The Front Office's place in all of this chaos.

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  • #96070
    Avatargscottar
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    Q&A from Mark Saxon:

    How good are the Cardinals staff at using analytics to diagnose what’s going wrong with a player and helping them eliminate their weaknesses and improve their strengths (the type of player development discussed in books like the MVP Machine)?

    Yeah, that’s an interesting question, considering for years the Cardinals had a reputation for taking second-tier prospects and turning them into first-tier major leaguers. The first thing you have to ask is whether there is some deficiency in the Cardinals’ major league scouting that has led them to make such poor decisions on many of the players you named. The second question is what kind of support they’re getting once they arrive on the Cardinals, which I think is what you’re getting at.

    Compared to the last team I covered, the Dodgers, this Cardinals group is run much more traditionally. The analytics group is smaller than many others in the game. The Brewers have a reputation for having some of the brightest analytics people around, so maybe the Cardinals could poach some ideas from them? They seem to do well signing desperate free agents late in the process and somehow putting a pitching staff together from a bunch of spare parts. I would say this: If the Cardinals ever were leaders in analytics, they aren’t now.

    #96135
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    The short version of the answer is that no one knows. This is an area of the team that the media has limited to no visibility.

    I will add that the Cardinals analytics team gets its direction from GM Girsch and my belief it that this is at least one area in which he casts his own shadow. Worth filing away for later.

    #96167
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    I am deeply sorry for this comment but every time I see a clip of Yelich…. .

    #96334
    BlackHillsCardBlackHillsCard
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    Giovanny Gallegos has been really really good out of the bullpen and Cabrera is seen as a really good bullpen arm.

    #96343
    Avatargscottar
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    I get what you are saying BHC but I just can’t argue much with those trades. At the time it was the right move. If you polled 1000 fans and baseball executives this time last year and said “who would you rather have as your starting 1B, Paul Goldschmidt or Luke Voit? I bet 99.99999% would say Goldy.

    As for Pham, he had one good year here. The rest of his tenure was spent hurt and/or running his mouth.

    #96427
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    As for Pham, he had one good year here. The rest of his tenure was spent hurt and/or running his mouth.

    Pham had one full season with the Cardinals, and he went for a 6.1 WAR. For reference, Paul Goldschmidt has done that once in his entire career. Those aren’t the kind of players you trade away in the middle of a slump to make room for the Baders and Fowlers of the world especially when your front office makes a habit of slinging long-term, multi-million dollar contracts at players who habitually pull in less than half that WAR.

    #96428
    AvatarOnyxgem
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    Not only that but they GAVE Pham away for next to NOTHING!

    #96429
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Last season with St. Louis up to the trade, Pham had a 100 OPS+, meaning he was the exact average MLB hitter. No worse, no better. Again, this “slump” ran for four full months. Among the Cards’ regulars and pseudo-regulars, only Wong and Fowler were worse last season.

    A change of scenery appears to have been what Pham needed to get going again. Good for him. It was probably best for all parties.

    #96431
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    As though it was the uniform change that got him hitting just like he’d hit the year before in a Cardinal uniform. Some people are fantastic at carrying water.

    #96432
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Some people are rude to other posters.

    #96433
    Avatar1982 willie
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    I haven’t been able to watch many games of late but I have kept tabs on scores and such. the problem I see with the front office and manager is the same problem in ways I see with a lot of fans on this board. fans keep wanting them to put this guy in and that guy in. I don’t like that approach. but schildt has apparently started listening to fans cause that is what he seems to be doing. to me you stick with your lineup, giving guys a day off here and there. if a bench guy comes in and just lights it up, the you find a place for him til he proves hes really better as a bench guy which is what mostly happens or he proves he should be in there every day. so far nobody I have seen coming off the bench has showed me they deserve to take a spot over the regular starters. edman has been solid but not enough sample size to say he should be an every day player. munoz and Martinez can hit but both are horrible in the field. munoz looks better in the field of the two but he still makes a lot of goofs. this team as a whole has underperformed offensively but its pretty much the whole team. when carp isn’t hitting, we don’t have any kind of a leadoff hitter. goldshmidt has been a bust so far. you would think the cardinals would quit throwing out this money to players before they prove they are worthy. they could have waited with him. what he did in Arizona was the past, he hadn’t done anything for the cards at that time other than to generate some buzz. funny thing is that as bad as the cards have been, they are still in it. all the central teams have been a disappointment outside of maybe the pirates. they are better than I thought they would be but only slightly.

    #96434
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    I think it’s fair to say performance was not the main catalyst for the Pham trade. In the four months leading up to the trade, Pham had one excellent month, one bad month, and two mediocre months. That wouldn’t justify a trade considering the kind of 2017 he had. Sometimes intangible factors are the drivers.

    Still, you need to get a fair return. As they say, give me a few years and I’ll tell you how they did. At this point though, it looks like the Cards might not end up getting an equitable return.

    #96436
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    Some people are rude to other posters.

    When I put on new clothes tomorrow, perhaps everything will change!

    #96439
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Euro, I have discussed the Pham trade with a number of folks in and around the organization, then and since, trying to understand the motives. I did not get a consensus of opinion.

    FWIW, personally, I do not think on-field performance was the only or even necessarily the prevailing issue behind the trade, nor did I suggest that, either here or in the other 50 discussions about the Pham trade we’ve had here over the last 11 months. Tonight, I was simply adding facts about his numbers that I felt were being glossed over in this most recent questioning of the trade.

    I do know that Pham is a very emotional person and some things had not gone right in 2018. I also know that anger about being disrespected (or his perception of having been disrespected) is a major driver for him, and as such, it stands to reason that being traded would increase the fire in his belly – and perhaps his results on the field.

    There were many factors that may have added up into making the trade, but I don’t know how they were weighted for sure, and I would bet my meager life savings that the posters here do not, either. What I can assure you of is that concern about his ongoing performance was mentioned in these conversations – and worry that it might be the best/last chance to trade him.

    I don’t expect or care that some people think they have it all figured out. In fact, like a number of other polarizing topics, there are many posters on both sides of the Pham trade who feel quite strongly about their point of view. That is to be expected.

    What I regret that name-calling and sarcasm is becoming a poor substitute for adult discussion and disagreement for some. Being upset about the team and its management is translating into being disrespectful to each other. Some are angry and others are angry about those who are angry. Some are leaving or have left because they don’t like the climate here anymore, and that is really too bad. Others still read, but no longer comment. I will not let this board degenerate to the lowest common denominator.

    #96452
    AvatarCardinal in France
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    While I enjoy a little amusing sarcasm now and again, name calling is certainly unacceptable and I appreciate the effort to keep us all civil. Thank you Brian.

    #96466
    AvatarPugsleyAddams
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    Here here CIF!( That’s “CardinalInFrance” to the layman). But, if I may, I think allowances should be made for the long tenured poster in good stead, who flys off the handle that one time. Just one allowance per poster per decade is all I am lobbying for. I would hate to see the likes say of a Euro or Carioca get the royal boot for just that one ill advised profanity riddled post. I regretfully admit that I had just that sort of post right here at The Cardinal Nation about a half a score ago ( that’s 10 years to the layman). Trust me when I say that it wasn’t pretty…..Brian or BicycleMike can attest to the fact that it would have made the sailors aboard the USS Indianapolis cringe. To this day I can thank my lucky stars that only a 2 week suspension was levied and not a lifetime banishment. Go Birds!

    #96497
    AvatarCardinal in France
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    OK. I think one unflattering epithet per decade (perhaps even every five years) can be overlooked, especially if the culprit has been a particularly amusing and insightful poster in the preceding years.
    Odd you should mention the Indianapolis. The latest book on the subject is just out in paperback and mine arrived in the mail from Amazon today.
    Rah Cards.

    #96498
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Just a tie on to the Pham deal – as most probably know I would not have done that deal, but then understand why management did it, at least to some degree.

    Pham having an OPS+ at 100 when the trade went down was one of the reasons not to trade him, much moreso than to deal him away. He is a better player than that, so you do not want to make deals when you are selling low.

    I felt the organization did not truly see his abilities, which is one of Pham’s gripes. But some of that was due to him being injured a lot as a minor leaguer. Then when he got outspoken about his treatment, it tipped the scales.

    Just one of those examples where anytime you make a deal that is largely due to off-field situations, you carry a higher risk making a bad trade than one purely on-field related.

    #96516
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    I did not get a consensus of opinion.

    Brian, that does not surprise me. I think I recall Mo saying the execs took a vote on something (trade, arb, contract ext, or whatever) regarding Pham and that his vote was not like some of the other votes. This was for something prior to the eventual trade, maybe during the off-season. I think I’m remembering that somewhat correctly. Clearly there were mixed feelings. Most big decisions are multi-faceted, with the Pham trade perhaps more so than most. And you make some other good points in your post.

    #96521
    Euro DandyEuro Dandy
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    I regretfully admit that I had just that sort of post right here at The Cardinal Nation about a half a score ago ( that’s 10 years to the layman). Trust me when I say that it wasn’t pretty…..Brian or BicycleMike can attest to the fact that it would have made the sailors aboard the USS Indianapolis cringe.

    Haha. Pugs, I’ve heard mention of this more than once now. It must have been a real piece of literary genius. Inquiring minds want to see it, not to rekindle any bad feelings, but just for a laugh. Certainly it must have been archived. Somebody needs to post a quote of it, or should I say transcript or manuscript?

    Also, I see you’re creatively injecting the word “score” into the conversation, undoubtedly hoping it will reach the team as a subtle hint to score more. Plus, it sounds good. If Honest Abe had used the line “Eight decades and seven years ago…” it would not sound nearly as stately and historic, would it?

    #96524
    Avataratripleshyofthecycle
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    Pugs, you referring to the time you said you dreamed of one day seeing Cox batting second for the Cardinals, but in far better prose than that?

    #96541
    AvatarPugsleyAddams
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    Funny Gentlemen! Yeah, I was under the influence of a fair dose of the Wild Turkey when I scripted that naughty post. You know how it is when you’ve drank too much and then awoke the next morning shaking your head at the thought of what you did or may have done the previous night? Well, in this instance that didn’t happen to me. When I awoke, I faintly remembered posting. So fearing the worst, I quickly scrambled over to my computer. As I was reading my very long rant filled post one thought totally enveloped me……that being that even though the language was peppered with filthy words, it was also a post of downright genius. One might say it clarified not only the game of baseball in it’s purist sense, but also lended insight into the true personalities of a wide array of our fellow posters here at The Cardinal Nation. I know what you’re thinking right about now…..indeed, writing such a masterpiece is wayyy over my head. But let us not forget….it was the Wild Turkey writing those words and not me.

    #96581
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Pug’s post from way back when was rated NC-17, and won’t be repeated here. He insisted it was an accident that he put the words in the format he did, so he got a slap on the wrist and that was about it.

    But the post does live on in infamy.

    #96583
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    You can point to any one number of acquisitions that have soured and soured badly. Its the trend of poor “welcome aboard” players that have left this team with a now less than mediocre team. The money spent was sometimes just flat out imprudent. “Oh Fowler is playing better this year, Goldschmidt is still hitting okay, Ozuna is driving in runs, Miller is getting better…. on and on… . Add onto that the number of aging relief pitchers that were brought in only to fail, Carpenter batting way below what is expected of him after his extension. “Oh, he’ll come around in the second half. Oh yeah? And if not?
    The FO made us wait the whole ’18 season for Fowler to come around… how did that work out?

    What acquisition can you point to that has really helped this team? Shildt?

    Its a downward trend that has the team looking for someone to be the guy. No one home.

    When we hire a new GM he will be left with not just the Cardinals to turnaround but also a farm system that is almost beyond repair in the near future. Check out where most of our affiliates stand in their leagues. Last or close to it. I don’t want to hear some folks saying how well stocked the farm system is. If it was, it isn’t anymore.

    If you want to know where to point for who/what is responsible… a hint: it starts with Mo.

    #96684
    Avatar14NyquisT
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    Mike Shildt needs to bench Ozzie Smith
    Tony La Russa made a contentious lineup move the moment he arrived. Mike Shildt needs to do the same.
    By Ben Godar@bengodar Jul 3, 2019, 11:00am EDT

    Compare that to the Cardinals of today, who seem devoted to showing deference to most any player with 5+ years of service time in St. Louis. Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Michael Wacha… all of these players seem to have earned a permanent place in the starting lineup based on who they were in 2013. Even newcomers like Dexter Fowler and Paul Goldschmidt, by dint of being veterans, retain their spots in the lineup and batting order well past the time common sense would suggest dropping them.

    This team is floundering. It has been floundering for two months. It has been floundering for four years. Now is not the time to show deference to the veterans that have been there through that slide. Now is the time for bold moves.


    I copied this here because I think it has some merit as to why the Cards became a stale team. However this piece shouldn’t be directed to Shildt. He is getting orders to play the high priced guys, and he doesn’t have the guts to make a move without approval. He is a guy that the FO can manipulate.

    If you want to use the words “stuck with”…. Fowler (bad, bad, contract) – Molina, Carpenter and maybe Goldschmidt (bad, bad extensions). Wainwright gets starts because he is a fan favorite and Wacha – they’re still playing him to pitch, and pitch he will.

    Its time for a couple of changes… DeWitt needs to make one. This team is as stale as 10 day old apple “turnovers” and 5 of the 6 above should not be on the ’20 roster.

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