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Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Heading Back Home

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

A day earlier than usual due to the July 4th holiday, I joined Ken Miller and Jim Brinson on Thursday afternoon on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our weekly series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals.

We discussed the Cardinals shaky offense, the conclusion of the 10-game road trip, international free agent signings as well as the plans for the club to return home for seven of the 10 games to conclude the pre-All-Star segment of the schedule.

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 and Jim Brinson (10:12)

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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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29 Responses to “Cardinal Talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Heading Back Home”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Two wins at the end of West Coast trip are welcome.
    Pedro Martinez is giving a nice lift, from the new role of starting pitcher.
    Today, Peralta batted cleanup and filled the role, launching a team leading HR.

    Joe Kelly will be back after the All Star break. He was one of our best starting pitchers last year, so this should be very helpful.
    Wong could return soon as well. He can help against RHPs. Somebody will need to go down, Robinson or Descalso.
    It looks like Oscar will get enough playing time, at any of the three OF positions. Oscar is the future, so we want to work him into the mix. He can help in the short run and in the years ahead.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Another guy who has been pitching well is Maness. Matheny loves to bring Maness into games, much like calling on Rosenthal. Maness seems like a comfort blanket for Matheny’s brain, so its very helpful when Seth is pitching well.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Eovaldi threw impressive heat. It took mainstays Carpenter, Holliday, and Molina to eke out two runs. It was nice to see Oscar smack the game winner. We have a better lineup against a tough RHP with him in it.
    It is odd how the Cards lose nearly all appeals. It indicates decision making weakness.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Decision-making weakness? Pile on time…

      • JumboShrimp says:

        An appeal for review of a call should be a rational act. The play is over. Somebody should review a replay and decide whether there is evidence to justify an appeal. This is a rational decision, based on supportive film evidence. If done competently, most appeals will be based on factual merit. However, the Cards have one of the lowest rates of appeal success. This indicates weakness within the team (of the film reviewer and Matheny).
        Matheny has been blaming players for not letting him know. This does not make a lot of sense. Last night, Carpenter was running the bases when his ball hit high off the wall. He cannot possibly know if the ball went out. It was easily clear on film. Matheny appealed anyway and lost, as he should have.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Intentions matter. What if the Cards want to show fans a good time by appealing important calls, even those known to be made correctly? When the call is sustained, this confirms the good judgment of the ump and reassures fans who might wonder otherwise, on the drive home. Maybe having a low appeal success rate is a good thing.
          A different appeal strategy would be try to have a good success rate and to improve the accuracy of close calls for the benefit of the game. This would be more tactical and unemotional (more Jumbo and TLR, less Matheny). Mike is saluted for inspirational leadership and heart. These are worthy traits. He also does not have a high success rate on appeals, perhaps because his are based on spirit, less on film facts.

  3. Bw52 says:

    The offense is still stagnant.Pitching still doing most of the heavy lifting.Can the arms continue to carry the team?

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    “Garcia, when talking with reporters, did not commit to surgery, but a frustrated Mozeliak made it clear that is now the intended route, even though the team felt there might be other options to pursue first.”

    Mo should not talk to reporters when frustrated. This results in crazy accounts, like above.

    Mo should have more sympathy for Garcia. This is turning into Rolen Part 2.

    Garcia injured his labrum in 2012. The Cards wanted him to keep pitching, so he did, until it hurt too much. He deferred surgery, likely at the team’s request, because nobody likes labrum surgery. He pitched during 2013, until it hurt too much, and he finally had the surgery.

    He came back in 2014. Mo pooh poohed Garcia’s shoulder pain in spring training and in so doing destroyed his credibility with Garcia. Jaime worked his way back and pitched well, until something hurt too much again. Garcia has doctors who suggest it is now a nerve problem from an injury during May, not the labrum this time.

    If I was Garcia, the last guys who I would notify about the nerve problem is the team. They asked him to pitch when hurt during 2012 and again during 2013, then pooh poohed his pain during 2014. He is doing the right thing now, looking entirely after number one. Get your own doctors, get independent recommendations, make your own medical decisions about what makes the most sense for you. Garcia needs to think about 2015. Get himself into the best possible medical condition, so he can land a contract after 2014.

    • blingboy says:

      Garcia is probably content to spend the rest of his time with the Cardinals getting himself healthy for the long haul rather than patched together enough for the Cards to get some value before his contract expires.

      No pitcher should ever go near the Cards med staff. Its like being advised by your wife’s lawyer.

    • Bw52 says:

      Jaime Garcia already has a contract past 2014.Big Mistake by Cards.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        All the long contracts are unnecessary. Garcia’s, Craig’s, and now Carpenter’s.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Garcia has a contract with the Cards for 2015. We can jettison him for 2016 via a half million dollar buyout. He is looking ahead to 2016 and reasonably so.

        • Bw52 says:

          Holliday buyout 1 million in 2017
          Molina buyout 2 million 2018
          Craig 1 million buyout 2018
          M.Carpenter 2 million 2020

          Cards get rid of no long contracts till Choate after 2015 and Garcia as you mentioned.
          looks like 2.5 more years of Holliday
          3.5 years Yadi
          Peralt thru 2017

  5. blingboy says:

    I hope Westy chimes in with the insurance angle.

  6. JumboShrimp says:

    If anyone should resign, its Matheny, not Mabry. Matheny may be a nice human being, but he is not great at managing pitchers.
    It was good idea to bring in Choate for the first out of the 9th.
    Then it would then have been best to go with Motte. Rosenthal threw 32 pitches just last night, giving up 2 runs. What is Rosenthal doing back on the mound again this afternoon, giving up 2 more?
    A manager with the requisite tactical discipline for the job would decide who closes before the game even begins.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      TLR used to talk about the importance, for him as a manager, of thinking ahead. He presumably wanted to anticipate a bunch of the matchups that could arise, so when the inning and the circumstance arrived, he was ready to make a decision.
      During 2012 and 2013, the Cards had Carlos Beltran as an offensive backbone and they had good teams. Since Mike did not manage in the minors, he has had to learn on the job. This was easier in 2012 and 2013, thanks to the strong teams he was given.
      A manager seems more important when a team is not strong. With a ho-hum, .500 team, the importance of a tactically clever manager is going to rise. A clever manager might enable a team to get another 5 wins out of a season, and this can enable a team to qualify for a wild card berth. By the same logic, an unclever manager might cost a team 5 games per year. The gap between clever and unclever can be 10 games, which seems pretty large.

  7. crdswmn says:

    I really hate agreeing with Jumbo, but Matheny isn’t wowing me with his brain power in these games. He just seems stuck in this need for routine, for doing what’s comfortable instead of what’s smart. He doesn’t think on his feet very well but just goes with what he knows. No innovative thinking, no risk taking, just plodding along with the same strategy, day after day after day. It’s like his brain is stuck in neutral.

    Something has to change or this season could be down the tubes. I am not suggesting firing Matheny, though that wouldn’t make me sad. It just isn’t a likely thing to happen.

  8. JumboShrimp says:

    Matheny is presumably a good judge of people. Also, the daily lineup makes sense, on any given day, given the opponent and how players are doing.
    Where Mike can be second guessed, like all managers are, is on in-game management decisions. Mo might want to try to get Mike better advice or persuade him to heed advice. It would be a pity to have to replace a guy with many good qualities, if he could improve, with the right support.
    The main problem is the Cards are now heavily reliant on young players. Mike is open to using young players, which is good, but he has a tendency to over-rely on some. He does not spread out the work enough and Rosenthal will break, as will anyone, with over-use.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      To argue on behalf of Matheny, he went with Motte today and Jason got shelled. His ERA is 5.6. The bullpen includes Motte and Greenwood, both iffy, and Choate, who tends not to go a full inning. This leaves just Rosenthal, Neshek, Freeman, and Maness, who get a lot of work.
      Siegrist is a terrific pitcher when his arm is healthy. If he is someday able to return, then Greenwood can be sent down, where he belongs.
      Mo will want to keep Motte on the roster, because paying him $7MM. But Jason will need to contribute better than today.

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