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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 05-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #631
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:25 PM   #632
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:33 PM   #633
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Welll we knew we couldnt lose Larussa, Duncan, Pujols, Carpenter and not have some pretty bad stretches this year.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #634
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Finally, a win. Molina with the RBI single in the bottom of the 9th.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:05 PM   #635
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #636
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frazod View Post
Finally, a win. Molina with the RBI single in the bottom of the 9th.
just for you from Bernies column this week:

Every time Matt Holliday has an 0-for game, a mini-slump or doesn't get a hit with runners in scoring position, the dip invariably invokes a noisy response from the fan base. I've never understood the overreaction to Holliday. Well, maybe I do. I've said it before, so I'll repeat it: for some reason, at least a percentage of the fan base can't get past the psychological obstacle of Holliday's contract.

Because he signed a deal that averages $17 million a year, these folks inexplicably expected Holliday's performance to improve. It doesn't work like that. An increase in paycheck doesn't translate into an increase in power. Holliday is doing exactly what the Cardinals thought he would do when they signed him to the 7-year, $120 million deal.

Since signing the contract, this is where Holliday ranks among major-league left fielders: 2nd in homers, second in RBIs, 2nd in onbase percentage, 4th in slugging percentage, 2nd in extra-base hits, 4th in batting average, 2nd in runs created. Only one LF in the game has produced more than Holliday since the start of the 2010 season -- Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.

I'm sorry, but I don't see the problem here. Despite a high line-drive rate, Holliday started slowly in April. But in his last 96 plate appearances, he's batting .305 with a .406 OBP and a .524 SLG, and 4 homers and 19 RBIs. He's 9 for 29 with runners in scoring position, a .310 average.

If there's something wrong with that, I'd like you to explain what it is. But honestly, the problem isn't with Holliday. It's with the good folks that can't get past his contract, because they expected him to become a better player just because he signed a larger contract. It's just silly. I'm wondering what the reaction would be locally if the Cardinals were paying this kind of money to have Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford playing LF (or not playing) instead of Holliday.

Holliday's production in 2010 and 2011 actually exceeded the value of his salary, based on the metric formula used by FanGraphs.com You can chuckle at this if you'd like but baseball GMs and front offices look at these value ratings to evaluate the quality of an investment.

In 2010, Holliday's production and overall play was valued at $26.7 million. In 2011, Holliday's value was assessed at $22.7 million. The Cardinals paid Holliday $17 million in each of those seasons.

Holliday value of 6.7 wins above replacement level (WAR) in 2010 was the 10th best WAR in MLB. Last year, some injuries limited Holliday's ABs, but his WAR of 5.0 put him right there with Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman.
Critics carp about Holliday's low batting average (.158) in the 2011 World Series but leave out his walks, .385 onbase percentage and five runs scored. They'll leave out the the important play he made in Game 3 to throw Mike Napoli at the plate to snuff a Rangers' rally. (Napoli tried to tag up from third on a fly to LF.) And if you're going to rip Holliday's World Series, it might be fair to mention that he played a major role in getting the Cardinals to the World Series by batting .435 with a 1.152 OPS in the NLCS against Milwaukee.
Some fans, however, will never quite forgive Holliday for the dropped line drive in Game 2 against the Dodgers in the 2009 NLDS. And the perception persists that Holliday isn't a "clutch" player -- whatever that means. The numbers don't support that opinion; Holliday's numbers with RISP over the last 2+ years are .281 BA, .373 OBP, and .467 SLG. In Close & Late situations, Holliday since 2010 is batting .313 / .404 / .520.

I realize we'll continue to go around in circles on this; the people who think Holliday is overrated or overpaid aren't going to come off their position, evidence and facts be damned. And that's OK. But I'll do my best to explore these things, especially if I think a player is getting a bit of an unfair rap. Thanks.


Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/colum...#ixzz1v50824wz
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:09 PM   #637
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http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story...er-hitters-mlb



Just read this on ESPN. Had heard about this guy, but didn't realize he was that respected as a hitter. What can you Birds fans tell me about the guy?
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:12 PM   #638
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http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story...er-hitters-mlb



Just read this on ESPN. Had heard about this guy, but didn't realize he was that respected as a hitter. What can you Birds fans tell me about the guy?
what guy?
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:14 PM   #639
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Is the link not working?



Taveras I believe is his name. My bad.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:15 PM   #640
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
just for you from Bernies column this week:

Every time Matt Holliday has an 0-for game, a mini-slump or doesn't get a hit with runners in scoring position, the dip invariably invokes a noisy response from the fan base. I've never understood the overreaction to Holliday. Well, maybe I do. I've said it before, so I'll repeat it: for some reason, at least a percentage of the fan base can't get past the psychological obstacle of Holliday's contract.

Because he signed a deal that averages $17 million a year, these folks inexplicably expected Holliday's performance to improve. It doesn't work like that. An increase in paycheck doesn't translate into an increase in power. Holliday is doing exactly what the Cardinals thought he would do when they signed him to the 7-year, $120 million deal.

Since signing the contract, this is where Holliday ranks among major-league left fielders: 2nd in homers, second in RBIs, 2nd in onbase percentage, 4th in slugging percentage, 2nd in extra-base hits, 4th in batting average, 2nd in runs created. Only one LF in the game has produced more than Holliday since the start of the 2010 season -- Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.

I'm sorry, but I don't see the problem here. Despite a high line-drive rate, Holliday started slowly in April. But in his last 96 plate appearances, he's batting .305 with a .406 OBP and a .524 SLG, and 4 homers and 19 RBIs. He's 9 for 29 with runners in scoring position, a .310 average.

If there's something wrong with that, I'd like you to explain what it is. But honestly, the problem isn't with Holliday. It's with the good folks that can't get past his contract, because they expected him to become a better player just because he signed a larger contract. It's just silly. I'm wondering what the reaction would be locally if the Cardinals were paying this kind of money to have Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford playing LF (or not playing) instead of Holliday.

Holliday's production in 2010 and 2011 actually exceeded the value of his salary, based on the metric formula used by FanGraphs.com You can chuckle at this if you'd like but baseball GMs and front offices look at these value ratings to evaluate the quality of an investment.

In 2010, Holliday's production and overall play was valued at $26.7 million. In 2011, Holliday's value was assessed at $22.7 million. The Cardinals paid Holliday $17 million in each of those seasons.

Holliday value of 6.7 wins above replacement level (WAR) in 2010 was the 10th best WAR in MLB. Last year, some injuries limited Holliday's ABs, but his WAR of 5.0 put him right there with Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman.

Critics carp about Holliday's low batting average (.158) in the 2011 World Series but leave out his walks, .385 onbase percentage and five runs scored. They'll leave out the the important play he made in Game 3 to throw Mike Napoli at the plate to snuff a Rangers' rally. (Napoli tried to tag up from third on a fly to LF.) And if you're going to rip Holliday's World Series, it might be fair to mention that he played a major role in getting the Cardinals to the World Series by batting .435 with a 1.152 OPS in the NLCS against Milwaukee.

Some fans, however, will never quite forgive Holliday for the dropped line drive in Game 2 against the Dodgers in the 2009 NLDS. And the perception persists that Holliday isn't a "clutch" player -- whatever that means. The numbers don't support that opinion; Holliday's numbers with RISP over the last 2+ years are .281 BA, .373 OBP, and .467 SLG. In Close & Late situations, Holliday since 2010 is batting .313 / .404 / .520.

I realize we'll continue to go around in circles on this; the people who think Holliday is overrated or overpaid aren't going to come off their position, evidence and facts be damned. And that's OK. But I'll do my best to explore these things, especially if I think a player is getting a bit of an unfair rap. Thanks.


Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/colum...#ixzz1v50824wz
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:15 PM   #641
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Is the link not working?



Taveras I believe is his name. My bad.
thats an article about lack of power hitters in the major leagues.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:18 PM   #642
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Home runs are down nearly 20 percent from their 2004 peak, and scouts have made it clear that based on what they are seeing in the minors, that downward trend is going to continue. With Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in the big leagues and Seattle's Jesus Montero beginning the year there, all of a sudden there are precious few power hitters in the minors, and while there are plenty of theories as to the cause, there's no obvious answer as to why.

The knee-jerk reaction is that this is a result of the end of the PED era, but that's a simplistic argument that ignores other trends we are currently seeing in the minor leagues.

"If it was PEDs, then explain to me why I can't turn my head without seeing some kid throwing 95 mph," quipped an American League assistant general manager.

An AL scouting official added, "Everyone is going to want to say we're coming out of the steroid era as it relates to power hitters, but arm strength isn't affected? I've never seen anything like the power that is coming out of pitchers in terms of velocity at every level."

Another team official believes that clubs have learned their lessons in some ways when it comes to finding hitters.

"There hasn't been a lot of power in the draft since 2008, but at the same time, we've gotten away from the 'gorilla ball' mentality," the official explained. "Those old college bats fooled us on a lot of players, so now there's an emphasis on premium positions. Our collective mindset has shifted more to developing all-around games and finding better defenders and guys who can run, and I think overall it's a good thing and leading to better decisions."

Yet in Latin America, there's been a reversal in those trends.

"All of a sudden, teams are seeing power in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, and they're paying for it," said an international scouting official. "We used to only pay for athletes in Latin America, with the slugger-only types never getting big money."

Chances are we'll still get our sluggers, as an American League scout made a point about surprises. "David Ortiz, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Nelson Cruz, David Freese, Pablo Sandoval," he listed. "How many of those guys looked like they were going to be in the middle of a lineup when they were prospects?"

Surprises are hard to predict, and while there are few players who project as future sluggers, here are three prospects a poll of scouts determined as the most likely to become middle-of-the-order run-producers.

1. Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins (Low Class A Beloit)

For one scout, "the list begins and ends with Sano." Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $3.15 million in 2009, Sano hit 20 home runs in 66 games in the rookie-level Appalachian League last year. As one of the youngest players in the Midwest League this year -- the toughest offensive circuit among full-season leagues -- expectations, at least statistically, were tempered.

Apparently nobody told Sano, though, as he leads the Midwest League in home runs (11) and total bases (85) while hitting .287/.406/.625 in 38 games. He just turned 19 last weekend, and for players this young, power is usually overwhelmingly on the projection side of the ledger. We haven't see this kind of in-game power from a player so young in low Class A since Giancarlo Stanton was known as Mike.

2. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A Springfield)

Taveras was pushed to Double-A this year as a 19-year-old (he turns 20 in June) after flirting with .400 at low Class A Quad Cities in 2011 and holding his own in the Arizona Fall League. But like Sano, nobody was expecting a breakout. Despite a controlled yet extremely violent swing that has brought some very loose comparisons to the swing mechanics of Bryce Harper, Taveras hit just eight home runs in 308 at-bats in 2011, but he already has 10 homers in 143 at-bats this year for Springfield while batting .315/.364/.643 in 36 games.

Still, he's more of a hitter than a slugger, but one scout indicated that itself might be indicative of something. "Are we in an era where pure hitters develop more naturally into hitters with power?" he asked.

3. Wil Myers, OF/3B, Kansas City Royals (Triple-A Omaha)

Myers falls into the Taveras group, as he's a fantastic hitter who has somewhat suddenly added significant power to his game. After an injury-plagued 2011, Myers retained his status as the top hitter in the system with a monstrous showing in the Arizona Fall League, and he turned into the Texas League's version of Josh Hamilton by hitting seven home runs in his past 12 games to lift his season averages to .343/.414/.731 in 35 games. He was so dominant for Northwest Arkansas that the Royals promoted him to Triple-A on Wednesday.

While he's played all three outfield positions and a little bit of third base this year, he ultimately projects as a prototypical right fielder with All-Star potential.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:27 PM   #643
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Taveras at 19 is already the top prospect in the Cardinals farm system after Shelby Miller. He has jumped up everyones list in Baseball the last year. Most are projecting he makes the team in 2013 and starts 2014. Could be an all star basher.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:16 PM   #644
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Yeah, he's young, he mashes and hasn't really missed a beat going from low A to AA. Downside is he's still learning to play OF.

They just wrote about him and some other young prospects on rotoworld.
http://rotoworld.com/articles/mlb/40...ect-evaluation
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:22 PM   #645
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Yeah, he's young, he mashes and hasn't really missed a beat going from low A to AA. Downside is he's still learning to play OF.

They just wrote about him and some other young prospects on rotoworld.
http://rotoworld.com/articles/mlb/40...ect-evaluation
those guys have him coming up this year. No way. He won't come up until after the all star game next year at the earliest no matter how well he mashes. The Cardinals are not going to let the MLB service time start ticking at 20 years old.
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