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:
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.