Several Key Moves Key For St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak recently sat down with MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch to have an in-depth conversation. She recently posted part one of that interview. There were several interesting points brought up in this interview. Let’s discuss!
* Pat Neshek. The complementary piece? Yes, Neshek was originally slated to be a complementary piece to the bullpen going into spring training. That was if he even made the big club. Knowing this and comparing it to what actually happened … becoming an All-Star and the set-up man … well, I couldn’t be happier for Pat. I’d like to see him back with the team next season for sure. The Neshek from earlier this summer that is… not the one of the last couple of weeks!
* Randal Grichuk. Mo saw him as the key piece in the deal for David Freese and Fernando Salas. Per Mozeliak:
"We wouldn’t have done the deal without Grichuk. That was something that was a critical part. Obviously, we thought [Peter] Bourjos was someone who would come in, compete for center-field playing time and be a part of our club. Grichuk was somebody that we thought with the raw power would be a nice complement to our system. Without him, there is no deal."
Grichuk was somebody that we thought with the raw power would be a nice complement to our system. Without him, there is no deal.
I really have enjoyed watching Grichuk, especially since his September call-up. He makes great plays where ever he is in the outfield. Plays that Oscar Tavares doesn’t even go after right now. Neither would Allen Craig after his lower body injuries. And, he has had some nice timely hits. Plus? He’s quick. Scrappy and a hitter? He is a St. Louis Cardinals fan’s dream come true! More Grichuk, please!
* The Trade Deadline? I really liked this quote from Mo:
"“I think the biggest thing was we started playing better baseball (afterward). For whatever reason, things started to click as a team. Maybe adding a little bit of a shakeup in there did help, though that wasn’t necessarily the main focus of that deal.”"
No kidding! Joe Kelly and Allen Craig were kind of golden boys on the team. If golden boys can be traded, no one is safe and you have to get to work. I saw several players who stepped up their games nicely after the trade deadline. Most importantly? Shelby Miller. There was a dramatic improvement in his game. He had the desire to listen to Yadier Molina to improve his game. He has a pretty nice curve ball now to keep hitters off-balance.
* John Lackey for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. Mo saw Lackey as some who could really help the team down the stretch. He believes that Manager Mike Matheny might be under utilizing him.
“I do feel Lackey is getting undervalued a little bit with what he’s brought to this team,” Mo told Langosch. “There really is a competitive edge to him that, I think, others saw and kind of liked to see. I know that pure performance stands as a gauge, but I just think his personality was something this clubhouse needed as well. I think all of that in an aggregate sense was a benefit to the club.”
Lackey has the ability to bring that edge the team got with Chris Carpenter. Lackey seems to thrive in the post season so, it should be nice to see how he does in the coming weeks. If Matheny lets him!
The post includes more on Mo’s thoughts about the Justin Masterson trade and improvements in defense this season.
It’s very interesting to see what Mo’s thinking is behind his moves. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of Langosch’s interview with the GM.