clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

gunn sighted

brian gunn weighs in: his five questions about the cardinals piece is up at the hardball times. like most of us, he has his concerns about this edition of the cardinals. the piece includes a nice, quick analysis of the new stadium's likely effects (an underdiscussed topic this offseason). no firm predictions from brian, but he places the most stock in this scenario: "Carpenter regresses from his Cy Young season and Rolen hits only 20 or so home runs, but the Cards jump on Big Albert's back and tamp down a weak division."

roster moves: duncan goes, wainwright stays. i like both decisions. nothing at all against duncan, whose spring was every bit as impressive as wainwright's; he just needs to a) learn to play the outfield, and b) get regular at-bats to consolidate the improvement he exhibited this spring. here's how the prospect watcher for baseball prospectus, kevin goldstein, sees duncan: "He'll never hit enough to be an everyday player, but he bats left-handed, has a little pop and understands the strikezone, the basic recipe for a Mark Sweeney/Greg Colbrunn type of career." i'd take that; hope it comes to pass.

as for wainwright, he's in the opposite boat; he'll "get more out of 75-85 innings in the bigs than he would out of another 180 in the PCL," as prospectus' chris kahrl puts it.

one last peek behind baseball prospectus' subscription veil: its increasingly well-known projection instrument, PECOTA, doesn't think much of the cardinals this year, projecting them to win just 86 games and eke out a title in a watered-down nl central. in theory, not all that different from gunn's scenario; but 86 wins sounds wayyy pessimistic even to this skeptical fan. the accompanying write-up says:

The Opening Day lineup will feature four starters--Yadier Molina, David Eckstein, So Taguchi, and Junior Spivey, that simply don't qualify as adequate regulars for a first-division club. Nor do the Cardinals have anything in the way of farm system depth. It's going to require some mid-season capital expenditures to get this team in shape for the post-season, and given that the parity in the National League is likely to produce a seller's market, Walt Jocketty's Midwestern conservatism could get in the way of another pennant.
that's way too harsh on eckstein (who has batted leadoff for three playoff teams in five years) and molina, but the comment about the midseason trade market is well taken. walter is not gonna get a larry walker or scott rolen for junk this year; any midseason patch will be expensive, both in dollar and talent terms. and it will be complicated by the longer-range payroll issues that confront the team. it won't be easy to move marquis or suppan the last week in july, when both are two months from free agency; but moving young, inexpensive talent in exchange for a short-term postseason upgrade is something the team simply can't afford.

so could they win as few as 86? yeah, sure; but i'll still take the over.

Update [2006-3-30 11:31:28 by lboros]: ryan from Cardinals Diaspora does a guest turn at SB brother site Beyond the Boxscore, previewing the cardinal pitchers.