Sports

Monday Morning GM: You Boys Like Mexico?

The Cardinals had a pretty successful week, sweeping what was one of the hottest teams in the league in the Dodgers, then splitting a 2 game series with the Reds in Mexico.Here are the NL Central Standings as of this morning:

TeamWLW%GB
Brewers106.625
Cardinals96.6000.5
Pirates86.5711.0
Cubs59.3574.0
Reds59.3574.0

The team has a Pythagorean Record of 9-6 (78 RS, 62 RA), which puts them right where they should be record-wise.On to the thoughts:

  • Marcell Ozuna has been bad on defense this season; there is no doubt about that. His wall climb/fall was embarrassing for him, the team, and the fans. That said, the ball ricocheting off his chest on Sunday in Mexico shouldn’t be blamed on him. That turf is completely different than the grass they are used to playing on; it bounces further and faster, so it’s not surprising that the ball went right past his glove into his gut. And really, he’s making up for the miscues with the bat.
  • Andrew Miller is struggling; the comparisons to Greg Holland aren’t fair though. Miller is healthy for the first time in at least 2 years and is relearning the mechanics that made him successful; he’s dealt with hamstring, knee, and shoulder injuries the last 2 seasons. I’m willing to guess the shoulder injury came from the leg issues and changing his mechanics. Give him a month to be straightened out; if he’s still struggling then, we need to worry.
  • For those worried about Paul Goldschmidt‘s slow start:
    MonthOPSBABIPtOPS+
    Mar/Apr.894.34393
    May.943.344102
    June1.038.378123
    July.931.377101
    Aug.928.33599
    Sep/Oct.833.33980
    He has a history of slower starts and finishes, with him peaking during June. Last season, he got off to a slow start and came out of it in June. I believe we’ll see peak Goldie during the summer.
  • I’m still in favor of giving Dexter Fowler playing time, but they need to start getting Tyler O’Neill at bats. Fowler still has a good OBP (.333), but is showing virtually no power. Harrison Bader is in the same boat. O’Neill is hitting better and for more power. I’d be starting him against lefties for Fowler and at least a start a week in center. You could even steal a start every 2 weeks from Ozuna. O’Neill is hitting, but the concern with strikeouts is still there; he’s sitting close to a 40% K rate…that’s down from last year, but still not good.
  • Alex Reyes is pitching better at Memphis; he’s made 3 appearances with a 0.00 ERA. The issue is 6 walk and 4 Ks in 4.2 innings. He needs to get that control back in order to return to the Majors.
  • Carlos Martinez threw a 20-fastball bullpen over the weekend (per Derrick Goold); he’s expected to do it again today. The team will determine a rehab assignment and a role after he throws again.

Brewers and Mets coming up this week for 3 games each. I’ll be back this week with more Cardinals, breaking down the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker preview, and reviews of Bumblebee, The Fielding Bible IV, a graphic novel, and a beer.

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