March 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm #125461
Players on every successful team say a big part of the success was the veteran leadership. I can give you 5 or 6 things that a good veteran player leader can do to be helpful to the younger players. Aside and away from the manager and the coaches. John Jay was a great mentor to younger players. Fowler is at the opposite end of the spectrum.March 27, 2020 at 9:15 pm #125462Nathan Leopold Jr.ParticipantFree
A question for anyone:
If the season is cancelled will we be rid of Fowler after 2021?March 27, 2020 at 9:40 pm #125463
Do the 2020 Cardinals have less veteran leadership than 2019? I am honestly struggling to understand your concern.March 27, 2020 at 11:16 pm #125464
I’m not talking about the team as a whole. I’m talking about the outfield only. We all know there are cliques on a ball club. And sometimes it’s positional. Younger outfielders looked up to Beltran, Holliday, Jay, etc.March 28, 2020 at 6:04 am #125466
Matt Holliday was a veteran. Was his ‘veteraness’ needed in the OF? Of course he did have Lance Berkman and John Jay to lean on…..lol. I am not too sure if a veteran is a needed thing in the OF. It does not hurt but the talent of the person is what makes a difference. Many many OFers in MLB are out there not because of the glove but because of the bat.March 28, 2020 at 6:18 am #125467jj-cf-stlParticipant
ms, Fowlers contract expires after 2021. I’m not expecting him to return as a Cardinal beyond that. Not seeing how you’re linking a possible canceled 2020 season, and his 2021-2022 FA winter.March 28, 2020 at 7:09 am #125471
I am trying figure out the origin of this perceived need for veteran OF leadership. My guess is the earlier comments about Bader being cocky may be part of it. Then there is this theme of general mistrust of the young players like O’Neill and Thomas (but not Arozarena).
IMO, the Cardinals outfield defense should be better this year without Ozuna. Making up the lost offense will be a challenge, but I don’t see how having an older outfielder around will help the young hitters hit and the young defenders field and throw better. I hear that Carlos Beltran is available, though… 😉March 28, 2020 at 7:36 am #125474jj-cf-stlParticipant
Put “Edman in CF, Carlson in RF and Ravelo or Miller in LF” and that same poster will drop the “veteran leadership” concerns, because those are his guys.March 28, 2020 at 7:45 am #125479
Veteran outfielders who know the game can give younger outfielders confidence and mentoring in a number of ways. Positioning, when to wave off, conditioning, dealing with fans, dealing with the media, conduct on the road, etc.
Would you rather have Jim Edmonds anchoring in centerfield or either Bader or Thomas? Would you rather have Holliday in LF or O’Neill? Holliday was the consummate pro.
Great example for the younger players. First one to the ballpark and last one to leave. Always available for advice. Silently great in the community with no fanfare. Look what kind of veteran leadership Goldy provided for the infield last year. A veteran calming effect. MO gave him credit for that.March 28, 2020 at 7:49 am #125482
jj – yes, those are my guys for lack of a calming, productive, consistent veteran. Which I have consistently recommended. Which MO hasn’t gotten. Yet.March 28, 2020 at 7:58 am #125487
Well, if nothing else, this thread takes our minds off talking about the virus. I never thought the OF thread would generate more than a passing interest. I think it was BW that mentioned Willie McGee a few posts back and Willie is truly a gem on working with the OFers before, during and after the game. He kept Jose Martinez in the right spot and while some say Jose was “severely deficient” I think that was a load of dung compared to what he offered on offense. But the little pocket cards and dugout coaches seem to be doing a pretty fair job. I just can’t grasp what the presence of a guy standing 100 feet away from you would have on your game unless he was covering for you too. Bader did this for Jose and he wasn’t a veteran. Fowler does his OF duties but I haven’t seen him covering for much of anybody and he is the veteran. Oh well, nice discussion to make the time go by until we hear those magic words: PLAY BALL.March 28, 2020 at 8:12 am #125492
We all know that Bader had an awful year offensively in 2019 (although he proudly stated recently that he “was clearly the Cardinals starting centerfield in 2020”. We also know that O’Neil has had a problem staying healthy with his muscle bound physique. But O’Neill worked on flexibility in the off season and Bader worked on increasing his contact rate. So how were the batting averages overall this shortened Spring for our outfielders overall compared to the whole team?
DeJong – .464
Wong – .333
Carlson – .313
Gorman – .308
Goldschmidt – .300
Thomas – .250
Baker – .250
Dean – .250
Edman – .237
Ravelo – .237
Carpenter – .235
Sosa – .231
Bader – .229
Schrock – .219
Molina – .212
Fowler – .097
And who were the Spring overall team leaders in strike outs?
Bader – 15
O’Neill – 14
Fowler – 12March 28, 2020 at 8:47 am #125502
MM – how many years did you play baseball? Through HS? Through college? Pro? At all levels, the workouts are by group. Infielders as a group. Outfielders as a group. Starting pitchers as a group. Relief pitchers as a group. That’s both during ST and during the regular season. So it’s not just what happens on game day. The infielders take infield together and do batting practice together. The outfielders take batting practice together and do outfield drills together. Do you make the argument that a starting pitcher is on the mound by himself so what difference does it make if you don’t have any veteran leadership in the rotation? Look at the Cardinals bench sometime during a game. You’ll see all the starting pitchers in a row at the railing at the top of the steps. The leader of that group is clearly Waino. It’s one of the reasons he was resigned. To provide leadership. Even though there’s a pitching coach. It’s why the Cardinals need veteran leadership in the outfield. Even though they have McGee.March 28, 2020 at 9:10 am #125510stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
So how were the batting averages overall this shortened Spring for our outfielders overall compared to the whole team?
Spring Training stats are about as useful a comparison tool for major league talent as watching pro golfers on the driving range to predict tournament results. Guys are always working on something and certainly are far more willing to try totally new things when the stakes are low. It’s only a part of the decision making process for teams as they decide who to go with to start the season.March 28, 2020 at 9:26 am #125513
Granted all that, 25. But it means something. At least more than nothing? Maybe Fowler’s 3 for 31 doesn’t bother you? At least a little?March 28, 2020 at 9:36 am #125514stlcard25ParticipantPaid - Annual
Granted all that, 25. But it means something. At least more than nothing? Maybe Fowler’s 3 for 31 doesn’t bother you? At least a little?
Unless we know all of what’s going through the guy’s mind and what the team has been telling him, then it means barely more than nothing.
Fowler’s struggles are at least a little concerning because he’s been in a funk for a couple of years now. Still, it’s hard to gauge what it is he was working on or how the team approached this ST with him. He could have been too lax, or maybe he’s pressing. For most players I like to weight out the past few seasons to know what to expect for this year. For Fowler at his age (and Carpenter, Goldy, etc) that gets a little tougher.March 28, 2020 at 9:59 am #125518
bccran-You and I will never agree so grind your ax as long as you like. You seem to want to color me as stupid but I did play catcher on a conference winning college team. If you need to drop some insults to make your points I can do without them. In my experiences, veterans (upperclassmen in college) helped all the players by addressing their weak points on fielding or batting. Yes, there were group exercises and I on many occasions saw a younger player help an older one with just one or two suggestions. As an example Bader could do that for all of them by teaching them how to be in a throwing position on nearly every ball coming at them. OF assists are valuable and he seems to be pretty good at it. Nuff said for now.March 28, 2020 at 10:10 am #125519
Remember the year Shane Robinson won the MLB spring training batting crown, batting .438? Pete Kozma hit .359 that same spring (2013). Kozma later topped that, hitting .408 in spring 2015.
Concern about Fowler’s poor spring numbers is understandable, but patience should be considered, too. His 2019 was not bad. His 2018 was. Which is closer to his career norm? Like it or not, he will likely be given some period of time into the regular season before his starting job would be taken away. Just being realistic about it…
My broad point is that analyzing stats during small periods of time is not a good way to make player assessments. That is doubly so for spring training, when the games do not count.March 28, 2020 at 10:55 am #125522
MM – my apologies. No excuse for being insulting. I respect highly your experience. You know how important leadership can be among catchers, starting pitchers, bullpen, infielders and outfielders. Can Bader provide some leadership on the defense side of the ledger for outfielders? Yes. But who is providing leadership among the outfielders on the offense side of the ledger? For instance, BW says that Fowler’s
2019 was “not bad”. I would ask by what standards for a right fielder? –
PAs – 574
BA – .238
OBP – .346
Slg. – .409
OPS – .754
HR – 19
RBI – 67
Ks – 142 (24.7%)
Stolen bases – 8
Caught stealing – 5
If that’s labeled “not bad” for a right fielder (corner outfielder) on a final 4 team, the bar is set pretty low.March 28, 2020 at 11:20 am #125524
I have never been a Fowler fan but, like in politics, I guess you have to take some bad with the good. In Fowlers case, it is both with one person. As I curse him coming to bat he hits a home run and my wife asks what’s not to like about him…… almost lol.March 28, 2020 at 11:37 am #125526
Fowler’s fWAR as a right fielder last season was 1.5. That means he was one and half wins (corrected) above a replacement player and takes into account offense and defense.
Among NL right fielders with at least 300 plate appearances last season, Fowler ranked 12th of 21 in fWAR.
The year before, Fowler was 44th of 44 MLB right fielders in fWAR.
Among Cardinals with at least 300 PAs last season, Fowler was 7th of 10 in fWAR. Those below him are Carpenter, Molina and Jose Martinez. Like Fowler, two of the three will be starting again in 2020. The other was traded away.
So, yes, Fowler’s 2018 was bad, really bad. His 2019 was not bad, but was not great, either.March 28, 2020 at 11:46 am #125527
Here’s how the Cardinals ranked in 2019 (WAR) in MLB by position –
C – #8
1B – #2
2B – #10
SS – #11
3B – #11
LF – #5
CF – #15
RF – #19
Here’s how the players showed up in the 3 outfield positions –
Ozuna – 3.2 WAR
O’Neill – 0.1 WAR
Bader – 2.3 WAR
Fowler – 0.3 WAR
Thomas – 0.0 WAR
Fowler – 0.4 WAR
Martinez – 1.4 WAR
O’Neill = 0.2 WARMarch 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm #125530
Here’s where Fowler ranked last year among all those who played in RF – both qualified and non qualified –
BA = #36
OBP – #16
SLG – #30
OPS – #25
WAR – #19March 28, 2020 at 12:49 pm #125531Nathan Leopold Jr.ParticipantFree
I don’t know much about how the contracts work, largely because I don’t care but I didn’t know if the 2020 season was cancelled if maybe everything was just advanced a year. Thanks for the information. Knowing I’d only have to look at Fowler one more year is a silver lining to all this business.March 28, 2020 at 1:14 pm #125534gscottarParticipantPaid - Annual
I don’t know much about how the contracts work, largely because I don’t care but I didn’t know if the 2020 season was cancelled if maybe everything was just advanced a year. Thanks for the information. Knowing I’d only have to look at Fowler one more year is a silver lining to all this business.
On the Covid 19 thread it is posted that the agreement between MLB and MLBPA states that players will be granted service time for 2020 even if the season is cancelled, therefore, Fowler’s last year under contract is still 2021.
Actually one of the benefits of a cancelled season for the Cardinals would be one less season of Fowler, Carp, and Cecil and they would only be paid a sliver of their normal payout. Not that I am wanting a cancelled season though.
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