The St. Louis Cardinals have a respectable farm system but the front office would be wise to keep the prospects NOT in the majors. Why? The current coaching staff ruins the future stars they touch.
The St. Louis Cardinals have been well known to be an organization that raises its talent from the ground up or, put in baseball terms, through its farm system. While many believe the farm system will take a hit thanks to the hacking sanctions, I believe that the current coaching staff wearing the birds on the bat are doing more harm that is immediately recognizable.
All St. Louis Cardinals fans- yes, all of them- can tell that nothing is working in 2017. In fact, just today I tweeted with our writers after one of them (cough, cough Tina) stated that she (okay, I just revealed her) is happy to settle for anything [positive from Wong], that I’m sure that Wong has heard that from plenty of women, plenty of times.
This tongue-in-cheek exchange illustrates the frustration that Cardinals Nation is holding far too close to the chest. This, in all actuality, is what Mike Matheny was embittered about in his recent inappropriate rant against fans. To that rant I say, manage better, Mike, and we would all leave you alone!
So, why do I say that the current coaching staff in St. Louis is ruining the potential future of the Cardinals? There are sooooo many ways for me to illustrate this.
Let me start with the players. Let’s look first at Randal Grichuk. Josh, I hope you are paying attention; I was really high on Grichuk when we picked him up. I believed in him. In fact, I still believe in him. I think Grichuk could be the power that the Cardinals need.
Then, Grichuk met Matheny and John Mabry and the power evaporated. In fact, any batting abilities that Grichuk had from birth seemed to have dissipated faster than rain on pavement during the dog days of summer when the sun returns. Just look at Randal’s numbers and how they seem harmed by Club Matheny (shout-out to Crash on Twitter).
|2009||17||LAA-min||Rk||53||256||236||47||76||13||10||7||53||6||4||9||64||.322||.352||.551||.903||130||8||4||3||4||0||ANG · ARIZ|
|2010||18||LAA-min||A,Rk||64||266||251||48||75||22||6||11||46||4||0||12||59||.299||.335||.566||.900||142||3||2||0||1||0||CDR,ANG · MIDW,ARIZ|
|2011||19||LAA-min||A,A+,Rk||53||216||199||27||51||12||7||3||25||0||1||8||46||.256||.292||.432||.724||86||2||4||0||5||0||CDR,SBR,ANG · MIDW,CALL,ARIZ|
|2012||20||LAA-min||A+,Fal||151||639||594||88||173||31||9||20||76||18||6||27||110||.291||.331||.475||.806||282||10||11||2||5||3||SBR,SCO · CALL,AZFL|
|2013||21||LAA-min||AA||128||542||500||85||128||27||8||22||64||9||5||28||92||.256||.306||.474||.780||237||10||9||2||3||2||ARK · TL|
|2014||22||STL-min||AAA||108||472||436||73||113||23||2||25||71||8||5||28||108||.259||.311||.493||.805||215||13||6||0||2||2||MEM · PCL|
|2016||24||STL-min||AAA||23||86||81||12||22||4||1||6||18||0||0||2||14||.272||.302||.568||.870||46||2||2||0||1||0||MEM · PCL|
|2017||25||STL-min||AAA,AA,A+||16||75||70||13||19||3||1||7||13||0||0||4||23||.271||.320||.643||.963||45||2||1||0||0||1||MEM,SPD,PLM · PCL,TL,FLOR|
|162 Game Avg.||162||562||523||73||130||35||5||26||73||6||4||33||169||.248||.297||.483||.780||106||253||12||4||0||1||2|
And Grichuk isn’t alone. Just look at the currently-declining Paul DeJong. The dude was on the trajectory to destroy any of the famed rookie Cubs of last year. Now? Now he is fading.
Add Jedd Gyorko to the mix too. Gyorko was on a tear at the start of the season and I even urged that the St. Louis Cardinals trade him while the getting was good. They did not, as we all know too well, and now that Mabry has his hands on this guy too, he is fading like the others. Have a look at his numbers:
|2010||21||SDP-min||A,A-||68||298||268||35||81||17||0||7||41||2||1||28||57||.302||.372||.444||.817||119||6||2||0||0||0||FWA,EUG · MIDW,NORW|
|2011||22||SDP-min||A+,AA,Fal||158||729||647||136||223||51||2||30||136||13||3||74||129||.345||.412||.569||.980||368||13||3||0||5||5||LEL,SAN,PEA · CALL,TL,AZFL|
|2012||23||SDP-min||AAA,AA||126||557||499||80||155||28||0||30||100||5||4||51||95||.311||.373||.547||.921||273||13||2||0||5||2||TUC,SAN · PCL,TL|
|2013||24||SDP-min||A+,AA||3||8||8||2||5||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||.625||.625||.750||1.375||6||0||0||0||0||0||LEL,SAN · CALL,TL|
|2014||25||SDP-min||AAA||6||28||24||7||7||2||0||1||5||0||0||4||4||.292||.393||.500||.893||12||0||0||0||0||0||ELP · PCL|
|2015||26||SDP-min||AAA||16||69||61||8||17||1||0||4||9||0||1||7||11||.279||.362||.492||.854||30||3||1||0||0||0||ELP · PCL|
|162 Game Avg.||162||618||562||64||137||23||1||26||78||3||1||47||140||.244||.304||.426||.730||101||240||15||4||0||5||1|
|SDP (3 yrs)||364||1426||1307||133||309||58||1||49||171||4||4||96||330||.236||.293||.395||.688||95||516||35||13||0||10||3|
|STL (2 yrs)||224||816||734||98||189||27||3||44||111||6||0||73||179||.257||.322||.482||.805||111||354||20||1||0||8||2|
Earlier this season, when the front office was handing out extensions like they were candy necklaces, Stephen Piscotty was locked-up for the St. Louis Cardinals. Piscotty had great promise and looked to patrol right field for years to come. His bat was alive and things looked up.
Do they still? No. It must be admitted that Piscotty has a great deal of personal matters on his mind and heart but a good coach can help a player free his mind with great play. It is a shame then that the Cardinals don’t have one of these (where are you, Mike Shildt?).
Piscotty looks lost quite frankly and his bat looks “tired.” Here’s a quick look at one of his strikeouts from July’s contest against the Pirates which was similarly-viewed in Thursday’s game against the Brewers:
One more thing, I think we should add a clock to the days or hours until Luke Voit– another promising prospect- finds his way back down to Memphis. Mabry seems to be on the warpath to destroy Voit’s promise as he did with Aledmys Diaz (who is residing in Memphis currently).
Why is that the organization is so quick to send players to Memphis to be mended by the minds there rather than bringing players up to shine with the Major League staff? Isn’t it obvious? Mark Budaska is a better hitting coach and Stubby Clapp is outpacing Matheny hands down.
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But wait, there’s more! I think the coaches in St. Louis- most probably based on Matheny still at the helm- destroy trade opportunities and free agent signing opportunities. While we all bemoan the lack of moves at the trade deadline, what if the front office had actually been feverishly working to close deals but players were choosing to play elsewhere based on the coaches with whom they would be forced to play under in the ‘Lou?
We have evidence that Matt Adams was unhappy in St. Louis thanks to his comments that he was enjoying baseball again once he was traded to Atlanta. We also know that Jason Heyward was more than happy to jump ship and play for the rival Cubs because he didn’t get along with Matheny.
Okay, he did say it was because the Cubs were younger but we all know that was a political lie to cover up the fact that Matheny is a miserable manager.
Furthermore, the damaging effects of this coaching staff destroyed any value in any of the names listed above as the team approached the trade deadline.
I can only imagine that Mozeliak/Girsch had less to work with than they would have liked and I squarely blame that on Club Matheny. Had Mo/Girsch had the stats of these players from the start of the season, I imagine the deadline would have gone differently than it did.
I have one final point to illustrate how badly damaging the MLB staff is for the Cardinals: the fact that fans begrudge the time it takes for a promising prospect (e.g. Carson Kelly) to breach the majors. This tells me that the front office is becoming keen to the idea that Club Matheny is an illness and are thus choosing to keep prospects protected in the minors.
Fans need look no farther than Magneuris Sierra, Kelly, Harrison Bader, and Alex Mejia. And, please dear baby Jesus, don’t let Matheny anywhere near Tyler O’Neill. In fact, please Mo, maybe we would all be better in a Cardinals world that is sans Matheny.
While it is unlikely that Matheny (and crew) is going anywhere anytime soon, save for maybe the end of the season, I am now beginning to think that prospects are being held in the minors as a direct reflection of the lost faith that the front office has in the current staff in St. Louis.
If you could make a change, what would be the first you would undertake? Would you remove a particular coach or all of them? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!