Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby R27 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:52 pm

Someone pointed out to me that Molina's "sub-Instagramming" or whatever you want to call it have come since Kelly's promotion. Perhaps he's a little unhappy to share time? Once again, would have been nice to have had that discussion before giving him $60 million.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby Elite1 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:22 pm

A lot of frustrated people... I do not pin this poor season, on Matheny. Look, when a player makes it to the majors, he is expected to know the fundamentals. It is not the managers fault, when a player makes a boneheaded base running error, or a fielding error. It is not Matheny's fault when a reliever walks a batter to lead off an inning, resulting in a blown save. Matheny has had success in the past, he has an excellent winning percentage, as a manager. Higher than Tony LaRussa, Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, or even Walter Alston, Bobby Cox and Sparky Anderson. Similar to all of the managers, I just named, Matheny can not win, if he doesn't have the "horses"! A lot of players have under-performed this year. Go down the opening day roster and see how many hitters are hitting under their lifetime OPS. Look at our bullpen era's compared to their lifetime era's. Face it, a manager is only as good as the players, he puts on the field. I am thankful for some of the young talent, Matheny has had to use, to plug some holes... that is one of the few positives, I see this season.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby Elite1 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:48 pm

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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby R27 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:45 pm

Elite1 wrote:A lot of frustrated people... I do not pin this poor season, on Matheny. Look, when a player makes it to the majors, he is expected to know the fundamentals. It is not the managers fault, when a player makes a boneheaded base running error, or a fielding error. It is not Matheny's fault when a reliever walks a batter to lead off an inning, resulting in a blown save. Matheny has had success in the past, he has an excellent winning percentage, as a manager. Higher than Tony LaRussa, Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, or even Walter Alston, Bobby Cox and Sparky Anderson. Similar to all of the managers, I just named, Matheny can not win, if he doesn't have the "horses"! A lot of players have under-performed this year. Go down the opening day roster and see how many hitters are hitting under their lifetime OPS. Look at our bullpen era's compared to their lifetime era's. Face it, a manager is only as good as the players, he puts on the field. I am thankful for some of the young talent, Matheny has had to use, to plug some holes... that is one of the few positives, I see this season.

No, but it is his responsibility when corrective action is not taken. We can talk about how Matheny has a great winning percentage, but he inherited a World Series team. La Russa inherited a team that won 63 games the season before and averaged 83 wins his first five seasons (Matheny's averaged 92). Schoendiest inherited a first place team and averaged 90 wins his first five seasons. Herzog inherited a 74 win team and averaged 83 wins.

The fact of the matter is that this team had enough talent to challenge for the division the past two seasons. They didn't, not because they couldn't compete on the field, but because they consistently beat themselves with poor fundamentals. They easily cost themselves at least a dozen games last season on defense alone. Matheny supposedly made correcting those lapses in fundamentals a priority to fix this spring, but those problems still exist. So the only conclusion is either Matheny considers it acceptable or not very pressing, doesn't know how to fix it, or the players are ignoring him. All are fireable offenses, in my opinion.

Goold has mentioned at one point early in Matheny's tenure that Oquendo felt the team's fundamentals were slipping and decided to schedule a practice to work towards correcting it. The players complained and Matheny cancelled it. I believe it happened later, but the point was made. Perhaps that's part of the reason Oquendo is happier in Jupiter working with kids to instill those fundamentals without someone overruling him on it.

The Cardinals are poised to have their fourth different WAR leader in four seasons. Something that hasn't happened since 1992 to 1995 under Torre.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby chevyman58 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:02 am

R27 wrote: The fact of the matter is that this team had enough talent to challenge for the division the past two seasons. They didn't, not because they couldn't compete on the field, but because they consistently beat themselves with poor fundamentals. They easily cost themselves at least a dozen games last season on defense alone. Matheny supposedly made correcting those lapses in fundamentals a priority to fix this spring, but those problems still exist. So the only conclusion is either Matheny considers it acceptable or not very pressing, doesn't know how to fix it, or the players are ignoring him. All are fireable offenses, in my opinion.


I think the premises are possible, but certainly not matter-of-fact. If you look up & down this roster, and stack it up man-to-man against the Cubs' lineup of this year or last, we're talent deficient at a majority of the positions. Our 2016 Roster was not a 100-Win Roster, IMO. Cubs won 103. 87 won the Wild Card, we won 86.

Perhaps part of the poor fundamentals is many of these players simply aren't that great. Where's the evidence that Carp, Wong, Piscotty, Grichuk are of a quality they can sustain a winning center core? I don't see it. Diaz was the centerpiece of your infield outa ST, his talent didn't last 3 months before shipped outa here. And who's your big-dog player, Dexter Fowler? No way. Jed Gyorko? He appears to have come crashing back to earth.

To assume as fact this team had the talent to challenge for the Division would apply across MLB with many teams every year. Look at the Angels rosters over the years that failed, the Yankees rosters, etc., etc.. Those shortfalls were Girardi's & Scioscia's fault?

A week ago, late down 1R with our then-hottest hitter at the plate, Molina tried to steal 2B & got thrown out by 15 feet. Should he have been called-out? Disciplined? Benched? And if he goes on Instagram & snarks about it then does he get celebrated? We say year-after-year he needs more games off. Yet, when that happens, he snarks on Instagram & that's used here as an indication MM is bad because Yadi griped about sitting? Which is it? Is MM at fault for not "holding his veterans accountable" one day but then at fault when he does? I don't get it. 3-4 years ago the running complaint was the team was too tight, hands were too heavy, needed to lighten up the clubhouse, have some fun, give guys some freedom. Now that we're losing it's too loose, not enough discipline, not holding guys accountable. Over this year 1/2 your roster have been callups/rooks & 1/2 your lineup have been MLB-debuts. Our talent pool isn't that deep, that's a ton of AA/AAA guys. Where's the indication you put Maddon or TLR in the dugout this team suddenly contends?

MM can go, never, ever shoulda been hired. But that doesn't fix everything IMO.

I'll sum up my perspective - if Tommy Pham is your Team MVP (which he arguably is today) you're way short on talent.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby R27 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:53 am

Can the clubhouse be loose and tight at the same time, because I think it is in different ways. When it comes to atmosphere, it feels tight. Because Matheny's the kind of guy that sucks the air out of the room when things are going poorly. When it comes to play and holding players accountable, it's loose. Guys like Carpenter make mistakes and Mike's response is, "He knows it was bad." Meanwhile the player's out there with a mic in his face saying he not only thinks it was a good idea, he'd do it again. There are also ways to get your message across to a locker room without calling guys out in the media or yanking them out of a game or benching them.

As a side note, the whole Yadi thing some people are running with further than I'm comfortable.

The idea that the Cardinals could have contended for the division is specifically related to how many games the team gave away with bad decisions and plays. Can that be related to choosing to have certain players play certain positions, sure. It can also be related to not making sure the work is done to clean it up. As I said after Rosenthal's failure to cover first. Everyone would be doing PFP the next day because if you want to play like Little Leaguers, you can be treated like Little Leaguers. It should be automatic. It should be reaction. There should be no processing what's happening. Work on it until it is.

Matheny sits there on Sunday and talks about his optimism and that's great, but at the same time as manager you have to see that things aren't working and try something different. But he's so optimistic that his particular idea will work that he just does it over and over and over again. I'd just like to see more than "everything's sunshine and roses" cheerleadership.

We can argue maybe he shouldn't have been hired, but he was and here we are. IMO, it doesn't matter who you put as manager tomorrow, it will take time to fix some of the problems. However, some things could be corrected immediately. According to batted ball data, the Cardinals have the best offense in baseball. Their lineup is sequenced poorly which turns us into a #20 run scoring offense.

And I do try hard to not criticize Mike for doing what every other manager would. Like in previous years batting Holliday third. I often defended that, even if he was batting third for reasons other than how I was defending it.

Pham is this team's MVP. But it's never been a question of talent with him really, it's always can he stay healthy and then can he consistently deal with his eyesight issues to be productive. He's managed both this season and we're seeing the player he can be. He's putting together a season as far as normalized WAR that the Cardinals haven't seen since 2009 when Pujols put up a 9.7. I'd like two of him.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby chevyman58 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:36 am

R27 wrote: According to batted ball data, the Cardinals have the best offense in baseball. Their lineup is sequenced poorly which turns us into a #20 run scoring offense..


And this is where I get on a spaceship & travel to Mars. Paper stats don't always reflect reality or accuracy to what's real on the field.

I've watched at least 90 Cards games this year. Probably 50 others. I've watched at least 600 Cardinal games the past 4-1/2 years. I see these guys almost every night, pitch-by-pitch. I stack up lineup comparisons to other teams. I follow the stories, I read the headlines, I have a 6-decade history in my head of this franchise & of MLB in general.

There is NO WAY the 2017 Cardinals have had a talent pool capable of being the Number One offense in Baseball. No. Freakin'. Way.

Respectfully. In my opinion. :)

Ya can't compare optimized, after-the-fact statistical data into what's real on the field. Ya can't compare flawed play to perfection. The Brewers were leading the Division with the worst bullpen in MLB. Ya can't say you saw a dozen games with poor fundamentals & just add those to the W column in a mathematical equation & count that as a possible reality. I've seen the Cubs make a ton of stupid mistakes this year that cost them ballgames. I've seen Maddon make a buncha bonehead moves that blew up in his face.

To suggest that poor lineup construction has caused the Cardinals to fall past 19 other teams in a pool of 30 into 20th place rather than first is just not anywhere close to reality IMO, today many would call that Fake News. :o ;)
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby Elite1 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:46 am

R27 wrote:
Elite1 wrote:A lot of frustrated people... I do not pin this poor season, on Matheny. Look, when a player makes it to the majors, he is expected to know the fundamentals. It is not the managers fault, when a player makes a boneheaded base running error, or a fielding error. It is not Matheny's fault when a reliever walks a batter to lead off an inning, resulting in a blown save. Matheny has had success in the past, he has an excellent winning percentage, as a manager. Higher than Tony LaRussa, Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, or even Walter Alston, Bobby Cox and Sparky Anderson. Similar to all of the managers, I just named, Matheny can not win, if he doesn't have the "horses"! A lot of players have under-performed this year. Go down the opening day roster and see how many hitters are hitting under their lifetime OPS. Look at our bullpen era's compared to their lifetime era's. Face it, a manager is only as good as the players, he puts on the field. I am thankful for some of the young talent, Matheny has had to use, to plug some holes... that is one of the few positives, I see this season.

No, but it is his responsibility when corrective action is not taken. We can talk about how Matheny has a great winning percentage, but he inherited a World Series team. La Russa inherited a team that won 63 games the season before and averaged 83 wins his first five seasons (Matheny's averaged 92). Schoendiest inherited a first place team and averaged 90 wins his first five seasons. Herzog inherited a 74 win team and averaged 83 wins.

The fact of the matter is that this team had enough talent to challenge for the division the past two seasons. They didn't, not because they couldn't compete on the field, but because they consistently beat themselves with poor fundamentals. They easily cost themselves at least a dozen games last season on defense alone. Matheny supposedly made correcting those lapses in fundamentals a priority to fix this spring, but those problems still exist. So the only conclusion is either Matheny considers it acceptable or not very pressing, doesn't know how to fix it, or the players are ignoring him. All are fireable offenses, in my opinion.

Goold has mentioned at one point early in Matheny's tenure that Oquendo felt the team's fundamentals were slipping and decided to schedule a practice to work towards correcting it. The players complained and Matheny cancelled it. I believe it happened later, but the point was made. Perhaps that's part of the reason Oquendo is happier in Jupiter working with kids to instill those fundamentals without someone overruling him on it.

The Cardinals are poised to have their fourth different WAR leader in four seasons. Something that hasn't happened since 1992 to 1995 under Torre.

I was watching a nationally televised game, on MLB Network, recently. At the time, we were 4 games out of first place. The announcers were talking about the Cardinals various struggles, especially noting the bullpen difficulties. One of the guys said, hey bottom line, if the Cardinal Bullpen had 4 less blown saves, the Cardinals are tied for first place! That is with a ragtag lineup, with half of the starters, being called up from AAA! Is it Matheny's fault Oh and Rosenthal are both having poor seasons? I blame the teams performance, more on the players, themselves, under performing and the GM, and those that evaluate talent, than the field manager. Look at some of the recent contracts given Fowler, Broxton, Piscotty etc... then look at the performances of the players, opening day starters: Peralta, Diaz, Grichuck, Piscotty, Fowler, Carpenter, all under-performing! ... Bottom line, sure you can point to some questionable decisions made by Matheny, but every club in the majors can do the same, in regards to their field manager. To tell you the truth, looking at our opening day lineup and roster, I am very surprised that we are not more than 5 games out, of first place! We are lucky to not have the same record, as the SF Giants, a team very similar to STL, over the past 10 years or so!
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby marteezy » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:59 am

Yes, many players are underperforming this year. The players are not without fault. However, many of the losses have come based on things that the manager can control or influence. The poor defensive plays and the horrific base running lead the pack. We can dig deeper into the in game decisions, but that's picking fly crap out of pepper.

We've seen this team play horrible defense for nearly two seasons now. This offseason it was supposed to be a priority, but it obviously wasn't. We are still seeing mental lapses covering the bases, missing cut offs, bad throws, drop balls, kicked balls. On the base paths it's an utter $#!t show. You have far too many guys thinking they are faster and more athletic than they really are trying to do things that they shouldn't. Or making silly decisions while on the base paths.

Those are things the manager can and should be influencing. If he has, the players obviously aren't responding. If that's the case, his message doesn't work. Get in a person who can deliver a clear and coherent message.

If they are getting the message and the teaching/coaching isn't effective. Get in someone that can teach.

I think it's time for Matheny and his flowing locks and blank stare to move on. This team is a rudderless ship right now. And based on Yadi's not so subtle instagram jabs, much of the team has lost faith in their manager.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby chevyman58 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:28 pm

marteezy wrote: We've seen this team play horrible defense for nearly two seasons now. This offseason it was supposed to be a priority, but it obviously wasn't. We are still seeing mental lapses covering the bases, missing cut offs, bad throws, drop balls, kicked balls. On the base paths it's an utter $#!t show. You have far too many guys thinking they are faster and more athletic than they really are trying to do things that they shouldn't. Or making silly decisions while on the base paths.

Those are things the manager can and should be influencing. If he has, the players obviously aren't responding. If that's the case, his message doesn't work. Get in a person who can deliver a clear and coherent message.


So, it can't possibly be a major contributor that the past two seasons we have the least veteran presence, the youngest club, the highest % of rooks/callups, the least experienced assistant coaches & the least number of star players in forever? It can't possibly that? No way?

marteezy wrote:If they are getting the message and the teaching/coaching isn't effective. Get in someone that can teach.


These guys have been taught these same exact fundamentals since t-ball. Forever. These are basics you cite, nothing new or unique to MLB.

marteezy wrote: And based on Yadi's not so subtle instagram jabs, much of the team has lost faith in their manager.
What jabs? Where? When? Is this more 'Fake News'? How does a guy posting 'I'm not tired' and 'I miss my old amigo The Secret Weapon' turn into "much of the team has lost faith in their manager." ?? Suddenly I feel like I'm watching CNN here MT, how do you make that quantum leap??? Did I miss more Instagram posts?
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby R27 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:45 pm

chevyman58 wrote:
R27 wrote: According to batted ball data, the Cardinals have the best offense in baseball. Their lineup is sequenced poorly which turns us into a #20 run scoring offense..


And this is where I get on a spaceship & travel to Mars. Paper stats don't always reflect reality or accuracy to what's real on the field.

To suggest that poor lineup construction has caused the Cardinals to fall past 19 other teams in a pool of 30 into 20th place rather than first is just not anywhere close to reality IMO, today many would call that Fake News. :o ;)

Take last night's lineup for example. That lineup versus an optimized lineup likely produces roughly 6.5% fewer runs over a season. Cards are on pace to score 720 runs, 21st in baseball. Add 6.5% to that and you get 767, which would slot them in 14th. It's not 20 spots, but 7 is still a significant swing. That takes a team from .525 (85 games) expected winning percentage to .556 (90 games). Five wins over the course of the season. 90 wins is a virtual lock on a playoff spot. 86 missed it by one game last year.

Even if you don't buy that analysis, I'll be honest I'm not 100% sure I do either. They are four wins behind where their win expectation says they should be. In my opinion, when there's a large discrepancy there, the first place to look is optimization of the batting lineup. They play a lot of one run games (16-20), that's the second place to look. But those are also the games where optimization of the batting lineup plays the biggest factor.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby chevyman58 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:47 pm

Mo says we're going to focus on improving our defense this year. Then ....................

'OK Mike, you're gonna play a guy who's never played 1B at 1B every game this season. We're going to leave our best defensive CF'r in Jupiter & play our new FA out there, even though he's challenged defensively, pursues balls with less urgency than I walk my dog & has the weakest arm on the roster. We're going to play a 2nd-year error-prone guy @ SS again & if he doesn't hit we're gonna bring a 2Bman up from Memphis 2 months in to make his MLB debut @ SS & play there every day. We're going to take our oldest, slowest, fattest defender with the worst hands on the roster @ 3B. If he craps out we're going to play a utility man there. We're going to stick the brain-cramped, can't-make-the-routine-plays-but-will-occasionally-make-highlight-reel-ones-just-like-Brendan Ryan kid @ 2B because we signed him to a long-term-deal. We're going to stick Piscotty in RF & Grichuk in RF every night. Oh, and if anybody craps-out or gets hurt we're limited to what's left in Springfield & Memphis because we will not go outside the organization & get you any help whatsoever. Period.

Go get 'em Mike, improve the defense. Or else."

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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby chevyman58 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:57 pm

R27 wrote: Even if you don't buy that analysis, I'll be honest I'm not 100% sure I do either. They are four wins behind where their win expectation says they should be. In my opinion, when there's a large discrepancy there, the first place to look is optimization of the batting lineup. They play a lot of one run games (16-20), that's the second place to look. But those are also the games where optimization of the batting lineup plays the biggest factor.


How do you factor in Gyorko suffering sudden blindness from fireworks on the 4th of July, Wong turning into a great singles hitter but an automatic out after the 6th inning every night, the League suddenly throwing DeJong nasty slider-after-slider-after-slider now? I mean, these past games it's pretty much Pham-or-nothing other than a rare appearance by JMart & his contributions.

I don't think the stat optimizations see what my eyes see & they're cumulative aggregate, not current short-term trend. Do they realize Wong has become the lowest-impact .290 hitter in baseball? Etc., etc..

Take Pham outa the lineup & we're lucky to score anything, ever.
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby chevyman58 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:01 pm

AND BTW ............ if we go by stat analytics projections - I think the Nats have won the WS two outa the last 4 years & should be in the WS this year.

Just sayin' .............. ;)
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Re: Official 2017 Cardinals Rumors Thread

Postby R27 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:11 pm

chevyman58 wrote:AND BTW ............ if we go by stat analytics projections - I think the Nats have won the WS two outa the last 4 years & should be in the WS this year.

Just sayin' .............. ;)

This is measuring how teams should have done, given what they have done. Not a future projection based on what we guess they'll do.
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