September 11, 2019 at 9:13 am #105845
If healthy and not pitching in St Louis, the Memphis rotation should be exciting to watch next season. Having veterans like PDL, Gomber, and Woodford, with prospects Cabrera and Rondon also in the mix, should make for the best pitching staff in the PCL.September 11, 2019 at 10:49 am #105850
I wonder if Helsley or Gant will be brought in as starters? If Carlos is brought back and Reyes will get his opportunity, it seems like they will have so many options that they will continue to play the numbers approach and once again avoid paying for a number 1 type.
I really can’t blame them as well as it worked this year.
I still see Ponce as the ace since he has, in my mind, established himself as a viable MLB starter. Still he may have the lowest ceiling of the group, and he might be more valuable in the pen.September 11, 2019 at 10:50 am #105851
You better hope Pugs doesn’t see this post. You realize you didn’t even mention The Great One.September 11, 2019 at 11:07 am #105852mudvilleParticipantPaid - Annual
Helsley sure looked like a late inning reliever in last night’s game against Colorado. He was throwing the ball at 100 MPH and hitting his spots.September 11, 2019 at 1:27 pm #105857
I think Gant and Helsley should get a chance next spring to start. We have Whitley, Dobzanski, and Fernandez as good candidates to backfill in the pen.September 11, 2019 at 4:13 pm #105869stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
At this point, I’d think Gant is locked in as a reliever. Helsley is 50-50 to me but it will depend on health. He’s sort of a Carlos Martinez clone in that sense.September 11, 2019 at 4:26 pm #105870mudvilleParticipantPaid - Annual
I think most of the discussion about Hensley, until this year, centered around him being a reliever. If he has secondary pitches that he can control, I wouldn’t mind at all if they brought him along as a starter.September 11, 2019 at 4:33 pm #105873
He seems to be trusting his secondary pitches more, with the more experience he is getting. I believe Baseball America in their Prospect Handbook had stated he had improved greatly with them.September 12, 2019 at 7:46 am #105946
I’d like to see Helsley begin 2020 in the Memphis rotation. The organization has the ability to get creative with the options that they will have at AAA:
Spring training will give all of them the opportunity to be part of the starting five. IMO Helsley and Ponce have nothing more to prove at AAA.September 12, 2019 at 8:07 am #105950
C27, I doubt that I’m in the minority here, but since mid season, I often forget about Reyes and the poor luck he’s had. That doesn’t mean they should give up on him, just likely can’t be counted on for anything moving forward
I’m in the majority likewise. Reyes could be a huge factor. If he finds his way into the 2020 STL rotation, he just might turn out to be the pitcher most Card fans are clamoring for.January 1, 2020 at 3:14 am #117971
Memphis rotation will be interesting to watch as Flaherty, Wainright, MIkolas, KIm, Helsley, Cabrera, CMart, PDL, Gomber, Hudson, PDL, Reyes, vie for St Louis’ rotation or bullpen. I hope there is a spot in Memphis’ rotation for Rondon.January 1, 2020 at 10:10 am #118000
…. the rotation as of now looks like Flaherty-Hudson-Mikolas-Kim-Wainwright… with CMartinez a question mark and Reyes a bigger ?, the Memphis rotation could look like Ponce-Helsley-Woodford-Cabrera-Gomber. There are a fistful of other candidates… Reyes-Shew-AuWarner-Parsons-Kruczynski-Rondon-FaGalde (Parsons-Kruczynski-Rondon-FaGalde could start the season at Springfield).
Any of the Memphis starters (plus CMartinez and Reyes) could be in the St.Louis bullpen. Whatever happens when the camps break there should be plenty of arms ready to go.
All of the prospect pitchers took a hit when Kim was signed… the organization must feel that none are ready to step up to the Cards.January 1, 2020 at 1:07 pm #118008
If no further impact acquisitions are made, it would appear at least two of those starters will vie for closing duties.
On the lower AA level, it would be odd if Roberts was to be blocked by any push down from MemphisJanuary 1, 2020 at 1:24 pm #118011gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
I think the Cardinals have too many pitchers where they can’t decide if they are going to be a starter or a reliever. CMart? Ponce? Gomber? Reyes? Helsley? Cabrera? Some of that is due to health, some to performance, and some to just plain old indecision in my opinion.
I am sure the organization wants flexibility but if I were a pitcher I would like to know what my role is and what is expected of me. Of course getting to the big leagues would be objective number one but I still think in the long run a player’s career has a better chance of success if they can hone their skills to a certain role. Lance Lynn went from pen to starter but once he was made a starter he didn’t go back. CMart did the same thing but now he seems to be stuck in limbo. Ponce, Gomber, Reyes, Helsley, and Cabrera seem to be in limbo land also.January 1, 2020 at 1:35 pm #118012
I see it differently. I have no concern about this at all.
All of those pitchers have been told to prepare for the season and come to camp expecting to start. No confusion about that.
Will they all start in April? Probably not, but who can predict who will pitch well in spring training and who will get hurt? Why should any team artificially limit its flexibility? The Cards have said many times before that it takes a long time to build up reliever pitch counts to start, but can go in the other direction (starting to relieving) far more easily.
These men are paid a lot of money to pitch. They should be able to handle any role assigned them or they shouldn’t be there, IMO. None of these guys are proven enough they should have the right to whine about their role. Get outs when you are asked.
On to the names…
Martinez’ and Reyes’ issue is health. Given Martinez’ salary and talent, I understand why the team has not made a final decision about his role. Realistic people understand that Reyes is not going to be able to handle a starting workload of 180 innings or thereabouts in 2020, but he is young enough to not give up on his future as a starter – if he can bounce back.
Ponce and Gomber are what they are – good veteran soldiers to have in the army. If that means they are needed to swing between roles, and swing between StL and Memphis, so be it.
Helsley and Cabrera are still developing. Anyone who can look at them today and declare has some tremendous vision. If it was up to me, they would continue to start until they stop improving or show they are ready to join the big-league rotation. Not yet.
If having too many starters is anywhere near the team’s biggest problem, they are in great shape.January 1, 2020 at 1:58 pm #118016stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
I love the “problem” of depth in the rotation. With all these guys, the team should be able to be more careful with some of the guys and not press them for innings. I like the idea of Cmart and Waino in the rotation with regular spot starts for Gomber, Ponce, Reyes etc to give them a break. Then maybe you have those guys healthy for October if needed in the pen.January 1, 2020 at 2:58 pm #118018gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
I like rotation depth also. My point was was that these pitchers don’t know if they are rotation depth or bullpen depth or both. Apparently it is both but there is going to be a lot to sort out between now and opening day.January 1, 2020 at 7:17 pm #118032Bob ReedParticipantFree
I would just more or less echo all of Brian’s thoughts on this matter — but with one addition.
I think I’ve been too skeptical about a certain Cardinal arm over the past few years, owing mainly to his rather advanced age for each of his minor league stops. So, in support of this pitcher I want to do a copy & paste from a recent Derrick Goold chat.
Fun stat coming. The following ten great pitchers have allowed a collective career OPS of .639 when used as a starting pitcher: Scherzer, Kershaw, Strasburg, Cole, Verlander, Greinke, DeGrom, Bumgarner, Kluber, and Sale. Again, that’s a .639 OPS allowed as a starter.
There’s a current Redbird twirler with just a couple years experience who has allowed a mere .632 OPS as a starter. Think about that, huh? By one meaningful measure, slightly better so far than the career average of a bunch of superstars. And that Cardinal pitcher’s name is not Jack Flaherty or Dakota Hudson. It’s Daniel Ponce de Leon. As Casey said, you can look it up.
And I would add that Ponce hasn’t allowed a stolen base in 72 opportunities. (That is, conventional opportunities, man on first base with second base unoccupied.) So, with a great OPS against, and the utter negation of a running game, why isn’t his major league ERA much more dazzling? He’s permitted an .839 OPS with RISP — and a nightmarish .976 with two outs and RISP.
Maybe he overthrows under pressure, maybe he tightens up just a little, or tips his pitches periodically. I don’t know what it is, assuming of course that it’s anything other than random. But it’s certainly something for Maddux, Shildt, and Ponce to look into.January 6, 2020 at 10:24 am #118447
Interesting problem to figure out.
I guess the question is, if one of your starters goes down for a lengthy period of time do you want a guy who’s in the major league bullpen to fill in or a starter from the Memphis rotation? Is it that easy to adjust out of the Cardinals bullpen to a starter role in the middle of the season?
From a stamina standpoint.January 6, 2020 at 11:54 am #118463
Historically, if just one spot start is needed, a reliever might start a bullpen game. For a longer period, the “sixth” starter is often called up from Memphis. Kim could break that pattern.January 6, 2020 at 12:10 pm #118464
If it’s going to be a starter from Memphis in case of longer term injury or underproduction in St. Louis, it seems like a complicated situation to figure out. Do you want Gant, Ponce, Reyes, Cabrera, Gomber, Helsley, Woodford, etc. in St. Louis to help win games, or stretched out in Memphis with the stamina to be more than a fill in starter in St. Louis if needed.January 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm #118469
I see it this way. The younger players still developing go to Memphis to start to compete to be no. 6. Cabrera, Helsley (if not targeted for the StL pen) and Woodford. Gant is an established major leaguer. He will be in the StL pen. Ponce and Gomber go where needed as a long reliever in StL or more likely can be no. 6 if the youngsters aren’t ready. Reyes will pitch in whatever role his health and reliability will allow. Likely Memphis unless he comes out sharp.
Of course, the odds that not everyone will be healthy and productive will answer some of these questions. Like I said, I don’t see a bad problem at all. Great to have some depth.January 6, 2020 at 2:13 pm #118474
I don’t believe Kim or Carlos are going to be in Memphis on opening day. One will start for the Cards, and the other will be in the bullpen. It is also perhaps probable that Cabrera and Woodford will be in the rotation at Memphis, continuing to work on their starter skills. I agree that Gant will be in the Cards bullpen. That leaves Reyes, Ponce, Gomber, and Helsley. When the Cards realistically look at how many runs they are going to score, the priority may be to have the strongest major league bullpen they can. That puts Helsley in St. Louis. Gomber has a lower ceiling, so he goes to the Memphis rotation. Ponce needs to be ready to come up in case of injury or under performance in St. Louis. That leaves the real wild card – Reyes. Gotta believe if he’s healthy and hummin’, he’s the Cards 7th or 8th inning guy.
As usual, JMHO.January 6, 2020 at 2:17 pm #118475
I imagine if the Cards could write a script, it would look a lot like that, bccran.
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