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Old 01-04-2012, 09:08 PM  
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***Offical 2012 STL Cardinals World Champions Thread ***

St. Louis Cardinals: 7 reasons fans should feel good about 2012

Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 9:26 PM

St. Louis Cardinals fans are likely feeling deflated after the collapse that put an end to the team's dreams of a World Series repeat, but there is good reason to be excited.

With all of the odds against them, the Cardinals managed to push their 2012 season beyond any anticipated boundary.

Given all of the season's changes and the adversity the team had to fight through, the fact that they played in October at all was an anomaly in itself. On paper, it made sense for the Cardinals to be in the playoffs, but few saw them as a true threat.
As the season continued, even fans began to doubt as they watched the team seemingly crumble in June and July. When the Cardinals finally came to life in September they went 11-5 in the last 16 games of the season to lock up the second Wild Card position in its inaugural year.

That run, despite it's crushing end in Cincinnati in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, lots of good came from the Cardinals' season and playoff run.
Following in no particular order are 10 reasons Cardinals fans have to be excited about the 2013 season.

Trevor Rosenthal
When rookie fireballer Trevor Rosenthal made his first trip to St. Louis, it was obvious almost instantly that he was something special.
Between his 100 mph fastball and the general inability for almost anyone to hit off of him, he became a huge part of the Cardinals playoff run.

He pitched in a total of 19 regular season games before the 22-year-old rookie from Lee's Summit, Mo. got his first taste of postseason baseball and he put on quite a show.
In 8.2 IP over seven postseason appearances, Rosenthal held opponents to only two hits and no runs.
It's possible that down the stretch he may have already earned his spot in the rotation for 2013.

Shelby Miller
The long-coveted fastball pitching prospect Shelby Miller also made his first trip to St. Louis in 2012 and put on a good show.
In 13.2 IP over six regular season games, Miller surrendered only two runs on nine hits. His postseason performance was more of the same with two runs on four hits in 3.2 IP.

Despite a dismal first half of the season in Memphis, Miller got himself together and still managed to make one major league start before the end of the season -- a very impressive start at that.
Against the Cincinnati Reds in the final game of the regular season, Miller posted 5.2 hitless innings. He gave up no runs and collected his first major league win.

Expect to see a lot more of Miller in St. Louis early in 2013.

Joe Kelly
When Joe Kelly made his major league debut on June 10, few could have guessed the importance he would play throughout the remainder of the 2012 season.
Kelly started 16 games for the Cardinals this season filling in for Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn, but it was the postseason when he really came through for his teammates.

When starting pitchers struggled time and again in October, it was Kelly who came to their rescue.
In seven postseason appearances, Kelly threw 7.2 innings and surrendered only two runs on six hits. Kelly came through for the Cardinals from the bullpen.
There's a good chance that could be his home in the future.

Mike Matheny
When the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny to take over for Tony LaRussa, many question bringing in a manager with no experience to such a storied franchise.

He had a few hiccups and growing pains along the way, but for a rookie manager to get his team where Matheny did this year speaks volumes.
His players have a strong respect for Matheny and credit his positive style with being a driving force behind their 2012 success.
True, he didn't get them through the NLCS, but the team made it to an all or nothing Game 7. That's good experience for the players obviously, but also for Matheny. Not only did he learn a lot about managing in the media pressure cooker that is postseason baseball, he also got a taste of what it felt like to win as a manager.

NLCS loss means more drive to win
While the NLCS loss was a good lesson for a young manager, it's an even more important lesson for a young player.
The 2011 championship lit a fire under young players like Lance Lynn and Jon Jay. That fire helped drive them to extremely successful sophomore seasons.

What happened in 2012 will likely do the same for Rosenthal, Miller and Kelly. Their 2013 season may not be like Jay or Lynn's 2012, but now they've gotten a little taste of what it feels like to be a winner.

Both the excitement and the public humbling can be a great experience for any young player.

The run was without several key components
In a season riddled with injuries, none were as crucial as those late in the season.
The loss of Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal significantly weakened the team's bench. Instead of having Pete Kozma, Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter to pinch hit, the team wound up having to use them in the lineup.

The loss of Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook also rocked the Cardinals. Instead of having Lynn and Westbrook also available from the bullpen, Lynn was pushed back into the rotation after a very successful NLDS bullpen stint.

Having gotten as deep into the playoffs as the Cardinals did in spite of the injuries is quite the accomplishment.

They did it without Pujols, LaRussa and Duncan
Few in the world of sports gave the Cardinals a fighting chance when Albert Pujols left the team to play on the west coast. Surely this team couldn't be as good as they were?

Few gave them a chance after longtime manager Tony LaRussa decided it was time to retire.
Few gave them a chance after pitching coach Dave Duncan left the team.
The Cardinals did it despite all of that. That's something any fan should be proud of.

No, they didn't hoist a trophy. There will be no parade or tickertape.
What there is, though, is hope for next year and that will come sooner than you may think.
After all, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in just four short months.

From a blog I was sent on twitter: http://www.dailystatesman.com/blogs/...es/entry/50051

Last edited by BigRedChief; 10-24-2012 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:28 AM   #2401
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I'd like to get someone to hit leadoff. Not necessarily at SS, but somewhere. Not a huge fan of Jay leading off.


I've seen the rumor of Tulowitzki(sp?) thrown around, but that contract is crazy.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:52 AM   #2402
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If they give up more than Joe Kelly, they're !@#$ing insane.

Asdrubal Cabrera is incredibly overrated. He makes some great highlight reel plays, but his mediocre range is the reason for it.

He's owed $16 million over the next 2 years and simply isn't very good. If the Cards gave up Rosenthal or Lynn for that guy, then Moe is an absolute fool.
Yes, any of those names would be a poor deal in my opinion right now, and I would like a shortstop. I would prefer to see what the Rangers might want for Andrus. I don't think they will shop him in the offseason, but I could see them around the trade deadline fielding offers if their prospect is as ready as most seem to think.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #2403
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I am not a huge Holliday basher, he has put up steady numbers here, but if there is someone willing to buy high on him right now I would field those offers. We have Craig who is probably better suited for left field. Adams who could potentially replace or equal Holliday's numbers at first base. Jay/Taveras in CF, Beltran/Taveras in RF.

Holliday is never going to be a guy who carries your club, the value on his contract has been fine so far, but he is entering that part of his career where he could start a Jason Bay type decline, but at best he is probably no better than the replacement value we already have to plug in at much reduced levels.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:07 AM   #2404
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Lynn? I'd say a pitcher who can only pitch reliably for half a season is somewhat overrated as well.
Yeah, let's give up on a kid that couldn't throw 200 innings in the bigs in his first shot as a full-time starter after throwing as a reliever the year before.

He was great in April, May and September. He was very good in July. There's no question that he struggled in June and August, before clearly hitting a wall in October, but these things happen to young pitchers.

Lynn is built like a horse and has a good power arsenal. He's essentially Aaron Harang at a hair over the minimum.

If you call him an ace caliber starter, yeah you're overrating him. If you call him among the best #3 starters in baseball, you're not. He's more valuable throwing 200 innings with a 3.50 ERA than Asdrubal Cabrera is playing Jeterrific defense and providing hollow offense. Given their respective financial obligations, it's not even close.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:10 AM   #2405
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I am not a huge Holliday basher, he has put up steady numbers here, but if there is someone willing to buy high on him right now I would field those offers. We have Craig who is probably better suited for left field. Adams who could potentially replace or equal Holliday's numbers at first base. Jay/Taveras in CF, Beltran/Taveras in RF.

Holliday is never going to be a guy who carries your club, the value on his contract has been fine so far, but he is entering that part of his career where he could start a Jason Bay type decline, but at best he is probably no better than the replacement value we already have to plug in at much reduced levels.
His 'replacement' would end up being Matt Adams or Matt Carpenter at 1b.

Matt Holliday is much better than those 2.

Unless you could get a legitimate long-term asset in return (i.e. Andrus), there's no way to trade Holliday. Nick Swisher will walk away with a better contract than Holliday at the end of this FA period, just watch.

The new television deals are about to obliterate the financial landscape, especially with the Dodgers looking to get involved. If you have a star caliber player locked up long-term on a deal that came before that, you'd be wise not to trade him.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:20 AM   #2406
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I sure as **** don't ever want to see him in the starting rotation again.


Yeah, lets give up on the kid because after training as a reliever for 6 months, he ran out of gas at 175 innings. Hell, K/Inning starting pitchers with 95 mph stuff grow on trees, right? If you liked him for a single inning in April and May as a starter and now you're looking to bury him as a reliever, then you're an idiot.

Anyone that didn't expect Lynn to hit a wall had their head in the sand. You cannot train your arm for short bursts and rapid bouncebacks and then suddenly not face impediments when trying to throw 7/8 innings. Hell, you could see it October - he was very good for three innings and then the arm just wasn't there anymore. He got tired - shit happens.

Matheny is who to blame for Lance Lynn's October failures, not Lynn.

Before he hit a wall in October he was showing a routine ability to pitch into the 7th and maintain plus stuff. Lynn threw 100+ pitches in 16 of his first 23 starts before they shut him down, something he wasn't asked to do at all last season and something he wasn't told to prepare for before the season started. He still managed to so quite well with it.

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Wong is our leadoff hitter for the next 6 years starting 2014 or maybe if he gets hot in spring training, 2013.
Wong isn't even as good a leadoff candidate as his MI mate in Springfield, Greg Garcia. 44 BBs in nearly 600 PAs does not inspire great confidence in Wong's leadoff potential (Garcia looks like a great fit if he can keep progressing, though). Wong appears to be a natural #2 hitter.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:25 AM   #2407
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Excuse me for not going all RAH RAH over a guy who crumpled like an empty beer can after the first time through the lineup in back-to-back playoff games.

It's wonderful that he pitches well in April. But those October games are sort of important sometimes.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:36 AM   #2408
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Excuse me for not going all RAH RAH over a guy who crumpled like an empty beer can after the first time through the lineup in back-to-back playoff games.

It's wonderful that he pitches well in April. But those October games are sort of important sometimes.
You can't be serious. Are you just ignoring everything that doesn't fit your rant?

He had trained his arm for 9 months to be a reliever. Then he threw 175 innings and his arm got tired. Hell, the kid only threw 110 innings the season before. He trained as a reliever and threw 65 more innings than he threw the previous season; more than a 50% increase. He didn't even expect to be a starter (or even the backup starter) until 3 weeks before the regular season started.

GASP! What a useless one who sucks the penis that guy is. He should've totally been expected to throw 7 clean innings in playoff games when there simply wasn't anything left in his arm at all. The kid was spent, it was obvious to anyone that watched him pitch. He was going out there and having to go max-effort to get through the lineup once.

It was Mike Matheny's fault that Lynn failed, just as it would've been had he expected Boggs to go through the order twice.

Lynn's effort was borderline superhuman last season, but leave it to you to throw him under the bus for the failings of his manager. Afterall, you're the same guy that had to have Jason Motte shoved down your throat before you'd finally stop blaming him for sunsets.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #2409
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You know, I really have better things to do this morning than arguing bad pitching with the Direcshun of Baseball. Have fun defending your superhuman pitcher who can't make it through four innings of playoff baseball.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:10 AM   #2410
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You know, I really have better things to do this morning than arguing bad pitching with the Direcshun of Baseball. Have fun defending your superhuman pitcher who can't make it through four innings of playoff baseball.
I'd probably bail out of an argument where I was giving up on a 25 year old pitcher that struck out 180 guys in 175 innings after training as a reliever in the offseason. Especially when that same guy showed that the pressure didn't bother him in the post-season the year before.

Yeah, you're probably right. You have a lot better things to do than look like a reactionary idiot.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:56 AM   #2411
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His 'replacement' would end up being Matt Adams or Matt Carpenter at 1b.

Matt Holliday is much better than those 2.

Unless you could get a legitimate long-term asset in return (i.e. Andrus), there's no way to trade Holliday. Nick Swisher will walk away with a better contract than Holliday at the end of this FA period, just watch.

The new television deals are about to obliterate the financial landscape, especially with the Dodgers looking to get involved. If you have a star caliber player locked up long-term on a deal that came before that, you'd be wise not to trade him.
I would disagree with the "much" better at least in Adams case. You have valid points and I'm not advocating giving the guy away. He is 32 however, a and we have probably already gotten the most out of that contract with him as we ever will on the back end. If someone needs a solid right handed stick at a reasonable rate we could expect a nice return. Adams has the potential to hit for Holliday type power 20-30 hr's a year, decent average (he sprays to all fields) .280 to .310 for example. You also get a slight upgrade defensively in both positions.

Again, don't give the guy away, but if you get the opportunity to significantly upgrade at SS, and maybe some solid left handed pitching help you have to take a serious look. I don't want to touch any of our young pitching right now.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:02 PM   #2412
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Excuse me for not going all RAH RAH over a guy who crumpled like an empty beer can after the first time through the lineup in back-to-back playoff games.

It's wonderful that he pitches well in April. But those October games are sort of important sometimes.
You are a good fan, and he didn't end the season well at all (both physically and mentally), however his upside is still there if for only the back end of a rotation. Without him at the beginning of the year we get buried in the standings. If he comes in as a fat cow this spring and doesn't learn from his mistakes demote him to middle relief, otherwise he is a good problem to have. A horse at the back end of your rotation that has top end stuff. Garcia is the guy I am done with counting on right now. If he was right handed he would be checking your groceries at Kroger's by now.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #2413
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You are a good fan, and he didn't end the season well at all (both physically and mentally), however his upside is still there if for only the back end of a rotation. Without him at the beginning of the year we get buried in the standings. If he comes in as a fat cow this spring and doesn't learn from his mistakes demote him to middle relief, otherwise he is a good problem to have. A horse at the back end of your rotation that has top end stuff. Garcia is the guy I am done with counting on right now. If he was right handed he would be checking your groceries at Kroger's by now.
Well, I'm sure our Resident Crazy Homeless Person Stats Guy will start screaming at me again from his street corner, but I just don't see how a young pitcher who starts breaking down halfway through the season is a "horse."
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:47 PM   #2414
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Well, I'm sure our Resident Crazy Homeless Person Stats Guy will start screaming at me again from his street corner, but I just don't see how a young pitcher who starts breaking down halfway through the season is a "horse."
Yeah, innings pitched, K/9 and MPH.

Real complicated shit right there.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:47 PM   #2415
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You are a good fan, and he didn't end the season well at all (both physically and mentally), however his upside is still there if for only the back end of a rotation. Without him at the beginning of the year we get buried in the standings. If he comes in as a fat cow this spring and doesn't learn from his mistakes demote him to middle relief, otherwise he is a good problem to have. A horse at the back end of your rotation that has top end stuff. Garcia is the guy I am done with counting on right now. If he was right handed he would be checking your groceries at Kroger's by now.
He is a solid 4th or 5th starter at a minimum, with a ceiling as a 1 or 2 guy. Hopefully his second full season as a starter will work out better and his arm won't turn into a noodle. That many innings on a young arm can be hell, even if he has no arm injury issues.
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