GatewayRedbirds.com

A Message Board Dedicated to Discussing St. Louis Cardinals Baseball!
It is currently July 16 19, 5:04 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 172 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 18  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: January 2 19, 3:16 pm 
Offline
darjeeling sipping elite
User avatar

Joined: October 17 06, 11:19 am
Posts: 36505
Location: Huis Clos
Didn’t see one


from the Athletic

Let’s begin by reviewing Mikolas’ ability to tunnel his repertoire (ie. show the same release point of different pitches), particularly his four-seam fastball and slider. Against right-handed batters, only one pitcher in all of baseball “tunneled” the four-seam fastball off the slider better than Mikolas last season. That pitcher was Jacob deGrom, aka the 2018 National League Cy Young Award winner. More impressively, Mikolas effectively tunneled this sequence vs. lefty hitters as well, ranking fifth-best in MLB with an average PreMax of 1.17 inches (even better than deGrom, who took a step back to 51st overall with a PreMax of 1.42 inches).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 2 19, 3:19 pm 
Offline
Everday Unicorn
User avatar

Joined: April 21 06, 10:14 am
Posts: 34402
Location: Austin, TX
Is 1.17 inches of PreMax good? Asking for a friend.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 2 19, 3:20 pm 
Offline
Perennial All-Star

Joined: November 6 10, 10:58 am
Posts: 7188
it's gotta be better than 1.17 PostMin


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 2 19, 11:26 pm 
Online
Hall Of Famer

Joined: September 8 10, 2:57 pm
Posts: 13376
I chortled


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: January 2 19, 11:55 pm 
Offline
darjeeling sipping elite
User avatar

Joined: October 17 06, 11:19 am
Posts: 36505
Location: Huis Clos
Dicks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: March 1 19, 4:59 pm 
Offline
All Hail the New GDT Master
User avatar

Joined: April 26 11, 6:06 am
Posts: 20887
Location: Columbus, OH
Gant maintains steady bid on rotation spot


Quote:
There are options that throw harder or have heavier sink. There are options that are young, more highly regarded, have better breaking balls, or throw lefthanded. There are options that have two, three or four things that John Gant doesn't.

And that's fitting.

Because it's what he doesn't have that gives him an edge none of the other candidates for the opening in the Cardinals' rotation can claim.

He's out of options.

Inside the tempest of potential created by Alex Reyes (starting next week?), Dakota Hudson (two scoreless), and Austin Gomber (check that slider), Gant is at the eye, calm and steady and just as strong with his grip on the opportunity. The stoic righthander will make his second Grapefruit League appearance of the spring with the Cardinals first night game on the schedule. Gant, 26, will pitch about three or four innings against Houston at the Ballpark of the Palm Beach's complex.


Quote:
They cannot send him to Class AAA Memphis without risking him through waivers -- and he'd be taken -- so they must find a role for him on the big-league roster. If he's starter, that bumps the other candidates into roles in the bullpen or as the No. 6 starter in Triple-A Memphis. It is more likely that the No. 6 starter would be, in that case, Gomber or righthander Daniel Ponce de Leon. If Hudson edges Gant and the others for the rotation spot, then Gant could serve as the groundball-getter in the bullpen, a role Hudson had last season and one held for a long time by Seth Maness. If Gant is in the rotation, then Hudson could be Maness, with more horsepower.

Reyes is the wild card -- fitting in as a starter in the majors, managed as a reliever in the majors, or off to Class AAA Memphis for controlled starts until he's needed in the majors.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: March 1 19, 5:06 pm 
Offline
All Hail the New GDT Master
User avatar

Joined: April 26 11, 6:06 am
Posts: 20887
Location: Columbus, OH
The Athletic

Quote:
Jack Flaherty is a little​ more driven​ than your average 23-year​ old.

“I’m never going to go out there and just work on stuff and go, ‘Oh man, I’ve got time before the season,’” he said. “The sooner I feel everything is there, the more confident everything will feel. I’m working on getting guys out.”

He is, more specifically, working on getting guys out more efficiently. That’s where teammate Miles Mikolas can help. When it comes to dispatching hitters quickly with an aggressive approach, there is no better pitcher in the major leagues.

The Cardinals recognized that when they awarded him a four-year, $68-million contract extension earlier this week. Both president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and owner Bill DeWitt Jr. praised Mikolas for his leadership qualities. There is one perfectly tangible way Mikolas can lead his younger teammates to quicker success: show them how to throw strikes nearly as relentlessly as he does.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: March 3 19, 5:27 pm 
Offline
All Hail the New GDT Master
User avatar

Joined: April 26 11, 6:06 am
Posts: 20887
Location: Columbus, OH
This seems like a good place for this; from Bernie on The Athletic

Quote:
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.


Quote:
The Cardinals have many choices, options, alternatives. But among these relievers, how many will perform at an elite, forceful level in 2019?

There’s a helluva lot to sort out here.

Shildt has an important role in all of this, and we assume he’ll have a more adept touch at running a bullpen than his predecessor, Mike Matheny. But Shildt must validate that belief and prove that he can artfully navigate his way through an always chaotic bullpen funhouse. It can be a maze. Bodies in, bodies out. A line of frequent-flyer relievers riding the Memphis shuttle. Sore arms, broken confidence.

This will also be a test of the Cardinals’ system. Do the Cardinals overrate their own young talent?

I don’t criticize Mozeliak and DeWitt for wanting to give their young arms a chance; it makes sense. And that’s how the baseball industry has been trending for a while now. The Cardinals are to be commended for accumulating so much pitching depth. But it isn’t that simple.

If this bullpen burns again, Mozeliak must remedy the crisis by going outside the organization to seek and secure relief. In recent seasons, he has dropped the baseball on his responsibility when confronted by a bullpen crisis. This cannot happen again in 2019.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: March 8 19, 5:11 pm 
Offline
Perennial All-Star
User avatar

Joined: April 20 06, 8:43 pm
Posts: 8473
Location: Please use blue font for the sarcasm impaired.
I've been doing a little back of the napkin scribbling, just pretending I was making out the bullpen. Man, this is tough. Not only do you have to think about "am I going to get 7 or 8 spots?", but you also have to worry about losing some pretty decent arms due to lack of options this year.

I worry that we're going to have to carry 5 bench players. Catcher + JMart, Gyrko, Munoz/Robinson and the wild card O'Neill. If they went with an 8 man bullpen, who do you keep off the team? O'Neill? JMart? Gyrko? What a pickle.

So with all that in mind, I have the pen as:
Hicks
Miller
Brebia
Leone
Cecil (barf)
Reyes
Gant

Assuming we keep O'Neill up, that likely means Gregerson is on the DL and Mayers and Shreve have to pass through waivers or be traded. Gant is also out of options, otherwise you could make a strong case for keeping him stretched out in AAA.

This would leave your AAA staff with Ponce, Hudson, Gomber, Helsley, Cabrera, Webb.

It really bugs me that we have to choose (seemingly) between keeping O'Neill up or an 8th reliever. I just can't picture sending Hulk back to AAA. Ugh.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: March 8 19, 10:11 pm 
Offline
GRB's obsessive compulsive baseball poster
User avatar

Joined: October 12 07, 12:28 pm
Posts: 24249
Location: Raptured
GeddyWrox wrote:
I've been doing a little back of the napkin scribbling, just pretending I was making out the bullpen. Man, this is tough. Not only do you have to think about "am I going to get 7 or 8 spots?", but you also have to worry about losing some pretty decent arms due to lack of options this year.

I worry that we're going to have to carry 5 bench players. Catcher + JMart, Gyrko, Munoz/Robinson and the wild card O'Neill. If they went with an 8 man bullpen, who do you keep off the team? O'Neill? JMart? Gyrko? What a pickle.

So with all that in mind, I have the pen as:
Hicks
Miller
Brebia
Leone
Cecil (barf)
Reyes
Gant

Assuming we keep O'Neill up, that likely means Gregerson is on the DL and Mayers and Shreve have to pass through waivers or be traded. Gant is also out of options, otherwise you could make a strong case for keeping him stretched out in AAA.

This would leave your AAA staff with Ponce, Hudson, Gomber, Helsley, Cabrera, Webb.

It really bugs me that we have to choose (seemingly) between keeping O'Neill up or an 8th reliever. I just can't picture sending Hulk back to AAA. Ugh.

Yadi
Wong
DeJong
Carpenter
Goldschmidt
Ozuna
Bader
Fowler

Mikolas
Martinez (Gant)
Flaherty
Wainwright
Wacha

Wieters
Gyorko
Martinez
O'Neill
Robinson

Miller
Hicks
Brebbia
Cecil
Shreve
Leone
Mayers

That's your opening 25.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 172 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 18  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Big Amoco Sign, MinorLeagueGuy, phins and 20 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group