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Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: On the road again

Weekly St. Louis Cardinals-focused chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

In our normal late-Friday time slot, I joined Ken Miller on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our weekly series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals. Jim Brinson was away.

We discussed the Cardinals’ troubles on their just completed 3-3 home stand and the loss in the first game of this weekend’s road series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

Once again in 2014, Cardinals followers in central Iowa are able to catch St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcasts on KXnO as well as my regular segment each week throughout the season, either over the air or via streaming. Or, if you miss it live, you can always catch the replay right here at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Click here for audio: Brian Walton with Ken Miller (6:35)

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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22 Responses to “Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: On the road again”

  1. blingboy says:

    I listened to the audio and I’m stunned. Brian actually mentioned that late in the season the Cards might look back and wish thay had won a couple more games in April.

    I have often said as much, here and on the main site, and always run into trouble from the ‘there’s always tomorrow” crowd. My position has always been that there will come a time when there is no tomorrow, and then it is too late. For that reason a game now must be treated the same as a game in September. I have seen about 50 of those no tomorow days now as a fan so I know.

    Also, the mention of Jaime and Jason beginning their rehab stints got me thinking about how that may all play out. 101 possibilities, but first we have to see how they fare in game action. Of course, the eventual move of Lynn to the pen, or as a trade candidate, has already been thrown out there. Funny.

    Probably what will happen, if they both come back, is that somebody else will go down or have effectiveness issues.

    Mo will not trade somebody just because he can, to alleviate a log jam or tidy up the depth chart. Deeper into the season, as other teams develop desperate needs, then Mo will be in a position of strength, where he could satisfy that immediate desperate need for a price.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      There is an art in deciding when to make moves. For well established players, like Peralta and Craig, you mostly have to wait for them to come around.
      Others are on a shorter leash and you have to look at all the diagnostics. Bourjos got a pinch-hit yesterday and did the thing he needs to get away from but instead does too well, he whiffed. When Bourjos does not put the ball in play, then his legs cannot help him contribute.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Not to worry about there is always next year crowd. Mo and Mike are NOT members. They are impatient to win every gameday.

      • blingboy says:

        Mo has taken a lot of heat for bailing on Wong and Bourjos ‘so fast’. (As if the ML regular season is a good time for a young player to acclimate and learn how to contribute.) I doubt anything else happens until Jaime and/or Motte comes back or blows up.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          The Wong demotion criticism is unwarranted. Wong has only had one season at AAA. This year we can try him in the majors or get him regular work at AAA. It makes sense to be flexible and ride whoever is hot, because of the intense need to win.
          Something to bear in mind is we have to have depth. So sure, if Wong were hitting, we could stick with him. If he is not hitting, then we go with others.
          Mo could be faulted for playing Ellis only one AAA game. They probably thought Ellis is a vet who can help out asap, but as is too often the case in these kinds of situations, giving a vet a few at bats at AAA results in him trying to find his timing in the majors. Mo should probably put a big sign up in his office, Do Not Bring a Vet off the DL until he has spent a week at AAA. Then he can refer to the sign, so as to remember the rule of thumb.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I was specifically commenting about the two extra-inning home losses to the Brewers, which were especially winnable. Same with the Washington finale and a couple of the Mets games. We should know a lot more by the end of May, as the Cards will spend most of the final three weeks of the month at home. Before then, however, eight more road games await.

  2. crdswmn says:

    The more I think about it the more I think the Wong demotion was because neither he nor Ellis were hitting, and both need regular playing time to get their bats going. Wong could be sent to Memphis, Ellis couldn’t.

    The question is what to do if Ellis doesn’t start to hit soon.

    As for the other stuff, it’s not that April games don’t count, it’s that unreasonable expectations and lack of patience from fans creates these kinds of firestorms and disagreements. Playing major league baseball is hard and not every player has the same ability to hit right out of the gate. Matt Holliday has been a slow starter practically his whole career, but he eventually gets the job done in spades. Guys like Molina and Adams are the opposite, hot starters. Some players are successful with less regular playing time and work well as pinch hitters. Others must play regularly in order to hit. To expect the same result in the same amount of time from every player is unrealistic and short-sighted. Players are not robots you can program to perform on demand.

    Whatever plan Mo has will be revealed in time. I may not like it, but that’s the way the game is played. The day a GM makes roster decisions based on the desires of fans, is the day his team becomes a forever last place team.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      I believe Ellis could have been assigned to the minors for up to 3 weeks, as part of returning from a disabled list. Hence my criticism. He only played one game at AAA, because either they caved to his begging to be promoted or because they got overoptimistic that Ellis could hit from day one at the ML level, because he is so established. Given he did not spend enough rehab play time in the minors establishing his timing, his lousy results in the majors are not surprising. There was poor judgment shown in not keeping Ellis at Memphis for a week or two, until his readiness to hit was clearly established.

      • crdswmn says:

        I was talking about when they sent Wong down, they couldn’t send Ellis because he wasn’t on the DL anymore. Whether they should have left Ellis in rehab longer is a valid criticism but is irrelevant now.

    • blingboy says:

      “The more I think about it the more I think the Wong demotion was because neither he nor Ellis were hitting, and both need regular playing time to get their bats going. Wong could be sent to Memphis, Ellis couldn’t.”

      A very good point.

      “Matt Holliday has been a slow starter practically his whole career”

      An example of one of those things everybody knows is true but isn’t.

      “The day a GM makes roster decisions based on the desires of fans, is the day his team becomes a forever last place team.”

      Cliche without substance. In other words, twaddle. Probably had some merit in the past when fans’s knowledge was vastly more limited and less current, so people keep parroting it even though its application today is far less a given.

  3. Bw52 says:

    Yesterday`s stinker by Waino hurt.Now the trip starts out with a loss from your “ace” so now everybody else needs to pickup the slack.Wacha has been okay but not lights out,Lynn reverted back to usual pattern….get lead and give it away,Miller has been very good or very bad,Kelly hangs tough but how long can you keep giving up hits and baserunners every inning and hold on to win?Lyons still a question mark?Bullpen semi-shakey too.
    So its not just the hitters looking not so sharp.Its been a team effort to be bad.

  4. Bw52 says:

    Damned pitiful excuse for major league hitters today.Cards playing like crap.Under .500.Pathetic .Awful.Disgusting.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Grichuk has whiffed 6 times in 12 at bats, a higher rate than Bourjos. Bourjos has the higher OPS. Yikes. Grichuk, Ellis, Bourjos, Descalso, Robinson, Wong. Not a lot contributed among them.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    There are positives, but they may be taken for granted or overlooked. Most of the pitching staff, with the exception of Maness. Tyler Lyons has contributed in the absence of Joe Kelly.

    Peralta has done about what might be expected and is leading the team in HRs. He ought to get more chances in the second slot in the lineup.

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