ST. LOUIS — Aback the Cardinals captivated a columnist appointment to advertise the extensions of baseball operations leadership, they additionally addressed the 2019 division and offered some acumen into ’20. Abounding of those aforementioned capacity popped up in your questions for this week’s Inbox. Let’s get to it. How do
ST. LOUIS — Aback the Cardinals captivated a columnist appointment to advertise the extensions of baseball operations leadership, they additionally addressed the 2019 division and offered some acumen into ’20. Abounding of those aforementioned capacity popped up in your questions for this week’s Inbox. Let’s get to it.
How do the Cardinals plan on abbreviation Paul DeJong’s workload abutting year? Could we see added Yairo Muñoz or Tommy Edman at shortstop?–Jackson, Kirkwood, Mo.
The Cardinals admit that DeJong’s workload ability accept been too ambitious aftermost year. In his aboriginal abounding year as the accustomed shortstop, the 26-year-old played 159 games. He got off to a hot alpha aback he hit .360 in April, but he fell into a slump and couldn’t absolutely get out of it. In September, he hit .175.
“That is article we discussed,” admiral of baseball operations John Mozeliak said about DeJong’s workload. “He’s the blazon of amateur that capital to be in the lineup, so that is article we accept to manage, but acutely his workload was actual demanding.”
To be clear: DeJong will still be the accustomed ambush in 2020. But it would be astute to accord him a few added canicule off. This is area Edman comes in. Depending on what happens this offseason, Mozeliak said that the Cardinals ability attending at Edman as a Ben Zobrist-type amateur — addition who plays all about the acreage about every day. Aback DeJong needs a day off, attending for Edman to booty over, while Muñoz could aperture in aback Edman is bare elsewhere.
“Tommy is one of those types of players that gives you a lot of flexibility,” Mozeliak said. “I anticipate as the division unfolds, the key will be to accumulate giving him opportunities. That’s what our ambition will be. I don’t apperceive if I’d say alpha every day, but I anticipate he’ll get a lot of arena opportunity.”
Cardinals administration sees Carpenter’s history and his stats aural his tenure. That ability not be the acknowledgment abounding admirers are attractive for, but it’s true. The Cardinals see how Carpenter performed for them in the accomplished — three All-Star years, two top-10 finishes in MVP voting, the 36 home runs he hit in 2018 — and are attractive for that to appear abutting year.
They’re additionally advantageous him a lot of money to accomplish like he has in the past. The Cardinals do not appetite to and will not accord up on a amateur that bound afterwards they invested two years and $39 actor in him. It’s no abstruse that Carpenter performed way beneath expectations this year — he batted .226 and had a .736 OPS — but as far as the Cardinals’ aplomb in a bounce-back year for Carpenter? “It’s high,” Mozeliak said on Tuesday.
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“You attending at area he was a year ago to what happened this accomplished year, we’re activity to attending at that as an outlier,” Mozeliak said. “Our expectations for him abutting division is for him to be a accidental affiliate in that order, and he wants to do aggregate he can to be a allotment of that.
“He wasn’t admiring with the year he had, he had college expectations. He’s activity to absorb his offseason advancing and aggravating to do some things to advice to change that trajectory.”
Look for Carpenter to activate the year at third base. If he continues his decline, Edman could booty over. The Cardinals weren’t abashed to accept him comedy off the bank backward this season. But they’re activity to accord him a adventitious to accept a improvement year.
What roles do you anticipate Austin Gomber and Daniel Ponce de Leon will comedy abutting year?–Drew, Lincoln, Neb.
Gomber and Ponce de Leon will be aggressive for a starting atom appear Spring Training. As it stands appropriate now, St. Louis has two spots accessible in the rotation. The aggregation is alive on a new accord for Adam Wainwright to acknowledgment abutting year, so that is acceptable one spot. The Cardinals will additionally attending about for a starter, either by barter or chargeless agency, but if they’re activity to absorb money or prospects, it’s added acceptable to be spent on an abhorrent upgrade. That agency that aftermost circling spot, if Wainwright does return, will acceptable be accessible to a mix of antagonism that includes Gomber, Ponce de Leon, Carlos Martínez and Alex Reyes.
Gomber, 25, absent all of 2019 with a larboard biceps injury. By the time he accessible to return, it was already September, so the Cardinals told him to about-face his focus to ’20. Being a left-hander helps his starting cause; the club has at atomic two lefties (Andrew Miller, Tyler Webb) in the abode already, and it could use a left-hander in the rotation.
Ponce de Leon will be 28 years old abutting division and has contempo acquaintance on his side. He fabricated eight starts in 2019 and appeared out of the abode in a long-inning abatement role bristles added times. Ponce de Leon wasn’t admiring with his acceptance — or abridgement therof — in September, but there weren’t abounding opportunities for him to angle in the role he was in. If he shows constant command, though, he’ll accept a attempt at authoritative the circling in ’20.
Both could additionally be acclimated out of the bullpen, although it’s added acceptable that they would accessible the year in Triple-A Memphis and delay for a abeyant atom alpha throughout the year.
Do you anticipate the Cards accept aplomb in Brett Cecil?–Ruth, Chicago
The Cardinals absolutely achievement Cecil can accord abutting year, but he needs to appearance them he’s advantageous and accessible for the workload afore they accord their abounding confidence. The 33-year-old lefty is alpha the final year of the four-year, $30.5 actor arrangement that he active aback in 2017. He absent all of ’19 with carpal adit affection in his larboard hand.
Cecil is spending his offseason with the Cardinals adjust aggregation in Jupiter, Fla., in alertness for Spring Training. The Cards are activity to accord him a attempt at authoritative the agenda — he is authoritative $7 actor in 2020, afterwards all — but there is no agreement he can break advantageous or is the aforementioned bullpen he was afore he dealt with a cord of injuries in ’18.
“It’s a big catechism mark what we’re activity to get,” Mozeliak said. “He’s got to adapt himself for the year.”
Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.
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