A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP THE CARDINALS
I'm a big fan. They were just a play or two away from being back in the World Series last year. They're going to miss Chris Carpenter's experience in the rotation, but they have the arms to compensate. Their farm system is by far the best I've seen in camp, maybe the best in four or five years. They have big arms everywhere.... They're not even going to use Trevor Rosenthal, the young kid who pitched well in the playoffs, as a starter. He's going to be a bullpen guy, and he's throwing 96--98.... Shelby Miller has the inside edge to be the fifth starter because he's been there a little bit longer. His fastball goes up to 94, his breaking ball is anywhere from 78 to 80, and he mixes in a changeup. He's a well-publicized prospect, but he doesn't have the stuff that Michael Wacha does. Wacha has a chance to be the real deal—standing 6' 6" and throwing downhill at about 98 is a good start. His stuff is comparable to Stephen Strasburg's and Zack Wheeler's.... Allen Craig is a big-game player: He hits the good pitchers; he doesn't just get his numbers off guys who aren't worth a flip.... If they could get another shortstop, they probably would. Pete Kozma is a good defender, but there's always a question about his bat for 162 games.... Oscar Taveras is going to be a superstar. He could play for any team in baseball right now. He's a five-tool guy, one of those who comes along every 20 years.
April 1, 2013
2013 Projected Statistics
MANAGER MIKE MATHENY
Second season with the Cardinals
|RH||SHELBY MILLER (R)||6||3.42||1.24||9.7|
NEW ACQUISITION (R) ROOKIE
LINEUPS AND STAT PROJECTIONS BY ROTOWIRE.COM
The K Meter
Percentage of 2012 plate appearances that ended with a strikeout, and major league rank
BY HITTERS | 18.8% | 9TH
BY PITCHERS | 19.8% | 15TH
Wainwright wins the Cy, Miller is ROY, Taveras comes up and lives up to the Baby Vlad nickname—and the Cards win the Central.
Beltran and the other aging vets can't stay off the DL, and the Redbirds finish under .500 for the first time since 2007.
Albert Chen has more on the Cardinals at SI.com/mlb
A bad off-season got worse for the Cardinals in March, when it was learned that shortstop Rafael Furcal needed Tommy John surgery. With Furcal out for the season, shortstop is going to be a hole for St. Louis. Pete Kozma and Ronny Cede√±o are the in-house options; with them and the second base tandem of Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter, the Cardinals face the possibility of one of the weakest-hitting double-play combos in the league. A solution: The team should promote 22-year-old second baseman Kolten Wong. A line drive hitter with a good approach at the plate, Wong hit .287/.348/.405 at Double A last year and looked good in the Arizona Fall League. St. Louis's top pick in 2011, Wong has limited tools and doesn't have all that high an upside. But he's as ready as he'll ever be—and if he hits, the Cardinals can look into the trade market for a gloveman like Reid Brignac, Cliff Pennington or former Cardinal Brendan Ryan (the best defensive shortstop in the game) to cover the other side of second base.