since the 2007 team had 78.September 29, 2017 at 7:03 pm #34640BlackHillsCardParticipantFree
Interesting tweet from Scott Lindholme:
#MLB How has your team fared against opponents with winning records? Pay attention to number of games as well as win pct. @baseball_ref data
For those interest he provided a graphic.
Cards are 26th with a 26-42 record good enough for a .382 winning percentage.September 29, 2017 at 10:26 pm #34661
The pen story is not about the overall pen, Brian..It’s about the back of the pen…Siegrist, Broxton, Oh, and Rosenthal. It’s about games that were lost in the 7th-9th innings. Do some research on that instead of just where the overall pen ended up in ranked ERA.September 29, 2017 at 10:32 pm #34662
How many other teams had 17 blown saves?September 29, 2017 at 10:39 pm #34663
You are the one who cited starter ERA and runs scored rankings, bccran. All I did was add the relief ERA ranking, which you (conveniently) left out.
In terms of blown saves, the Cards’ total of 17 is pretty good. Specifically, it is in the top 10 of FEWEST in MLB this year. 20 of the 30 teams had more (including the Cubs and Brewers).
I’ve done enough research for you now. 😉September 29, 2017 at 11:45 pm #34668CrashDeeParticipantSeptember 30, 2017 at 7:52 am #34680
Good point, Brian. I looked that up after I posted. Should have checked it before posting.September 30, 2017 at 8:13 am #34684
Since you challenged me to “do some research”, I did. As a result, I am hoping you come to the realization that while relief pitching was definitely a concern, it is not the clear overriding issue with the 2017 team, as you had been asserting. Changes to the pen alone are not going to be enough for the 2018 team to be competitive with the Cubs, IMO.
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