It’s time to hand the microphone back to the fan and capture the voice of Cardinal Nation. Last week, I talked to Cody about a few things pertaining to the Birds on the Bat. This week, I talk to Nick, a passionate Cards fan who truly brings the heat every single game. He isn’t afraid to bash Mike Matheny or hand over some praise when it is right. You can follow Nick on Twitter right here. I love interacting with him because he challenges people to be as blunt as possible. Today, I asked Nick a few different questions and he provided some very good answers. Read on and have some fun as the National League Division Series opens up tonight in Los Angeles.
Buffa-What is your biggest gripe with the NLDS roster and how would you have done it differently? Hint…Descalso can’t be involved…haha.
Nick-To be honest I think Matheny did a pretty good job with the roster overall, particularly with the pitchers. As for position players, I only had two gripes, and since you said Descalso couldn’t be involved, I’ll give you my other one: I think Pierzynski should have been included as the backup catcher over Cruz. Cruz has had a pretty bad season overall, not the least of which has been caused by his struggles offensively. Chances are that Molina is going to play just about every inning behind the plate over the course of the Postseason and so I would have preferred that Mike go with the more gifted offensive player. Moreover, Pierzynski provides a more legitimate lefthanded bat off the bench in pinch hitting appearances that will now likely go to Descalso.
Buffa-Fire Matheny, hypnotize him or keep him in 2015? If it were your choice…
Nick-If it were my choice I would go ahead and let him go, but both of us know that is incredibly unrealistic. Additionally I think this is just the state of MLB managing in present day. A lot of former players that are good “leaders” but not always (or even often) the best strategists.
Who is the one player in this Cardinal lineup that holds the key to generating a lot of offense for this team in October?
Nick-Obviously the normal producers in the lineup (Holliday, Peralta, Carpenter, to name a few) are going to have to produce, but I think the key to pushing runs across this October is one Mr. Matt Adams. He’s proven himself to be a streaky hitter over these first few years and if he can get on one of those streaks it would be a huge lift to the middle of the Cardinals lineup. If he gets on one of those tears, I really like the Cardinals to go far with that pitching of theirs.
Buffa-Which prospect makes a big splash in 2015?
Nick-The obvious answer here would be Stephen Piscotty, but I really like Tommy Pham. OPS’d .886 in AAA this year with plus defense. He’s a tad on the old side to be considered a true “prospect”, but I think he’ll have a very positive impact on the 2015 club, particularly if Jon Jay is traded like I think he will (and should) be.
Buffa-When do you think it’s a suitable time to lay down a bunt in the playoffs?
Nick-Well, at least in the NL, I’m pretty much okay with any pitcher bunt except in certain situations with two strikes. That said, I think I’m only okay with position player bunts when you’re playing for exactly one (or, in rare cases, two) runs late in the game. Bunting almost always reduces overall run expectancy, which makes sense considering you’re intentionally making an out, but can and does increase the expectancy of scoring exactly one run, which is sometimes all that’s needed. For example, I was pretty okay with all of Yost’s late/extra inning bunts in the Wild Card Game the other night because almost all of them came in situations in which his team needed exactly one run.
Thanks for reading and come back next week for another edition of Voices of Cardinal Nation.