St. Louis Cardinals

Dexter Fowler: The move Mozeliak and the Cardinals had to make

The St. Louis Cardinals handed out a 5 year deal to a player who had his best year in his age 30 season. That peak, by the way, is a .276 AVG, .393 OBP, 13 HR, 48 RBI and 13 SB. Good enough for a 4.2 WAR.

The Cardinals overpaid for Dexter Fowler (the deal likely around $15 million per year), no doubt about it. But, at this point in time, it was a move they had to make.

The Cardinals outfield production was pretty average last season, and now Matt Holliday will be playing in the Bronx. With Stephen Piscotty the only consistent outfielder remaining on the roster, the Cardinals had few options.

Jose Bautista was an option, and he played 91 games in right field last season in Toronto. But he will be entering his age 36 season and may provide little more than what the Cards got out of Matt Holliday, at a much higher price.

Ian Desmond signed for less money (5 years, $70 million) to play for the Rockies. Desmond will likely play left field for the Rockies, but did appear in 130 games in center for the Texas Rangers last season. His performance in center was below league average, but he can man the position.

Fowler is better defensively than Desmond (slightly) and has a higher OBP, but the power isn’t there when compared to Desmond. However, the Cardinals needed a top of the order presence. While they could use a thumper in the middle of the line-up, an adequate defensive center fielder who can man the leadoff position was exactly what they needed.

The Fowler signing is not great, but if the Cards want to play in a do-or-die Wild Card game (they aren’t catching the Cubs in 2017), they had to spend big money on a slightly above average player.

**Photo credit to d-deee on flickr*P*

 

NL Central Update from the Blogosphere: A roster shake-up looms in Pittsburgh, the Reds need 2017 for 2018 and Molina looks for a new deal in St. Louis

Chicago Cubs: John Arguello (@CubsDen) of The Cubs Den released an article detailing how Charlie Blackmon could potentially fit into the 2017 lineup if the Rockies and Cubs were able to reach an agreement on a trade. Arguello surmises that Blackmon could fit into a platoon Alberto Almora or even become the full-time centerfield option for Joe Maddon. He is a hit first, play defense late type of guy. It is worth monitoring the outfield situation in Chicago with the Dexter Fowler likely out of town to cash in after a solid 2016.

St. Louis Cardinals: Brian Walton (@B_Walton) of The Cardinal Nation Blog expresses his concern over recent reports surrounding the future of Yadier Molina’s contract situation. Molina’s agent Melvin Roman, who has his client signed through 2017 with a mutual option for 2018, shared that he would like to approach the organization about Molina’s contract prior to the start of the 2017 season. The objective is to keep the 34 year old catcher in St. Louis for the rest of his career, but the threat of Molina departing after the 2017 is legitimate.

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Yadier Molina by Dave Herholz

Walton laments the thought of Molina finishing his career elsewhere, but understands it may not be prudent to give an aging catcher a final long-term team. However, Molina (as Walton points out) appeared in more games than ever last season (147) and with a manager who is a former catcher in Matheny, the trust between the two will likely weigh heavily in determining the outcome. While a resolution is not expected in the coming days, Walton points out that this is a situation to monitor going forward.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Bucco Blog reflected on Ken Rosenthal’s report that the Pirates are listening to offers on a number of players, including Josh Harrison. After signing Harrison to a four year extension after his breakout 2014 season, Harrison has been just above league average. With $17.5 million due over the next two seasons, Sawchik believes it will be difficult to find a buyer.

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Josh Harrison by Keith Allison

On Andrew McCutchen, Sawchik conversed with Mike Petriello via Twitter to learn more about how McCutchen would fit into RF (as Buster Olney has suggested). Sawchik believes that despite McCutchen fading defensive metrics, that the move could actually help the 30 year old outfielder who moves better to his right than his left.

It remains to be seen whether or not McCutchen will be traded, but we at BoT feel that it would be selling low on a player that is poised for a bounce back season.

Milwaukee Brewers: Travis Sarandos (@travis_mke) of Disciples of Uecker (I love the name) published an article yesterday detailing the Brewers upcoming decision on whether or not to tender catcher Martin Maldonado. Maldonado, 30, became the primary backstop for the Brewers after the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Sarandos cites MLBTR’s prediction that Maldonado will probably receive $1.6 million. For the money, despite not being the best long-term option for the club, Sarandos believes it is worth the money to keep him around as a “serviceable backup.”

Cincinnati Reds: Jason Linden (@jasonlinden) of Redleg Nation believes that the 2017 matters for the Reds. Linden points to a plethora of middle infielders that need playing time rather than the aging Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart. Linden also cites a number of starting pitchers (eight) that should be competing for five starting rotation spots. Jesse Winker, a top-tier outfield prospect, should also be getting a legitimate shot at regular playing time to prepare him for the everyday duty in the 2018 season.

For Linden, 2017 matters. Evaluating and deciding on the  the meaningful pieces for 2018 must occur at the Big League level in 2017.

 

 

 

 

Morning Six Pack: Eflin blanks the Buccos, Fowler returns with a bang

Two Beers: Zach Eflin, Philadelphia Phillies

Eflin was a beast last night. The 22 year old rookie threw a complete game shut out in Pittsburgh. Only surrendering three hits as he struck out six without walking a single batter. Eflin is 3 and 3 on the year and may be shut down at some point due to inning limitations, but he is quickly proving that he belongs in the long range plans of the Phillies.

One Beer: Tyler Lyons, St. Louis Cardinals

In the 16 inning marathon that was the game between the Cardinals and Dodgers, Lyons entered the game in the 11th inning and was sensational out of the ‘pen. Lyons went 4.2, only allowing one hit and striking out two. Lyons’ effort allowed the Cardinals to keep all of their starting pitchers fresh for the rest of the weekend, while the Dodgers were forced to use starter Bud Norris for 1.1 in relief. The Cardinals won on a walk-off home run by slugger Matt Adams.

One Beer: Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres

Kemp blasted two home runs in the Padres 5 to 3 win over the NL East leading Nationals. In the nation’s capital, Kemp took starter Tanner Roark deep in the 1st and 5th inning. Kemp finished 2 for 4 with 4 RBI’s.

One Beer: Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins

Kyle Gibson was brilliant in Boston last night, holding the Red Sox to only two hits over eight innings. Gibson struck out six on his way to his third win of the season. The Twins won the game 2 to 1.

One Beer: Dexter Fowler, Chicago Cubs

Folwer returned from the DL in a big way on Friday night. Fowler blasted a lead-off homer off of Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson and would go on to add two more hits, including a double. He finished the night 3 for 4 with two runs scored and three RBI’s. The Cubs won the game 5 to 2 in Milwaukee.

Morning Six Pack: Piscotty paves the way for Cards comeback, Liriano deals

Two Beers: Stephen Piscotty, St. Louis Cardinals: Piscotty stepped to the plate with the Cardinals trailing 5 to 2 in the bottom of the eighth and blasted a three run homer which capped an epic four run inning. The Cards went on to win the game when…

One Beer: Aledmys Diaz, St. Louis Cardinals: Diaz had a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, plating Tommy Pham and sending the Cardinal faithful home happy. The Cards have won seven of their last ten and now trail the Cubs by 6.5 in the NL Central.

One Beer: Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates: FINALLY! Liriano looked like a front-line starter last night against the Brewers in their 5 to 3 win in PNC Park. Liriano went 6.1 in the winning effort, striking out 13 Brewers along the way without any walks. The Pirates could really use Liriano down the stretch, as they sit just three games back of the second wild card spot.

One Beer: Dustrin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox: Pedroia was 5 for 5 last night with three runs scored in Boston’s 13 to 2 win over Minnesota.  Pedroia’s average is now .304 on the year and the team stands alone in first place in the AL East.

One Beer: Mark Reynolds, Colorado Rockies: With the Rockies leading 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Mark Reynolds unloaded on delivery from Braves reliever Hunter Cervenka. The ball traveled an estimated 484 feet and is the second longest home run of the year. The Rockies took the game from the Braves, 7 to 3. The ten year pro is also hitting a modest .277, which is 40 points over his career average.

Other scores from Thursday:

Marlins 9 @ Phillies 3

Dodgers 6 @ Nationals 3

Orioles 4 @ Yankees 1

Tigers 2 @ White Sox 1 (7 innings)

Rays 7 @ A’s 3