Check out the highlights from Lynn Worthy’s Cardinals chat with readers. The full transcript of the chat can be found here.
Q: I would really like to know the reasoning of bringing Liberatore into that game yesterday. My friends and I were scratching our heads, big time!
LW: They'd said for several days that he'd likely have to be available out of the bullpen one of the days over the weekend because they lost a relief arm when they added a sixth starter. He, in effect, threw the bullpen session he would have done between starts in yesterday's game. It allowed them not to burn another reliever when the bullpen is a bit short.
He's still likely to make another start during this road trip. They hadn't announced a day yet because it hinged on which day he appeared in relief.
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Q: Has Paul DeLong pretty much earned back his role as the (mostly) everyday shortstop?
LW: Well, his hitting has earned him playing time. The thing with him is that they like to keep him at shortstop as opposed to Tommy Edman, who they feel good about having play multiple spots. Tommy's best spot is probably second, where he has won a Gold Glove. So if PDJ is getting regular at-bats, it's most likely going to be at shortstop.
Q: How do you think the way Contreras was handled by the FO will have a lasting impact on free agents going forward? It’s great that the season is turning a bit, but for an organization that has struggled to attract free agents, is this not another black eye?
LW: It can't be a great look for things to unfold the way they did less than two months into the season after he signed that five-year deal. If we were talking about college spots, you'd say that will be fodder for other schools to use as negative recruiting against the Cardinals. However, some of that may have been tempered by the fact that Contreras handled it the way he did, bounced back the way he did and got a curtain call from the fans at Busch last week. In the end, money and playing time will likely be two of the biggest factors. If the Cardinals have enough of those to offer, it may trump any hesitation over what happened with one free agent.
Q: Do you think there will eventually be an MLB team built to resemble the 1980s Cardinals teams? It seems like teams will be reluctant to completely abandon power in their lineup but with the new rules promoting SB and increased averages with limits to the shift, it seems like it could be a viable option depending on personnel. And I think it would be exciting watch in today's game even more so then it was back then.
LW: I think the 1985 team had one hitter with 20 HRs or more ... As much as I love the stolen base, guys being able to take the extra base on balls in the dirt, going first-to-third and manufacturing runs, I don't see an offense built entirely that way being able to win consistently against teams that have thumpers up and down the lineup.
Q: Who do you see as possible realistic upgrades to the cardinal rotation? Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber, Chris Sale?
LW: All of those are different cases. Giolito is a free agent at the end of this year, so he'd be a rental for this season. Not sure what the price would be to acquire him, but you'd like to think it wouldn't be too steep. Cease, on the other hand, has multiple years of control left. So I'd expect that to cost you the type of young talent that you might not want to part ways with. Probably take some quantity too. I think the Mariners traded four prospects to get Luis Castillo last year. So it's not going to be whichever player you're fine giving up for multiple years of Cease.
Sale seems like it could be a risky proposition considering he has another year of hefty salary left after this season. And while he has been very good this year, he's coming off of a two-year stretch in 2021 and 2022 where he pitched just 11 times due to injuries. Bieber still has another year of control, so I'm not sure if that makes Cleveland more likely to move him now or not. They have a track record under Francona of playing better as the season progresses. In that division, they could be in the running by the deadline, and might want to hold onto him.
Cardinals stashed three left-handed bats on the bench and are starting to show offensive depth beyond lineup. Though they lost, 6-5, they hinted at needed versatility.
Bases loaded in the ninth, runner in scoring position in the 10th, and Cardinals could not turn either into runs, as Reds won, 6-5, on walk-off in extra innings.
St. Louis has won four consecutive series — and its next four series are against three teams under .500 and one right around it.
On the eve of his 21st birthday, Cardinals rookie Jordan Walker singled and doubled during Class AAA Memphis’s series finale against Braves’ affiliate, Gwinnett.
Oscar Mercado's five-RBI game helped lead the Cardinals to a series-clinching win vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium to close the homestand.