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#1 Clapp

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 00:00

I'm posting this well aware that St. Louis can still win the steaming pile of cow dung division. Most of the projections systems think they're still our biggest competition for the division (I'm not sure about that myself, but their roster talent on paper is probably second-best, at least). So, I'm getting that out of the way before they go on a run and make this thread seem pointless. Before some asshole like Paul DeJong starts challenging for the Triple Crown.

 

But what if this is what they are? What that currently is, is a team five games under .500. I know, the Cubs could soon be there themselves etc etc. I don't care about that for the purpose of this post. This is about the Cardinals, and regardless of what the Cubs do this year, we know they're set up to be good for a long while. The Cardinals aren't.

 

The Cardinals entered this season as probably an 83-85 true talent team, and they're playing significantly worse than that.

 

The scary thing for them is that their starting rotation has actually been great, and they're five games under .500.

 

Carlos Martinez has been one of the five best starters in baseball. Mike Leake has been greatly overachieving (3.14 ERA). Michael Wacha is probably overachieving. Lance Lynn is eighth in the majors in ERA (2.69)... and his 4.74 FIP is 22nd-worst in the majors. He seems to usually outpitch his FIP, but that's a ridiculous difference that can't keep up. The Cardinals' rotation ERA is 3.66, fourth-best in the majors.

 

It's a fine rotation, but it's not top-five ERA good, especially when you consider this team's defense is a train wreck, which is another issue of course (far better than last year, but still bad). And their bullpen has been crap. 

 

Offensively, they've been bad, with the exception of Jedd friggin' Gyorko and Tommy friggin' Pham. Those are two players that should regress. You're probably thinking, "Well Dexter Fowler hasn't been as good as last year," and he may be underachieving a bit. But he currently has a .785 OPS, which is actually even higher than the rest-of-season projections have him at. It's up and down the lineup like this. Matt Carpenter has probably peaked already (and is exceeding projections). Yadier Molina is far away from his best years. Who knows if Aledmys Diaz is actually any good after he came out of nowhere last year, and he's sucked this year. Randal Grichuk is playing in the California Penal League or  something. Stephen Piscotty is probably good, but he entered play tonight worth -0.1 fWAR and figures to put up pretty average production as a corner outfielder.  

 

So their rotation has been great, when it's probably just good. Their offense has been bad, and is probably not better than average. Their defense is bad. Their bullpen has been bad and doesn't seem like it will get much better. 

 

Most of their core players are aging, veteran players. They have zero regulars among position players that are under 26 years old (Diaz is about to turn 27 for example which shocked me). 

 

And in the last week, before the Cardinals lost 3 of 4 at home to the Brewers, GM John Mozeliak hinted at the team potentially becoming sellers

 

 

Mozeliak said he intends to give the fourth-place team another four to six weeks to rise in the standings and to meet expectations. If it does not, the Cardinals will, for the first time in a generation, consider being sellers at the trade deadline July 31.

“Obviously, I think what today represents is people are being held accountable for what we need to do,” Mozeliak said. “If (in July) it’s not to the point of where the next level of investment makes sense for this year, then we may have to start thinking about the following year. Not prepared to go down that path today, but from where we sit we have to be open-ended for that.”

 

 

 

Add it all up, and it sure seems like the Cardinals are getting dangerously close to becoming sellers and possibly even considering significant changes when looking long term, right? They know that they're a level below the Cubs when talking long term (if not this stupid season),  and it sure seems like the Brewers have caught up to them as well (and with more young talent on the way).

 

Like, if the Cardinals are hanging in there still in a few weeks, maybe they stand pat. As I detailed in the other thread, if you just get in the stupid tournament you have a shot, as the 83-win Cardinals' WS team knows more than anyone. But if they keep playing like this and the Brewers (and Cubs, hopefully) keep the separation up, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cardinals do some serious selling and accept what they are. And that would probably be in their best interest moving forward. 


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#2 jstraw

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 04:52

I hate that we give the White Sox their own thread. I'm going to hate that we're now going to have one for the Cardinals. I'm going to ask once that we move this to the thread we have ( http://www.sonsofivy...an-cubs-or-sox/) then let it go.

 

I'm probably wrong. I just hate paying these teams as much attention as we do.


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#3 funkster

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 07:55

It ain't that serious.


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#4 Butcher

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:15

They *are* our rivals, dude.

 

Anyway, I've barely given the White Sox a second thought this season. It's been glorious.

 

As far as Clapp's post...I hope the Cardinals stand pat or are even buyers. Not because I want them to make a run, but only because it would prolong their stretch of mediocrity even further.


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#5 VanSlawAndCottoCheese

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 09:50

I've been thinking of starting a Cardinals-only thread for a long time. For things like this.

 

Or this:


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#6 Butcher

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:22

My daughter is taking a photoshop class and she just sent me this. Today is my proudest moment as a father.

Attached Files


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#7 VanSlawAndCottoCheese

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:33

To Clapp's point, I'm not so sure that the Cardinals are in BIG trouble. For this year, they may indeed sell, and Lynn would make a perfect trade candidate, as he is (as Clapp pointed out) outplaying expectations in a contract year.

 

They are older, yes, but they have Alex Reyes back next year and two more pitchers doing well in AAA this season that are MLB.com Top 100 prospects (Luke Weaver and Jack Flaherty). Next year, Lynn and Wacha will be gone, replaced by Reyes and likely Weaver. Wainwright has one more season on his contract, and they'll have a dilemma regarding when he gives way to Flaherty. Still, come 2018, we might see a much better and younger Cardinals rotation.

 

The position players is a different, story. There is a lot up in the air regarding Wong, Grichuk, Piscotty, and Diaz. They probably would be smart to sell high on Gyorko. Maybe the Red Sox would love a 3B with some pop?

 

I'm sure they'll be active in free agency next year, but so will everybody. The big snicker from us Cubs fans should be the contract extension that they gave Molina a couple of months back--especially since they have Carson Kelly, ostensibly Molina's replacement, playing well in AAA. That will be an interesting situation to watch.  


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#8 VanSlawAndCottoCheese

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:34

My daughter is taking a photoshop class and she just sent me this. Today is my proudest moment as a father.

 

Tell her that I'm proud of her and that I think you should raise her allowance.


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#9 rok

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:46

I don't have a problem with these team-specific threads. Very few jump into the MLB pinned thread and join into the discussions, so whatever stimulates conversation is good by me.
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#10 rok

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 10:48

And Butch, I think we are all proud of her. She is destined for great things.
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#11 funkster

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:51

There's no reason not to, if you don't want to post in them...well..don't.  Don't understand what the big deal is.


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#12 Clapp

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 13:03

I don't have a problem with these team-specific threads. Very few jump into the MLB pinned thread and join into the discussions, so whatever stimulates conversation is good by me.


Yeah, I even requested that the MLB News & Notes thread became a thing haha. I felt this deserved its own thread as it may have gone unnoticed in there, and it's about the state of the franchise that directly impacts the Cubs fhe most.
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#13 jstraw

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 15:10

Like I said... voice it once then go with the flow. If this is the price of having Clapp back... I'm good. Now, join us in July.
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#14 mrfelina

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 23:41

Straw said he was probably wrong.

 

You gotta like that.


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#15 Clapp

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 17:07

Wainwright gave up 9 ER in 1 2/3 IP today. Second time in three starts he's given up 9 ER.
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