I have no idea, honestly. It would be stunning if he struggled like this without there being an underlying physical reason for it.
These are unrelated events. They might have found that no team would deal them a starter without including Robert in the conversation, and they weren't going to do that. So they might have been in the same spot as they were.
I was giving the guarantees. Wong has had a strong year. An excellent year. He's an elite defender, and he's been a solid second-half OBP. He's done everything he needs to do to maintain a spot in the lineup. Still, I was going with the guarantees. I cannot stress this enough: The Cardinals have many directions they could go this winter, especially if they are an early exit from October or don't get there at all for the fourth consecutive season.
If I knew now, you wouldn't have to wait to winter. We would report it now. He insists that there isn't anything physically wrong outside of the injuries that already put him on the IL twice -- the lower back, and the foot. He had to get over those.
Have to step aside briefly here to do an appearance on MLB Network. Keep the questions coming. Some good ones ahead. I'll be right back.
Sure. He's found his footing at Peoria. He's not going to wow you with his slugging percentage -- which is lower than than his OBP -- but he's found stability in both sides of his game, at the plate and in the field, and that was essential for this season. He needs to add some muscle, some strength to his frame, and that will either come with maturity and work or not be in his future. He's struck out more than 100 times and walked fewer than 30 in about 450 PAs. So that has to be sharpened too. But overall -- from folks inside and outside the organization who have taken an interest in his game -- this summer has been considered a stride forward for him.
Sure. Max Scherzer is really good. Zack Greinke. There's a handful. But that's the company that Flaherty is keeping. And should continue to keep. He has the ability.
I did see it. I took my son to see the cage where it happened this past week at Coors Field and told him the story. I don't know what the VORJ is for a major-league pitcher. Value Over Replacement Milk Jugs that is ...
Matt Carpenter is at 3B, there's the first hurdle. Shildt has a fondness for Edman's switch-hitting. That's the second hurdle. Look, I agree that Lane Thomas and Randy Arozarena are gathering an unusual lack of playing time. We ask. The answers we get at always satisfying.
That would be a welcome outcome of this venture, for sure.
OK, headed to the ballpark, to the clubhouse. Will join you from there.
Keep those questions coming.
Yes. Brace yourself. It will be part of the next CBA negotiations, and so could an NBA-style schedule where every team plays every other team at least one series.
Alright. That took a touch longer than expected. But I return with some answers -- and whatever time is necessary to get through the remaining questions. Away we go. No pauses from here -- unless I get hungry or need some hydration. It's rather hot here at Busch Stadium.
Mike Shildt on Matt Carpenter, echoing the explanation I attempted to offer earlier about the team's viewpoint: "He's a proven, elite OPS machine. It's great for him to be the June/July version of Matt Carpenter that put him (in the MVP conversation). How soon we forget? How soon are we going to cast him aside? That is the question you're asking. Historically, his performance is dramatically strong. That can't be ignore. Where's the patience to it?"
I'm not hearing that from opposing scouts, though I could see what you're getting at. It does seem like the Cardinals have taken two (or really three!) different hitting approaches to arrive at the same production. One of the big concerns for the team is how players with proven track records have regressed. That was true with Ozuna last year. That's been true with Fowler, Goldschmidt, and even really Carpenter and to a lesser extent Bader. They've all seen steps back instead of steps forward. Some of that is definitely on the hitting coach -- if not for the approach, but for providing what the player needs to avoid regression. A hitting coach is paid to identify and address those issues. Preparation is another thing. How Mabry went about being a hitting coach and how Albert approaches the same role are quite different. What stands out is the preparation -- the scouting of opposing pitchers and how much of that is done via video, via statistics, and not much via scouts.
It will be around $18 million. I think there have been a few teams here recently with blocks ahead of players. Look back to the wheeling and dealing they did in the outfield, or how long it took Piscotty or Grichuk or Outfield Prospect X to crack the group. Or, the list of injuries that finally allowed Diaz to hurdle the veterans ahead of him to start at shortstop.
There isn't a plan, per se. What they'll probably do is see how close to Sept. 1 they can get before bringing a few of these players back. Tyler O'Neill seems bound for a rehab assignment that could sneak up toward Sept. 1, unless he's needed earlier. He's sent to head to Class AAA Memphis in the coming few days. He's taking BP on the field right now with his teammates for the first time. If that goes well, he'll get the official nod to start a rehab assignment. When he comes back? Well, they have time to let him getting playing time in Memphis, while the Redbirds are home. Martinez could be back sooner, of course. Either way, their returns correspond to a time of year when the players playing the best have to also be the ones playing the most. Production can guide Shildt's hand at that point. Matchups soon, too.
5.000. A 1.000 OBP plus a home run in every single plate appearance for a 4.000 SLG.
That would be light on years and millions. He would prefer more of both and he would likely get it from team. That is less than Fowler got in both regards, and Fowler was older at the time and had never a season like Ozuna will have had a handful of.
Or, stay with me here for a moment, the Cardinals think they're a better team with Carpenter at his best. And that's the risk they're willing to take. And, yes, that's a risk, and yes it could cost them the playoff berth -- or get it for them. Either way. But at least we know the bet they're making.