St. Louis Cardinals interim manager Mike Shildt (83) looks on as president of baseball operations John Mozeliak

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Mozeliak Emphasizes Better Defense, Fewer Strikeouts as Cards Offseason Begins

"We're not naive, we know our division isn't getting any softer."

October 01, 2018 - 8:30 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - After elimination from the playoffs on Saturday, but before the 10-5 loss on Sunday in Chicago, St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak joined KMOX's Sports on a Sunday Morning host Mike Kelly for his weekly chat – this one being the last during the 2018 Cardinals season. 

Mo addressed some of St. Louis' glaring needs, as we begin the 2018-19 offseason in St. Louis.

"There were things that certainly we need to do differently," Mozeliak says. "I think Mike Shildt is obviously going to be challenged with his staff to try and make a difference on some of the things we talked about in the past. Like defensive issues to adressing the strikeout issue, to putting balls in play, making the action happen. All these things we're very much aware of and as we look to the offseason, trying to find the right compliment of players that could maybe do that for us is something we have to do too. 

Related story: Looking Cardinals Biggest Needs on Day 1 of Offseason

"We're not naive, we know our division isn't getting any softer, clearly Cincinnati is going to be a more consistent club next year, Pittsburgh will be in the hunt and I think we obviously understand what Chicago and Milwaukee are capable of. We have our work cut out." 

The Cardinals committed a total of 133 errors in 2018, that's the most in single-season for St. Louis since 1999. This comes in a season when players like Kolten Wong, Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong were among the best defenders at their positions according to trusted defensive sabermetrics. Among all NL positions players, Wong was No. 3, DeJong was No. 9 and Bader was No. 16 in defensive runs saved.

However, players like Dexter Fowler, Yairo Munoz and Jose Martinez ranked in the bottom 50 in the NL, in the same category. 

St. Louis' 1380 strikeouts were seven above league average and 32 more than the previous season. 

Knows Waino still wants to pitch

Come November, after the playing of the 2018 World Series, Adam Wainwright's contract with St. Louis will officially run out and he will be a free agent. He hasn't made anything official about retirement and his last appearances in 2018 don't exactly point to a ride into the sunset for the 37-year-old. 

So what will Mo and the Cardinals do? 

"I think dust will settle, in time, I will sit down with him and his agent and decide what really makes sense. Clearly the way he finished I would expect him to want to pitch and be apart of something and there is certain value that, that brings to a team. I couldn't tell you how grateful I am to have my career be apart of his and how much he's meant to the St. Louis Cardinals."

Coming later today on KMOX.com, we look at the biggest offseason question marks for Mozeliak, general manager Mike Girsch, Shildt and company.

You can hear their full conversation below, beginning at the 18:00 mark: