There were lots of goings-on here at VEB on February 16. Here's the CliffsNotes version.
The triumphant return of VEB community projections
- In the first of what will be many posts pertaining to Viva El Birdos community projections, Craig Edwards introduced the concept of the projections for new readers and provided links (with proper spoiler alerts) for projections and previous articles pertaining to Matt Carpenter. The short version is this: click the link and you too can submit predictions for Carpenter's year in plate appearances, home runs, RBI, runs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and WAR. While you might assume that VEB projections would be inflated by the Cardinals fans making them, they have historically been fairly reasonable and, in contrast to the more mechanical systems, allow for discretion by people who watch as much Cardinals baseball as anybody.
Some stuff about the depth chart
- Ben Markham addressed some of the injury risks on the Cardinals. While the Cardinals have several prominent players who are above-average risks to suffer injuries, they have several quality backups...who are injury risks themselves. It's a weird balance but I suppose if you're going to have injury-prone players, you might as well have a bunch of them. And yet Shaun Marcum can't find MLB work...
- I wrote about how significant of an upgrade Brayan Pena is for the Cardinals at backup catcher over Tony Cruz. In short: a bigger upgrade than you might think. While Pena is far from a star, he is considerably better at advanced catching metrics than Cruz was, in addition to being a stronger hitter.
- In the retelling of the red baron's prospect list, here is #2 prospect Jack Flaherty. I know little about Jack Flaherty that wouldn't just be a rehashing of what RB already said, so do yourself a favor if you haven't already read the post (or if you have and just want to make sure you didn't miss anything the first time) and check it out.
- Although the actual anniversary was last Thursday, it was in February that the San Diego Padres traded Ozzie Smith to the Cardinals in 1982 for Garry Templeton, as noted by Lil Scooter. And although Templeton was a solid shortstop for the Padres for nearly a decade, he wasn't Ozzie Smith, who is by any measure the best defensive shortstop and one of the best defensive players in MLB history.
- I initially wanted to cap this post off by sharing a YouTube highlight compilation of Ozzie's greatest plays set to the Black Sabbath song "The Wizard", However, much to my dismay, such a compilation does not exist. I mean, come on, Internet. The singer's name is Ozzy, for goodness sake. But anyway, I decided to instead post the defining play of Ozzie Smith's St. Louis Cardinals career. It's weird that his most famous moment was a home run. It's like how one of the defining bands of the Britpop movement had its biggest hit with a grunge parody or how a group of anarchist punks wound up on every soundtrack and commercial made in 1998. Also, my parents were at this game less than a week after their wedding, because they did their honeymoon very, very right. I'm not sure why MLB seemed to think this happened in Game 6, but once the video starts, you won't notice.