Welcome to Three Dudes.


I’ll explain. Now that the men are playing spring-training games, I want to do something new in my typing for Scoops.

It’s kind of random. But multiple times each week, until the start of the Cardinals’ regular season, I’ll write about Three Dudes. Just some thoughts. Observations. Opinions. It’s a way to tap out a fast take on three different Cardinals without turning it into Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.

Snappy! Frankly, I write too many lengthy pieces. I need to give you a break by offering some shorter reading material that’s easier to consume. Keeping it brief is probably better for me as well.

Three Dudes for Feb. 29.

1. JORDAN WALKER: He showed up at spring training looking like somebody’s All-Pro tight end. The second-year Cardinal already was a big mang – listed at 6-6, 250 pounds – but he’s added muscle. He’s more imposing. The 250-pound weight estimate seems light. According to the search engine at StatHead, Walker is the only St. Louis position player during the expansion era (1961-present) to stand at least 6-6 and weigh 250+ pounds. As a rookie (age 21) last season, Walker performed 16 percent above league average offensively based on park-and-league adjusted runs created (wRC+). That was a fine start to his career. But over the final two months of the regular season he was 26 percent above league average in wRC+. His ground ball rate, 58.7 percent at the end of June, was lowered to 40% over the remainder of the season. That’s encouraging; Walker’s power will definitely fly if he gets it off the ground. As a rookie Walker ranked in the 80th percentile in sprint speed, and in the 70th percentile for baserunning value. Walker may be large, but he runs like 6-5, 250-pound Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow. Walker is improving defensively in right field, and his arm strength ranked in the 97th percentile last year. He can throw it like 6-6 Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. I’m just glad Walker decided to play baseball. Prepare for liftoff in 2024.

2. ANDREW KITTREDGE: You want stuff? He has good stuff … as in the Stuff+ metric that’s available at FanGraphs. That became clear in 2021, when Kittredge was honored with an All-Star selection while pitching for Tampa Bay. Among relievers that worked at least 60 innings in ’21, Kittredge was tied for 6th in overall pitch quality. His slider was ranked fifth. His slider location was second best. And when Kittredge returned from elbow surgery last season, he still had the good stuff. In his 10 innings of comeback work his Pitching+ quality rating was tied for the best among MLB relievers. Kittredge seems primed to be at his best in 2024, and he’ll be eligible for free agency after the season. One to watch for sure.

3. DYLAN CARLSON: I generally don’t get caught up in spring-training stats. That said, when a disappointing player gets set for a new season – a bounceback! – it’s kind of nice to see him turn up the RPM and do some renewal-level cranking. Well. Carlson got off to an 0 for 8 start in the Grapefruit League this week. Last season the outfielder, now 25, ranked 283rd in batting average (.219) and 296th in slugging percentage (.333) among MLB hitters that received at least 250 plate appearances. Over the past two seasons the switch-hitting Carlson was easily controlled by right-handed pitching, hitting a weak-pulse .204. (Why doesn’t he just bat from the right side?) I’d be happy to see Carlson find success in 2024. But his body language, batting average and falling trade value has us feeling down.

Thanks for reading …


A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Bernie hosts an opinionated and analytical sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday. Stream it live or grab the show podcast on 590thefan.com or through the 590 The Fan St. Louis app.

Please follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz and on Threads @miklaszb

Bernie Miklasz

Bernie Miklasz

For the last 36 years Bernie Miklasz has entertained, enlightened, and connected with generations of St. Louis sports fans.

While best known for his voice as the lead sports columnist at the Post-Dispatch for 26 years, Bernie has also written for The Athletic, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore News American. A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Bernie has hosted radio shows in St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Bernie, his wife Kirsten and their cats reside in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis.