We've moved into February which is nice because we're a month closer to baseball being back and because the Baseball Prospectus Annual for 2016 has now hit the shelves. If you haven't already, I recommend Dayn Perry's essay on the Cardinals and why baseball needs a regular season trophy. I support this 100%.
Here's what happened at VEB on Monday:
- Joe Schwarz did a profile on Trevor Rosenthal's approach as a closer and why he might be served well to mix in a changeup more often even with his fourseamer being as good as it is. And about 3/4 deep into the comments section there's a good discussion on proper ways to tie a tie as well as good tie etiquette.
- If the Red Baron hadn't pointed it out, I never would have imagined that Sam Tuivailala is only 23-years old. Nevertheless, he's #9 on the Red Baron's list of prospects.
- Based on an answer given by beat writer Jenifer Langosch in a Q&A last week, I took a look at Jordan Walden and why any production from him in 2016 will be a plus for the Cardinals.
- Jason Heyward is gone - we all know and accept this by now. And while Stephen Piscotty might not be the franchise player just yet that Heyward could have been, as noted by Lil Scooter he's being counted on by the team to be a pretty decent contingency plan. If Piscotty turns out to be even more than that it should go down as a huge credit to the Cardinals' player development system.
- Craig Edwards wrote about Brandon Moss and his hopes for a bounce-back season in 2016 after the Cardinals received poor production from the first base position in 2015. In 2014, the Cardinals got below-replacement level production from the right field position and replaced it with Jason Heyward, who turned out to be a six-win player. Obviously, the Cardinals aren't heading into 2016 with a new player capable of putting up that type of production at first base and the likely incumbent will be one of the players who underperformed last year. But if, as Craig noted, Moss can have a season more in line with the power he displayed in 2012-2014, that could be a big area of improvement for the team next year.