Jose Martinez…

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  • #117509
    atripleshyofthecycle
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    I really like Jose Martinez as a bench bat. He’s a guy who accepts his role and gives his best all the time with a good attitude. You prefer not being in a position where he starts a lot of games in the field, but that’s always true of your bench guys.

    #117511
    gscottar
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    He is a good bench bat if he is used that way. But every time the offense slows down Shildt is tempted to start him for a few games in a row. I would only start him in interleague away games. I still stay Ravelo could play the same role at a savings of $1.56 million. I mean the Cardinals are always looking to count their pennies right?

    #117513
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    Since the rosters have expanded to 26 it allows the Cardinals the luxury of keeping Jose but he needs to be in the American League. Maybe the Cardinals think the labor agreement will bring the DH to the NL in 2022 and they can hang onto him until then.

    #117515
    gscottar
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    That may be true about the DH GameCard but by then I think JMart will have priced himself out of a job with the Cardinals. Besides, Ravelo could be the 26th man this year just as easily as JMart but save the team some money.

    #117517
    Bw52
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    What is the fascination with Jmart? He is what he is..a wild swinging flailaway hitter who is poor defensively and not a threat on the bases .Born to be in the American league.He is no great shakes hitting and certainly poor fielding…….so he might have some value as a bench guy/PH/Dh…big whoops…..when you let a granite glove older player get PT instead of giving the younger guys a chance to see steady PT you are simply kicking the can down the road and wasting young talent.Thats my 2 cents worth.Jmart does nothing that can`t be replaced by TO,Thomas,Ravelo,RA IMO.

    #117518
    mudville
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    If he hits during ST, they probably don’t want to trade him. And if he doesn’t hit, they probably can’t trade him. Don’t forget that his offensive stats at AAA were outstanding. He might have had a touch of the sophomore jinx last season.

    #117519
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    I think they would have already traded him to AL team if they could have gotten the return they were looking for.

    #117520
    Brian Walton
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    mud said:

    He might have had a touch of the sophomore jinx last season.

    Well, 2019 was his third year and his numbers have dropped each season.

    #117524
    CardsFanInChiTown
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    Unless one of the youngsters puts up video game numbers and Bader or Fowler look terrible. I would bet on a JMart, Bader, and Fowler OF on opening day sadly. As a whole, I would prefer O’neill, Thomas and Arozarena and given equal ABs and time in the OF, I think those 3 would put up better WAR over the season.

    #117527
    Cardinals27
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    I would not keep JMart unless the National League adds the DH. With all of young outfielders we have, I would rather give them playing time.

    #117531
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    Tommy Edman will start in RF unless Carpenter can’t go.

    #117535
    gscottar
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    I would be shocked if Fowler isn’t the starting RF on opening day. Barring injury he will be there.

    #117536
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    Tommy Edman will start somewhere…other than maybe Goldschmidt he is our most productive offensive player.

    #117537
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    Edman OPS-.850
    Wong OPS- .784
    Goldschmidt- .821
    DeJong- .762
    Fowler- .754
    It really isn’t a contest…Edman was our best offensive player in 2019 and he has top-end speed and makes the team go. Without him, we don’t win the Central.

    #117538
    Bob Reed
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    “Tommy Edman will start somewhere…other than maybe Goldschmidt he is our most productive offensive player.”

    This certainly could be true, once we factor Tommy’s exceptional baserunning into the equation. But speaking strictly from a batting standpoint, here are some OPS forecasts for returning Redbirds — taking the average of the Steamer and Marcel projection models:

    Goldy .867 (46 points above 2019)
    Carpenter .798 (+72 v. 2019)
    DeJong .787 (+25)
    Edman .785 (-65)
    Jose M. .774 (+23)
    Wong .762 (-22)
    Fowler .736 (-18)
    Bader .732 (+52)
    Yadi .724 (+13)

    So we see that Jose and Dexter Fowler are expected to hit like middle infielders, while Goldschmidt, Bader, and Carpenter are all predicted to have big bounceback seasons, and Tommy E. will decline significantly but still be a terrific bench player who could start for at least 15-20 teams.

    (Tangent Alert!)

    Taking just the presumptive Opening Day seven starters, there’s a total OPS improvement of 168 points. Since 50-60 points of OPS for a fulltime batter equals approximately 10 runs or 1 win, those 168 represent an improvement of roughly three games in the standings. In other words, those within and without the Cardinal organization who are banking on a substantial collective improvement from returning Redbird batters are strongly supported by some objectively-generated data.

    Lastly, regarding Jose Martinez and playing time distribution. Just for kicks I checked the Clay Davenport 50th percentile 2020 WAR forecasts for ALL of the possible Cardinal outfielders. I prorated everyone to 600 plate appearances, and here are the results in inverse order:

    Adolis Garcia 1.2 WAR
    Justin Williams 1.7
    Jose Martinez 1.7
    Tyler O’Neill 1.8
    Dexter Fowler 2.0
    Rangel Ravelo 2.1
    Tommy Edman 2.2
    Dylan Carlson 2.3
    Marcell Ozuna 2.5
    Lane Thomas 3.1
    Randy Arozarena 3.1
    Harry Bader 4.1

    My immediate expectations aren’t quite that high for Arozarena, and certainly not for Lane Thomas, who was barely an average bat in AAA last year, before 40 or 50 terrific and terrifically meaningless MLB trips to the dish. (Don’t get sore, Lane. I swear I really DO appreciate your contribution to the division title. I just mean “meaningless” as a predictor of future MLB performance. Also, Merry Christmas young man.)

    Anyway, if the above numbers are even remotely close to prescient, there’s no reason to retain Ozuna at literally any price. Not for a buck a year. Because if you keep him, even for cheaper than dirt, you lose a draft pick. And the draft pick has real value, especially to a team that excels at Draft & Devel. Cleanup hitters or not, there certainly appear to be numerous other Cardinals who can match or very nearly match Ozuna’s total contribution to the team. Or maybe even exceed it.

    And just like 12 months ago, Jose Martinez should be traded to an A.L. team for whatever the Birds can get. In part because there are many others much younger with more upside both short and long term, and in part because his manager will overuse him if given any opportunity.

    #117540
    gscottar
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    Gamecard, I didn’t say Fowler should be starting. I said he would be starting. Big difference. The Cardinals aren’t going to sit him on the bench until they have squeezed every ounce out of that contract they can. Edman may start over someone but it won’t be Fowler.

    #117542
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    Well, he started most of his games in positions that either Carpenter or Fowler played. Now sometimes Fowler moved to center.

    #117543
    Brian Walton
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    Well, yes. Carpenter was on the IL July into August then Bader was sent down to Memphis for three weeks. Together that had a huge impact on how many starts Edman made at 3B and RF. Edman then played ahead of Carpenter in September and October when Carpenter was slumping.

    Now, the Cards have reaffirmed Carpenter as the man at third. It is unclear when everyone is healthy to start the season (and assumed to be productive) where Edman would start. I doubt he is going to be long-term starter at a corner outfield position. That doesn’t mean he will be buried on the bench, but his action may be at a number of positions.

    Back to Martinez, the subject of the thread. I predict he and Edman will be on the roster on Opening Day but will be among the five non-starters, along with a catcher, backup SS and an OF. FWIW.

    #117547
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    I predict Edman starts opening day…it will be ludicrous if he doesn’t.

    #117548
    Euro Dandy
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    Now, the Cards have reaffirmed Carpenter as the man at third. It is unclear when everyone is healthy to start the season (and assumed to be productive) where Edman would start. I doubt he is going to be long-term starter at a corner outfield position. That doesn’t mean he will be buried on the bench, but his action may be at a number of positions.

    Girsch said this very thing on MLBN a week or two ago (with Vasgersian I think). He said in an ideal world, if everyone plays to form in ST and is healthy to start the season, then Edman will not have a starting “position” — but he will get starts at different positions depending on who needs rest, pitching matchups, etc. He spoke of it as a luxury to have and said they are very high on Carp as the plan for 3B.

    #117549
    Bob Reed
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    “Girsch said this very thing on MLBN a week or two ago (with Vasgersian I think). He said in an ideal world, if everyone plays to form in ST and is healthy to start the season, then Edman will not have a starting “position” — but he will get starts at different positions depending on who needs rest, pitching matchups, etc.”

    And Mo also said something very similar when interviewed on the MLB network during the Winter Meetings. Specifically referred to Tommy Edman as filling a “Ben Zobrist” type role. Which is smart, in my opinion, even if Tommy E. projects as slightly more valuable overall than Carp as a third baseman, or even Wong at the keystone.

    Let’s accept at face value the projections I referenced earlier in the thread, with Carp hitting slightly better than Edman in 2020. If Tommy starts over Carp, the hot corner position would generate a little more value, e.g., half a win or perhaps one full win. But if Tommy does start, then the team gets less out of the two of them as a combo than they would if Carp started and Edman played the role of Swiss Army knife, spelling guys all over the diamond and accumulating 75-80% (or more) of a starter’s typical workload in plate appearances.

    Carp cannot start, or even fill in, at any other position anymore, other than first base — and that spot will be taken for 150+ games in all likelihood. He can’t pinch run either, but Edman sure can. There’s no flexibility there, no way to leverage Carp other than pinch-hitting.

    It may not be fair to Tommy, strictly speaking, to only get 100-120 starts rather than 140-150. But it is probably best for the team as currently constructed. Now, if Yairo Munoz had turned out to be the player they thought they’d traded for, i.e., a solid 1-2 WAR utilityman, things would be different. But from what we know now, Tommy certainly seems to be by far the best bench choice. Then, depending on several variables, maybe he takes over for Carp next year, or Kolten the year after that. Or heck, maybe he switches to outfielder if he retains most of 2019’s power surge.

    That power would be a sweet belated Christmas present for all of us.

    #117550
    Minuteman3
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    Merry Christmas to all of TCN.

    <Brian wrote: Now, the Cards have reaffirmed Carpenter is the man at third. It is unclear when everyone is healthy to start the season (and assumed to be productive) where Edman would start. >

    I find it puzzling that the FO is “reaffirming” a formerly slumping player to start at any position. I thought that was the purpose of spring training. Of course there, if he can’t hit against rookie pitchers he may fall on his sword – again. To assume that Carpenter will return to the form he showed for two months in 2018 is taking a pretty high risk. Edman can play several positions and may truly serve the team best as a super utility man but it must be acknowledged that he is also capable of taking a position as a starter too.

    I don’t foresee Carpenter as returning to anything more than ‘average.’ He really seems to either be too bullheaded to try and change (hitting into shift and ‘launch angle’ nonsense) or his skills are just diminishing. In any case I do hope he returns to form but don’t forsee it.

    #117551
    Brian Walton
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    Yes, Merry Christmas to all!

    MM3 wrote:

    I find it puzzling that the FO is “reaffirming” a formerly slumping player to start at any position. I thought that was the purpose of spring training.

    Spring training has different purposes for different players. For veterans, it is time to get ready for the season. For young players, it is a chance to prove they deserve more responsibility.

    Some will point to the contract as the reason Carpenter plays. I don’t think that is the primary consideration.

    People seem to forget that Carpenter has had a long and successful career, including finishing in the top 10 of the National League Most Valuable Player voting as recently as 2018. Yes, he had a rough 2019, but not everyone is ready to assume he is washed up.

    Carpenter’s career “average” is pretty good. I believe that if he just performs to his norm (not his 2018 peak), the Cardinals will be a better team as a result.

    P.S. I agree with Bob Reed’s assessment of Edman’s role. I would just add that it seems unlikely that the team will get through the entire season without injury. Then Edman can become the replacement starter. Depth can be crucial for any pennant contender.

    #117563
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    Again you do not sit your most player…it will all work out.

    Edman OPS-.850
    Wong OPS- .784
    Goldschmidt- .821
    DeJong- .762
    Fowler- .754
    It really isn’t a contest…Edman was our best offensive player in 2019 and he has top-end speed and makes the team go. Without him, we don’t win the Central.

    #117564
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    Productive

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