Why play Fowler

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This topic contains 79 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by Brian Walton Brian Walton 4 days, 17 hours ago.

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  • #102079
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    JPFisher55
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    Why do the Cardinals keep playing Fowler? Why not play both Lane Thomas and the new guy Randy A? Flower has demonstrated that he is an average fielding, .250 outfielder with some power. Big deal. Let’s see what the young prospects can do.

    #102083
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    GameCard
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    Because they trying to win the Central Division.

    #102152
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    gscottar
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    I can give you 16.5 million reasons per year why.

    #102157
    Brian Walton
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    Fowler last 10 days: .308/.387/.538/.926

    #102168
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    14NyquisT
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    ‘Cause Mo says so.

    #102169
    stlcard25
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    Fowler has been better this year than last, for sure. He’s still basically average with the bat and not great with the glove. That said, the real mistake has been playing Jose Martinez. He’s been a below average hitter and astronomically bad fielder. That’s why we have had things like Edman and Munoz playing outfield. It’s been a disappointing year all around for the OF, but all is not yet lost. I’d like to see a rotation of Ozuna-Thomas-Arozarena-Fowler for the rest of the year with Jmart a strict pinch hitter (if he comes back) and Bader a late inning defensive replacement in September.

    #102197
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    gscottar
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    I think you are correct stl. Dexter has been better than last year although the bar was extremely low but he is still just an average player so he shouldn’t block the youngsters from playing if they are hot and producing. This talk of a Dexter “renaissance” is a bit much for me.

    And I agree that giving JMart excessive playing time has made no sense. His ONLY value to this team on the field is his bat so if that isn’t going well he should be restricted to pinch hitting.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #102203
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    PadsFS
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    I love that this:

    Fowler last 10 days: .308/.387/.538/.926

    Was directly followed by this:

    ‘Cause Mo says so.

    I guess I’m glad Mozeliak is making decisions then…

    #102209
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    gscottar
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    Does anyone really believe that Fowler would be playing everyday if we was making $1.6M instead of $16.5M? If you believe that then I am concerned for you.

    Same goes for Carp.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #102216
    Brian Walton
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    As is usually the case, reality is somewhere in between the all or nothing opinions expressed by some.

    It is completely unrealistic to think that Fowler would still be playing had he performed like last season – but he isn’t.

    At this point, he is one of just four Cardinals with an OPS+ of 100 (league average) or better. If he hadn’t had the 2018 he did, folks would not be all over him still.

    Ozuna 117 OPS+
    Goldy 108 OPS+
    DeJong 104 OPS+
    Fowler 100 OPS+

    Here are the other Cardinals with a lower OPS+ this season than Fowler: Molina, Wong, Carpenter, Bader, Martinez, Edman, Wieters, Munoz, O’Neill…

    Personally, I’d love to see more of Thomas and Arozarena, too, but the main problem, IMO, was putting Edman and Munoz in the outfield, not playing Fowler. They had a golden opportunity to get a good look at Thomas and did not do it.

    This is not a rebuilding team. They are still trying to win the division and there is risk in playing rookies (unless his name is Edman).

    #102249
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    1964cards
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    Brian, I cannot argue with the OPS+ rationale. Almost every regular is hitting below their career batting averages. Fowler is hitting 15 points or so below his career average. However, he is actually performing near career SLG, OPS and OPS+ numbers this season. He also brings veteran and pennant race experience the youngsters do not have.

    Having said this …. Thomas and Arozarena should get a shot to play over Edman and Muñoz. They both have more outfield experience and potentially stronger offensive capabilities. The situation gets muddier once O’Neil returns as I believe he needs more playing time.

    We can probably all agree Dexter has not performed as expected over the course of his contract. We can probably argue how much gas is left in the tank heading into his age 34 season next spring. Especially given all the outfielders the Cards have on their 40 Man Roster. The outfield is very crowded heading into the offseason regardless of how the team performs down the stretch.

    #102250
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    1982 willie
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    fowler has had a decent year by his standards. im still not a fan but that’s the facts. the cardinals way overpaid for him in my opinion but that’s that. hes also a veteran player and coaches lean on those guys in a playoff push. im sure the money they are paying him is one factor though.

    #102252
    EuroWolf
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    Having said this …. Thomas and Arozarena should get a shot to play over Edman and Muñoz.

    Except for a few injuries or a crazy extra inning game, I really doubt we’ll see Muñoz in the OF again, especially with September being so close. There’s no reason to now, even if they thought there was a reason before. Otherwise, they’re not serious about winning.

    #102263
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    SoonerinNC
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    The attraction for rookies playing is universal. We are always looking for a new guy to be better than the player in place.

    I was not a fan of the Fowler signing. He was not a good defensive player in that chummy Wrigley outfield and it seems to me that a lot of fly balls drop in front of him.

    He has at times this year been productive at the plate. Works walks well, occasional power and even a few key hits. A rookie may look better with a short stint but rookies are often overexposed just as our young pitchers cratered in the final 6 games last year after contributing to our hot August run.

    Edman is an interesting case. He goes well for a spell and then drops off, then gets it going again and another drop off. Looks like he is adjusting to the adjustments against him. Some players never adjust and it is back to AAAA.

    I like Munoz. He is a junkyard dog. Always tougher late in the game. Appears to me that he is a better outfielder than infielder. But has been better on the infield this year. Curious how he will end up.

    He gave the Memphis team fits when he was at Nashville.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Avatar SoonerinNC.
    #102299
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    forsch31
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    I have always loved the argument that he plays because of how much he is payed. The ones who say that seem to ignore the fact that a player is payed that much because of how he should perform. Fowler may be overpaid but he still has a decent bat. There is no guarantee that the rookies or other young players will perform as well.

    That said, I still would like Fowler traded. I am ready to give the younger players the playing time to see what we really do have with them.

    #102361
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    CardsFanInChiTown
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    Carpenter is a much bigger issue than Fowler right now. Carp sadly makes Edman look like the NL MVP….

    #102386
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    SoonerinNC
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    We clearly have one of the best infields in the game with Edman, Dejong, Wong and Goldschmidt. I do feel that Carp is playing better defense than he did in his previous stints at 3b.

    I am more concerned with Carps offense. He is striking out way too much. He still gets a key hit now and then but not nearly enough.

    I feel that Carp has always been an overachiever, the kind of player that usually fades away in their late 20’s and early 30’s.

    #102389
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    gscottar
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    I have always loved the argument that he plays because of how much he is payed. The ones who say that seem to ignore the fact that a player is payed that much because of how he should perform.

    The key word there is should.

    Baseball executives are business people. Business people make investments and expect to get a return on those investments. When they don’t they get upset. Fowler was a huge investment therefore the Cardinals are determined to wring every bit of production they can get out of him.

    Would Thomas, Arozarena, or O’Neill put up better offensive and defensive numbers than Fowler if they played everyday. I think they would but I can’t say with 100% certainty and I don’t think we will find out because of the salaries involved. To think that salary is not an issue seems to be naive to me.

    #102394
    Brian Walton
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    Like I said before, “an” issue is different from “THE” issue. There are many factors, of which salary is one. The argument that will never be solved is how heavily it is weighted in playing time decisions. Some suggest very high. Others don’t.

    All outfield problems are not due to Fowler. Take O’Neill, one of the players you cited. He was given a golden chance to start in left field every day for more than a month when Ozuna was out, but managed to get hurt again. Nothing to do with Dexter or his salary.

    #102398
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    14NyquisT
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    PADS… Fowler = (5-36 .156) 10 days prior to the 10 game streak you pointed out in

    LARGE LETTERS

    . He’s not Lou Brock as you dream of him to be. I want to see him improve in the next month and a half and when he reaches the point of playing equal to what he’s paid then post his incredible numbers. Its only because he had a mind-blowing 2018 that people seem to think he’s much better now. He’s a marginal MLBer.

    #102399
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    14NyquisT
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    With Arozarena being added to the list of the young outfielders at our disposal and Carlson now one step away from St. Louis I hope to see a 100% turnover in the opening day starting outfielders in 2020. Ozuna will see the signs and move on. Let’s hope the FO can see the same signs.

    #102400
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    forsch31
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    gscott, you have very clearly stated that he is starting because of what he is paid. You haven’t used his statistics or any other argument on this thread. My point is that the Cardinals paid him a large salary because of the expectation that he CAN perform.

    Even if he doesn’t, it is expected that he will still be able to put up productive numbers. They didn’t just give Fowler the contract because they like the guy. They felt he could produce for the team. There is still a belief that he could put up the numbers that were expected from him. If they no longer expected him to be able to put up productive numbers, he would not be playing. The team is not going to continue to put someone on the field that has no hope of producing.

    For an example of how O’Neill could perform compared to Fowler, let’s look at June 29 through July 31. During that time, Fowler started 23 games and played in 25 games total. O’Neill also started 23 games and played in 25 games. Here are their stats:

    Fowler – .256/.323/.477/.800 with a BABip of .316 and 4 HRs
    O’Neill – .286/.330/.451/.780 with a BABip of .373 and 4 HRs

    So O’Neill had a little higher average but his BABip suggests that he was performing towards the top end of his production over that period. Fowler would have to get 4 hits in his next 5 ABs to match O’Neill’s batting average. However, Fowler’s career BABip is .328 so he was performing close to his average. He could be better or he could be worse.

    If you want to say Arozarena could do better, here is the stat lines from his first tastes of AA and AAA:

    AA – .252/.366/.380/.746 in 195 PAs
    AAA – .232/.328/.348/.676 in 311 PAs

    Do you want to attempt to win the division relying on him being able to jump right into the majors?

    Even Thomas’ history leaves some room for doubt about what he can do. Fowler, however, has hit to an .840 OPS in March/April and an .806 in July. He is at .761 for the year. He also has had an OPS+ over 100 for every one of the last 9 years except for last year. THAT is why the Cardinals play him.

    #102402
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    14NyquisT
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    The team is not going to continue to put someone on the field that has no hope of producing.

    Forschy are you a new Cards fan because you may have missed last season. Brutally agonizing.

    #102403
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    forsch31
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    Hardly. Been following the team since the lean Busch ownership years.

    The key words here are “no hope”. Obviously, Fowler has hit better this year, therefore, there was hope that he would hit better last year, as well. Just because he didn’t doesn’t mean he couldn’t.

    #102404
    Brian Walton
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    14NyquisT said:

    Ozuna will see the signs and move on. Let’s hope the FO can see the same signs.

    The front office may see the signs of the young players coming, but the signs Ozuna will be seeing are huge dollar signs as one of the top hitters on the market this winter. I am guessing they will make a qualifying offer and he will turn it down.

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