I don’t even know what else there is to say about the dumpster fire in Cardinals-land. Will Oliver Marmol have a job by the end of the month? By the end of this series? The ‘play the game the right way’ nonsense with Tyler O’Neill was bad enough vibes, but then seeing the same pattern continue with this bananas Contreras quasi-benching is just ridiculous. Mike Matheny and TLR wouldn’t be doing this in a fever dream (dying laughing). Which is to say, I am so here for it.
Despite some of the comments from the offseason re the rivalry, I feel pretty bad for Contreras here. This Cardinals pitching staff sucks ass. When your rotation is screwed going into the season because 74 year old Adam Wainwright goes down, the finger should be pointing elsewhere. Willie’s defensive numbers behind the plate are right in line with where he’s been in the past – we can’t qualify the game calling stuff but even Yadi couldn’t cover up that big pile of shit. Contreras has more than done his part, skipping the WBC to get extra time with the pitchers and doing everything they’ve asked. He’s reached out to Yadi for help*. And even then, the PitchCom goes both ways. If the Cardinals pitchers are so immersed in whatever nonsense system they use, they can just call their own games. I don’t think the pitch clock precludes calling games from the dugout either.
*third-hand at this point, but Yadi basically told Contreras that he’s doing fine and the pitchers just aren’t executing. Then Marmol comes out with the following quote: “The reality is, it’s more than he’s ever had to do. Nothing against the way he’s done it, but it’s very different & it’s a lot of work.” I’m sure players love when your manager drops a quote that says you’re a lazy moron, and only feeds the…biases…of Cardinals fans. Maybe they can bring in Tim Tebow to catch?
Anyway, #FreeWillie, and enjoy the circus I guess. My joke about Skip Schumacher bringing the devil magic to Miami instead may actually have some legs.
Switching to actual numbers on the year!
- OBP: Lars Nootbaar (.442)
- ISO: Nolan Gorman (.263)
- HR: Gorman (7)
- R+RBI: Goldschmidt/Gorman (34)
- wRC+: Paul DeJong (165)
- BSR: Brendan Donovan (1.1)
- Defense: Nolan Arenado (2.4)
- SP K/9: Jack Flaherty (9.44)
- SP BB/9: Jordan Montgomery (1.98)
- SP FIP: Montgomery (2.87)
- RP K/9: Jordan Hicks (15.23)
- RP BB/9: Chris Stratton (0.90)
- RP FIP: Stratton (2.41)
- WAR: Goldy (1.4)
- OBP: Happ (.431)
- ISO: Wisdom (.358)
- HR: Wisdom (11)
- R+RBI: Belli (45)
- wRC+: Happ (150)
- BSR: Hoerner (2.5)
- Defense: Swanson (3.5)
- SP K/9: Taillon (10.59)
- SP BB/9: Smyly (2.11)
- SP FIP: Taillon (2.48)
- RP K/9: Leiter (14.79)
- RP BB/9: Alzolay (1.72)
- RP FIP: Alzolay (2.47)
- WAR: Belli (1.5)
Who isn’t available?
Cyle is still rehabbing his shoulder injury, and probably won’t be back for a few weeks. He swing by Chicago to get some coaching from the big league staff and will have at least one more start. Yan Gomes is on the concussion IL, but was able to take BP over the weekend which is a great sign. Brandon Hughes is back on the IL with a knee injury, but it sounds like he’ll rejoin the team without a rehab assignment once it’s up. RP Codi Heuer made his first rehab appearance following Tommy John last year, and looked great, hitting 99 on the gun. If all goes well he’ll be a flamethrowing reinforcement in a month or so.
For the Cardinals, aside from the self-inflicted wounds above, OG Scapegoat Tyler O’Neill is on the IL with a back strain. Willie is day to day with an ankle injury.
Pitching Matchups, game times
2023 K/9, BB/9, ERA, FIP listed for all starters
Monday: Miles Mikolas, RHP (8.20, 2.17, 5.79, 4.94) vs Marcus Stroman, RHP (8.27, 3.48, 2.18, 3.70), 6:40 PM CT
Tuesday: Jack Flaherty, RHP (9.44, 5.77, 6.29, 5.43) vs Jameson Taillon, RHP (10.59, 2.12, 5.29, 2.48), 6:40 PM CT
Woden’s day: Jordan Montgomery, LHP (8.34, 1.98, 3.29, 2.87) vs Justin Steele, LHP (7.48, 2.28, 1.45, 3.20) 6:40 PM CT