October 25, 2012

Adios, 2012 #StlCards; what’s up for 2013?

Yahoo Sports’ baseball blog, Big League Stew, has yet to have anybody write an official concession speech for this year’s Redbirds, though Viva El Birdos is certainly a possibility, kind of like this one already up.

And, per the column and a linked St.Louis Post-Dispatch piece by Rick Hummel, is there some bad Cardinal DNA that implodes in Game 7s where the team finishes off blowing a 3-1 lead? I had forgotten about the 1996 NLCS, but I vividly remember the 1985 World Series. In fact, by the end of Game 6 of this year’s NLCS, the way the Cardinal bats went to sleep, I was already seeing parallels. And, the Cards didn’t totally implode in Game 7 of the 1968 World Series, but they weren’t great.

Anyway, Cardinal GM John Mozeliak has confirmed he doesn’t expect to resign Kyle Lohse, nor does he expect to find room for Lance Berkman, even if the Big Puma accepts a reduced role.

Of course, ESPN will be all over touting the latter, encouraging teams to sign a person they’ll still want to tout as a potential future Hall of Famer, even when he’s not close, either in traditional counting stats, or, overall, in most career sabermetric stats.

Besides, he just doesn’t pass the “look test,” does he? Other than ESPNites who may like him because of East Coast homerdom on their part and Berkman’s half-season as a Yankee, can you really say that he had a huge “crest” of 3-5 years that made you say, “Yes, he’s a HOFer,” especially when by age 33, you knew he was clearly moving downhill?

Lohse? His career year is going to drive his value on the market, a market relatively weak in free-agent starting pitchers. This is one free-agent bid Mo is smart to shy away from.

And, per another Hummel piece, the Cards don’t need him. Count young arms Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller, along with a full, fully healthy season by Adam Wainwright, more grit from Chris Carpenter, and hopefully, an acceptance of surgery and a quick return by Jaime Garcia, and the Cards have a very good pitching staff for next year. That’s very true if Lance Lynn can get his ERA+ and other stats to live up to this year’s W-L record

And per a third Hummel piece, offensively, look for more at bats for Matt Carpenter and a possible trade of Skip Schumaker.

With an additional year, or first full MLB year, of seasoning for these younger players, the Cardinals are well positioned for next year. And, assuming Mo doesn’t sit totally on his hands, a strategic mid-priced free agent or two may get acquired.

Cot’s Contracts has a list of potential 2013free agents. Speculation about possible Cardinal signingts coming in a future blog post.

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