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The Lounge>****The Official 2019 STL Cardinals Thread****
BigRedChief 03:23 AM 01-10-2019
Cardinals announce 25-man Opening Day roster for the 2019 season.
Spoiler!

2019 Opening Day Line up
Spoiler!

[Reply]
Prison Bitch 12:27 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins:
Owners are now at the point of open collusion on free agents, which is going to lead to a work stoppage in a few years.

The irony is Harper is now someone you're likely to get surplus value on in FA precisely because everyone else is purposefully colluding to remove themselves from the market.
1. You have no evidence they’re colluding.

2. We’ve reached the point where the $$ is too big to make any mistake on. A $55M mistake on AJ Pollock, Dodgers can live with. But $300M on Harper? Whole diff ballgame.

3. we have no clue what offers they’re holding. The Red Sux and JD Martinez worked 3 months on their deal last winter. It was going to happen. I suspect the Phils or Mets etc are waiting out Harper.
[Reply]
VAChief 12:28 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by Matrix:
88-74
Probably not too far off. I could see us getting into the low 90's for wins but also 78-80. Baseball has so many variables year to year. We have a lot of ifs...Will Goldy be himself in a new lineup. Will Ozuna's power numbers rebound as well as a passable left field arm? How does Bader progress offensively? What do we get out of RF both offensively and defensively? Does Mikolas follow up with another solid year both productively and as an innings eater? Can Carlos return to form and is he healthy (starter velocity was dipping)? Will Flaherty show progress, flatten or regress? What does Wacha give you? How much does A. Reyes contribute and where? Can Hicks progress with better fb command and with his off speed stuff? Can he close? Can Andrew Miller handle another full season of work after being run practically into the ground? Is this the year you see significant regression from Carpenter and/or Molina? Can DeJong up his OB numbers and cut down on his SO's? Can Molina come back healthy and contribute daily with solid D and stay within himself offensively?

You hit positively on a lot of those if's and you can be a division contender...likely? No, but possible. Fail on most of those and you can just as easily regress and fourth might be where you land.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 12:35 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by Prison Bitch:
1. You have no evidence they’re colluding.

2. We’ve reached the point where the $$ is too big to make any mistake on. A $55M mistake on AJ Pollock, Dodgers can live with. But $300M on Harper? Whole diff ballgame.

3. we have no clue what offers they’re holding. The Red Sux and JD Martinez worked 3 months on their deal last winter. It was going to happen. I suspect the Phils or Mets etc are waiting out Harper.
And while you are correct that we don't know what offers either of them have had, I suspect that the major sticking point is still going to be over opt-outs.

The agents for these mega clients want absolutely no risk in their deals and want ALL the risk on the signing teams. If the player plays to his ability for 3 years, he's going to want to opt out and test the market under the new CBA. If he goes Full Heyward and just sucks, well shit happens team - you're stuck with him for a decade.

Everyone wants to make this about money when in all reality it's almost certainly falling apart due to exposure. Notice how quickly the market has slowed down since the opt-outs have become industry standard. People point to the draft pick compensation as the reason but that's ridiculous - draft pick compensation is LESS burdensome than it was under the previous Type A and Type B FA compensation rules, especially for higher end players. And it's not a raw dollars thing because teams aren't risking proportionally more even with the raw dollars being higher (revenues have increased as well).

The problem is that there is literally no way for them to truly come out ahead with the rise of opt-outs. Those are what is killing these deals and those are what teams are now fighting against. If the mega-agents would actually say "Sure, we'll take $300/10 with no opt-outs..." I'm betting these guys would get signed in a heartbeat. But they don't want to risk the possibility of the new CBA exploding the market and their clients being locked in long-term.

And I'd imagine dozens of teams would gladly give a high AAV, 3 year deal to get to the next CBA as well but again - agents won't risk their guy getting hurt.

They want it both coming and going and they cry collusion when owners are unwilling to just bend over and take it. It's ridiculous.
[Reply]
'Hamas' Jenkins 01:30 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut:
A

The problem is that there is literally no way for them to truly come out ahead with the rise of opt-outs. Those are what is killing these deals and those are what teams are now fighting against. If the mega-agents would actually say "Sure, we'll take $300/10 with no opt-outs..." I'm betting these guys would get signed in a heartbeat. But they don't want to risk the possibility of the new CBA exploding the market and their clients being locked in long-term.
.
Sure there is. If someone like Harper tears it up for three years and then opts out you get his three best years and let someone else pay for his likely decline phase. Opt-outs are only a risk if you assume that the guy is going to underperform the contract and/or get hurt.

And if you're a team like the Dodgers that is always on the brink of a World Series, the risk of signing someone like Harper is more than obviated by the upside. After all, you're the guy that has repeatedly said, "flags fly forever" on here. For as much as you've chastised Mozeliak for being risk averse, I would think that you'd realize that fear of these long term deals is an overly conservative reaction that actually creates a market inefficiency in favor of signing these guys, because executives look at it only through the prism of what can go wrong.

If you sign Harper to 10/300 with opt-outs after years 3 and 6, and he ends up giving you 12+ WAR total over the first three years and opts out, you win.
[Reply]
BigRedChief 01:47 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by DJ's left nut:
It doesn't matter how healthy he gets. What matters is how healthy he stays. I've said in every damn one of these threads for 3 years that if the kid keeps !@#$ing scalpula loading, he's going to keep breaking down. He simply cannot stay healthy doing that.

So just watch his delivery and if he's late off still with his arm trailing, you'll know that we're looking at another injury.

But again - good thinking not activating and optioning the kid for rehab so we could save a year of service time there, Moe. Fantastic work.

It blows my mind how bad he is about basic service time and options shit.
If this is so obvious why haven’t they changed his mechanics? They have every kind of trainer and consultant working with him. Probably spending a ton of money. Again, if it’s the core issue, why bother with anything else?
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 02:15 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins:
Sure there is. If someone like Harper tears it up for three years and then opts out you get his three best years and let someone else pay for his likely decline phase. Opt-outs are only a risk if you assume that the guy is going to underperform the contract and/or get hurt.

And if you're a team like the Dodgers that is always on the brink of a World Series, the risk of signing someone like Harper is more than obviated by the upside. After all, you're the guy that has repeatedly said, "flags fly forever" on here. For as much as you've chastised Mozeliak for being risk averse, I would think that you'd realize that fear of these long term deals is an overly conservative reaction that actually creates a market inefficiency in favor of signing these guys, because executives look at it only through the prism of what can go wrong.

If you sign Harper to 10/300 with opt-outs after years 3 and 6, and he ends up giving you 12+ WAR total over the first three years and opts out, you win.
I think Mozeliak is being a complete coward. I've said 100 times over (I think here, but maybe just at my Cardinals board) that he needs to hang the concern over the damn opt outs and sign the guy.

But I don't think it's a rational decision. Nor do I think getting 12 wins for $90 million is anything approximating a win (the $8 million win share remains idiotic).

But I simply do not care because the Cardinals are now at a point where Harper takes them from an also-ran to a genuine contender for at least 1 season while also giving them a known throughput for what will almost certainly be 2 more after that. They can 'lose' the deal less badly than many if not most.

Getting roughly market value out of your player isn't winning a deal - it's simply not losing it. If they can get 15-18 wins out of Harper over 3 years and pay $90 million for that privilege then I'd say they've gotten their money's worth.

But if Bryce Harper would take $90 million over 3 seasons he'd have signed the day after FA opened. By all accounts if he'd have taken $30 million/season over 10 seasons without opt-outs he'd have signed by now. I don't believe teams are being unreasonable in saying "Y'know, that's a hell of a lot of risk for us to take for the upshot of getting what we paid for..."

I wish the Cardinals would do it anyway, but only because it's simply money DeWitt will be taking to his grave or spending on less impactful players. I don't think it's a 'sound' decision in a vacuum.
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 02:20 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by BigRedChief:
If this is so obvious why haven’t they changed his mechanics? They have every kind of trainer and consultant working with him. Probably spending a ton of money. Again, if it’s the core issue, why bother with anything else?
Because then he's throwing 96 and ultimately you can tell the guy to stop doing that all you want but when he started doing it (and you can see on the video clips exactly when he did) he added 3-4 mph of velocity and exploded on the prospect scene.

I actually think he did some damage to his breaking stuff; really hurt the depth on his curveball in particular and seems to have gone primarily to the slider to adjust. But chicks (and prospect magazines) dig the radar gun.

I think the Cardinals have always been fairly hands-off with the mechanics on their guys going all the way back to the Duncan era. If they can't get buy-in, they're not gonna get him to change. If you asked my best guess, that would be it. But I've called it organizational negligence going back to before he broke down the first time. I wasn't quite attuned enough to the team during the Alan Benes years to really understand in real time how badly they fucked that kid up, but I feel like we're seeing it happen again with Reyes.
[Reply]
VAChief 02:41 PM 01-30-2019
Originally Posted by BigRedChief:
If this is so obvious why haven’t they changed his mechanics? They have every kind of trainer and consultant working with him. Probably spending a ton of money. Again, if it’s the core issue, why bother with anything else?
It's hard as hell to do that, especially at this level. I'm not saying it is impossible, tweaking little things much easier. Think about the years of muscle memory he has built up you have to change.

I could throw pretty hard in high school, but I short armed the ball, and when coaches in college tried to get more extension it was hard as hell to find consistency and often fell back to what was comfortable. I blew out my elbow and then my shoulder coming back trying to compensate for what blew out my elbow.
[Reply]
Prison Bitch 04:26 PM 01-30-2019
Teams still don’t know how to calc the value of opt-outs. I’m guessing some dude at UChicago could create a Black-Scholes for them.
[Reply]
BigRedChief 08:43 PM 01-31-2019
Triggering DJ..........from STL article

With the start of Cardinals training camp less than two weeks away, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he's pleased with what the club accomplished in the offseason and didn’t envision adding any free agent — even if the price tags on some of those free agents might have dropped through the winter.

“Dating back to October in this process,” Mozeliak said, “we identified what we wanted to do and we feel we’ve been able to accomplish that.”

He was referring to the trades for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and lefthanded-hitting utility player Drew Robinson, and the free-agent signing of lefthanded reliever Andrew Miller. Mozeliak also is confident that surgically-repaired left fielder Marcell Ozuna will be ready by opening day.


“Is there another piece we could add, based on where the market is?" Mozeliak said. "Any move we would make now would sort of complicate things.

“Even if we were to break (camp) today, we’re going to have guys competing for at-bats already. And we still feel we have a lot of depth in our pitching.

“If nothing changed, we would have some tough decisions. Any additions would just make things tougher. We have competition now. In fairness, is it over-competition?”
[Reply]
BigRedChief 01:05 PM 02-03-2019
Bernie’s take on the 2019 bullpen options from the Athletic

right now, the Cardinals have significant manpower in their pitching department.

Let’s review.

Right-handed relievers

Jordan Hicks
John Brebbia
Dominic Leone
Dakota Hudson
Alex Reyes
Mike Mayers
Daniel Poncedeleon
Luke Gregerson
Giovanny Gallegos
Ryan Helsley
John Gant

Relevant notes:

Gant, Hudson, Reyes and Poncedeleon could, in theory, could be in the competition for a rotation spot.

The young Reyes has the intimidating talent to become a massive bullpen weapon. But after enduring two consecutive seasons lost to injury, it’s natural to question the wisdom of deploying him as a reliever, a job that requires frequent warmups and pitching on back-to-back days. That said, his relief assignments could be planned and spaced out. Perhaps Reyes can be used in relief, in tandem, with a designated Cardinals starting pitcher.

If manager Mike Shildt goes with a traditional closer, Hicks is a strong candidate. My favorite stat of the 2018 season: Hicks led MLB with 776 fastballs clocked at 100-plus miles per hour. He ruled righty hitters, allowing a .150 average and .171 slugging percentage. And Hicks has a preposterously elevated ground-ball rate of 60.7 percent. Now he just has to find a way to convert all that heat and sink into more strikeouts; a 20.7-percent K rate is too low. And his walk rate (13.3 percent) is too high.

Hudson doesn’t throw nearly as hard as Hicks, but he also has a crazy-good ground-ball rate of 60.8 percent. Big problem: As a rookie last season, Hudson had a 16-percent strikeout rate and 15.3-percent walk rate. That must improve. Dramatically so.

Depending on need, injuries, trends in spring training and early-season performances, veteran starting pitchers Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright could be repurposed and turned into relievers. Martinez in particular could be transferred into a quasi-closer role; he was used in that capacity late last season.

Keep an eye on Helsley, who can throw 100-plus mph and has a wicked strikeout rate. If Helsley can avoid arm trouble and get his walk rate down, he’ll surface in the St. Louis bullpen at some point in 2019.

Brebbia is vulnerable against lefty batters but dominated righties last season with a 34.5 percent strikeout rate.

If healthy, Leone looms as an asset, given his 29-percent strikeout rate and 2.56 ERA in 70 innings for Toronto in 2017.

As a guest on my 101ESPN radio show, DeWitt touted Poncedeleon as a bullpen option because of the development of a four-seam fastball that pushed his K/9 rate up to 10.3 at Triple A Memphis last season. And in his work for the Cardinals, “Ponce” was tough on lefty batters, always a plus for a right-handed pitcher.

Sleeper candidate: Gallegos. He’s intriguing for a good and possibly valuable reason: Over his last three seasons, pitching in the Yankees’ and Cardinals’ systems, he had a 38-percent strikeout rate against lefties, with a low walk rate of just six percent.

Gant, who has a terrific changeup, has also been effective against left-handed batters, which could be helpful depending on how the rotation and bullpen take shape during the season.

The Cardinals are increasingly optimistic about Gregerson’s pitching health, but what about his diminishing velocity?
Left-handed relievers

Andrew Miller
Brett Cecil
Austin Gomber
Chasen Shreve
Tyler Webb
Genesis Cabrera
Evan Kruczynski

Relevant notes:

For Miller, it’s all about health, especially a previously problematic knee. But another factor is burnout. After mowing down hitters for a career-high 44.7-percent strikeout rate in 2016, Miller’s K rate dropped to 29.2 percent last season. That said, he still has a killer slider. That one pitch alone makes Miller a scary presence in a St. Louis bullpen that needs enforcers. And Cardinals management believes Miller will be a tremendous influence on their young pitchers.

Gomber could battle for a rotation spot. But in his rookie debut with the Cardinals last season, Gomber started 11 games and worked 18 others in relief. He wasn’t a hammer against lefty hitters, allowing a .333 OBP and .411 slugging percentage with a blah strikeout rate of 18 percent. Gomber can do better than that. But where will he land? His role matters. These are small samples, but last season Gomber had a 5.05 FIP and 1.4 strikeout/walk ratio as a reliever — and a 3.70 FIP and 2.4 K/BB ratio as a starter.

Two seasons into a four-year deal worth $30.5 million, Cecil has been a bust. But the Cardinals are encouraged because Cecil rededicated himself to conditioning this offseason and is supposedly in “The Best Shape Of His Life.” Perhaps this will help Cecil fend off lefties, who have blasted him for a .323 average, .390 OBP and .519 slugging over the past two years. If Cecil can bounce back, it will be a positive development — and a major one — for the Cardinals.

Shreve came over (with Gallegos) in a trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to the Yankees. I thought Shreve would benefit from getting away from Yankee Stadium, but it didn’t turn out that way. Another small sample here, but his FIP (4.78) and home-run yield rate (1.8 per 9 innings) at Yankee Stadium were better than his FIP (5.48) and HR rate (2.0 per 9) at Busch Stadium. And Shreve’s walk rate was a mess at both places. Maybe pitching coach Mike Maddux can get Shreve on track in spring training.

Cabrera is a live-armed rookie who came to St. Louis in last summer’s trade that sent outfielder Tommy Pham to Tampa Bay. Cabrera has dazzled the Cardinals’ minor-league staff in his relatively short time in the system, and he’s on the fast track to St. Louis. He’s fine against righty batters, but in his last two minor-league seasons, Cabrera has limited lkefties to an OPS of .627 and .550, respectively. And his strikeout punch is gaining power; in limited duty at Memphis late last season, Cabrera struck out 43 percent of opposing lefties. He’s on the way to St. Louis, probably sooner than later.

This will probably sound familiar, but Webb walked too many hitters and didn’t strike out enough of them in spot duty for the Cardinals last season. But he had good results (and even better luck) against lefties, who had a .221 average on balls in play against him last season.

Kruczynski is making a quick climb through the system, and the Cardinals’ front office likes him a lot. He’s projected as a starter, but the Cardinals rarely hesitate to transition a young starter to a relief role. And 2019 may be too soon. Keep this in mind: Kruczynski held lefty batters to a .292 OBP and .311 slugging in the minors.
[Reply]
BigRedChief 12:27 AM 02-11-2019
thread issue?
[Reply]
DJ's left nut 11:10 AM 02-11-2019
Originally Posted by BigRedChief:
DJ and Hamas, does this guy know what he is talking about?

A Look at the Cardinals' Prospects in the High Minors https://www.reddit.com/r/Cardinals/c...MX&sh=a912aa86https://www.reddit.com/r/Cardinals/c...A3&sh=6866790b
Yeah, that's all pretty fair. I love Carlson. I don't know that he's an 'impact' player in the making, at least not by my definition, but he's very possibly a switch-hitting version of the good Piscotty we had for stretches. A 3-4 win player is a possibility and I expect him to explode through Memphis this year.

Maybe a few nits to pick; he's probably overvaluing Thomas and Williams a bit, though he has them in the correct tier (I just think his writeups were a little too glowing; Williams is definitely running out of runway). He mentioned Gallegos but not Elledge (probably because Gallegos is on the 40 and Elledge isn't). Krucszynski is an odd guy to pull from our pile of fungible AAAA arms but he did have a nice rise last season.

He's one of the few people willing to point out that Munoz probably isn't that good and his defensive 'versatility' is a myth.
[Reply]
BDj23 11:30 PM 02-17-2019
https://youtu.be/zWmIb5kdz9s

2011 was a long time ago, but let's get hyped fellas
[Reply]
BigRedChief 01:01 AM 02-18-2019
Originally Posted by BDj23:
https://youtu.be/zWmIb5kdz9s

2011 was a long time ago, but let's get hyped fellas
St.Louis Cardinals 2019 Hype Video (2018 regular season highlights)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OV_...&feature=share
[Reply]
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