Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Cardinals chat with Derrick Goold

Bring your Cardinals questions and comments, and talk to Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold in a live chat at 1 p.m. Monday.


    Salutations.Welcome everyone to the weekly Cardinals chat to be named later. Happy to back from a break -- and thrilled that readers got a week of Rick Hummel coverage from the road as the Cardinals went 4-2 on their two-city trip. They're back at Busch tonight. I'm back on the keyboard this afternoon. We'll take this chat as close to first pitch as you want to go. I will have to step aside for a couple of interviews and a brief appearance on MLB Network. But we could go for awhile, if you have questions or comments or just want to let this become a conversation.
     
    A special thanks to everyone here because everyone here is a subscriber. Subscribers mean the world to the newspaper, and it is my goal to return the investment you make in our product with content worth that investment -- and hopefully more. Local journalism is important. And it's up to us to provide the quality beyond what you expect to earn your time, your attention, your curiosity, your interest, and, of course, your subscription.
     
    This is the first of a week of exclusive subscriber chats. So, let's get going early, and let's make the chat hum. Onward ... 
    Any hope for Cole on this team next year?
    Yes. The Scherzer Lesson should echo into this winter.
    Is the central division in the national league just bad? Or are the teams just that close to each other?
    Can it be a mix of both? There are three, four teams that are close to each other -- and each has significant flaws. The Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals -- to me -- stand above the group, but the Reds on pesky, the Reds are feisty, and the Reds have received better pitching and worse offense than expected, but they've still been a burr in the division race. Josh Bell kept the Pirates afloat for the first half of the season, but they always seemed weaker than the rest. Less depth. Less to really power a division champ. So, what you have is a team that can play spoiler (Reds) and three contenders each of whom has deep issues that could cost them. It's like three streaky hitters. The Cubs cannot win on the road. The Cardinals cannot score. The Brewers just haven't been consistent. This has led to a jumble in the division -- that isn't bad, just meh. The Dodgers are truly the only good-to-great team in the National League. Every other team is, at best, meh because not one of them has been good consistently.
    Any chance you attend next years Field of Dreams game with your dad and son and write and article about the meaning of baseball to eh 3 of you?
    Would love to be there. But highly doubtful. First, I'm not sure everyone has the stomach for that story, and that would include my editors, who would have to OK the trip. Two, the argument could be made that I don't need to be there to write such a story. Third, I would have to really spend some time thinking about that topic so that I didn't soak in the schmaltz and drown in hokey. Fourth, we recently had a Field of Dreams story in the paper, as columnist Benjamin Hochman made his way up there. You can still find that story on our web site at StlToday.com. Search: Dyersville, Hochman. 
     
    Fifth, there will be Cardinals stuff to cover that day---
     
    Oh, wait, it's an off day. Maybe you're onto something after all ... 
    If the season ended today and the Cards found themselves in the NLDS, what would the pitching rotation be and in what order?
    Interesting question. At the trade deadline, I had a source with the team suggest that it would be Flaherty, Mikolas, and Wainwright -- and that any move at the deadline for a starter would have to be measured against the trio. To me, that was a surprise. Hudson had pitched so well to that point that it seemed like he should be in the mix. Maybe he was for that person. At four. Hard to imagine things have changed all that much then. They've got Flaherty for Game 1. Mikolas for the swing in Game 2. Wainwright for a marble game. And then Hudson or Flaherty for that Game 4 and Game 5, etc.That's how it sets up now.
    We're way past this point, but James Shields threw over 200 innings of 1.4 WAR ball last year. While that's nothing to brag about, that level of performance, even for say, half a season, would have been a clear upgrade over the Cardinals 5th starters this season, would it not?
    I like the 200 innings, but 1.4 WAR over 200 innings doesn't imply a whole lot of impact. No when you're talking about the kind of pitcher who could change a rotation -- truly transform a team's ability to contend. That's a lot like a handful of the Cardinals pitchers have already provided over fewer innings, and while consistency has huge value -- truly; long-time readers of this chat will be familiar with me beating the innings drum before -- Shields wouldn't have given the quality to go with that quantity. It would have been more of the same with a different name.
    Just curious...what's the volume of questions like when you do a normal chat vs. a subscribers-only chat?
  • We'll find out. We're just getting going here.
    I know this isn't a soccer chat...but trying to bring in some diversity to your questions. Let's say IF the new MLS team expressed interest in either using the Cardinals color scheme and/or name (like the old football Cardinals, I haven't seen it reported anywhere just curious) - what do you think the Cardinals ownership would think? Would they be for a unified front - or do they have trademarks to your knowledge that wouldn't allow more than one 'Cardinals' in St. Louis?
    From my understanding of licensing at this point, the name Cardinals is a no-go, and not really one that there's any sense another team wants to appropriate. The Cardinals are the Cardinals and those no head start gained by taking that name, only headache -- even if it was possible. The color scheme is a different conversation. The Cardinals, especially club president Bill DeWitt III, have really pushed for this unity element. What seemed to start from conversation about starting a cable network with the Blues -- it didn't happen, obviously -- has blossomed as a bond between the Blues and Cardinals, and despite the overlap of calendar, the Cardinals have voiced support of the MLS bid and have also tried to nourish the city's soccer rep with events at Busch Stadium, like the Chelsea friendly a few years ago and the Team USA game. Some overlap of the the looks is to be expected, and there's no indication from Cardinals ownership that they would balk at an allusion to their look.
     
    The MLS club should avoid the "victory" blues for sure.
    The off season addition of the saturday blue alternates is not working out. 1-9 on the season. What is the trade value of these jerseys? Could we get a 5th starter or at least a rasen bag and a popcorn machine? I don't think the Saturday blues should be resigned for next season.
    They are in jeopardy of getting DFA'd. The Cardinals have yet to win an NL game in those jerseys. Seriously. The one win came in Texas.
    Does Yadi's paltry OPS this year (lower than Bader or Carp) suggest that he should give way to Wieters more often ... or is his defense just that much better?
    Wieters should play more often for the benefit of both veteran catchers, and the ultimate production the team receives from that position.
    Is Tommy edman a starter for shildt that plays 5 positions but will play about everyday.
    Sure seems that way. Shildt's comments to reports in Cincy imply that's the case.
    Between Munoz, Edman, Thomas , Randy A. O’Neill and Bader who do you think would be most likely gone this offseason, or do you think we keep them all between MLB and AAA roster?
    There is ZERO reason for any of them to be "gone this offseason" unless it is via trade. If the Cardinals can move one or two of those outfielders for an upgrade to the pitching rotation or to third base or to the outfield, then by all means that makes sense, and they'll explore those possibilities. But they don't need to give away any of those players while any of them can also be in Memphis in 2020 without an issue.
    FAnGraphs is projecting that the Cards will play .500 ball now to the end, and the Cubs will be about 2 games better than that. Cards seem to have the easier schedule.... what is your take on this prediction?
    That it has a short shelf-life. It's good for about the moment you read it, and then it has to be calculated all over again. We don't need a prediction to know where the division will be decided. We have a calendar for that:
     
    -- The Brewers play the Cardinals six times in their next nine games. And then seven of their next nine games after that are against the Cubs. This is where the Brewers' chances will be decided -- in 13 of their next 18 games. 
     
    -- The Cardinals and Cubs play each other seven times in the final 11 games of the regular season. That is where the division will be decided.
     
    Tell me who is healthy, tell me who is pitching, and I'll tell you who has the best chance in those games. But the predictions that you mention are wrong almost as soon as they're read. The calendar doesn't change. And, look, I dig the projections, too. But I find the percentages are better than those specific record predictions. The percentage-change of reaching the postseason takes into account the calendar and offers a spectrum of likely outcomes. That has value, to me.
    I read the FOD Hochman story, good story. I am hoping that using the FOD game an excuse, I think it is important to write about how 3 generations of Goold family found the game of baseball and introduced it to their kids. My story began in the early 50s with my dad. I am sure my story is close to yours. Just a thought if you get bored next year…no expectation, hokey…yes…meaningful…yes.
    Gotcha. My fondness for the game comes from my father and grandfather. My dad showed me how to play the game and introduced me to it. My grandfather spoke about the great players he knew -- and listened to on the radio. He traveled a lot for work, so throughout Wisconsin KMOX was his connection to baseball, and thus the Cardinals were his team. I grew up largely without Major League Baseball -- something I've written about before, but came into relief again this past week. I got to sneak away to spend a few days with my son, a teenager. At his age, MLB was 12 hours away. There wasn't a ballpark in downtown Denver for me to watch a game. There was for him -- and that was what he wanted to do with our days together: go see a few games at Coors Field. He wanted a connection to where I grew up and that came through baseball. And now where I grew up could offer him a team and a game and a ballpark at age 13 that I only dreamed about having at the same age.
    Will Mo allow less than ideal veteran contracts prevent him from pursuing a real upgrade via free agency this winter as it appears he did last year? I am thinking specifically about not pursuing Rendon because he just gave Carpenter an extension.
    He shouldn't. There's no indication he will. And I get where you're coming from with Rendon. Before Goldschmidt arrived it sure seemed like the Cardinals were lining up with a roster made for a run at Rendon, and he was going to be pitched to them. Not too long ago, when discussing a handful of Boras clients and how they would fit with the Cardinals I was told Rendon was the best fit. Thought maybe the answer would be Cole. Regardless, there's no indication from the Cardinals that they intend to chase after Rendon. But ... and here is the but ... third base is a place they'll consider because Carpenter can play elsewhere, and the Cardinals see possible places for upgrade at left, right, and third when they scan their current position players. Carpenter would move around to accommodate. That was part of how the Cardinals explained the extension.
    At some time would you give us an “average “ number for all of these mysterious metrics in use today? Then we could know who is doing well or not in a given metric. Thank you
    Please be more specific so I can better. But here goes: Many of the advanced metrics are geared toward 100 being average, so that you know an OPS+ of 120 is well above average and a 90 OPS+ ain't so hot compared to average. Same with a 82 ERA and a 141 ERA+. Giovanny Gallegos for example has a 209 ERA+. So, that's pretty darn good. Wins Above Replacement, WAR, is also similarly set -- 0.0 is replacement level stuff, or a player that can readily be grabbed off waivers or out of the minors. From there each notch is the win the players adds to the team. From Baseball-Reference.com: "8+ MVP Quality, 5+ All-Star Quality, 2+ Starter, 0-2 Reserve." That's a rough scale. As far as OPS? Well, think of it terms of its components. To get to a .900 OPS it would take a .400 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage -- both of which are elite, and if that means a .350 on-base percentage and a .550 slugging percentage then the player is still elite and if it's a .450 on-base percentage and a .450 slugging percentage then the player should be a leadoff hitter and would be elite at that.
    Some inside ball stuff ... when you write your stories for the paper ... do you assume that the reader has already seen the game? Has that opinion changed over time.
  • Whether they watched the game or not, I approach my game stories with the belief that the reader already knows the score, whether the Cardinals won or lost, and a rough understanding of the highlights of the game, so the gamer must give them something different -- and for the most part, in the final edition of the gamer, play-by-play is a no-no. Each edition of the game story will have a different purpose because of the timing of the deadline and the timing of the game. For example: a West Coast game won't be over when the first deadline arrives, so there is no game story, only a lengthy feature. For the second and final deadlines, you're likely to see a running game -- one that does have some play by play, and that's probably OK because here's a case where some of the readers will not have seen the game, because it's late. The online exclusive gamer that follows that final deadline will have more of the context, comments, and less of the playoff.
     
    My opinion on how to approach a gamer -- analytical, anecdotally, featurized when possible, and scraped free of play of play that can be found in a box score -- has not changed much since my sophomore year in college when I was lucky enough to work at The Columbia Daily Tribune and learn that to get readers for Mizzou baseball gamers and Hickman High football gamers, I had to provide something beyond the game. That was a good lesson.  
  • Could you give us a brief statement of Jeff Albert's approach to hitting?
    I can do better than that. I can give you his own comments on his approach and comments from the hitters about it in two stories from this year. Story one, in reverse chronological order: https://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/goold-cardinals-offensive-surge-comes-as-albert-is-finding-his/article_9957c45c-ce2d-5ba6-8456-423794a981a1.html
    Cannot imagine a worse four consecutive seasons from the front office. Does the hammer fall on Mozeliak if the team comes up short of the playoffs again this season?
  • There is no indication at all that it will, no.
    I know they want to get carp going but we are in tight race. Shouldn't it be puting out ur best lineup regardless of contract and status?
    It is possible that the Cardinals believe that they're best team is when Carpenter is going at his best -- and that they are at a point where it is worth more to them to get him going or give him that time than to surrender and assure they won't get the best from him. That's the calculate in play for them. They have shown their opinion. I imagine there are fans, like you, who disagree.
    What’s the aversion to playing actual outfielders (Aroz, Thomas) in the outfield? Watching light hitting utility infielders play out there is truly baffling.
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