Next up on the trade carousel: Jack Flaherty. 

But who else will be moved by the Cardinals? 

1) The Cardinals ended July with a 14-13 record. It was only their second winning month of the season so far; previously they were 15-13 in May. Their two killer months this season were March-April and June. In the two months combined Cardinals won only 18 of 52 games for a sickly winning percentage of .346.

2) It was a robust July for the St. Louis offense. For the month they averaged 5.1 runs per game. Among National League teams they were second in runs, first in batting average (.275), first in wRC+ (123), first in onbase percentage (.353), third in slugging (.452) and third in OPS (.805.)

3) The St. Louis starting pitching did well in July, ranking fourth in the NL with a 3.79 rotation ERA. But the bullpen was horrendous: 5.50 ERA (13th NL), five blown saves, and allowing 40 percent of inherited runners to score.

4) As we type this (1 p.m. Central) the Cardinals are taking offers on outfielder Dylan Carlson, and infielders Tommy Edman, Brendan Donovan and Paul DeJong. That, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Flaherty, obviously, is on that list as well.

5) Unless a top-rotation starter is coming to St. Louis in the deal, the Cardinals would be cuckoo to trade Brendan Donovan. One likely reason for Edman and Donovan being put out there was the trade with Texas that brought plus-bat infield prospect Thomas Saggese to the Cardinals. Saggese won’t be with the big club this season but he could make it to St. Louis at some point in 2024.

6) We can all agree on this: It’s time to roll out Masyn Winn for his major-league debut. Over his last 30 games for Triple A Memphis, the heralded shortstop prospect is batting .357 with a .418 OBP and .691 slug for a 1.109 OPS. His spree includes 30 RBI and 21 extra-base hits including nine home runs.

7) Cheers for Steven Matz: unless he unravels over the last two months, the lefty has given the Cardinals and their fans a reason to feel much better about his presence in the 2024 rotation. Since moving back into the rotation on July 9, Matz has a 1.69 ERA that ranks fifth among 35 MLB starters that accumulated at least 20 innings.

8) Defense getting better? Over the weekend Bally Sports Midwest play-by-play voice Chip Caray made multiple references to the team’s “dramatically improved” defensive metrics over the last month or so. That made me curious. As of Monday morning the Cardinals ranked 30th (dead last) in the majors in defensive efficiency and were 27th in defensive runs saved. However, at Statcast St. Louis is 17th among the 30 teams in Outs Above Average – which does represent improvement – so that could be Chip’s reference point.

9) Jordan Walker had a cool-down July, batting .209 in 97 plate appearances with a .258 OBP and .352 slug. His OPS for July was .609, his lowest in a month this season. Walker had a .718 OPS in his first MLB month, and a .976 OPS in June after returning from a stay at Triple A Memphis. In July Walker had a 68 wRC+ that translates into 32 percent below league average offensively. In 55 plate appearances since the All-Star break Walker is hitting .216 with one homer, a ,314 slug, a .586 OPS and a 25 percent strikeout rate.On the better side of things, Walker’s ground-ball rate in July was an improved 42 percent.

10) Check-in on Nolan Arenado’s defense: The best third baseman in the majors over the last decade has struggled defensively in 2023. At least by his standards. But he’s turning that around. Arenado – who at one point was a minus 8 in defensive runs saved – is minus 4 now in DRS. He’s been moving up. I’ve said all along that Arenado’s defense has been adversely affected by the team’s usage of shifts. He’s a minus 6 when put into a defensive shift, and a +2 defender when there’s no shift. As a team the Cardinals have done well when using a defensive short but Arenado hasn’t benefited from them.

11) Excellent perspective from Dayn Perry, who wrote about Nolan Gorman and the slugger’s Isolated Power prowess in a piece at his (relatively) new “Birdy Work” blog. And before I provide an excerpt, I strongly encourage you to subscribe to Birdy Work which requires little financial investment. Just enter Birdy Work and Substack in your Google search and you’ll get right there. Do it! Anyhow …

“He’s put up isolated slugging, or ISO, of .226, which is an elite figure,” Perry wrote. “To put that in context, the league-average ISO across Gorman’s MLB career is .157. Coming up through the minors Gorman’s ISO was, tidily enough, .226, so this is a familiar level for him. ISO, by the way, is simply batting average subtracted from slugging percentage, and across an adequate sample it’s an excellent measure of genuine, sustainable power.

“It’s a special thing for a player as young as Gorman to put up an ISO like that across what’s basically a full-season’s worth of at-bats. If you run a search for hitters at the big-league level who have put up an ISO of .200 or greater across at least 500 at-bats at age 23 or younger, you find that just 99 players have done so in the integration era (i.e., since 1947). Sort those by ISO, and Gorman’s career mark of .226 ranks 45th among them.”

12) Looking at Cleveland? A little trade talk from Zack Meisel of The Athletic, who noted the availability of Cleveland right-handed starter Aaron Civale before bringing the Cardinals into the conversation. UPDATE: Forget about it. Civale is headed to Tampa Bay in a trade that was announced a few minutes ago.

13) I wonder how much value STL backup catcher Andrew Knizner would have on the trade market? Multiple teams, including the Yankees, are said to be looking for catching help. Knizner, a respected defender, is having his best season offensively with a .470 slugging percentage and .738 OPS. In his last 12 games Kiz is batting .342 with a .943 OPS. When Knizner starts this season the Cardinals have a winning record at 12-10.

14) A look at the new reliever John King: He’s the lefty reliever that Texas sent to St. Louis (along with two good prospects) in the deal that dispatched Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton to the Rangers. King, who turns 29 in September, has spent parts of four seasons in the majors and has a 4.27 ERA in 126 and ⅓ career innings. Once upon a time he was effective against LH batters but that hasn’t been the case in 2023. It’s a small sample, but this season King has faced 25 lefty hitters and allowed a .391 average, .440 OBP and .478 slug. But that could be deceiving; the batting average on balls in play against him by LH hitters is an abnormal .474. That said, King is a marginal big-league reliever that gets punished by right-handed hitters. I’ve seen dissidents rip the Texas trade by focusing on King’s inclusion. That’s silly. The Cardinals wanted the prospects that they got in the trade — pitcher Tekoah Roby and bat-first infielder Thomas Saggese — so what’s the point of fainting over a throw-in piece like King? Some people just want to be angry.

15) Where will Jack Flaherty end up? No educated guesses here but there are still a lot of teams out there who want and need a starting pitcher. The volume of the starting-pitching market has been reduced by trades in recent days, but good names remain in circulation including Flaherty, LH Eduardo Rodriguez (Tigers), RH Michael Lorenzen (Tigers), LH Rich Hill (Pirates) and possibly Carlos Carrasco (Mets) and Mitch Keller (Pirates.) And then there is a list of “maybe available” starters including Justin Verlander (Dodgers), Marcus Stroman (Cubs), Blake Snell (Padres), Aaron Civale (Guardians), Seth Lugo (Padres) and Jose Quintana (Mets.)

16) Bundle deal: I wonder how many teams would be interested, or are interested, in a St. Louis bundle of Flaherty and outfielder Dylan Carlson? Yankees? Orioles? Phillies?

17) I want to find reasons to believe that RH pitcher Michael McGreevy could be a legit option for STL’s big-league rotation in 2024, but I can’t get there. In his 13 starts for Triple A Memphis he has an average game score of 49, which is below the league average. And though McGreevy pitched seven scoreless innings on Sunday he walked four. He has a 4.67 ERA in his last eight starts.

18) Willson Contreras: The St. Louis catcher led all MLB hitters in July (minimum 60 plate appearances) with a 245 wRC+ which means he was 145 percent above league average for the month offensively. Contreras also ranked first in the majors in July for batting average (.429), onbase percentage (.547) and was second in slugging (.735.) Not bad.

19) Next season’s starting rotation will be … heck if I know. But you begin with Miles Mikolas and Matz and work from there. John Mozeliak will be busy during the offseason unless he plans to hibernate again.

Thanks for reading …


Bernie hosts a weekday sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the show podcast at or the 590 app.

Please follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz

The “Seeing Red” podcast on the Cardinals, featuring Will Leitch and B. Miklasz is available at, the 590 the fan app or your preferred podcast platform. Follow @seeingredpod on Twitter for a direct link.

All stats used in my baseball columns are sourced from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, Baseball Savant, Fielding Bible, Baseball Prospectus or Bill James Online.


Bernie Miklasz

Bernie Miklasz

For the last 35 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. 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.