The Cardinals completed a transaction-free (for the most part) work-week, but they did further their readiness for Spring Training by crystallizing the players who will attend. On the statistical side of coin, there were new projections available to pore over. As far as players go, Stephen Piscotty takes on greater importance as the Cardinals have stayed out of the free agency route for outfielders.
Stephen Piscotty is virtually untouchable in trades-While there has been some fairly foolish talk about including Stephen Piscotty in a potential trade, John Fleming takes down that talk and explains how Piscotty is incredibly important to the Cardinals' future. Outside of a blockbuster deal i.e. think better than Carlos Gonzalez, there is not reason to include Piscotty in a trade.
The Cardinals added to their list of non-roster invitees for Spring Training-Earlier in the week the team announced 22 players who would head to Jupiter with the major league club for Spring Training. They increased that number by one, adding hulking slugger Carlos Peguero. The outlook for most of the players is unknown, but a few of the Cardinals top prospects are included. There is also a helpful visual classifying the players by position as well as the mode by which the player was acquired.
In case you have not heard, the ZiPS projections published at FanGraphs are out-In addition to ZiPS, the piece also has links to posts on the Cardinals as well as all of Major League Baseball. One piece looks back at Stan Musial's election to the Hall of Fame, while a more current link addresses the issue of potentially overlooking the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Three Takeaways from the ZiPS projections-Now that you know for sure that the ZiPS are out, check out this piece which discusses the Cardinals depth, their rotation, and the lack of star power on the position player side if Matt Carpenter does not continue his slugging ways.
Comparing Projections: ZiPS v Steamer-Taking a look at ZiPS from a different angle, Ben Markham compares the recently released ZiPS and compares them to Steamer, which have been out for a while. Spoiler Alert: ZiPS likes the Cardinals better, which means ZiPS is almost certainly the better projection system.
Matt Carpenter discussed his approach with Rick Hummell at the Post-Dispatch. It is worth a read for anybody who believes Matt Carpenter would somehow be a different hitter in a different part of the lineup. He is probably still their best bet at leadoff, just do not say it is because he struggled last year in a different spot.
Enjoy your weekend