ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Our Sports Director and host of Sports on a Sunday Morning, Tom Ackerman was joined this week by St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.
You can listen to the full interview above, but we transcribed a portion of their conversation below. One of those topics was the idea of promoting Triple-A outfielder Randy Arozarena to the big leagues in the near future. He's the No. 14 overall prospect in the Cards' system and has been knocking on the door since 2018.
He was the Cardinals minor league player of the month in June, playing in 28 games between Memphis and Double-A Springfield, Arozaren hit .374 with 5 homers and 20 RBI.
Take a look at part of the discussion between Mozeliak and Ackerman here:
TA: You have a lot of outfield prospects in your organization ... when will we see Randy Arozarena? Coming back from an injury, he's been pretty good.
JM: He's been outstanding. As a matter of fact, I was talking with (Cardinals manager Mike Shildt) Shildty about him a few days ago just because I think he somewhat gets overlooked. At some point, you're going to have to give him a chance. The one thing I like about him is he can play all three outfield positions. The one thing you're seeing right now at Triple-A is he's swinging with some authority ... extra base hits. When you're looking at a club that's sometimes struggling to find runs, he's someone that's in our pipeline that at some point needs to get an opportunity.
TA: I guess the decision — when it comes to offense — is can you find somebody outside of the organization that would be better than the Cardinals' best players at their best? You have some players that you still think you can get a lot more out of, right?
JM: Well, I hope so. When you look at the club as a whole, the fact is we have a lot of underperforming players, especially when you compare it relative to what their normal average year output is. I think that's the frustrating part. How long do you wait before you say this is the new norm? And that's always a great internal debate. But you know, look ... our team, for us to be successful, has to have guys like (Paul) Goldschmidt and (Matt) Carpenter contributing. Otherwise, it's going to be a tough year. I think from an outfield standpoint, (Dexter) Fowler has done really what we all hoped he would do when we went into the year. (Harrison) Bader, from an offensive standpoint, has struggled a bit. And losing (Marcell) Ozuna hurts. But this is a great opportunity for someone like an (Tyler) O'Neill to find out what can he do with three of four weeks of at-bats, and see if he can take advantage of it. So as much as we'd like Ozuna back, it is a window for us to learn. But clearly, when you're looking at the trade deadline and what we could do to get better, it really starts with looking in the mirror.
TA: On the pitching side, let's say that a starter would be available that might pique your interest? Would that take some pressure off of your rotation and your bullpen? How are things standing there?"
JM: Well, I definitely think we could get more out of our rotation. It clearly hasn't performed to what we were hoping for. But when you ask about pitchers out there that might pique our interest, of course there's going to be pitchers that are exciting ... but it's really what's the cost? That's what's going to ultimately decide it. And when I say that word 'cost,' a lot of people immediately gravitate to money. In trades, it's really about what kind of talent are you giving up? For example, the two guys you talked about for the Futures Game (Nolan Gorman and Dylan Carlson), those are two guys that we're not willing to talk about in trades. You always hate to say 'untouchables,' but you've got to be thinking about the Cardinals and this organization... we've always been in this for the long haul. We're not going to just do something for simply a short-term gain, knowing that we might be giving up a lot for the future.