St. Louis Cardinals 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 86-76

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Yadier Molina, Gerald Laird
  • Infielders: Skip Schumaker, Albert Pujols, David Freese, Ryan Theroit, Daniel Descalso, Tyler Greene
  • Outfielders: Colby Rasmus, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, Allen Craig, Jon Jay
  • Starters: Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook, Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse, Kyle McClellan
  • Bullpen: Ryan Franklin, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Trever Miller, Fernando Salas, Brian Tallet, Miguel Batista

Notable Signings

  1. Lance Berkman: 1 year, $8MM
  2. Gerald Laird: 1 year, $1MM
  3. Nick Punto: 1 year, $750K
  4. Miguel Batista: minor league deal

Notable Losses

  1. Brad Penny
  2. Aaron Miles
  3. Jeff Suppan
  4. Randy Winn

Top Prospects

  1. Shelby Miller: RHP
  2. Carlos Matias: RHP
  3. Zack Cox: 3B
  4. Tyrell Jenkins: RHP

Key Position Battles

  • 5th Starter: Kyle McClellan vs. Lance Lynn vs. Kevin Millwood – I throw Millwood into this mix because he is the best starter left on the market and may prove to be a better option to replace Adam Wainwright(out in 2011 due to Tommy John Surgery) than any pitcher currently within the Cardinal organization. However, the Cardinals have said they would like to find the fix internally which means this race realistically comes down to McClellan and Lynn. Lance Lynn was a very successful minor league pitcher and is major league ready(sporting 4 pitches including a slider, curve and change.) McClellan may be the safer bet out of the gate and will snag the fifth starter spot, for now. If he falters in the rotation then Lynn will be waiting in the wings at AAA Memphis. 5th Starter Pick: Kyle McClellan

The 2011 Cardinals are going to have to rely heavily on their offense if they want to have any chance at a playoff spot. With ace Adam Wainwright out for the season after Tommy John surgery their rotation does not have the same punch so this team is going to have to ride the bats. Albert Pujols is a great place to start on the offensive(and defensive) side of the ball. As we all know, Albert is the best all around player in the majors and has the potential to win the Triple Crown every single season. It seems as though normal players elevate their game in contract years in order to try to land a big deal in free agency; Pujols’ production in a walk year is an absolutely frightening thought. The Robin to Pujols’ Batman is Matt Holliday who is another of the best offensive performers in the league. He is good for 25 homers, 100 RBIs and an OBP pushing .400 every season. St. Louis also has a few young players progressing in the right direction on the verge of  major breakout season. Colby Rasmus and David Freese are both players with the potential to break out this season and raise eyebrows around the league. Lance Berkman will give a solid veteran presence and switch hitting bat in the line up; possibly manning the 2 hole with power declining and high OBP numbers. My favorite Molina brother, Yadier Molina, never brings a lot of offense to the table but his defense is the best of any catcher I have ever seen outside of Pudge Rodriguez in his prime. As far as this rotation goes they need a lot to go right to have success. Chris Carpenter is already having hammy problems this spring and Jamie Garcia will likely not be pitching to a 2.70 ERA again. However, some how some way, Dave Duncan always manages to turn pitchers in to absolute gold so we may be able to expect that for Jake Westbrook in St. Louis from the start now. Ryan Franklin does not fit the typical closer model since his game is not dominated by the strikeout but he is still effect. The rest of the bullpen is nothing to right home about and they do not appear to have many other suitable options to step in to that closer role if something were to happen to Franklin. With Adam Wainwright this team contends for a Wild Card spot and possibly the division, but without him, no dice.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 84-78


About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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