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St. Louis Cardinals Season Preview
The St. Louis Cardinals are the reigning world champion and were the story of 2011. The problem is that it is 2012 and the Cardinals two most noteworthy members are retired (Tony LaRussa) and now on the Angels (Albert Pujols) and repeating will be a challenge. That said, all is not lost in St. Louis as this club still has many of the pieces required to compete for a playoff spot.
- Rafael Furcal (SS)
- Carlos Beltran (RF)
- Lance Berkman (1B)
- Matt Holliday (LF)
- David Freese (3B)
- Yadier Molina (C)
- Jon Jay (CF)
- Tyler Greene (2B)
- Chris Carpenter*
- Adam Wainwright
- Kyle Lohse
- Jaime Garcia
- Jake Westbrooke
Depth: Both in their lineup and in the rotation, the Cardinals are a deep club. I really like that Jaime Garcia is their 4th starter and that the talented Jon Jay is their 7 hitter. Their depth will be challenged as Chris Carpenter is out indefinitely with a bulging disk, but I maintain the Cardinals will be better for it. Their lineup has no superstar, but their 1-7 hitters are legitimate above average Major Leaguers.
Molina: The brothers Molina are great defensive catchers all around and anyone who has ever played the game can vouch for the effect that a quality defensive catcher can mean for a team (even if sabermetricians can’t). Yadier also happens to have developed into an above average offensive catcher and as a result was paid handsomely this winter. What Molina does for this pitching staff in receiving pitches, calling a game, and throwing out runners is irreplaceable.
I never made a secret of my contempt for Tony LaRussa, but it may just be for the Cardinals in general as I really find it easy to light them up. So here we go:
- Matt Holliday was never that good, and still isn’t.
- Lance Berkman is old
- Rafael Furcal should have retired two years ago
- David Freese is entirely unproven
- Jon Jay is named after a politician. AKA he can’t be good at baseball. Only 2 players with the last names of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Bush, or Adams have ever been named to an all star game.
- Carlos Beltran used to be a Met
- Tyler Greene doesn’t need me to tell him he’s subpar
- Yadier Molina is overpaid
- Carlos Beltran will hit .274 with 19 homers
- Lance Berkman will hit .284 with 21 homers
- Chris Carpenter won’t make more than 18 starts
- Adam Wainwright will finish 7th in the Cy Young voting
- John Jay will emerge as one of the top young center-fielders in baseball