2018 St. Louis Cardinals

Woodridge, IL
I agree with inexperienced, but not thin. There are 21 pitchers currently on the 40 man, only 7 would consider themselves a RP, leaving 14 that have pitched in the majors, thinking that they are starters (give or take). I recently read an article that showed 11 that have a realistic shot at starting at some point in 2019, depending on injuries. 4 of those have a lot of experience, though one (Wainright) with likely too much experience. Mikolas, Martinez and Wacha have been around the block enough. Also, I agree with the "how many innings" comment, injuries are way too prevalent. But I am much more concerned with the bullpen. The problem there, is that from year to year, relievers go from "lights out" to pedestrian. Plenty of years, you go in feeling good about a pen and it collapses, and vise versa with pleasant surprises. I really expect at least 2 additions to the BP, one of which an established closer. An decent BP should have been worth 8-10 wins last year.
So obviously that number was before the trade of Weaver, but they're are still ten realistic options in Flaherty, Gant, Gomber, Hudson, Martinez, Mikolas, Poncedeleon, Reyes, Wacha, and Wainwright. I would say Mikolas and Flaherty are written in ink as starters next year. Then for the other three spots you can pick from the other eight. If the more veteran guys don't make the rotation, they can go to the bullpen. If the younger guys don't make the rotation, they can be put in AAA in case of injury to a starter or the bullpen.
 
So obviously that number was before the trade of Weaver, but they're are still ten realistic options in Flaherty, Gant, Gomber, Hudson, Martinez, Mikolas, Poncedeleon, Reyes, Wacha, and Wainwright. I would say Mikolas and Flaherty are written in ink as starters next year. Then for the other three spots you can pick from the other eight. If the more veteran guys don't make the rotation, they can go to the bullpen. If the younger guys don't make the rotation, they can be put in AAA in case of injury to a starter or the bullpen.
Exactly. Martinez was hurt last year, he's still a 5 WAR potential pitcher. Flaherty and Mikolas have 4 WAR potential. After that, Wacha is very good when healthy, and Wainwright will likely start the year as the 5th guy then move to the bullpen if he's off. Reyes is next man up (not ready opening day or would be in the rotation), then Gant, Gomber, and probably Ryan Helsley were next, all ahead of Weaver.

Cardinals pitching is their main strength. Bullpens are random, they might be a top 3 bullpen next year without even making a change. With the amount of talented arms they have to throw at it, something will work.

I can't wait for Winter Meetings and for projections to start coming out for next year. I really think the Cardinals might have pulled even or within at least a game of the Cubs; Cubs starting pitching is old and very, very thin.
 
I could see it happening with the next collective bargaining agreement. Which would start for the 2022 season, I think. The Union generally favors the DH and the owner’s are going to have to come up with some concessions this next time around because the players are PO’ed at how the current CBA is going.

Anyway, as a Cubs fan, I do not like seeing Goldschmidt on the Cardinals. Now that Joey Votto is showing his age, Goldschmidt is probably the best pure hitter in baseball. Dude can rake and unless Yadi gets hurt, you didn’t give up anything vital to get him for this year.

Goldschmidt will test the market. He’ll be hitting FA at 32 and this will be his last chance to cash in on prime dollars. Wouldn’t surprise me if he re-signed with the Cardinals after 2019 though. Seems like a good fit.

There are still problems with the Cards roster. Your starting pitching is inexperienced and thin. You don’t know how many innings you can count on from Martinez, Reyes and Wainright. Outside of Hicks, your bullpen isn’t impressive. Your second best hitter doesn’t really have a position. And I’m not sure what to make of your outfield.

That said, it’s early in the offseason, and I’d expect more moves that will fill in those holes and make everything a lot clearer. When it’s all said and done, I expect the Cardinals to be a lot better three months from now.
A couple of absolute musts have to be: another left handed bat and bull pen help.

If Ozuna can get back to his 2017 defense, his bat should be better this year with PG providing protection, we have Bader’s glove in center, now we just need something better than anything we had in RF this past season.

I don’t know about Carp at 3rd all season, he did play around 75 games there last year and I think he had +5 or 6 on defensive runs saved last season.

We shall see!
 
I read an opinion, I think it was just a poster, but that does not make it less interesting. Due to the youth, injury history and 1 old man, the theory was to go to a 6 man rotation, with Mikolas starting every fifth day, and strategic skipping of starts for the rest of the rotation (long relief during skip week), to start the season. I'm sure, by August, if all remain healthy and effective (yeah, right), they would cut back to a more traditional 5 man rotation. It may be a good way to protect innings and not overwork the staff. Last season, the young guns really seemed to struggle for the last month. Of course, so did some vets.
 
So obviously that number was before the trade of Weaver, but they're are still ten realistic options in Flaherty, Gant, Gomber, Hudson, Martinez, Mikolas, Poncedeleon, Reyes, Wacha, and Wainwright. I would say Mikolas and Flaherty are written in ink as starters next year. Then for the other three spots you can pick from the other eight. If the more veteran guys don't make the rotation, they can go to the bullpen. If the younger guys don't make the rotation, they can be put in AAA in case of injury to a starter or the bullpen.
I think the 4 above names are locks, conditional on health for the start of the season. I also believe that they have every intention of Wainwright being included in that group, with the idea that one of them will be replaced by Reyes at some point in the season, whether due to injury or ineffectiveness.
 
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OK, I put on MLB network and watched John Smoltz with Adam Ottivano, yes, ex-Card. I think Smoltz would make a great pitching consultant! Of course, I don't think he would want the pay cut of being a coach, nor the travel. But, spring training, hanging with the pitchers, being a phone a friend, I don't know how any of this works, the insight looked very impressive to me. Maybe I am too easily impressed.
 
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Because I registered "some" concern over the deal, here's a story that loves it. I am not sure if Deadspin's Lauren Theisen has a team she follows or not.

The Cardinals, who had the bad kind of dramatic year and finished 2.5 games out of the Wild Card in 2018, are only getting Goldschmidt’s contract for a year before he hits free agency, but given the pretty cheap price they paid, it’s a move they couldn’t pass up. Pitcher Luke Weaver still has upside at just 25 years old, but his 4.79 ERA over 233 career innings pitched means he’s clearly disposable, especially when his FIP numbers—particularly in 2018—don’t do much to acquit him. Catcher Carson Kelly was previously hyped as a future replacement for Yadier Molina, but he’s failed to hit at anything resembling a major-league level in a smattering of plate appearances across three seasons. Andy Young has hit well in the lower minors, but he’s still mostly a shot in the dark.

For this quite uninspiring bunch, the Cardinals win the opportunity to pair Goldschmidt with Matt Carpenter and have two of the top-10 MVP vote-getters last season.
Diamondbacks Deal Paul Goldschmidt To Cardinals For Peanuts

SI excerpt

The Diamondbacks’ focus has swung from 2019 to ’21 or ’22 and beyond, led by the players acquired for Goldschmidt and the team's wave of draft picks this summer—potentially as many as seven in the first 75 selections. In the interim will be a lot of bad, boring and depressing baseball, as Arizona cycles through cheap replacements and tries to develop its next crop of talent.

It was never going to commit major money to a player who will turn 32 in September, no matter how many kids across Phoenix have a poster of him tacked to their walls. The business is a bummer, and inescapable.

If you’re a contending team, it has never been cheaper to acquire talent, either via free agency or trade, because of how few teams are trying to win. By his contract status, Goldschmidt is a rental, and rentals will always return less than stars under long-term contracts. But focus on the fact that an MVP-caliber bat was dealt for three players, the best of whom is Luke Weaver, a 25-year-old pitcher whose career major league ERA currently sits at 4.79. The second-best piece is Carson Kelly, a 24-year-old catcher whose career OPS+ across 117 big-league plate appearances is 13. That’s not entirely fair to either Weaver or Kelly, who are good young players with lots of upside. But even with Goldschmidt’s impending free agency factored in, it still feels like an unfair exchange of talent.
More than likely I am being overly cautious. Also more than likely one of the 4 kids AZ gets will have a decent career. I guess whenever I hear of multi player deals I think of Pete Rose laughing a Von Hayes. Calling him ol' 5 for 1. Von's career was decent. In 12 years his WAR was 29.9. That's 2.5 a season average. His slash was .267/.354/.416. At least he played 9 season in Phil. One of the 5 players in the trade was a little used rookie who had 29 AB that year. Julio Franco went on to play 23 years (Not all with Clev of course) and had a WAR of 43.5 at the end of his career. He played for Cleveland for only 8 seasons. You just never know when young kids are going to put it all together. StL certainly can't sit on so many starting pitchers. They do need a power bat. AZ expected a lot more last year. I understand all of that. I am sure THIS is the best deal they were going to get for their surplus players. Just merely ramblings of an old man kids.

Oh someone posted about a 6 man rotation ... Some writer, perhaps Goold had a very good article earlier this year explaining why it's not going to work. Until I read his story I was in favor of a 6 man rotation too.
 
I’m a little confused by the trading of Patrick Wisdom. We received another left handed bat, that gives 4 left handed bats on the 40 man, but the player we got back doesn’t do it for me. I like what I saw last year from PW and I hope this doesn’t come back to bite us. We received Drew Robinson from the Rangers.
 
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I’m a little confused by the trading of Patrick Wisdom. We received another left handed bat, that gives 4 left handed bats on the 40 man, but the player we got back doesn’t do it for me. I like what I saw last year from PW and I hope this doesn’t come back to bite us. We received Drew Robinson from the Rangers.
The trade seems 1:1 at best. I think Wisdom is the better player but neither guy fast-tracked to the majors. I guess this is a wait and see kind of prospect. Does Robinson play good defense?
 
I’m a little confused by the trading of Patrick Wisdom. We received another left handed bat, that gives 4 left handed bats on the 40 man, but the player we got back doesn’t do it for me. I like what I saw last year from PW and I hope this doesn’t come back to bite us. We received Drew Robinson from the Rangers.
Wisdom was 3rd or 4th on the depth chart at 3B. MCarp, Gyorko and maybe Munoz will be the playing time. Trading him gives him a chance to get a few ABs. Robinson isn't going to be the answer to anyone's prayers but like Munoz, he can play all over the field. With players needed a little rest from time to time and injuries popping up, it's good to have a jack of all trades available.
 
Here's what I could find about Robinson from MLBTraderumors.com:

The 26-year-old Robinson will give the Cardinals the lefty-hitting utility player they’d been seeking, having garnered big league experience at second, third, shortstop and all three outfield positions. Robinson hasn’t hit much, however, with a .204/.301/.366 slash and nine HRs in 246 trips to the plate. He did rake at the Triple-A level last season, though.
 
I actually like the pickup. Like was said, this isn't gonna put us over the top, but he could eventually turn into a solid player, and wisdom was blocked, so it is nice to get some value out of him.

Also, based on what I'm looking at Robinson seems to be the better overall hitter than Wisdom. He walks at a pretty good rate, doesn't look like he strikes an egregious amount, and has some ok power, though probably not as much as Wisdom. Granted, these only hold true for his minor league numbers (except for his walk rate, which was 12% in the majors) but it's not like he has a ton of major league experience to say anything conclusively. His minor league numbers are better than Wisdom's and are far more consistent, and he plays 6 positions!

Again, not expecting him to become a star, but he has the potential to be a decent utility bench guy, and is still young enough and had enough success in the minors that he could put it all together in the majors and be a solid player.
 
I actually like the pickup. Like was said, this isn't gonna put us over the top, but he could eventually turn into a solid player, and wisdom was blocked, so it is nice to get some value out of him.

Also, based on what I'm looking at Robinson seems to be the better overall hitter than Wisdom. He walks at a pretty good rate, doesn't look like he strikes an egregious amount, and has some ok power, though probably not as much as Wisdom. Granted, these only hold true for his minor league numbers (except for his walk rate, which was 12% in the majors) but it's not like he has a ton of major league experience to say anything conclusively. His minor league numbers are better than Wisdom's and are far more consistent, and he plays 6 positions!

Again, not expecting him to become a star, but he has the potential to be a decent utility bench guy, and is still young enough and had enough success in the minors that he could put it all together in the majors and be a solid player.
Hope so. Always to the team's advantage to have a really good utility player. Comes in pretty handy. And being a left-handed batter is also a plus.
 
Yea Pat Wisdom was a 27 year old non-prospect who never hit enough in the minors until last year in AAA, and only hit last year because of his .371 BABIP. He got lucky during his call up because of a .333 BABIP and 1/3rd of his flyballs ended up as homeruns. His ceiling is basically corner infield utility guy. He also was out of options so he couldn't be sent back down without being sent through waivers.

So the guy they got is also a non-prospect, but he can play more positions and hits from the left side (which shouldn't matter, but it's what the Cardinals were looking for). His ceiling is basically the same thing, but he can play the OF. It's basically a 1:1 swap of guys who probably won't amount to anything other than pinch hitters.
 
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