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Old 01-25-2013, 04:27 PM  
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***OFFICIAL*** 2013 STL Cardinals Thread

From Bernie's column:

People have asked me why weíre not more emotional,Ē Matheny said in his office after Sundayís game. ďThey say that we look subdued, always intense. That our actions are methodical, robotic at times. Thatís what got us here. This isnít the time to change it.Ē

Itís hard to argue with the managerís assessment. The Cardinals finished with 97 victories, most by a Cards team since 2005, and tied with Boston for No. 1 in the majors this year.


Their 54-27 showing at Busch Stadium matches the 1985 team for the best single-season home winning percentage (.667) by the Cardinals since 1944.

A postseason theme has emerged, and it echoes the mantra that surfaced before the start of 2013: remember the fall of 2012. Remember falling to San Francisco in the NLCS.


The Cardinalsí veterans still havenít forgotten. They still arenít over it. Itís why Matheny resists GM John Mozeliakís urgings to smile and put on a happier face.


Here's the most impressive aspect of the Cardinals' division championship: they prevailed over two other outstanding teams, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.



The 97-win Cardinals were better this year (regular season) than they were in 2011, when they won 90 games, and 2012, when they won 88.
Here are a few numbers that help put the Cardinals' Central title and No. 1 NL seed in perspective:



* Since MLB switched to a three-division format in each league in 1994, this was only the sixth time that a division had three 90-plus win teams. St. Louis won 97, Pittsburgh 94, and Cincinnati 90.
* Since the format change, this was only the second time that an NL division had three 90-win teams. In 2002 the NL West had Arizona (98 wins), San Francisco (95) and Los Angeles (92).
* The 2013 Cardinals faced more esteemed and difficult competition at the top of the division than any of the division-winning teams managed by Tony La Russa.

The Pirates were hardly pushovers; the Cardinals had to work like mad and kick in with a strong finish to put the division away, and didn't clinch until Game No. 160.



The Cardinals went 9-10 against Pittsburgh this season and were 11-8 vs. Cincinnati.


The Cardinals won only three of 10 games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and split the 10 games at Cincinnati. The Cardinals were 6-3 against both teams at Busch Stadium.


The Cardinals (1st), Pirates (3rd) and Reds (5th) ranked among the top five in wins in the NL. The three teams were among the top 11 in wins in MLB. All three teams finished in the top five in the majors for best overall ERA, and each were in the top five MLB for best starting-pitching ERA.


The original purpose to this piece was to point out that the Cardinals managed to finish with the league's best record while competing in a division that had three 90-win teams for only the second time in the last 19 years of National League baseball.



The Cardinals really earned this.
Thanks for reading ...
ó Bernie

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Old 03-26-2013, 08:31 AM   #196
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That would start his clock early. I wouldn't be surprised to see him come up in the summer instead.
Could always send him back down when Beltran is ready to go. It's about service days, not when you come up. If he spent April in St. Louis, as long as he spent all of May down in Memphis, it would be the same as leaving him down for all of April, in terms of his arbitration clock.

Of course, I think Taveras is going to hit so well that it would be almost impossible to demote him again once he's in the bigs.

The other risk is that Taveras gets hurt and has to spend some time on the DL while he's on the big club... in that case, all the time he spends on the DL counts towards his clock.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #197
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Taveras absolutely cannot be a bench player - period. Not even a '4th OFer'.

He has to play every day. Moreover, his defensive instincts aren't great, so he needs to be playing every day where we intend to play him in the future. He can't be a guy that shifts around in the OF to cover for days off.

If the kid's going to be the superstar we hope he can be, then he needs to be playing his position every day and getting regular ABs against guys with quality breaking pitches and an understanding of when to use them. Sure, when Beltran's hurt that could be in St. Louis - but as soon as Beltran's back, I don't care if he's batting 1.000 - he's probably not a CFer, Beltran' certainly isn't a CFer and I'm fairly sure we won't be benching Carlos. As such, he'll need to go back down.

Why put him on the Memphis shuttle at that point? Play Adams at 1b and Craig in RF and call it a day.

Carpenter in the OF is no longer an option, however, as Freese was placed on the DL today.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:51 AM   #198
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Maturity.

There have been no concerns about his ability, but there have been some rumblings about him being a little too 'showy'. Now the confidence is a good thing, but for a franchise that just got done watching their last premium prospect flame out because of a crap wortk ethic and entitlement issues, they would be wise to make very sure that they aren't going to have a similar problem with young Oscar.

And yeah, financial does matter.

Moreover, I'm not wholly convinced that Tavares is the best hitter available. Folks - Matt Adams can hit. Look at his minor league track record. There's a very convincing argument to be made that he's a better major league hitting prospect than Oscar Tavares is right now.

Craig's broken leg hasn't greatly impacted his speed and he was never a burner to begin with. He'll be fine in RF and in the interim, it could help us establish a legitimate trade market for Adams; hopefully enough to fill the gaping hole we have at SS.
The maturity issues are overblown. Same thing was said about Pujols in 2001 when they didn't want him in the bigs yet, then Bonilla got hurt and the hand was forced.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:12 AM   #199
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I'm not convinced the maturity issues are overblow. I suspect your response to this question is the same as it would've been had we asked it about Rasmus - nobody ever wants to accept the fact that a kid is acting like a kid until it bites them in the ass.

That said, even assuming they are overblown - why are we so quick to state that he's the best option for this team right now?

Sure, he had a great season in AA. Fantastic - when Matt Adams was in AA, his was just as good. More critically, Matt Adams then went to AAA and got even better last season. 18 bombs in 258 ABs to go with a .986 OPS and a .329 BA is filthy. That's world-class power paired with outstanding bat control.

Additionally, as Adams has already started his service clock, there's no loss of team control by brining him north to start the year and playing him every day.

Next, compare their respective springs. Matt Adams has had a better one and against better pitching (pitcher quality index of 8.3 for Taveras, 8.8 for Adams). Better OBP, better SLG%, better at driving runs in - he's just flat been a better hitter than Taveras.

Finally - we aren't trading Taveras but we might trade Adams. If we hope to really get a haul for him, we need to establish his value against major league hitters - we can't do that from the bench.

This organization is better served in both the near term and long term to start Matt Adams at 1b and Allen Craig in RF to begin the year. It's helps a great deal financially by retaining the year of team control. It helps from a trade-value perspective by pumping up Adams value a bit. It helps from a pure production standpoint by putting the more polished and powerful hitter on the field to make up for the loss of Beltran and Freese. And all of that sets aside any ounce of 'maturity' concerns, though I would be very reticent to so quickly dismiss them.

It's just the right move to make.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:29 AM   #200
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By the way, Beltran's playing today, so it seems pretty likely that the Cards are going to try to 'rest' Beltran through his toe injury. That's not how I want Taveras breaking into the majors.

If they were going to DL him, they wouldn't be playing him so they could back-date the DL stint. They must have liked what they saw in the minor league games.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:38 AM   #201
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:46 AM   #202
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Sore tailbone.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:57 AM   #203
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Sore tailbone.
Seriously?

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Old 03-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #204
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:27 PM   #205
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:16 PM   #206
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Seriously?

He fell into the dugout chasing a foul ball in spring training. It was our dugout. Why didn't anyone catch the guy? Anyone see the play?
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:19 PM   #207
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That would start his clock early. I wouldn't be surprised to see him come up in the summer instead.
If they start Taveras this year its highly likely they are going to trade him. No way they give up a year of control for a couple of months of baseball.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:22 PM   #208
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He fell into the dugout chasing a foul ball in spring training. It was our dugout. Why didn't anyone catch the guy? Anyone see the play?
Kozma settled under him but thought the infield fly rule would bail him out again and whiffed on the catch.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:25 PM   #209
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Moreover, I'm not wholly convinced that Tavares is the best hitter available. Folks - Matt Adams can hit. Look at his minor league track record. There's a very convincing argument to be made that he's a better major league hitting prospect than Oscar Tavares is right now.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:33 PM   #210
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By all means - explain to me what makes you think that Matt Adams isn't presently a better major league hitter than Taveras.

Adams is a masher. If he started this year he'd hit 30 HRs and bat .280. Taveras won't do that (likely a higher average but 15-20 HR power).

He will someday, sure, but he doesn't have raw power that Adams does and his greatest strength - the ability to make steady hard contact while being aggressive, is also a strength that Adams has. And for their careers, Taveras will certainly be much better as Adams' body type will dictate that his swing slows down sooner than Oscar's.

But that's not the question - the question is what you see in Oscar Taveras that would make him a better hitter than Matt Adams today.
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