I'm afraid I have absolutely nothing to say about the St. Louis Cardinals this morning—it's been a strange week—which means it's time I waltz in, leave you with a discussion topic, and then waltz right back out again until tomorrow morning. Luckily, the Cardinals have provided us with a built-in discussion topic: Spring training is almost over, and with it caring about spring training statistics. What follows is a list of Good and Bad spring training experiences, and how little they probably mean:
Shane Robinson is hitting .452/.500/.742 in 68 spring plate appearances, which is awesome, but for me he serves strangely well as a reminder to not think about Grapefruit League stats: That's still just barely more than a third of the major league plate appearances he had in 2012. Add them together and he's hit .307.
Pete Kozma is hitting .355/.403/.581, and that's something I'm just going to have to learn to deal with. Add that to his 2012 stats and he's hit .258.
Daniel Descalso's "I'm a different hitter now" protestations and subsequent big spring (.354/.391/.477) would have gotten more press if his double-play-partner weren't Pete Kozma.
Jaime Garcia will narrowly beat Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals' Grapefruit League innings pitched lead, which I think comes with some kind of commemorative plaque. He didn't walk anybody; he didn't allow any home runs; he didn't forget where he put his shoulder. I'm satisfied.
Michael Wacha, you guys.
None of the hitters, really. Three Cardinals got more than 50 spring at-bats and put up an OPS below Jon Jay's .844: Oscar Taveras (.766), Adron Chambers (.572), and Ty Wigginton (UGHHHHH.) That's pretty striking.
What's also striking: Wigginton's slugging percentage is 50 points below Chambers's batting average.
Edward Mujica allowed 11 earned runs in 12 spring innings, which is nine more than Michael Wacha has allowed since he was drafted. Then he told the press that "Spring training is spring training," which would have caused more of a stir if he were Allen Iverson. He's working on spring training pitches, apparently.
Lance Lynn was just shaky enough—particularly early on—for people who are worried about his sudden change in physique to feel justified about it if he gets off to a shaky start in the regular season.
Will any of this matter? I'm taking comfort in Jaime Garcia's health, and I'm hereby declaring myself willing to watch Pete Kozma continue to slug .581 in the major leagues. But the thing about spring training stats—for me, at least—is that taken individually, most of the really good and really bad lines just aren't even pretending to say much.