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Friday, March 08, 2013

Gordon: Transition year looming for Cards? : Sports

The Cardinals are stacked in the minors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them peddle some of their surplus for a good young shortstop. The Cardinals and Texas could definitely be a good trade match-up.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2013 at 09:07 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, prospects

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   1. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4384068)
I'm not sure what he is referring to as a transition year. Here is the likely Cardinals lineup(and their last three year ops+ average)
C Yadier Molina (116)
1b Allen Craig (134*)
2b (host of players)
Ss (unknown, likely Cedeno(85) in the end)
3b David Freese (121)
Lf Matt Holliday (146)
CF John Jay (113)
RF Carlos Beltran(135)
No matter how you look at it, that is an impressive collection of bats, even with the two gaps. Assuming Cedeno at short(85) and whoever you want at second it could be a middle of the road defender and hitter like Descalso(81 ops+) it could be bat first defense second like Matt Carpenter(120 ops+ in only 359 pa) or it could be someone completely unproven like Kolten Wong or Ryan Jackson(who is probably out of the running) My money is on Descalso/Carpenter shared playing time.

Add in the bench that could see Tavares after the first month of the season and you are looking at a team that should be able to produce runs all season long.

The pitching is of course the issue, the projected rotation of
Wainwright
Garcia
Westbrook

and two more than likely rookies or very inexperienced pitchers leaves a lot to be desired, heck even Wainwright isn't a sure thing at this point in time. The pen could be better than it has in years, but it also looks like it's going to be taxed heavily.

The funny thing about this article, is that Jeff Gordon is the anti-Montgomery Burns. His proposal for the lineup would include the following bench Oscar Taveras(lh), Matt Adams(lh), either Descalso(lh) or Carpenter(lh), Kolten Wong(lh) and a backup catcher.

I'm all for including the best hitters on the roster, but practicality has to have a place in there.(yes I know Descalso has a reverse platoon..point still stands) I do not want Wiggington to make the 25 man roster as much as any sane Cardinal fan, but it looks like that is going to become a logistic necessity.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 08, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4384076)
Add in the bench that could see Tavares after the first month of the season

Would they really let Taveras sit on the bench? That seems odd.

and two more than likely rookies or very inexperienced pitchers leaves a lot to be desired

What do you think of Joe Kelly? The velocity is awesome, but he's not generating the K-rate you'd expect.
   3. SG Posted: March 08, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4384104)
I'd assume if Taveras was on the bench it would essentially be as a full-time player spotted in the OF 4-5 times a week, most likely due to health issues with the other OF.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4384118)
Would they really let Taveras sit on the bench? That seems odd.


With both Holliday and Beltran likely missing 30 or so games a year, it's very likely that Tavares would still be able to rustle up 60-80 starts, he has played centerfield most of his minor league career, so he can spell Jay also. Add in that the bench will be infield strong(Descalso/Carpenter and Cedeno/Kozma) and you have plenty of opportunities to allow him to pinch hit, that 400 plate appearances is very doable, even after missing a month.

Edit: or what SG said.

What do you think of Joe Kelly? The velocity is awesome, but he's not generating the K-rate you'd expect.


I'm not sure about him, he seems to like to nibble more than you would want a guy with his stuff. I think he's still learning how to pitch and needs a little more seasoning. I think he's a good candidate for a few weeks/months in the pen at the major league level to gain some confidence in his ability versus big leaguers, as it stands right now, I'm not sure I would project him as a middle of the rotation starter. (Note there is no such thing as a number five starter in my world, so middle of the rotation is the term I would use for guys who aren't aces or number twos)
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4384123)
Isn't Ryan Jackson pretty close to ready at shortstop? From what I understand he's terrific with the glove, so anything he can do with the bat would be icing it seems. Knowing Cardinals magic, he'll probably end up being a 100 OPS+ hitter anyway, which would make him quite valuable.
   6. Perry Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4384125)
Not sure this has been reported here, but they just extended Craig, buying out 2 FA years. $1.75 million this year, $2.75 million in 2014, $5.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017. The Cardinals have a $13 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout. He would have been eligible for FA after 2016.
   7. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4384133)
Something like Hardy and Arrieta to the Cardinals for a bunch of prospects makes a lot of sense, but I can't imagine the orioles would do that.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4384140)
Isn't Ryan Jackson pretty close to ready at shortstop? From what I understand he's terrific with the glove, so anything he can do with the bat would be icing it seems. Knowing Cardinals magic, he'll probably end up being a 100 OPS+ hitter anyway, which would make him quite valuable.


Last I heard is that Ryan's stock is dropping, not going up. I don't think they have any plans to use him as anything other than a stopgap measure.
   9. salvomania Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4384145)
With both Holliday and Beltran likely missing 30 or so games a year,


???

Holliday played 156 games last year, and has played 155+ games six of the last eight years.
   10. vivaelpujols Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4384147)
and two more than likely rookies or very inexperienced pitchers leaves a lot to be desired, heck even Wainwright isn't a sure thing at this point in time. The pen could be better than it has in years, but it also looks like it's going to be taxed heavily.


Anything particularly worrying to you about Lance Lynn and his 176 innings 3.49 FIP, 3.78 ERA last year? I wonder what universe Waino isn't a sure thing, unless you think he's at risk for injury again. He had a 3.10 FIP last year in 198 innings. Westbrook's a solid bet to be 170 innings of 4.00 ERA. Garcia's probably the biggest wild card because his arm looks like it's close to falling off (although he's been consistently excellent while healthy for his entire career). Shelby's a risk, but also has tremendous upside and there's Rosenthal and Kelly to back him and Garcia up. I'm not particularly worried about the rotation at all, this is the most depth we've had since I can remember.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4384150)
???

Holliday played 156 games last year, and has played 155+ games six of the last eight years.


I'm just projecting old players missing games(although Holliday isn't that old), it has nothing to do with history. If we have someone of Taveras caliber on the bench, then you rest Holliday once in a while against a right handed pitcher.

But you are right, that was an overstatement on my part. Holliday started 152 games last year(in leftfield), finished 123 of them so he does get rested plenty in the late innings, but not sure that would add up to a lot of playing time for Taveras.
   12. vivaelpujols Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:41 PM (#4384155)
Beltran is an injury risk, but Holliday's been one of the more durable players in baseball. I think the only way Oscar gets called up is if one of those three gets injured full time. Otherwise Shane Robinson will be the 4th outfielder (this is pretty stupid because Shane Robinson kind of sucks. They should have paid 2/5 to Andres Torres instead of Ty Wigginton, still totally on the fence about Mo as a GM).

Ryan Jackson seems like the best SS in the Cards system currently, but for some reason the club has soured on him. I think he's 4th on the depth chart now behind Kozma, Cedeno and Greg Garcia.

Joe Kelly's a decent pitcher who could end up having a career kind of like Westbrook's if he starts throwing more strikes, but I think Shelby's clearly the superior option for the 5th starter spot. The club has said Rosenthal will likely be in the pen this year.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4384166)
Anything particularly worrying to you about Lance Lynn and his 176 innings 3.49 FIP, 3.78 ERA last year? I wonder what universe Waino isn't a sure thing, unless you think he's at risk for injury again. He had a 3.10 FIP last year in 198 innings. Westbrook's a solid bet to be 170 innings of 4.00 ERA. Garcia's probably the biggest wild card because his arm looks like it's close to falling off (although he's been consistently excellent while healthy for his entire career). Shelby's a risk, but also has tremendous upside and there's Rosenthal and Kelly to back him and Garcia up. I'm not particularly worried about the rotation at all, this is the most depth we've had since I can remember.


My comment about Wainwright not being a sure thing, is that he isn't sure to be an ace level pitcher. Not a big fan of fip when dealing with young pitchers and pitchers coming back from injuries. Fip assumes the players are major league quality talent, and there is no sure bet, that that is the case with young pitchers or pitchers returning from injury. Waino is probably a sure thing to approach 200 ip, 110 era+, anything more is uncertain, in my opinion.

Lynn faded down the stretch, I have a pet theory, in that I don't consider a young pitchers first 8-12 starts in the majors in evaluating their future success(and that is 8-12 starts in the same season, you can't spread those out) After his 12th start last year Lynn posted the following line, 17Gs, 101.2ip, 4.60 era, .278/.349/.449/.797 .353babip, 109 h, 38bb, 106 so. Nothing impressive there. That is roughly the Lynn I'm expecting this season.

You pointed out the issue with Garcia.
I agree with liking the quality of the arms we have. I'm just not sure about the ability to deliver at the majors on a consistent basis. With our offense we should survive the ups and downs we should expect from a young pitching staff, but it's definitely the big question mark.

   14. vivaelpujols Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4384173)
Fip assumes the players are major league quality talent, and there is no sure bet, that that is the case with young pitchers or pitchers returning from injury.


Waino also had a 3.94 ERA last year. There's nothing in his performance that makes me think he's not major league quality, so I reject your skepticism of FIP in this case. It's also a narrative on Lynn, all pitchers go through ups and downs over the course of a season, which is why we use aggregate numbers. This doesn't make sense to me at all, sorry

I have a pet theory, in that I don't consider a young pitchers first 8-12 starts in the majors in evaluating their future success
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4384174)
Don't get me wrong, the Cardinals have tremendous amount of quality arms. I have been on the Shelby bandwagon for several years and hope he can play up to the hype.

Otherwise Shane Robinson will be the 4th outfielder


Absolutely agree that Shane Robinson will be the 4th outfielder on opening day. I even agree with Taveras not coming up until an injury, but I fully expect injuries to happen enough that he'll get a call up sometime after 4 weeks into the season, even if the injury is a short term injury, just to get his feet wet. I think that once up though, he's not going back down, even if that was the front office intention at the time of the call up.

   16. vivaelpujols Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4384181)
I think that once up though, he's not going back down, even if that was the front office intention at the time of the call up.


I agree with this. I'm guessing they leave Holliday as a full starter, but sub Jay and Beltran out heavily.
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4384185)
This doesn't make sense to me at all, sorry


I know it's not your theory or anything, just something I have anectdotally observed when it comes to prospects to the point that has been my theory for years. I just don't trust the first 8-12 games of a pitchers career. Too many pitchers have flamed out after good starts, or continued pitching long after they have shown they aren't that good, because of distorted numbers. I prefer to evaluate anyone new to the league after 12 starts and go with that.

Waino also had a 3.94 ERA last year. There's nothing in his performance that makes me think he's not major league quality, so I reject your skepticism of FIP in this case.


That is fine, I'm being overly cautious with my optimism. I accept that. I see what is arguably the best team in the NL(suck it Red fans) and it also happens to be my team of choice, so I want to temper the optimism. With this team, you can't temper it by looking at offense(I don't care what secondbase and shortstop produce, this team is going to score a ton of runs) the weakness of this team is lack of certainty in the rotation, and of course the insistence on any left handed pitcher in the pen.

   18. vivaelpujols Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4384190)
I think the Nats are probably clearly the best team, and the Cardinals and the Dogdgers and Reds and Braves and Giants are in that second tier. I'm guessing/hoping the Giants will be the team left out of the playoffs. I'm not that optomistic about the Cardinals, I think they are about an 87 win team that's consistently good across the board with a lot of cushion in their depth.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4384194)
Dangit, I missed the start of the game...free on the web, Cardinals up 8-2, Harper just hit a triple.

I think the Nats are probably clearly the best team, and the Cardinals and the Dogdgers and Reds and Braves and Giants are in that second tier. I'm guessing/hoping the Giants will be the team left out of the playoffs. I'm not that optomistic about the Cardinals, I think they are about an 87 win team that's consistently good across the board with a lot of cushion in their depth.


Haven't looked into it enough to know for sure, but I can see that being about right. I don't think the Cardinals take a back seat to the Dodgers or Reds at least.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4384213)
I think they are about an 87 win team that's consistently good across the board with a lot of cushion in their depth.


I'm way more optimistic than that. I see a team that is more than capable of scoring more than 800 runs, and allowing around 650. I don't see anything really different than last year, except maybe an even better offense.
   21. JJ1986 Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4384217)
I don't see anything really different than last year, except maybe an even better offense.


They lost their most valuable starting pitcher.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: March 08, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4384229)
They lost their most valuable starting pitcher.


Yes, to be replaced by Wainwright.

Basically the optimistic Cardinal view is

Lohse 2012 134 era+...Wainwright can match that in 2013.
Lynn 2012 102 era+.... Why shouldn't he repeat in 2013?
Westbrook 2012 97 era+.... Again, why shouldn't he repeat?
Wainwright 2012 97 era+... Kelly should be able to match that as he posted a 109 last year in 107 ip.
Garcia last year 98 era+...again no reason that that number couldn't be matched.

Optimistically speaking, there is no reason to think that this starting rotation is any worse than what we had last year.
   23. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 08, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4384279)
Joe Strauss wrote today that the reports on Ronny Cedeno are not great, and since his contract is not guaranteed, he could get cut. Sounds like Kozma is probably the opening day starter at short.

   24. Canker Soriano Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:19 PM (#4384363)
Waino also had a 3.94 ERA last year.


His nickname isn't really Waino, is it? That's pretty stupid, even by baseball nickname standards.
   25. salvomania Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4384373)
"Wagonmaker" I think is the approved nickname.
   26. KJOK Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4384393)
Isn't Ryan Jackson pretty close to ready at shortstop? From what I understand he's terrific with the glove, so anything he can do with the bat would be icing it seems. Knowing Cardinals magic, he'll probably end up being a 100 OPS+ hitter anyway, which would make him quite valuable.


I think I quoted it in a different thread that the GM said he's now behind Garcia even, and Garcia is going to be the starting SS at Memphis, so that leaves Jackson probalby as the utility infielder at Memphis.
   27. Anonymous Observer Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4384402)
My nickname for Adam Wainwright is "Root Beer".
   28. KJOK Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM (#4384405)
Joe Strauss wrote today that the reports on Ronny Cedeno are not great, and since his contract is not guaranteed, he could get cut. Sounds like Kozma is probably the opening day starter at short.


GM also had some negative comments about Cedeno, so does seem as if Furcal's injury isn't going to save him. There's just not enough bench slots if you assume 12 pitchers, Kozma the starting SS, Carpenter starting 2B, and Descalso backing them up with Wigginton nominally the 1B/3B/LF backup.

   29. KJOK Posted: March 08, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4384416)
To be clearer I'm guessing the bench will be:

Descalso
Wiggington
Robinson
Adams
Cruz

That gives the team a LH PH (Adams), RH PH (Wigginton) backup Def IF (Descalso) and backup Def OF (Robinson) plus the backup C.

Slight possibility that Adams starts at AAA instead but if they keep Cedeno and farm Adams then there's no lefty bat off the bench (other than the weak hitting Descalso).

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