2020 Cardinals line-up & rotation

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  • #114125
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Not addressing this to you personally, jager, but I feel the need to repeat my annual Rule 5 speech.

    Every year, there is lots of FUD expressed over Rule 5 (fear, uncertainty and doubt). I have the details of every player the Cards lost (and picked up) in Rule 5 since 2002. (Commercial: It is also included in TCN’s Prospect Guide.)

    Here are the players the Cards picked up in Rule 5 over those 17 years who later made a difference in MLB – Matt Bowman (career 0.3 bWAR) and John Brebbia (2.4). That is it. Hector Luna had a negative 0.1 career bWAR and it goes downhill from there.

    From the 31 players the Cards lost in Rule 5 over 17 years, here are the ones who made a difference in MLB – (blank)

    (Luis Perdomo has a negative 1.1 career bWAR. Allen Cordoba (whose loss caused otherwise sane people to lose their minds) has a negative 0.8 career bWAR.)

    (Most believe that Mercado was traded due to Bader (and perhaps to a lesser extent the emergence of Thomas last season). I would argue that it had very little to nothing to do with Rule 5, which was still months away.)

    P.S. The player the Cards lost last December in the major league phase of Rule 5, Chris Ellis, was later returned.

    #114127
    AvatarCardinal in France
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    FUD! Hey, I like that. I’ll enter it in my personal glossary.

    #117486
    AvatarCardinals27
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    I wonder what affect the Kim signing has on the 2020 rotation.
    The interesting questions to me are:

    Does CMart stay as closer?
    Are Waino and Kim in a battle for the 5th spot?
    I was hoping for Helsley, Cabrera, and outsider Reyes to be given a chance to start. Barring multiple injuries, that seems unlikely now. Perhaps they start at Memphis?
    Who will be the 6th starter? Gomber, PDL and Woodfprd may be candidates.
    Another factor I do not like is Rondon starting at Springfield. I think he has proven himself there.

    #117488
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Just a few reactions. I don’t think Wainwright will be in a battle with anyone other than himself, perhaps. He will be in the rotation unless he proves he can’t.

    Reyes may have a hard time carrying a starter’s workload after missing so much time.

    Lotsa sixth starter candidates, as you note. I wouldn’t yet exclude Helsley or Cabrera from that list, either.

    #117490
    AvatarGameCard
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    I would expect that both Kim & Wainwright are in the 5 man rotation.

    #118043
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Dan Buffa thinks Dexter Fowler will be the Opening Day cleanup hitter. I can just imagine what the fan reaction to that would be. Heck, I might even join in – if I thought it had a realistic chance of happening… 😉

    #118044
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    In last week’s chat, this was Goold’s guess:

    Wong
    Fowler
    Goldy
    DeJong
    Carpenter
    Molina
    Thomas
    Bader
    Pitcher

    #118084
    AvatarGameCard
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    I saw that and I thought it was garbage.

    #118118
    AvatarPadsFS
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    No Edman.

    It should go

    Wong
    Edman
    Goldschmidt
    Carpenter
    DeJong
    Fowler
    Molina
    Bader

    For the season, it should be the first three every game, then whoever is hottest, assuming Edman is playing.

    BTW, Lane Thomas was a below-average hitter at AAA this past year. He should be behind Arozarena and O’Neill in terms of outfield options.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by AvatarPadsFS.
    #118125
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Pads wrote:

    Lane Thomas was a below-average hitter at AAA this past year.

    If we are going to play the recency, smaller sample-size game while ignoring his prior four seasons, how about this? In his 34 games with St. Louis in 2019, Thomas had the team’s highest OPS, 1.093, highest OPS+, 180, and highest wRC+, 181. No other Cardinal was better, not even Edman! 😉

    Further, Thomas’ defense is superior to the others. It is good enough that if Bader hits like in 2019, the dropoff in defense to Thomas would not nearly be as great as the offensive improvement. CF, not LF, is where I would like to see Thomas compete.

    #118128
    AvatarGameCard
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    I think if Carlson gets to St. Louis by July that perhaps the best OF is LF-Carlson CF-Thomas RF-Edman. That gives us 2 switch hitters.

    #118130
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    You are on a good point, GC. Though Carlson can play in CF, he is not going to be a CF long term. When he is ready, a corner should be his spot. As much as folks hope Fowler will be benched, that cannot be assumed. The more likely opening will be in left. So give O’Neill a few more months to show if he can do it and if/when he either doesn’t put up the numbers or gets hurt again, then give Carlson his shot.

    #118139
    AvatarCariocaCardinal
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    Mo already has his two trade deadline deals-bringing up Carlson and Hicks coming back!

    #118143
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    I know that was a joke, but do you really think the Cards would hold off until July 31 to bring up Carlson? I could only see that if he totally falls flat on his face this spring and season, which seems quite unlikely. I bet he’ll be up by Memorial Day, unless the three OF starters are putting up All-Star numbers, which is also most unlikely.

    #118147
    Avatarbccran
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    Why wouldn’t Arozarena slot in above Thomas. Isn’t he also a good CFer and better overall bat?

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Avatarbccran.
    #118150
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Of course, our “slotting” here has no influence over anything. Their play will. To answer your questions from my point of view:

    1. Isn’t he (Arozarena) also a good CFer?

    Yes, but not as good as Thomas, who is not as good as Bader.

    2. …and better overall bat?

    Not in my assessment.

    I made a fairly detailed comparison of Arozarena vs. Thomas, explaining my POV in this subscriber article. Doesn’t mean I will be proven right, but I backed up what I wrote.

    TCN 2020 St. Louis Cardinals Prospect #7 – Randy Arozarena

    #118151
    AvatarCariocaCardinal
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    I think for Carlson to be up by Memorial day a series of things would have to happen. 1) he would have to be hitting well in Memphis. Given PCL inflated numbers I am talking about .850 OPS. I give that only a 50% chance of happening. You have to remember that he currently has less than 80 AAA plate appearances and by Memorial day would probably only have a career total slightly above 250 2) He would have to be close to the best OF bat in Memphis – with an .850 OPS I doubt he gets the call before a Williams or a Ravelo with a .900 OPS 3) Several outfielders at the ML level would have to be struggling. Carlson isnt coming up to sit on the bench and I dont see him up before Arozarena and Thomas get a shot (that assumes an O’neill/Bader/Fowler opening day lineup) Then you also have the possibility of Edman or Martinez (and even possibly Munoz) getting hot and taking over a full time OF role. That is a lot of guys who would have to fail in just a 2 month period. In total, you are talking about 7 guys getting chances and 4 of them failing in a 2 month period. That seems extremely unlikely. Not even really enough AB’s in 2 months to give all those guys a fair shot. 4) The team is not winning at a strong clip. Even if several OF’s are struggling if the team is playing .600+ ball they could decide to not rock the boat. This team won 90 games last year with Bader hitting .205 and Fowler hitting .238.

    All this assumes no injuries.

    #118160
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    Thanks for your detailed thoughts, CC. There are so many variables. I will say that it is almost refreshing to see a measured, thoughtful view of Carlson’s introduction within the broader context of the team.

    #118162
    AvatarCardinals27
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    What happens to Carlson if we resign Ozuna? I guess he still could replace Fowler or Bader (Or whoever the center fielder is?)

    #118163
    Avatarbccran
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    As an 18 year old and 19 year old, Arozarena played in the Cuba National Series. He only played 19 games in 2013-2014 and 74 games in 2014-2015. In 2016 through the Winter of 2017 he played in Mexico – only 56 games. He finally came into the Cardinals organization in the Spring of 2017. He was assigned all the way up at Palm Beach, where he put up .275/.333/.472/.805 in 70 games. He was then promoted to Springfield, where in 51 games he slashed .252/.366/.380/746. Not yet eye opening for the 22 year old. He played all winter back in Mexico. In 2018, between Memphis and Springfield he was .274.359/.433.792. Finally, he put it all together in 2019. At Springfield he slashed .309/.432/.515/.938. At Memphis it was .358/.435/.593/1.028. He had finally settled into the States with all the personal and baseball adjustments he had to make.

    If you compared Arozarena to Thomas, I think there’s more to be excited about with Randy. Especially since Thomas has really only had one excellent year himself. And regressed in 2019. JMHO.

    #118165
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    A few other considerations on the offense side only. Do you know of/believe in BABIP? Would a .404 mark concern you? Who is better on the bases and has more power? For the eye test crowd, which one of the two looked more impressive in their MLB debuts in 2019?

    Should be interesting to see how all the outfielders perform this spring…

    #118166
    Brian WaltonBrian Walton
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    C27 asked:

    What happens to Carlson if we resign Ozuna? I guess he still could replace Fowler or Bader (Or whoever the center fielder is?)

    Right. A logical short-term place for Carlson could be in center. Or they could move Fowler back there like they did when Bader was sent down to Memphis last August – and put Carlson in right.

    #118173
    Avatarbccran
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    In the minors in 2019, Thomas hit 10 home runs in 304 plate appearances (1 in every 30 at bats). Arozarena had 15 in 399 plate appearances (1 in every 27 plate appearances). Is Arozarena’s power underrated? Some scouting reports think he could be a 20/20 player at the major league level some day.

    #118184
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    I see Arozarena’s best case scenario as Starting Marté (hopefully minus the PEDs). Starling is a plus LF defender and solid in CF with a good bat that produces ok power. He doesn’t walk or K all that much. Marte probably is a better base stealer than Randy ever will be. But I could see Arozarena putting together a run of sneaky good 3-4ish win years if everything goes right.

    #118192
    Avatarbccran
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    I may be wrong, but it just seems like Arozarena adds energy to the lineup when he’s in there. Edman like. Goes 110% all the time, which is refreshing. I hope he’s taking time off this winter. He’s been playing non stop for several years. Needed a rest.

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