The National League Championship Series is notable for its opposing forces: the young pitching of the Mets against the young bats of the Cubs. Indeed, that same dynamic has often been cited by observers as possible reason for those two clubs to match up on a trade. But Mets GM Sandy Alderson said today that the teams have never gained much traction in talks, as Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports on Twitter.
Here’s more from the National League:
- One of the most interesting players in the NLCS is Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber, who was always known for his advanced bat but who has nevertheless exceeded expectations. As MLB.com’s Jim Callis explains, the team picked him much higher than expected because it believed in his bat, even if his positional outlook was foggy. He’s hit well enough that it doesn’t much matter where he ends up in the field, of course.
- Another key Cubs prospect that has yet to reach the big leagues is center fielder Albert Almora. As Gordon Wittenmyer writes for Baseball America, the youngster turned around a disappointing season after receiving some strong words from a rehabbing Miguel Montero. It will be interesting to see how Almora’s development — Wittenmyer says he ought to crack Triple-A next year at age 22 — will impact Chicago’s offseason plans as current center fielder Dexter Fowler hits free agency.
- The Cardinals will spend some time assessing their strategic approach after following a well-earned NL Central crown with an early post-season exit, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. GM John Mozeliak says he’ll be looking at the team’s deployment of reserves, acquisition of amateur players, and trade deadline approach. Some of those initiatives could be geared towards helping the club thrive in the post-season as much as it has in the regular season, though Mozeliak rejected the notion that it was really possible to do that. “When you do get there, there are elements of luck and timing in the postseason. We’ve been an example of that,” Mozeliak said. He further explained: “I don’t think there is a strategic plan that can make you change how you approach October. The fact is you have to get there first, and that’s how we think about building a club. Trying to reverse engineer an October strategy might be a little tougher. But food for thought.” In theory, at least, fatigue and injuries could be alleviated by a deeper roster, Goold writes, and Mozeliak gave indications that he’d be weighing such matters in preparation for the winter.
The Redbirds won 100 games this year. Can’t second guess that. The playoffs are about who is hot at the end of the year. Last year: Bumgarner. This year: Arrieta. Ya just can’t plan for that.
Yes but what Goold is saying (and, as a Cardinals fan, I agree with) is that having a deeper roster might better allow the team to be hot at the end of the year. This is a team that just looked tired and beat. Some of that I can’t explain away (Lance Lynn threw 25 fewer innings this year) but there’s no question Matheny could have rested, say, Peralta more if Kozma wasn’t a complete black hole at the plate
Arrieta didn’t even pitch well against the Cards in the NLDS… Don’t act like it was a hot pitcher who put the Cardinals down this year, they were totally outplayed.
That the Cards won as many games as they did with some of the issues they had this year is impressive. They don’t have to hang their heads too much.