BenFred: Predicting the Cardinals’ postseason rotation? You could be surprised Ben Frederickson

Sports columnists Ben Frederickson and Jeff Gordon talk about the Cardinals’ possibilities — actual, or completely happy speak? — of operating down the Mets and Braves.

Ben Frederickson,

Jeff Gordon,

Chris Drury


One of the earliest messages delivered to the Cardinals by their new supervisor earlier than this season started is value revisiting as we get a head begin at discussing what postseason plans could seem like, particularly the far-too-early however understandably ongoing dialog of the playoff rotation .

(And sure, if the Cardinals cannot rating, none of it will matter.)

A participant reveals what sort of teammate he’s, Oli Marmol informed his group again at spring coaching, by how he responds to a choice that does not go his method individually, however is greatest for the membership as a complete.

It could imply getting referred to as again to the dugout from the on-deck circle so a pinch-hitter could be inserted for a key at-bat.

It could imply understanding why sure playoff matchups are higher for a sure starter in comparison with one other.

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There have been occasions in the previous the place a Cardinals postseason rotation — if well being holds — could be predicted far upfront. This just isn’t a type of occasions. Marmol just isn’t a type of managers.

Too many elements, together with how Jack Flaherty finishes the common season, are nonetheless up in the air at the second.

The Cardinals are mainly a lock to win the National League Central at this level, however what could await them in the postseason just isn’t so positive.

They could be internet hosting the Padres or the Brewers in a best-of-three wild-card collection attributable to the new-look postseason.

Their probabilities of operating down each the Mets and the Braves for the National League’s second spot and securing a first-round bye because of this are nonetheless in play, however let’s be candid. They are slim. Catching one is feasible. But each? Wouldn’t depend on it. But it will probably’t be counted out, at the very least not but.

Another factor to consider it doesn’t matter what is Marmol’s willingness to go towards the grain of old-school custom if he feels it offers his group an improved likelihood to win. The Cardinals could wind up beginning veteran chief Adam Wainwright and All-Star Miles Mikolas in video games one and two. Assuming that can be the case simply because they’ve been this season’s workhorses is an assumption that feels a bit rushed. Let’s see how each reply to some current rockiness.

Marmol pressured earlier than Friday’s recreation that he isn’t as far down the hypothetical highway as the remainder of us. What he did concede is that some groups know their postseason rotation and order at this time — even when they’re enjoying coy about it — and that the Cardinals are usually not a type of groups.

“I do not suppose we’re there,” Marmol stated. “You are continually evaluating.”

Some issues to think about throughout the energetic dialogue and debate…

• Trade-deadline addition Jordan Montgomery has been the Cardinals’ greatest starter since the deadline, and it isn’t shut.

The Cardinals have gained seven of the eight video games he is began. He has a 2.05 ERA and an opponent batting line of .214/.255/.315 that has resulted in a meager .570 on-base plus slugging proportion. He has a staff-high 24.3% strikeout fee throughout that span and does not stroll many. This season, together with throughout his time with the Yankees, left-handers towards Montgomery are producing a microscopic OPS of .455.

• Matchups matter to Marmol, and you’ll count on him to lean into them in the postseason.

The Brewers personal the National League’s third-lowest OPS towards left-handed pitching (.662). Against right-handers, that Milwaukee OPS jumps to an NL third-best .751. Big distinction.

The Padres, on the different hand, personal a .699 OPS towards lefties and a .694 OPS towards righties. Basically impartial.

There is different data to think about.

Current Brewers have 158 profession at-bats towards the right-handed Mikolas, however only a .599 OPS.

That’s not a small pattern measurement. Neither are the home-game ERAs of Mikolas (2.38) and Wainwright (2.61) this season. Both are amongst the NL’s top-10 in that class right here at this pitcher-friendly park.

Another component Marmol will contemplate is who’s in his personal lineup attributable to the matchups he likes and does not towards a playoff opponent’s starter. A groundball-getter pairs higher with a lineup that takes some defensive dangers in the outfield. A strikeout-getter is healthier paired with a lineup that takes some defensive dangers in the infield.

• No matter who begins or the order by which it occurs, how the Cardinals’ bullpen is weaponized could be simply as if no more vital to this group’s postseason destiny. And starters who hop out of the bullpen in the playoffs could contribute to that actuality. Not simply Steven Matz, who’s pushing to return as a reliever, both. The end-of-game arsenal of Andre Pallante, Jordan Hicks, Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley will be tempting to go for the again half of video games. Could anybody else see Flaherty probably contributing to that? I could.

• Marmol will not fall into conventional, predictable traps.

If the homework suggests a substitute for the anticipated is greatest, he’ll take it and belief that this group has discovered to belief him.

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