edmonds may not be ready by opening day, according to the p-d; from the tone of the article, i'd read that as "probably won't be ready." we're told "the mildest `hiccup'" could delay edmonds' availability by a week or so; no word on how long a moderate hiccup might hold things up, to say nothing of a cough, belch, or bout of reflux.
assuming edmonds does open the season on the dl, skip schumaker likely will be in uniform for his 2d consecutive opening day; skip left the game yesterday with a sprained ankle but i haven't read anywhere that it's deemed a serious injury. the cards face tom glavine in game 1, so schumaker probably won't be in the starting lineup; likeliest wilson, taguchi, and encarnacion in the outfield, although duncan might get the nod (despite the platoon thing) as a reward for his work last season. tony likes to hand out little perks like that.
still hard to see how john rodriguez fights his way onto the roster. despite an 8 for 17 spring he's likely bound for memphis, unless they trade him. you'd think some american league team might need a left-handed-hitting dh / outfielder. but then, the cardinals might find themselves needing a left-handed bat . . . . in the post article linked above, la russa evinced some impatience with preston wilson, who's swinging a sluggish bat --- 11 whiffs in 22 at-bats; i'm vaguely reminded of junior spivey's line from last spring. spivey, though, was coming off a couple of serious injuries and was never as good a hitter as wilson to begin with; i'm not convinced yet that preston is this year's junior.
very briefly, here are the results from the carpenter and encarnacion community projections. carp first: in descending era order, here's how the forecasts line up:
for the first time, VEB's projected era for a st louis pitcher was the lowest among all those under review; we weren't, however, wildly optimistic compared to the other, more objective measures. as with a number of earlier projections (see wells, edmonds), our carpenter figures matched those projected by the guys at cardinals clubhouse (CCH) almost perfectly. here's the aggregate projection:
and here are the aggregate projections of the 1 through 4 starters in the st louis rotation:
in the last four seasons, the cards have had 3 starting pitchers with era's of 4.06 or lower only once --- 2005.
the encarnacion projection . . . . why did we bother? there's incredibly little difference of opinion over what this player will do in 2007. more than 70 percent of the respondents (32 in all) put encarnacion's ops within a 25-point range (.750 to .775), and all but two of the "objective" projection systems put him in the same range. however, in his 8 seasons juan'cion has fallen outside those parameters as often than he's fallen within them; in the last three seasons his ops has only fallen within that range once, last year. he's really not that consistent a player from one season to the next; his average year-to-year change in ops is 50 points. since encarnacion was at .760 last year, a 50-point swing would put him in the range of either.810 --- a career high --- or .710. . . .
and here's the composite: