The St. Louis Cardinals broadcasted their first baseball game in 125 days and while it ended in a tie, the lack of offense shouldn’t be your takeaway.
You know, I think people just enjoy being unhappy because of sports. Honestly, some people probably missed being mad at the St. Louis Cardinals because of their on-field play rather than being disappointed in the off-field negotiations.
However, after the Cardinals broadcasted their third intrasquad game of Summer Camp, people are already making sweeping conclusions about this team and how they’ll do when the 2020 season starts.
If you missed the game, here were the starting lineups.
Why are people making conclusions? Well, after the six-inning game concluded, neither team scored a run. Instead of being happy that live Cardinals baseball was back on your screen for the first time in 125 days, people decided to get upset that the offense was quiet over just six innings within the first week and a half of facing live pitching again. Can we just be happy with Cardinals baseball for longer than an hour?
No offense isn’t a good thing, but it doesn’t mean anything for 2020 just yet. However, there were some conclusions worth drawing.
Starting pitchers shouldn’t be limited to <3 innings
One of the most encouraging things to see from this game was that both Austin Gomber and Jack Flaherty went four innings. When the Cardinals start their season on the 24th, it should mean that the worry that starters will only be able to go 2-3 innings won’t be there. This is, of course, if they are performing at a level that warrants staying in.
I wouldn’t expect Jack Flaherty (who was named the opening day starter on Tuesday) to be able to go seven innings, but a comfortable four or five? That would be great.
The team is likely going to start with an 11-man bullpen, but that doesn’t mean that every extra inning that starters can take on doesn’t help. The bullpen won’t face the same level of wear and tear that they would in a normal season, but getting the starters back to a regular workload as soon as possible is best.
Andrew Knizner is likely to start on the 30-man
One of the treats of yesterday’s broadcast of the game was not only having Dan McLaughlin on the call but also having John Mozeliak join the broadcast for a few innings. In that interview, Mo mentioned a lot of things about how he’s looking at the 2020 season.
One of those things happened to be that he would be surprised if the Cardinals didn’t carry three catchers off the bat. Noting that the DH simplifies things on the bench, having a third catcher (who, in this case, will be Andrew Knziner) just makes sense at first.
If the Cardinals were to go with 16 pitchers, that would mean that there are five bench spots open. Carrying a third catcher may be overkill, but that also may signal that the team is at least mulling the idea of starting with just 15 pitchers as well.
For Kizner, this is interesting because while the 25-year old doesn’t have much left to prove at the minor league level, playing time as the third catcher behind Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters might be scarce. Which looks like some cognitive dissonance when we get to our next point.
It doesn’t sound like Dylan Carlson will start on 30-man
I mentioned cognitive dissonance before because one thing that Mo almost said without saying it was that Dylan Carlson would not start the year with the team. Digging into this is a subject for another article (one coming out on Wednesday as well), but Mo made it clear, as he has before, that he wants to see what Lane Thomas and Tyler O’Neill can do first.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals: Latest updates on rumored catching targets for St. Louis
- Cardinals: Tyler O’Neill not going anywhere this offseason, report says
- MVP voter listed Cardinals’ Arenado 8th on ballot
- St. Louis Cardinals non-tender former All-Star closer Alex Reyes
- St. Louis Cardinals sign Oscar Mercado and four others to MiLB deals
This is frustrating, but there are a few benefits. First, after seven days, Dylan Carlson’s time with the Cardinals gets automatically extended by a year. Beyond that, Mo said that it doesn’t make sense to start Carlson’s clock if he isn’t going to play. But it’s fine to let Knizner sit on the bench and rot?
I get that Carlson and Knizner are two different levels of prospects and that Knizner’s clock is already started after he debuted in 2019. However, there’s no point to be made that Knizner, behind who he’s behind in the depth chart, will get any more playing time than Carlson would be playing behind Thomas, O’Neill, Bader, and Fowler. If anyone goes down for any reason at all though, Carlson will be the first player up.
Just be patient
I understand that it’s frustrating to see the same looking lackluster offense that we saw last year already repeating itself, but give the guys a break. If it’s a week into the season, then I would understand beginning to see bad offense takes, but right now it’s just ridiculous.
I am almost happy to see bad takes coming back already, it makes me feel like fans aren’t too turned off now by all the harm the negotiations did because if fans were, they simply wouldn’t care.
Just be patient and wait until baseball that actually counts starts to actually get upset and frustrated at this team.
It was a beautiful sight to see fans rejoicing over baseball being broadcasted once again, even if it was just a six-inning intrasquad game. Just be patient, and hope that nothing derails baseball in the next nine days.