Lou Brock CardinalsBrenden Schaeffer | THE INTREPID STL

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Round two of The Delivery will include the two hottest topics of discussion for Cardinals fans: The Peralta for Sierra move, and the Luis Robert sweepstakes. Let’s dive right in!

What do you think happens to Johnny Peralta once he is ready to come off the DL? -Andy

One of the two most popular Cardinals topics of the moment is the situation surrounding Jhonny Peralta. This afternoon, we heard that Peralta has been activated from the disabled list, with Magneuris Sierra getting sent to Springfield (AA). Sierra was previously at Palm Beach (A+) before being called up to the majors.

This move seems to be a source of frustration for Cardinals fans, and for good reason. Sierra should have remained on the roster until Piscotty’s return from the disabled list. How many times are the Cardinals going to go into games with only three healthy outfielders and then be forced to thrust Matt Adams or Aledmys Diaz into left field in an emergency situation? On a Friday night in May, in a week where the team enjoyed multiple off-days, do the Cardinals need an eight-man bullpen? I would suggest not.

If there was enough consternation regarding possibly losing Miguel Socolovich to a waiver claim that the Cardinals decided to send down Sierra instead, they should have just bit the bullet and optioned the better-performing Sam Tuivailala and been done with it. Instead, they have a shortage in the outfield once again.

Cross your fingers for good health Friday night!

When do we find out about Luis Robert? And will he be in the big leagues right away? -Darren

The other hot topic in Cardinal Nation: The Luis Robert sweepstakes. The Cardinals and White Sox are rumored to be the two highest bidders for the services of the young Cuban outfield sensation. So the Cardinals will either land a legitimate talent–necessary in the wake of the loss of a draft pick from the hacking scandal– or again finish in second place.
My take all along has been that the Cardinals should sign Robert, no matter the price. Indications on social media from White Sox stakeholders seem to place the Sox in a pretty confident position in their offer for Robert–but the Cardinals cannot afford to be outbid. When the Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox are ineligible to bid due to international spending restrictions on those clubs, the Cardinals have to take advantage. Money should be no object.

This isn’t a $300 million discussion like would be the case months down the road for a Manny Machado-type player. This is expected to be a much lesser acquisition price, even when factoring in the luxury tax implications that would cost the Cardinals beyond the salary of the player.
As for whether he would be in the bigs right away, probably not, considering he is only 19 years of age. However, based on the description of his talent, it may not be long before he is making his mark on major league pitching. When he does, it should be with red birds across his chest.

Has anyone media wise equated the Cardinals poor defense and base running of the past two years to the absence of Jose Oquendo? Seems like he was “The Secret Weapon” in more ways than one. I haven’t heard a thing about it on radio or twitter. -Laura

I feel like I may have been parsing through different Twitter feeds than Laura, but I appreciate her question. In my experience, the absence of Oquendo has been a hot topic on Twitter and even on local sports talk radio. The Cardinals have struggled with base running and defense since the start of 2015, when the Secret Weapon stopped coaching full-time with the major league club–it’s fair to wonder whether the team misses his influence.

I certainly think there’s something to it; players like Aledmys Diaz certainly have a comfort level with Oquendo from his time in the organization, and it’s not wild to imagine that the Cardinals younger players could benefit from more time around the defensive guru. That said, the influence of a coach can only go so far; in the end, the areas that the Cardinals struggle with will have to be solved by the players on the field. Responsibility has to fall on their shoulders.

Mark Montgomery 28:3 k to bb ratio. Why doesn’t this guy get a chance B-Schaef? -F. Hotdogbun

I had to take a look at Montgomery’s numbers at Memphis after this question: the 26-year-old righty now boasts a K:BB ratio of 29:3 across 22 innings pitched. When you look at the bullpen struggles the major league team has had at times already this season, it’s fair to wonder what the team has coming down the pipe.

However, for players like Montgomery who aren’t considered touted major league prospects, they are often viewed as minor league depth–it’s tough for players that aren’t considered real prospects to crack that ceiling. Montgomery has performed well statistically, but when you consider the investment in bullpen arms at the major league level, it would require multiple stints on the DL for some of those players to give a guy like Montgomery a chance. Unfortunately, that’s just the reality for career-minor leaguers.

Could this Mizzou team beat the Brooklyn Nets, because I’m thinking yes. -Carson

So I’ll just take Carson’s questions as an opportunity to briefly rave about the upcoming Missouri Tiger basketball team. With the commitment of Jeremiah Tilmon, Mizzou has an inside presence. In all likelihood, Jontay Porter will also roam the painted area for the Tigers this coming season, with Michael Porter Jr., of course, leading the way as the do-it-all superstar. Mizzou basketball is officially fun again. I’ll go on a limb and predict a Sweet 16 berth. For the Illini fans in the crowd, just let us have this. You guys will be fine.

With this depth at OF, who could be a trade piece soon? 

I think this one depends on what the Cardinals realistically need to add at the major league level for this coming trade deadline and the subsequent winter period. Piscotty’s contract extension would indicate the Cardinals view him as an everyday core player for the long-term; Fowler obviously fits that bill, as well.

Grichuk is an interesting name, because the high-ceiling is certainly there for his career because of the raw power, but how long do the Cardinals want to wait to see him put things together on a consistent basis? If they wait too long and he doesn’t pan out, you can forget about trade value. Grichuk could turn into a core player, but there is risk associated with waiting him out.

That said, I don’t consider a couple weeks of Mags Sierra or having Harrison Bader at Memphis to be reason enough to ship out anybody at this point, unless it’s a no-brainer move for a difference maker at another position.

Should SEC swap Mizzou and Auburn in football divisions so my map actually makes sense? Or kill divisions altogether? -Kyle

This is kind of a fun question. Geographically, as Kyle mentioned, it would be a more sensible fit to have Missouri in the SEC West rather than the East. Specifically with Auburn, I don’t see them ever being removed from the same division as Alabama, LSU, etc., because of the history of the rivalries.

I don’t see getting rid of divisions altogether, because the nature of being able to set up a conference championship game seems to be the popular trend in the College Football Playoff era, so I don’t necessarily view that changing. That said, I don’t really have an answer for which team could possibly flip with Mizzou for a more geo-friendly alignment. Also, as a Tiger fan, I hope things never change–the West is brutal.

Thanks again for all the questions this week! Start DMing me now to get involved next week, @bschaeffer12 on Twitter.