September 29, 2017 at 9:31 am #34538
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Just my term for what Luhnow did with the Astros on becoming General Manager. Inheriting a team that had finished last with mostly fading veterans he traded them for whatever prospects he could get and particularly wiped out the pitching staff. With the exception of Happ and Melancon most of the players were mediocre after that. Houston was worse with three straight last place finishes.
They now have a team on the way to a 100 win season. There are some misconceptions out there. Some think Pence was one of the purged but he was traded before Luhnow. Others think the 3 consecutive #1 draft picks are key to their success. Actually only Correa and McCullers have made a significant impact. They already had Altuve, Springer and Keuchel in the system. It seems they have done well with trades and free agent signings. The major oops was releasing JD Martinez during the 2014 spring training.
Are the current Cardinals similar to the Astros who declined from three consecutive 2nd place finishes through 2004-06 to a 59 win team in 2011. We have the aging vets in Molina and Wainwright, the late bloomers with declining production in Carpenter and Gyorko and young players still trying to gain traction and consistency in Wacha, Piscotty, Grichek, Diaz, Wong, Rosenthal and a whole bevy of bullpen pitchers. Wong had an encouraging but injury plagued season as did Rosenthal.
Probably our major differences from the Astros is that we are just beginning to fade and we have a much better minor league depth. We are unlikely to fall to the below 60 win level that the Astros reached but with the current crop of players we could gradually sink to a mediocre sub .500 level.
Mo hasn’t made bad trades but he hasn’t made a major trade since Holliday. Few of his cast offs have distinguished themselves. But we seem to drop players when they have little if any trade value.
Something has to change. We have so much depth that if ability alone prevailed we could have a lot of different faces on the 25 man roster coming out of 2018 spring training. But the nature of the game is that salary investments and available options often has a lot to do with who is on the 25 man roster. Without moves we are likely to have the same group moving forward and a lot of good prospects waiting for their chance.September 29, 2017 at 9:39 am #34541
I don’t think we compare to the Astros situation. We have a fairly highly rated farm system especially loaded with pitchers and OF’s. Cardinals management has made it clear that we will not tank like the Astros and Cubs did. We are trying to rebuild and compete at the same time, which is difficult to do.
This team isn’t that far off though. We need to trim some of our surplus and acquire one big bat, one ore solid starter, and at least one high end bullpen piece. That is only three players. It isn’t like we need a massive overhaul to be a contender.September 30, 2017 at 7:49 am #34679
We’re not that far off, considering the last two years in isolation. However, the trend line doesn’t look good. Hoping that changes without significant transactions is high risk. Standing pat will probably reach a deeper bottom. We need more sure bets.October 8, 2017 at 7:34 am #35440
Let’s take a view of where we stand right now with our existing players and their 2017 OPS/HR/RBI stats. Since regulars on other teams should average 600 plate appearances in an injury free year, I’ve made those plate appearance adjustments to our players.
Carp – .835ops/22hr/68rbi
Pham – .933ops/26hr/82rbi
DeJong – .857ops/35hr/90rbi
Martinez – .897ops/28hr/92rbi
Fowler – .851ops/22hr/78rbi
Gyorko – .813ops/25hr/84rbi
Molina – .751ops/20hr/90rbi
Wong – .788ops/6hr/59rbiOctober 8, 2017 at 7:48 am #35441
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Bccran, I am confused. Not seeing where the plate appearance adjustment comes in.October 8, 2017 at 8:00 am #35442
The OPS is just their 2017 OPS.
On home runs and RBI, I did the mathematical calculation to adjust their actual numbers to 600 plate appearances. 600 plate appearances divided by their actual plate appearances times their actual home run and RBI totals. Just an interesting excercise.October 8, 2017 at 9:59 am #35458
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How many of the above do we expect to have better years in 2018?October 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm #35468
Fowler, DeJong, and Martinez.January 17, 2018 at 11:04 am #41969
I was thinking about how the 2017 team fared and trying to judge whether I expect improvement or decline for 2018. Here is how I see the 2018 team as it stands on 1/17. The 2017 players who will be replaced are in parenthesis.
Molina – .273/.312/.439/.751 – no change
Carpenter – .241/.384/.451/.835 – better average but same for most other metrics
Wong – .285/.376/.412/.788 – no change to slight improvement
DeJong (Diaz/DeJong) – overall better since Diaz was starter for 2 months but DeJong’s numbers slightly worse
Gyorko – .272/.341/.472/.813 – no change
Pham – .306/.411/.520/.931 – slight decline but still dangerous
Fowler – .264/.363/.488/.851 – better average but similar other metrics
Ozuna (Piscotty .235/.342/.367/.708) definitely better for Ozuna but I don’t expect his 2017 Marlin numbers.
Grichuk – .238/.285/.473/.758 – no change
J. Martinez – .309/.379/.518/.897 – I expect a decline but he may get more plate appearances. It’s possible he is the real deal, late bloomer surprise
Garcia – .253/.365/.332/.697 – no change
Kelly (Fryer/Kelly) – Fryer and Kelly’s figures were almost identical on the year last year but I expect Kelly to be better this year
Bader (combination of utility players) – since he is replacing Voit, Sierra, Peralta, Adams, etc., I expect better numbers overall
C. Martinez – 11-12, 3.64 – better
Wainwright – 12-5, 5.11 – better overall since Reyes will take his spot, if necessary
Wacha – 12-9, 4.13 – about the same, maybe slightly better
Weaver (Leake 7-12, 4.21) – 7-2, 3.88 – about the same overall or closer to Weaver’s numbers
Mikolas (Lynn 11-8, 3.43) – I expect worse but Mikolas is a wild card
Cecil – 3.88, 1 save, 7 blown saves – better
Lyons – 2.83, 3 saves, 1 BS – better in saves, ERA slightly higher
Bowman – 3.99, 2 saves, 3 BS – the same
Brebbia (Socolovich/Broxton) – 2.44, 0 saves, 1 BS – slightly worse
Tuivailala (Siegrist) – 2.55, 0 saves, 0 blown saves – better in saves, ERA slightly higher but a big improvement over Siegrist
Gregerson (Oh 4.10, 20 saves, 4 BS) – better than Oh
????? (Rosenthal/Nicasio) – need a miracle for this position to be better in 2018January 17, 2018 at 11:18 am #41971
In that vein, here is an interesting tidbit I just noticed. Marcell Ozuna’s top RBI year is exactly equal to Stephen Piscotty’s best two seasons in total (124).January 17, 2018 at 11:36 am #41978January 17, 2018 at 12:28 pm #41990
To conclude my post from earlier:
As the team stands today, I expect the Cardinals to win around 90 games. With an upgrade to the closer position before opening day, I expect around 93 wins. With an upgrade to starting pitching also, I expect around 95-98 wins.
When I look at the Cubs’ pitching, I see possible weaknesses that could drop them down to the Cardinals’ level. I expect they will close to the same, offensively, in 2018 as they were in 2017. I think the 2016 team just had all the stars align and the 2017 team is closer to the true Cubs team.January 17, 2018 at 1:21 pm #41996
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Are the current Cardinals similar to the Astros who declined from three consecutive 2nd place finishes through 2004-06 to a 59 win team in 2011. We have the aging vets in Molina and Wainwright, the late bloomers with declining production in Carpenter and Gyorko
“the late bloomers with declining production in Carpenter and Gyorko”
How is Gyorko either a late bloomer or declining production?January 17, 2018 at 1:54 pm #41998
Betting Dejong hits closer to 20hrs and doesn’t come anywhere near 35, that is why you can’t really project out to 600 ab’s
As for wins, i would say around 83=85 max right now
January 17, 2018 at 2:55 pm #42000
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Onyxgem.
Forsch I find it interesting you think the Cubs regression last year is the norm. Do you happen to think Pham and Ozuna will be as productive in 2018 as they were in 2017?January 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm #42004
Forsch, I don’t agree with the Cubs regression theory. First of all, they will make another major acquisition before the season starts. They are just too aggressive not to. Secondly, I think they suffered from some World Series hangover last year that probably won’t repeat itself. I would peg them at 95-98 wins and the Cardinals currently at 85-88 wins.January 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm #42005
Are you expecting Fowler, DeJong and Martinez to have better years or are you just hoping?January 17, 2018 at 8:33 pm #42022
Bhc, I covered above that I expect some drop for Pham and Ozuna. Not much, though.
Gscott, I think too many Cubs had good years at the same time in 2016 and that they didn’t have much negative. Every team has something negative, as a rule. If they add to their pitching, things change. I can only use what each team has today. As it stands today, I put the Cubs at 93 wins.January 17, 2018 at 8:58 pm #42024
Just to continue the Cubs point, as of now, their pitching is considerably weaker. They replaced starters Arrieta and Lackey with Chatwood and Montgomery and closer Davis with 33 y/o Morrow, who is unproven as a closer. All appear to be steps backward. Of course, the winter is not over.January 18, 2018 at 9:26 am #42047
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Russell and Schwarber didnt exactly look like world beaters last year either…Zobrist was definitely slower and Heyward ws all over the place…Hendriks was good but not great…and Quintana was not as great as i think everyone (including me) thought he’d be…CF still seems up in the air too though Almora is intriguing
Baez and Contreras seemed to get better though…
Lester, Rizzo, Bryant all were solid and dependableJanuary 18, 2018 at 10:56 am #42055
Well like I said, I think they had some World Series hangover last year. That is not uncommon. I am almost certain they will sign either Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb, or Lynn, plus maybe a surprise deal. You just never know with Epstein. I would be very surprised if they aren’t a 95-98 win team so unless we make additional moves we are just playing for a wild card spot.January 18, 2018 at 11:19 am #42058
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I think the Cubs had the lowest DL time in the majors last year and the year before or maybe it was lost-WAR on the DL.
It was pretty stark compared to the Dodgers and Cardinals.January 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm #42060
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let’s say they get ARrieta back
SP- Lester…very good
SP- Arrieta…good +
SP- Quintana…good –
SP- Hendricks…good –
SP- Chatwood…decent +
bullpen seems about the same other than Morrow is good but not Davis
to me…if they add Arrieta they have a better rotation with Chatwood being better than their revolving door last year
their bullpen is a bit weaker
their lineup is about the same…i don’t think Bryant and Rizzo and Contreras can be any better than last year…they have upside if Russell, Scwharber return to form and Heyard has a good yer is always a coin flip it seems
I just dont see how they are locked into 95 wins as they are today (and that is without Arrieta or another big SP)
If we are saying turnarounds are why…then the Cardinals deserve a lot of bump because basically the whole team outside of Yadi had issues that forced them to either not play the whole year due to not being starters or due to injury or due to poor play…
The Brewers seemed to outplay themselves too..but those early wins (same as the Reds) just might have had more todo with the Cardinals playing so many guys who were really down…PEralta, BRoxton, Piscotty, Grichuk, Fowler (early), Carp (hurt), ADams in LF….we were hamstrung by several factors at almost every position
To me the gap isn’t that wide until the Cubs add a high end starter…if they do the gap i think is real…but until then i see a lot of question marks for the Cubs, just like i see for the Cardinals and the BRewers…they just have a few superstars that cloud our vision
January 18, 2018 at 1:04 pm #42064
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by thejager.
If we compare the two teams as they are constructed today and see who has the advantage at each position:
C Contreras vs Molina: even
1B Rizzo vs Carp: Cubs
2B Baez vs Wong: Cubs
3B Bryant vs. Gyroko: Cubs
SS Russell vs DeJong: even
LF Schwarber vs Ozuna: Cards
CF Almora vs Pham: Cards
RF Heyward vs Fowler: even
Bench Zobrist, Happ, Caratini, LaStella vs Grichuk, Kelly, JMart, Garcia : Cubs
SP Lester vs Martinez: even
SP Quintana vs Wacha: Cubs
SP Hendricks vs Weaver: Cubs
SP Chatwood vs Waino: Cubs
SP Montgomery vs Mikolas: even
Pen Morrow, Cishek, Strop, Wilson, Duensing vs. Gregerson, Lyons, Tui, Brebbia, Cecil, Bowman: Cubs
Mgr Maddon vs Matheny: Cubs
VP/Ops Epstein vs Mozeliak Cubs
I should add that Reyes will change the equation somewhat when he is available but I expect the Cubs to add another big time pitcher too.January 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm #42068
In comparing the players on the two teams, are you using measures such as OPS and ERA or WAR or just posting your personal view? The reason I ask is that a number of those comparisons seem Cubs-tilted to me, but if they are simply your opinion, you are entitled to it. On the other hand, if they are based on objective numbers, I would appreciate seeing them. Thanks.
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