The Morning After STL

Joe Strauss Discusses Cardinals Pitching, Heyward, & Latest on Stadium Plans

Nick Yahl, Fri, 05 Jun 2015 14:42:00 GMT

columnist joe strauss of the st. louis post-dispatch joined the guys on the morning after to chat about the cardinals pitching, heyward, and the latest on th st. louis stadium plans.

We wrote out some of the most notable excerpts from the interview. If you want to listen to the full interview follow the link listed below.

I’m confused by how the Cardinals continue to do what they’re doing amidst all the injuries. Pitching is the obvious answer, particularly starting pitching.

“It’s a team with a dominant record, but don’t necessarily seem like a dominant team. They have had a lot of narrow wins, but have the best run differential in baseball. The last 22 games they’re averaging barley 3.25 runs per game. Meanwhile the Cubs and Pirates are playing okay, but are receding more than they are pressing the Cardinals.”

Is Derek Lilliquist not getting enough respect? It seems as though he sends a pitcher out there every night that knows exactly what he’s doing.

“I do think the fact that this thing has rolled over so well with Lilliquist that he deserves to cast his own shadow. Each one of these guys has established a niche under Lilliquist and he’s been able to stay in the shadows.”

What kind of numbers would Heyward have to put up for the Cardinals to want to bring him back and what kind of deal would he get if they decided to bring him back?

“There a couple of questions to answer there. The first being, “What would he have to do for them to make a qualifying offer?”. The second would be “What does he have to do for them to keep him for an extended period of time?”. I think he has to continue trending upward like he did in May as opposed to April. Show power, consistency in the field, and if he were to approach 20 home runs and 75 RBI’s I think that would turn heads.

Would it make sense to make the qualifying offer of one year and pick up the draft pick if he leaves?

I think it depends on his performance. I don’t think you make that deal if he’s a platoon right fielder hitting eighth in the lineup. I think it depends a lot on what Grichuk does and if he breaks out. I think if he’s hitting .235 with minimal power that becomes counter productive because you’re going to have needs in other parts of the team where you can apply that $18 million. I think it’s still a fluid situation with over two thirds of the season still left to play.”

You mentioned John Lackey. John Mozeliak talked about the possibility of an extension with John Lackey. Do you think they’ve talked about an extension or is nothing there?

“I think until it’s officially off the table, there is something there with Lackey. Though with John Lackey, having the kind of year he’s having, he’s going to be looking for a multi year deal. Unless the Cardinals offer him market value then if I’m John Lackey I might look elsewhere. Though what he’s done at home this season has been remarkable. So I think the door is still ajar for both parties and they’ll probably wait the season out and not rush to get something done.”

Are the Cardinals still looking for another starter?

“I would say so. Until Marco Gonzales is here and can show what he can do, I think you have to keep the door ajar until you have an established fifth guy.”

Joe Strauss Talks Cardinals on The Morning After