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Cardinals news and notes: Breakouts and breakdowns (and a Hall of Fame article)

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Some guys could be really good in 2016. Others could be less good. Many others won't make the Hall of Fame. Welcome to January 5 in Birdosland.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The primary action of Major League Baseball continues to be inaction, and with the announcement of the 2016 class of the Hall of Fame, one would think teams will have even less incentive to make big splashes in free agency today. There remain many major free agents but there doesn't appear to be much reason to believe that one will go off the board before 5 p.m. But that didn't stop VEB from writing about things regardless yesterday.

A Kolten Wong breakout?

  • Ben Markham looks at the two-plus years of Kolten Wong's MLB career and speculates about what the future holds for the Cardinals second baseman. Wong has been somewhere around league average for the last two years but is still only 25 and could have room for improvement. As Ben points out, a cost-controlled league-average second baseman already has value, but Kolten Wong could become even more than that in the years to come.

Tyler Lyons in the bullpen?

  • Although before the Mike Leake signing it seemed that Tyler Lyons could wind up in the rotation, it is now undetermined exactly where Lyons will fit in with the 2016 Cardinals. Joe Schwarz wrote about where Lyons may fit in as a lefty specialist of sorts, set to face the toughest left-handed bats the NL Central has to offer. However, I echo our own Alex Crisafulli's sentiments here:

HOW DARE YOU, JOE?

Injury risks for the 2016 rotation?

  • Craig Edwards covered the 2016 rotation and its multiple pitchers who are at risk of injury. Although no one player is himself a catastrophic injury risk, there are several players about whom there are reasonable concerns. However, things broke very poorly on the injury front last season (Adam Wainwright got hurt batting, for goodness sake) and it is unlikely that things could go that haywire again. And last year's rotation was historically good. So there's that. Don't read Craig's scaremongering. Actually, do read it, it's good. Just don't be scared. At least try.

Your moment of Dan Haren zen

  • Speaking of pitching injuries, remember Mark Mulder? Of course you do. Anyway, to acquire Mark Mulder, the Cardinals traded (among others) a young pitcher named Dan (often called "Danny" at the time, for maximum youngness effect) Haren. Anyway, the recently-retired Dan Haren posted quite the series of tweets recently that Lil Scooter anthologized in yesterday's Hunt and Peck. Admittedly, I'm not really one to follow athletes on Twitter, with very few exceptions: it often gets a bit too corporate brand-speak for my tastes. But as demonstrated here, Dan Haren can often be unchained and delightful. Also, his Twitter handle is @ithrow88. That's just beautiful.

A guide to not sweating the Hall of Fame

  • While some are on pins and needles in anticipation of today's Hall of Fame announcement, I wrote a post reflecting on the lack of relevance of the Hall of Fame. Truthfully, I wish the Hall of Fame was more resonant and more reflective of baseball as a whole, but I fear it never will be. With that said, if I'm ever hanging out around Cooperstown, NY, I think I'd stop by the Hall of Fame. I mean, what else is there to do there? Do they at least have a bowling alley or something?
Happy Hump Day, VEB!