The Cardinals have been pretty good over the last half-decade or more of letting the bloggers submit questions to John Mozeliak during the offseason and, at some point, Mo will answer some of them. (I always try to list out 8-10 questions so as to more likely get 1-2 answered.) This year, we sent in our questions…..and then Mo did a little deal for Nolan Arenado, which shifted the ground we were asking from just a tad. Mo still answered the questions, though, and here is what I asked and what he answered.
C70: How comfortable are you with the data you got from Springfield during the season? Do you believe those that participated are still on their development pace or did they take a step back?
Mozeliak: The data that we received from that camp was certainly helpful, but limited. There’s only so much you can extract from that, but I think everybody would tell you that something is better than nothing.
Obviously everybody that got to participate in the Alternate Training Site benefited compared to those who didn’t get to do anything. In terms of overall development future, I think everybody is in the same boat. Very few people were able to take advantage of the pandemic from a growth standpoint. I am curious to see what some players look like when we get to minor league camp this year. For instance, were players spending more time in the gym, were they spending more time in the batting cage on their own, were they trying to throw bullpens on their own? We try to keep track of all of that as much as possible, but there’s still some curiosity of what we’re actually going to see when we get to April. We are going to remain open-minded and are hopeful a lot of these guys get to play baseball this summer and take that next step forward.
C70: What about minor leaguers that didn’t go to Springfield? How do you determine where they are and where they should go this upcoming season?
Mozeliak: When you think about players that had no baseball last year, we’re going to have to take the month of April and assess where they are physically. It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw more roster moves this year, just to make sure we have everybody in the right spot. Having said that, we have two less teams in our minor league system this year. That means roughly 60-70 less players that we have to manage or oversee. Overall, we’re excited to see the group we have and hopefully from early May we place them where they belong and where they can grow, but there may be a time where we have to step back and reassess.
It is interesting to hear that the data was limited coming from Springfield. It’s not surprising, of course, but we’ve heard so many rave over the progress some players made. It’s not quite “they had a good day” but it might be closer to that than actual progress. As Mo says, we’ll have to get to camp to see. Also, I think the sorting of players is going to be a big thing. You have to think that those that were in Springfield might get the advantage or a push where those that didn’t may wind up at their same levels. Lots of things to watch this spring!