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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 12-10-2012, 05:27 PM   #2446
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Joe Kelly would rock for KC. Would this Calixte be worth Kelly?
Hard to say. I think you and I have a little bit of a disagreement on Kelly. I see him as a nice 4th starter or outstanding reliever. But as I've said before (maybe even here), I see a whole lot of Haren in the kid.

Like Haren, he went out there while his teammates were wetting the bed around him and just fired a power arsenal at a team that was in the process of putting the Cardinals away. In so doing, he was the most effective pitcher we had as the season slipped away.

If he refines a breaking pitch, he really could be a great one. If that happens then I'd have to guess that we 'lose' the trade. Then again, if he does and Calixte turns into a solid defensive SS with 15/15 skills and an .800 OPS, both sides benefit.

I think the Cards would be taking on substantially more risk and perhaps not even getting more upside. At the same time, their system is just loaded with power RHers and completely bereft of SS talent. If they have to 'lose' a trade to get that hole filled, I'm willing to do so if it only costs us another power righty.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:49 PM   #2447
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The Royals don't have enough to get Miller.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:20 PM   #2448
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I wanted to build a trade proposal around Shelby Miller. Myers for Miller and work out the details later. His arm is just massive. I've heard he's got some maturity issues and wonder about his control, he seems a bit wild from the time I saw him which was limited. But a huge arm. Cheap & controllable too.
maturity issues, yes. Control? Nope. He's got everything in his arsenal to be a #1.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:25 PM   #2449
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With Myers gone? Unless they gave up their top 3 leftover or someone like Hosmer/Moustakas off their major league roster, they really don't.

The Cardinals and Royals fit well in the fringes (the have bit parts that match up well), but even before Myers left, they weren't a good fit for a major trade. The Cards are strong at the corners with Beltran, Holliday, Freese and Craig, then they have Carpenter, Adams and Taveras in the minors. That's a shitload of quality corner bats and that's where all the Royals legitimate trade value comes from.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #2450
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maturity issues, yes. Control? Nope. He's got everything in his arsenal to be a #1.
His control completely abandoned him until about July. Nobody's really sure why, but it came back just as quickly as it left him.

While he recovered, the 'stumble' has to be seen as something of a red flag due to the fact that nobody's really figured out where it came from. Was he hiding an injury? Pouting? The club gave the standard 'mechanics' answer, it sure seemed severe for a simple mechanics issue.

As an aside, I have a homerun ball he gave up on the back fields at spring training during his first major league spring training. It's sitting in my 2006 WS beer stein in my office. If he turns into a badass, it would be kinda interesting to get it singed; you can see the smear over the trademark and everything. The guy that hit it freakin' blasted it.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:32 PM   #2451
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My guess: he was thinking instead of pitching. He was given a "no shake off" rule about halfway through the season, and voila, his control came back. I have no worries about him, all young players go through growing pains.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:38 PM   #2452
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With Myers gone? Unless they gave up their top 3 leftover or someone like Hosmer/Moustakas off their major league roster, they really don't.

The Cardinals and Royals fit well in the fringes (the have bit parts that match up well), but even before Myers left, they weren't a good fit for a major trade. The Cards are strong at the corners with Beltran, Holliday, Freese and Craig, then they have Carpenter, Adams and Taveras in the minors. That's a shitload of quality corner bats and that's where all the Royals legitimate trade value comes from.

Well, I specifically mentioned Myers for Miller so yes, I assume the guy was referring to Myers not being enough for Miller. (Since it was a rebuttal to my point)


If he was not responding to Myers and is looking only at the Royals now, then yes: they still have plenty of juice in the farm to get that done. The Royals still have one of the top farm systems. It would require Zimmer and probably Starling plus a bullpen piece at the current ML level but that's just a guess.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #2453
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Well, I specifically mentioned Myers for Miller so yes, I assume the guy was referring to Myers not being enough for Miller. (Since it was a rebuttal to my point)


If he was not responding to Myers and is looking only at the Royals now, then yes: they still have plenty of juice in the farm to get that done. The Royals still have one of the top farm systems. It would require Zimmer and probably Starling plus a bullpen piece at the current ML level but that's just a guess.
No. Cards farm system is stacked, they don't need your prospects. They wouldn't give up a #1 starter for bullpen help.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:01 PM   #2454
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Oh, Shelby's a #1 starter now, is he? Looks like O's fans aren't the only ones who over-rate their prospects.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #2455
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Calixte was my favorite because he was closest to being ready. Mondesi looked pretty outstanding as well, though he's so far away still that it's hard to know exactly what you have there. I just don't see how you can put any stock in his stats at all - he's just a scouting report and tools at this point.

Joe Kelly and Skip for Calixte? Kelly has a great arm and put up a 3.74 ERA as a starter despite a very short notice promotion. I see no reason to consider him a lesser prospect than Wade Davis, to be honest.
I don't think Calixte or Mondesi can be had for anything less than a big deal Kelly is a guy with some upside, but I can't see that being enough - even paired with a bench/util player (even a good one like SS).

Calixte will spend time at AA this year, and he's a good bet to pump up his value with big numbers offensively. KC is counting on that, from what I gather in a few places.

Not saying I agree with that, just that's where KC is at.

Mondesi is young and far away from the majors, but what he did at his age is pretty special. Putting up those numbers in rookie ball vs guys 2-3 years older than you is usually a great sign. Scouting reports are pretty glowing so far both in the field and regarding his bat speed/control.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:37 PM   #2456
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Oh, Shelby's a #1 starter now, is he? Looks like O's fans aren't the only ones who over-rate their prospects.
He's been viewed as of having that potential since he's been drafted. He had a few tough months in AAA this season, then started turning the corner, earned a call up in September and performed quite well.

Last edited by Rams Fan; 12-10-2012 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:40 PM   #2457
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I know, he does have top-shelf potential. But it's just funny having someone say they won't trade us a "#1 starter" for our "prospects". Seems like they are all prospects until proven otherwise. Miller has some makeup issues I'd question before I put him as an everyday regular in the rotation, let alone an Adam Wainright type performer.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #2458
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As an aside, I have a homerun ball he gave up on the back fields at spring training during his first major league spring training. It's sitting in my 2006 WS beer stein in my office. If he turns into a badass, it would be kinda interesting to get it singed; you can see the smear over the trademark and everything. The guy that hit it freakin' blasted it.
Funny.

I have a ball he used in Memphis to strike out Caleb Gindl of Nashville. Sitting next to the autographed Oscar Taveras ball I picked up in Frisco the night before.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:45 PM   #2459
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I know, he does have top-shelf potential. But it's just funny having someone say they won't trade us a "#1 starter" for our "prospects". Seems like they are all prospects until proven otherwise. Miller has some makeup issues I'd question before I put him as an everyday regular in the rotation, let alone an Adam Wainright type performer.
We'll see how he turns out. I don't think the organization views him as untouchable as it was rumored that they would move him for the right deal, but I'd have to imagine it would have to be something that would be worth while.

I would think whoever loses out in the battle for the 5th starter spot-or the 4th and 5th spots if Garcia is not ready or has a setback- would either be used as trade bait or moved to the bullpen. Kelly has more upside then Lynn does at this point, with Rosenthal probably having more then Kelly and maybe at the same level as Shelby.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #2460
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In short:
1a. Miller
1b. Martinez
3. Rosenthal
4. Kelly
5. Lynn
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