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Hummel: Is pitching depth beyond 2023 a problem worth addressing?

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Check out the highlights from Rick Hummel’s Cardinals chat with readers. The full transcript of the chat can be found here. 

Q: Montgomery, Flaherty, & Mikolas along with Waino would be free agents after next season? Isn't that concerning?

A:That's one of the reasons why you would bring in another starter who would be here until at least through the 2024 season.

Q: What is a realistic ask from Oakland for Murphy and his 3 years of club control?

A: They likely would ask for two pitchers, one of them big-league ready, and a young position player.

Q: Looking at the Phillies success so far it seems that besides the high priced additions it was the patience they had with their home grown talent that finally paid off?

A: The Phillies' success, more than anything else, likely has more to do with the Cardinals' offense not showing up in the series here. The Phillies didn't do anything offensively either but the Cardinals gave them the first game of the series. The Phillies had a total of nine hits in two games and Schwarber didn't even get on base. This Phillies club is not a dynasty in the making, by any means.


Q: One thing I've always been curious about is how injured player insurance works. I have heard that teams will often have policies on larger contracts in case of an injury, but is that widespread throughout the league? And how does it work usually?

A: Teams generally seek insurance for high-priced players, based on their history of a particular injury, but that doesn't cover another injury that might occur. Depending on the policy and the injury, teams can get back a certain percentage of their investment in a player for a season. But these are not inexpensive policies either.

Q: How involved will Marmol be with the choices of the coaching staff (especially bench coach). Is it the sort of thing where he pretty much has final say or is it always up to the front office?

A: Oli Marmol will get some input but more of it will come from the front office, I'm guessing.

Q: It seems to me like a lot of people have kind of written off Nolan Gorman. Gorman could be the best bat the Cardinals have developed in a decade if it weren’t for Jordan Walker. I understand he has things to work on, but he’s only 22. That’s not counting the fact that he missed a developmental year with the pandemic. How has a top 20 prospect become an afterthought after part of one season?

A: A good question. I was really surprised when he was sent out and wasn't brought back up until the playoffs. He still has plenty to offer and he got a lot better at second base. I wouldn't mind seeing Gorman play the outfield some this spring, though.

Q: Your thoughts on Goldy's last 6 weeks. I get that slumps occur, but I don't know that I ever heard him come out with anything on what suddenly went missing. When this stuff happens and a slump becomes prolonged (say 2 weeks) -- what does the team do in terms of trying to find outside help?

A: I suspect Goldschmidt, after some down time, will get to work on what next year looks like, from watching video to working in his cage. You generally don't feel the need to bring in outside help for a star of that magnitude. 

Q: If the Cardinals only increase payroll 20-30M, that entire budget would be eaten by a FA #1 SP, so unless that player comes as a trade, should fans downgrade their expectation for other positions? Contreras is going to get 15-25M/year. A top tier SP is going to be 20-30M. OF help is going to cost 10-20M for someone who fan don't see as a buy low project.

A:No, they're not going to sign three free agents for $60 million. They will have to trade for some of the stuff that they need. The payroll expansion will be from the $170 million with which they finished 2022.  Gone already are the salaries of Molina, Pujols, Dickerson and Quintana. That cut $20 million off that $170 million number.  They could go to about $190-195 million, maybe.

Q: I am curious as to your take on Walker and his likely arrival date. There is much clamoring for it to be soon, which strikes me as a mistake. The last position player to jump from AA to the majors for the Cardinals was Albert Pujols, a generational player. I was comparing Walker and Taveras recently, and would be interested in your analysis. My thanks.

A: I project Walker as a higher average batter than Taveras might have been. Taveras might have had more power. I haven't seen Walker in the outfield yet. Taveras was not a particularly good outfielder.


St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022 talks about building back the team's offense and defense after losing Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina.


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Rick Hummel is a Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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