One on One With Mo: It's an Offseason of 'Accountability'

Possible extension with Miles Mikolas, what role will Carlos Martinez have in 2019 and more from John Mozeliak.

October 18, 2018 - 4:24 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A couple days after St. Louis Cardinals of president of baseball operations John Mozeliak recapped the 2018 season and previewed the offseason in a press conference, we revisited him in his Busch Stadium office, Thursday. 

Our Chris Hrabe sat down for a one-on-one talking about some specific players, coaches and front office personnel and what their roles could be in 2019, and talked about this year's MLB postseason. 

You can hear the full interview at the bottom of the page, but here are his answers to a few of the questions asked by Hrabe:

Hrabe: You've used the word accountability a lot since this season ended, why is that message so important? 

Mozeliak: Your responsibility is to show up on February 15th and be ready to go as a player, and if you are not, what does that do to the rest of us? This has nothing to do with any additions we're talking about, but we go into this knowing that we're giving ourselves the best chance to succeed starting on day one. And so that's what accountability means.

Hrabe: Marcell Ozuna, were you surprised by some of the areas he struggled in this year? 

Related story: Ozuna's Shoulder Can't Be Excuse In 2019, No Surgery Expected

Mozeliak: He didn't seem like the player we were expecting to get. You know when you talk about surprise, I mean, things don't really surprise you when you're looking at it day in and day out. Maybe there is some level of frustration.

Hrabe: As your director of scouting Gary LaRocque is rumored to be interviewing for the New York Mets general manager position, is that flattering to have those guys who came up through your organization to be so wanted by other organizations?

Mozeliak: I don't think you realize how often it happens and it's because we don't publicize it. But when you look at organizations, and I'm not like patting ourselves on the back, but I think people look at us as something that they want to replicate ... One of the toughest parts of my job is actually just maintaining our workforce because we do lose a lot of talented people year in and year out. And that's a hard part to really try to understand who's a flight risk who's not and how do we build around our future. 

Related story: Resigning an 'Energized' Wainwright is Low Risk Move by Cardinals

Hrabe: Is there any thought of extending Miles Mikolas before his contract is up at the end of next season? 

Mozeliak: I will say one of the strategies that his agent wanted to accomplish was to get him to market shortly. In other words, get him back from Japan and then ultimately let him have a chance. But I would say this, there's a lot of symmetry with trying to find a way to make this work and at some point I will hopefully reach out with his agent and see the level of interest.

Hrabe: Did Carlos Martinez get enough credit for how well he handled switching roles from a starter to the bullpen this season? 

Mozeliak: Probably not. I think part of that is you know when you are sort of bouncing between roles and injuries those become more negative than positive. He is a talented guy. I mean, you could make a very good argument that he's one of the top 20 starting pitchers in baseball. What role he has next year I think it's still to be determined but I think the best strategy for him is to get himself in a position to start, prove he can start and then if needs arise that we have to pivot on that we will. But you know ultimately if you have that type of arm and that type of talent, it does seem like optimizing it in the rotation makes sense.