Next Man Up

This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Bob Reed 9 months ago.

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  • #80158
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    CariocaCardinal
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    Due to the versatility of this Cardinal team, the most logical injury replacement for each player is not totally clear. Let’s look at options at each position.

    The following analysis is based on those players currently in the system and an assumption of the following starters

    C Molina
    1B Goldschmitt
    2B Wong
    SS DeJong
    3B Carpenter
    LF Ozuna
    CF Bader
    RF Fowler

    RF If Fowler were to be injured, who.gets the nod? Martinez or O’Neill?

    1B If Goldschmitt is injured does Martinez replace him? Does Carpenter move over from 3rd and Gyrko take over at 3rd?

    CF If Bader is injured does Fowler move over from RF and Martinez or O’Neill take over in right? Does O’Neill slide directly into center? Does Munoz or Robinson get consideration? Does Williams or another minor leaguer get called up to start?

    LF Same as RF, Does Martinez or O’Neill get the call?

    C If Molina goes down, does Pena become the starter or does Kizner get the call?

    2B This is one of the most obvious. If Wong goes down Gyrko would seem the logical choice.

    SS If DeJong is injured does the team go with Gyrko or Munoz? Could Sosa be the man?

    3B If Carpenter is out I assume they would go with Gyrko?

    Thoughts? Discussion?

    #80163
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    Bob Reed
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    RF: This is one of the more subtle reasons why I want Jose Martinez traded for relief pitching. With Martinez gone, Mike Shildt would effectively be forced to play Tyler O’Neill when Fowler gets injured or simply doesn’t hit. (And that IS a when, not an if.)

    1B: I go with the latter option, CC. Gyorko would upgrade the hot corner defense, and his bat has consistently been above average since joining the Cards. I don’t dislike Jose Martinez, honestly. I would play Jose at first base if Goldy got hurt, if the alternative were weaker than Jedd for third base.

    CF: Tyler O’Neill is fast. Faster than you think. Fast enough for centerfield with room to spare. According to the statcast numbers, out of 549 major leaguers in 2018, O’Neill was 20th fastest. Link: https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sprint_speed_leaderboard
    No way in the world would I ever play Dexter Fowler in center field again.

    LF: O’Neill should simply be getting maximum playing time, however possible. He’s nearly a decade younger than Jose Martinez, and even though Jose is the better bat right now, O’Neill is the better ballplayer once defense and baserunning are included. Short term and long, O’Neill makes more sense.

    C: If Yadi goes down in April or early May, perhaps you go with Pena for awhile. Francisco’s been an average hitter in AAA for 3 or 4 years, so he really shouldn’t be nearly as terrible in the majors as he showed last year. By June, assuming he’s playing well for Memphis, Knizner gets the call.

    2B and 3B: Agreed, absolutely. Gyorko would be a Steady Eddie at either spot.

    SS: Ride a hot hand. If Munoz is on the 25-man and hitting distinctly better than Gyorko at the time, you go with Yairo. Last year’s plethora of errors at the MLB level were not consistent with Munoz’ more solid minor league track record, so I think he’d be fine. Anyway, DeJong is going to play 154 games so don’t even THINK about it, CC.

    I love the Redbird position players. The starters, the depth, and the minors. If they play their best players, they make the playoffs no doubt. (But don’t play any geriatrics for 27 games in a row, Skip. In the immortal words of the bard Big Boi, act like you got some sense.)

    #80207
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    Oquendo11
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    Bob,

    Doesn’t your sureness that Fowler will fail, be a reason to keep (rarher than trade him) Jose?

    I understand that you want the trade so that O’Neill will be the ‘Next Man Up’ in RF. But if it is inevitable that Fowler will fail then Jose will inevitably be needed as the fourth outfielder.

    I know you have confidence in the minor leaguers, but you have to agree that as least for the first half of 2019, Jose would be a much better option as the fourth outfielder.

    #80209
    Brian Walton
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    Oquendo11, good to see you back around! I talked with your namesake this week. Jose said he is very happy to again be working with the minor leaguers. He is so good, he can do Jedi mind tricks with a baseball! 😉

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by Brian Walton Brian Walton.
    #80212
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    14NyquisT
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    If Yadi gets hurt Pena could not fill in long-term. Knizner has 54 ABs at AAA. Would it be prudent to expect him to show up in St.Louis and take over as a starter. Of course, Kelly is gone and at that point we’d have to start looking for a catcher like him, and what do you do with him once Yadi returns. Why don’t we have a suitable back-up catcher ready to step into the starting role? (see Molina’s ego). His demands have been condoned for too long. (see FO)

    #80214
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    14NyquisT
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    From Fangraph’s

    Cardinals Outbreak Lineup
    Position Player(s)
    C Andrew Knizner/Jose Godoy
    1B Rangel Ravelo
    2B Ramon Urias
    SS Tommy Edman
    3B Jedd Gyorko
    LF Tyler O’Neill
    CF Lane Thomas/Drew Robinson
    RF Justin Williams

    IMO, fangraphs follow too many teams to be accurate. This site concentrates 99% on the Cards only. CC and Bob appear to be more informed and don’t rely on a concoction of numbers.

    #80251
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    Bob Reed
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    “Bob,
    Doesn’t your sureness that Fowler will fail, be a reason to keep (rather than trade) Jose?
    I understand that you want the trade so that O’Neill will be the ‘Next Man Up’ in RF. But if it is inevitable that Fowler will fail then Jose will inevitably be needed as the fourth outfielder.
    I know you have confidence in the minor leaguers, but you have to agree that as least for the first half of 2019, Jose would be a much better option as the fourth outfielder.”

    Thanks for the kind words, Ny, and for the response, Mr. O!
    I’m not sure of Fowler’s failure, but I am 90% sure he’ll get hurt. Dexter has been in the majors for a decade and played 145 games once. He misses 35 games a year, and has averaged just 104 games since coming to St. Louis. And like the rest of us, he’s older every year. He’ll get hurt. But when he’s playing, Fowler will unquestionably hit much better than last year, now that John Mabry’s gone.

    To estimate how much better Dex will hit, let’s average the 2018 post-Mabry hitting improvements of Grichuk, Wong, Pham, Ozuna, Voit, Piscotty, and Aledmys Diaz. Some of those batters will of course be compared to their 2017 St. Louis performances, and some to their 2018 half-seasons with Mabry.

    Voit improved by 333 points of OPS
    Pham by 291 points
    Ozuna +164
    Wong +158
    Piscotty +113
    Diaz +74
    Grichuk +45

    So let’s see. That’s 1,178 points of OPS, divided by 7. That’d be a boost of 168 on average. So add 168 to Dexter’s .576 and you get .744. Sounds about right to me. With good baserunning and bad defense, that would be roughly a replacement level right fielder, I believe. In other words not nearly good enough to stay in the lineup more than 6 or 7 weeks for a contending team with multiple distinctly better alternatives.

    As for Jose Martinez, I’m not determined to get him off the team, nothing like that. But the club still needs a very good relief pitcher (if not two) and Martinez is the most logical and theoretically valuable trade chip if we’re dealing with an A.L. team. And Jose’s value will only decline year-to-year from here on out, as he makes more dough and gets fewer plate appearances. The outfield is deep, Tyler O’Neil has to get every possible at-bat, and Goldy’s at first base: that combo makes it unlikely that Jose will ever get more than 200-250 AB’s in a Redbird uni again.

    Maybe I’m guilty of fixating a bit on Tyler O’Neill, but to me Tyler O’Neill is a lot like Dakota Hudson. They’ve both enjoyed tremendous minor league success, and in the pressure of a playoff race they both succeeded in their initial MLB foray. But I believe we are in an age of overthinking things sometimes, of occasionally being preoccupied with “process” and therefore staring far too microscopically at some selected peripherals of Hudson and O’Neill, while excessively downplaying the actual outcomes, which have been nothing but excellent.

    O’Neill is not a bench player and Hudson is not a future reliever. In fact they could both be stars by 2021 if not much sooner, that’s the upside — fully supported by their professional track records. So I can’t agree that Jose is the better option for 4th outfielder. O’Neill’s defense + baserunning counterbalance Jose’s current edge with the bat. And Tyler, many years the younger player, may be a huge part of the club’s future, and for me that breaks all ties. Tiny Kingman has got to get maximum playing time, and he obviously has nothing to learn in Triple-A where he batted .310 and slugged .693 last year.

    #80255
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    PugsleyAddams
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    Baseball knowledge speaking…..you make me feel like I’m 6 inches tall, Mr. Reed!!…and growing shorter with each passing post. Hope you’re happy!

    #80258
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    14NyquisT
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    If Fowler is DLed at any point, JoMartinez becomes more important for the team.

    Although I rank both O’Neill and Hudson very highly, I’m not 100% slam dunk sure of their future values. Not like I was with Jack Flaherty. Don’t fret, I wasn’t 100% in on Bader. Missouri= “show me”.(but I live in NY). Recently, only Flaherty got my seal of approval before reaching MLB.

    #80259
    stlcard25
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    It seems to me that both Fowler and O’Neill have the ” glass jaw” potential, thus making Jmart a very valuable backup. I would have to think that the offers the Cards got for him were very low, in which case hanging onto him just makes sense. 130 wRC+ hitters who don’t really struggle when they come off the bench or pinch hit are pretty valuable.

    Now, if Lane Thomas or Randy Arozarena take another step forward (and I think one or both could), it would make Jmart more expendable and perhaps one of those guys could be the 5th OF and provide similar value with their defense and decent bat skills.

    #80260
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    14NyquisT
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    Fowler will unquestionably hit much better than last year, now that John Mabry’s gone.

    Now, what area would you be talking about regarding this “much better” for DF’s hitting? .200 would be 20 points higher than .180. I get the “unquestionably”, because if he hits worse he won’t be around and your prediction becomes moot and forgotten about.

    I don’t remember even Fowler using Mabry as a scapegoat. Using a hitting coach to excuse a .180 batting average is a stretch and just plain hogwash.

    While we’re here, I’ll predict that JoMartinez will hit lower than his .305 last season. Would that be enough to get Mabry off your s-list. Or is it just the player himself. Cheez. I guess that one could blame anything on Mabry because there is no way of telling.

    #80283
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    gscottar
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    As for Jose Martinez, I’m not determined to get him off the team, nothing like that. But the club still needs a very good relief pitcher (if not two) and Martinez is the most logical and theoretically valuable trade chip if we’re dealing with an A.L. team.

    Bob, I think everyone was thinking along these lines as the offseason began, including the FO. Apparently these AL teams in question don’t think as highly of JMart as we do so a deal hasn’t been consummated and there doesn’t appear to be one on the horizon either. I think the FO is being smart this time by not giving away a .300 hitter making the minimum. He should only be traded for an impact reliever, not a prospect we hope develops in a few years.

    #80287
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    14NyquisT
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    I think that some clubs look at Martinez and realize we got him off the junk heap and they don’t want to overpay for a bargain player. After saying that, I want JoMartinez on the team… but preferably off the field. I love watching his at-bats, the glove part… not so much.

    #80300
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    Bob Reed
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    First, thanks so much for the gracious words, Pugs! I’m twice as happy as I deserve to be, probably. Family and friends are in good health, and pitchers & catchers are less than a month away. It’s frozen outside but I’m warm and dry. So what else is there to wish for?

    “I guess that one could blame anything on Mabry because there is no way of telling.”

    It’s true that there is no way of telling, Ny. But it’s imcumbent on us to use our common sense.
    It is absolutely true that there can never be definitive cause-and-effect proof that any hitting coach ever helped or hindered any player. And for the longest time the tobacco companies claimed there was no cause-and-effect proof that cigarettes gave you cancer. But again, common sense.

    I cited seven anti-Mabry examples. I could go into granular specifics yet again about how at-bats were routinely given away on a nightly basis by the terrible overaggressive & counterproductive plate approach that was instilled in developing Cardinal hitters over the past 4-5 years by the Mabry-led MLB staff — but I’ve done that on multiple occasions before, so I won’t. Simply put, it’s just a real bad track record, and it’s a pretty lengthy one, at 6 1/2 years. If anyone wants to believe that it’s all a big coincidence, that’s their choice.

    I can think of only two hitters who looked better after Mabry got them (Gyorko) or worse after leaving (Heyward). With Mabry around, veteran batters went into unusually deep horrific slumps for many weeks (Moss, Peralta) or even months on end (Fowler) while younger Cards regularly failed to develop, and not infrequently literally got worse the longer Mabry was around them (Grichuk, Diaz, Piscotty). Hitters are supposed to be improving in their mid-twenties, not annually declining.

    But hey, young hitters fail all the time. Some succeed, some do not. So we should put Mabry’s record into an appropriate context. Under Mabry’s immediate predecessors, there were five Cardinal minor league hitters with a decent chance to contribute at the MLB level (Freese, Jay, Craig, Carpenter, Rasmus). All but one reached at least his projected 50th percentile outcome at the plate, and a couple were substantially better. On the other hand, under Mabry the majority of young Redbird batters had to be traded away due to poor performance.

    If anyone wants to defend Mabry, that’s obviously their prerogative. But I’ve said all I’m going to on the subject. So forgive me for bowing out of any future debate. At least within this thread.

    “Bob, I think everyone was thinking along these lines as the offseason began, including the FO. Apparently these AL teams in question don’t think as highly of JMart as we do so a deal hasn’t been consummated and there doesn’t appear to be one on the horizon either. I think the FO is being smart this time by not giving away a .300 hitter making the minimum. He should only be traded for an impact reliever, not a prospect we hope develops in a few years.”

    I think you’ve summarized things pretty perfectly, gscott. What I’ve found frustrating over the winter, is that we don’t have any inkling of what specific trade offers have been made and turned down for Jose. But I agree wholeheartedly that the Birds should NOT trade Martinez for prospects. Only current help, and only impact help, will do.

    “I think that some clubs look at Martinez and realize we got him off the junk heap and they don’t want to overpay for a bargain player. After saying that, I want JoMartinez on the team… but preferably off the field. I love watching his at-bats, the glove part… not so much.”

    Agreed 100%, Ny. MLB-wide perception has probably still not caught up with reality, when it comes to Jose’s outstanding hitting skills. I’d rather have an excellent cost-controlled reliever, but barring that, I’m happy to have an excellent bench bat and DH for interleague tilts.

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