After every season (dating back to 2012), we’ve spent time looking at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals that season. They might have gotten a couple of innings, they might have played every day, but if they played, they get a post. Usually, I like to term this like the players are packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt–or, in this case Bill DeWitt Jr.–before they head off for the winter. This year, of course, was anything but typical. So we’ll look at every player, we’ll take in some of their stats, but we won’t be giving out grades this season or delving too much into the positive/negative. There are just too many variables in the Year of COVID for that to be reasonable. As he has for the past few years, cardinalsgifs has lent his enormous talents to our header image and we thank him for it!
President of Baseball Operations: John Mozeliak
Overview: A lot of what we said about Mike Shildt this morning could apply to the front office as well. The bloggers were fortunate enough to talk to Mo while he was in Minnesota, right before everything came crashing down. Even then, he was worn, tired, and so singularly focused on trying to shepherd the team through another day without anything going wrong. When the virus rampaged through the roster, everything got much more difficult.
So much so that it was difficult to fault him for another lackluster trading deadline. The team had only been back on the field for a couple of weeks and had many less games than anyone else (and they didn’t have a large sample). As much as it was seemingly clear the offense needed some sort of boost, it was also hard to justify making a deal with there was so little data available. That, however, doesn’t excuse the quiet winter, when the major move was bringing in Brad Miller and re-signing Matt Wieters. The one deal they did make before the season came back to haunt them in October as Randy Arozarena put a harsh spotlight on some of the recent moves Mozeliak and company have made.
On the whole, though, I’m very inclined to give Mozeliak a break for 2020 because it had to be very difficult trying to get through each game with all the procedures and details that needed to be covered. He even took on the role as compliance officer, taking him further away from his normal duties but making himself indispensable to the organization.
Outlook: Obviously the winter is already off to a less-than-stellar start with the declining of Kolten Wong‘s option. The financial constraints on the team are going to be notable and it is going to take a lot of creativity to make this team better while staying under those limitations. Creativity, honestly, hasn’t been a hallmark of the club as of late. No matter the case, Mozeliak is on the same page with Bill DeWitt and, as such, will be staying in the top job for probably as long as he wants it.