TCN’s top Cardinals stories of 2020 countdown

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  • #150510
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    #150511
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    #150514
    Avatarbccran
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    Question. If small businesses can make it (during normal times) in places like State College and Johnson City, why can’t a “minor league” baseball team make it? Players don’t make much, and only play for roughly 10 weeks. State College is proceeding in the new college draft eligible league. Why can’t the Appy league go forward? Operate like independent leagues around the country.

    #150520
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    In case you missed it, both State College and Johnson City will be part of new college wood bat leagues, jammed into the space already occupied by other such leagues.

    I suggest you read the Springfield, Illinois case study. It will illustrate the huge gulf between “survive” and “thrive”.

    #150537
    Avatarbccran
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    My frame of reference is Peoria, where I’ve seen a number of games. A little different, though because it’s a full season team.

    I know the Spikes had joined a new league for college players. Wasn’t aware that Johnson City wasn’t folding. Glad to hear it. Thanks for the update.

    #150544
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Peoria is also very different because it still has its affiliated team. In the same Midwest League in which Peoria plays, Burlington, Clinton and Kane County all lost their MLB agreements, however.

    #150580
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    #150583
    Avatarbccran
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    Goldie, PDJ, and Carlson should be decent in 2021. Just need to add that OF bat, since there’s an offensive void at one corner infield spot.

    #150595
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I am willing to give the power a pass with the COVID outbreak. The stats plainly show that they had no legs by season’s end. Still, position by position, what can we realistically expect with this lineup offensively?

    C-Same if Yadi returns, maybe a slight bump if Knizner is the primary catcher

    1B-Goldy should be around the same, maybe slightly worse with age.

    2B-Edman likely will be a bump over Wong.

    SS-Dejong will be better if he gets any rest. He doesn’t need a ton, but Sosa should play around once a week, probably against LHP.

    3B-Carp is probably not going to improve, so this will be worse.

    LF-O’Neill will definitely improve, but the question is how much? I believe he’ll be a 110 OPS+ or better (.250/.320/.460)

    CF-A combo of Carlson and Bader is probably gonna produce about the same as 2020.

    RF-If primarily Fowler, it will be worse. If Fowler is benched, the position will improve with Carlson there. I have Dylan for about the same OPS as O’Neill, a .270/.350/.430 line.

    Seems the easy spot to improve would be 3B. You have little upside with Carp there. Adding a Kim or Davis or Turner would be an easy upgrade with the plus of denying Carp any chance of his option vesting. In the OF you probably need to go big with a Nimmo, Pederson type you can bet on getting a 120 OPS+ from to make it a real upgrade. In fact, the biggest upgrade there would be to bump Fowler to 4th OF to get his bat and glove less exposure out there.

    #150598
    Avatarbccran
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    Carlson isn’t going to share time with Bader. And to say that O’Neill’s line will be about the same as Carlson’s is quite a stretch for O’Neill. That 2020 line for him was brutal. Wish I shared your same optimism.

    #150600
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    FWIW, the only other COVID case study in 2021, the Miami Marlins, still improved their slugging compared to 2020 – by 9 points and 5 MLB ranking spots, passing the Cardinals in the process.

    #150601
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Carlson isn’t going to share time with Bader. And to say that O’Neill’s line will be about the same as Carlson’s is quite a stretch for O’Neill. That 2020 line for him was brutal. Wish I shared your same optimism.

    Ok then. The Cards will allow their Gold Glove caliber, lefty mashing CFer to ride the pine all season. Good logic.

    How about this? Carlson plays CF most of the time and slides to LF against lefties, allowing Bader to play CF. That’s a very simple and likely lineup split to account for my statement.

    Also. Carlson was worse in 2020 than O’Neill so it seems like you’re the one with the overcharged enthusiasm. I know, “BA top outfielder,” “intangibles,” blah, blah. O’Neill has already had a partial year with a better line than that. Hence why the optimism is at least as founded as Carlson’s (which is an optimistic take on my part as well, given his career).

    #150604
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    FWIW, the only other COVID case study in 2021, the Miami Marlins, still improved their slugging compared to 2020 – by 9 points and 5 MLB ranking spots, passing the Cardinals in the process.

    As best as I can tell, the Marlins played 57 games from August 4th to season’s end, which is 54 days. While impressive, it’s still not close to the Cards playing 53 games in 44 days.

    #150607
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Does the schedule difference entirely explain away a drop of 44 points for one team compared to an increase of nine for the other? It is clearly a judgment call, but whether or not one excuses it, it did happen. And in my view, it was a significant problem, just as it was in 2019, even with Ozuna and pre-COVID.

    But if slugging turns into a positive in 2021, I will certainly give credit where due. But until proven otherwise, it remains a major and ongoing exposure for the team.

    #150608
    Avatarbccran
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    Not at all, 25. I think Bader can be really good as a late inning defensive replacement and also as a pinch runner.

    #150610
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Does that entirely explain away a drop of 44 points for one team compared to an increase of nine for the other? It is clearly a judgement call, but whether or not one excuses it, it did happen. And in my view, it was significant.

    It could when one team tanked the year before and the other was in the NLCS.

    I absolutely agree that the offensive ineptitude was significant. One could also look at the last two weeks (where the Cards slugged .308 and had a 65 wRC+) and say the schedule wore them down. Their .740 OPS to that date would have been exactly league average, FWIW.

    #150611
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Not at all, 25. I think Bader can be really good as a late inning defensive replacement and also as a pinch runner.

    Those are useless skills to pay arbitration level salaries for. Either he’s at least a platoon CFer or you trade him. Personally, I’d give him a better chance to start in CF with Carlson in LF and Fowler in RF on opening day than your scenario.

    #150618
    Avatarbccran
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    My problem lies in Bader’s 2020 splits. Against RHP he was .185/.309/.333/.643.
    The majority of pitchers are right handed.
    So you’re saying you can live with those stats if he was to start most games in CF?

    #150620
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I never said he’d start most of the games. He would be in a platoon where he’d start against LHP and some, but not all of the righties. He would not be a defensive replacement/pinch runner, though.

    #150623
    Avatarbccran
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    So he doesn’t start 75% of the games?

    #150625
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    So he doesn’t start 75% of the games?

    Barring injury, unexpectedly good hitting (120 wRC+ or better) or other players totally tanking, why would he?

    #150631
    Avatarbccran
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    If Bader’s splits are that bad against right handers, then he probably shouldn’t start games against right handers. Here’s the problem, as exhibited in 2020 –

    Bader against right handers – .185/.309/.333/.642
    O’Neill against all – .173/.261/.360/.621
    Carpenter against all – .186/.325/.314/.639

    There in a nutshell is the problem. You simple can’t have all 3 of those guys in the lineup at the same time when there’s a right handed starter on the mound. So Bader needs to sit if O’Neill is in the lineup under those circumstances.

    The problem you’re going to face in 2021 is that with Fowler and Carlson in the lineup almost everyday as switch hitters, you only have one position to be shared between Bader, O’Neill, Thomas, Williams, and Dean. Not enough opportunity to get a really good look at any of them. Plus, the Cardinals are trying to find a proven bat like Pederson to feed into the equation.

    #150633
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    Carlson against all in 2020: .200/.252/.364/.616

    #150680
    Avatarbccran
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    25, for credibility purposes, you really need to stop using Carlson’s 2020 stats.
    The 21 year old was in all of 18 AAA games in 2019. Then was brought up from Springfield camp in 2020 to try to help with the pathetic offense. It’s like using Sosa’s “career” MLB stats to prove a point, when he’s had 13 major league plate appearances. You’re extremely knowledgable and an excellent poster. But those things don’t represent you.

    #150681
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    How about this, then… we’ll drop all the 2020 stats for everyone? I’m happy to be consistent in saying that we can’t make any sweeping statements about a 140+ game 2021 based off a stop and go, compressed schedule 2020.

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