While many pitchers and catchers have unofficially been in Jupiter for quite some time now, today is the official "pitchers and catcher report" day for the St. Louis Cardinals. This means we are one step closer to watching real baseball, which is a good thing considering the offseason has reached the "dragging" stage.
Just as we have done the past two years, we will be asking the Viva El Birdos community to submit their 2016 projections for a good portion of the Cardinals roster. Site manager Craig Edwards got the ball rolling yesterday with leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter. Today, we shift our focus to Carpenter's left on the infield diamond to Jhonny Peralta. Here is how the 33-year-old shortstop performed last season:
Peralta had a terrific first half of the season, so much so that he was named to his third All-Star team. In the second half, however, he was well below average at the plate, producing a wRC+ of 74 (as compared to 127 in the first half). Also, when looking at his 1.7 fWAR, it is worth noting that his defensive metrics, as volatile and unpredictable as they are on a season-to-season basis, fell from being near league-leading in 2014 to below average last season.
With the acquisition of Jedd Gyorko, who can play shortstop in a pinch, will Peralta see more days of rest in 2016? If manager Mike Matheny wants to prolong Peralta's production throughout the entire season and into the hopeful playoffs, one would hope so. Before submitting your projections, I suggest you check out John Fleming's piece on "which version of Jhonny Peralta should we expect in 2016" as well as Ben Markham's questioning of whether or not Peralta will "bounce back."
How do you think Peralta will perform this season? Please provide your thoughts below.
Again, in case you missed it yesterday, here is the post on Matt Carpenter's 2016 projections.