(Busch Stadium) To be clear, St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak isn’t ready to write the final chapter on the season just yet. And while he is hoping to see his team again compete in the postseason, the judgment of success or failure will not be based solely on making the playoffs.
“This team’s dealt with a lot of missing parts throughout the season,” began Mozeliak before Tuesday’s game. “You try to pride yourself on depth and try to handle that, but sometimes you can’t be deep enough. So to sit here and tell you this was a bad year because of that, I don’t think that’s fair. What I’d like to take away from the year is what can we learn from it and what can we do differently. And that’s how we’ll approach it.”
“You know, Mike takes a lot of heat and I’ve defended him and I will continue to,” stated Mozeliak. “I really feel like some of things we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager. I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
Mozeliak also voiced confidence in what he’s seen in the clubhouse.
“Whenever you’re dealing with struggles or ups and downs, the clubhouse chemistry is always sort of an interesting topic but these guys get along,” he said. “They’re good teammates. I don’t feel like there’s anything glaring coming out of that clubhouse that I think warrants discussion or concern.”
How players perform down the stretch is a consideration, but it will not be the determining factor in any off-season decisions.
“Sometimes you make mistakes because of September performance, but overall, I think we have a pretty good idea of what we have here,” said Mozeliak. “We’re very process oriented and we don’t look at any one game or four weeks as a way to make any strong conclusions.”
–The chances of Matt Holliday being able to return before the end of the season are growing more and more slim.
“He’s still having to take it slow and clearly with only six days left–and this one’s gone–you’re looking at really five, to try to imagine him being cleared to be ready for a game I think would be difficult,” said Mozeliak. “But there’s still some level of hope and at this point, he has not shut it down.”
Holliday had his thumb examined by doctors on Monday and has been able to participate in batting practice, but has not been able to face live pitching as yet. The team remains hopeful that can happen in the next day or so.
WONG COULD RETURN WED
The news is more optimistic regarding Kolten Wong, who jammed his shoulder when he slipped playing left field in Wrigley Field over the weekend.
“He was given an injection yesterday,” shared Mozeliak. “Obviously, he can swing the bat but I think defensively he’s probably a day away.”
Wong has hit safely in 12 of his last 18 starts with three home runs.
photo credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports, Bill Greenblatt/UPI