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Old 01-04-2012, 10:08 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 09:57 PM..
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:48 PM   #2461
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It's just so hard to trade an arm like Miller. Esp when you see what starting pitchers are going for on the FA market. As the Cards know, signing several the past few years to extensions or to come there and pitch. Ain't cheap.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:51 PM   #2462
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It's just so hard to trade an arm like Miller. Esp when you see what starting pitchers are going for on the FA market. As the Cards know, signing several the past few years to extensions or to come there and pitch. Ain't cheap.
Damn right.

Which is why Wainwright in all likely hood will be back due to Carp's contract being up. And I understand why Westbrook was brought back, but that still doesn't mean he isn't possible to move, I just would have rather seen Miller/Rosenthal get a better chance at a rotation spot.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:54 PM   #2463
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I'm not a Cards fan (in fact I hate them) but I always liked Westbrook. I think he's a really solid guy in a MLB rotation. If you followed the Royals more closely you'd appreciate Westbrook much more. That said I'm sure Miller will get the 5th spot or assume it after the first injury.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:56 PM   #2464
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I'm not a Cards fan (in fact I hate them) but I always liked Westbrook. I think he's a really solid guy in a MLB rotation. If you followed the Royals more closely you'd appreciate Westbrook much more. That said I'm sure Miller will get the 5th spot or assume it after the first injury.

Westbrook is what he is-a decent pitcher. He looks really good sometimes and looks like pure shit at other times. I would think giving the young kids a shot would be better in the long term, however, it could also just be used as a tactic to delay the arbitration clock(which I doubt is the case).
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #2465
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You could suspect that with many clubs, but the Cards normally don't play any of those type of games. They don't have to. If Miller was rotation-worthy he'd be in there without hesitation.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:59 PM   #2466
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You could suspect that with many clubs, but the Cards normally don't play any of those type of games. They don't have to. If Miller was rotation-worthy he'd be in there without hesitation.
As I said, I doubt that it's the case, but you never know. Hopefully Taveras is up sooner rather than later.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:21 PM   #2467
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You could suspect that with many clubs, but the Cards normally don't play any of those type of games. They don't have to. If Miller was rotation-worthy he'd be in there without hesitation.
WTF? Do you follow the development of the cardinals minor league system? So now he is not even worth being in the rotation?

Miller has projected as a #1 starter since he was drafted. He got humbled earlier in the year and he was lights out at the end. He was almost perfect in the playoffs.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:59 AM   #2468
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WTF? Do you follow the development of the cardinals minor league system?

No, can't say that I do.


Anyway, the Cards should take a flier on Luke Hochevar. Guy has great stuff and has several great starts every year. Really durable too. Cards are masters of reclamation projects, and I bet they'd turn him into a very good pitcher esp given that you could ease his anxieties a bit having him avoid the DH. He's susceptible to the big inning and that is reduced in the NL. I bet he'd win 10-12 games for them, easy.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:17 AM   #2469
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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.
We can debate this forever, but why on Earth would they trade a top prospect for more prospects? It's not like they have to rebuild, they're trying to win another World Series. If there's a move to be made for a big leaguer that would help with that, who knows if they'd trade Miller, but what you're suggesting is completely laughable.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:44 AM   #2470
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:12 AM   #2471
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:41 PM   #2472
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No, can't say that I do.


Anyway, the Cards should take a flier on Luke Hochevar. Guy has great stuff and has several great starts every year. Really durable too. Cards are masters of reclamation projects, and I bet they'd turn him into a very good pitcher esp given that you could ease his anxieties a bit having him avoid the DH. He's susceptible to the big inning and that is reduced in the NL. I bet he'd win 10-12 games for them, easy.
We have a glut of young pitchers waiting their chance to start. But, anyways, Duncan was the magic behind the reclamation of washed up pitchers. He's retired now.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:20 PM   #2473
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:21 PM   #2474
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Unfortunately the the Reds just got stronger by acquiring Shin-Soo Choo this evening.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:31 PM   #2475
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Unfortunately the the Reds just got stronger by acquiring Shin-Soo Choo this evening.
Nice trade to get Choo pretty much for nothing, though it will be interesting to see how he performs in CF.
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