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Cardinals news and notes: Starters, relievers, and concussions

The battery was the main area of focus for VEB on Groundhog Day.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

In keeping with the tradition of Groundhog Day (the movie, not the day), we focused primarily on some old reliable topics on this year's second day of February. But just as Bill Murray improved upon his previous attempts, we have learned upon ours. And in a similar vein, we will now use our powers to conquer Punxsutawney once and for all (I haven't seen Groundhog Day in at least a decade. Don't tell Craig).


  • Craig Edwards compared the rotations of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. While several projection systems tend to prefer the initial rotation of the Cubs to that of the Cardinals, Craig notes that the Cardinals likely have more depth beyond the first five starters. While Craig focused exclusively on the rotations, it's worth noting that the Cardinals appear to have more bullpen depth than the Cubs. The Cubs do have an edge in projected position player quality and will certainly be NL Central favorites entering April, but to stack up favorably from the mound does provide additional hope for the Cardinals to remain competitive in the division race.
  • Ben Markham built upon the discussion of the five-man rotation and observed the likelihood that the Cardinals will need to use more than Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, and Mike Leake in order to play out the 2016 season. For a post dealing exclusively with the possibility of guys getting hurt, it's not too cynical, as the Cardinals do have solid reinforcements in Memphis. While there remains the possibility of a devastating scenario in which many pitchers get hurt, this possibility lingers with every team and it probably won't happen. And hey, everybody got hurt last year and the Cardinals won 100 games. I will tell myself this until it stops being true.
  • Lil Scooter, whose VEB name I always feel weird typing out as though her actual legal name is Lil Scooter (which I guess is plausible?), wrote about Adam Wainwright winning the Hutch Award, which is given to a MLB player noted for his community service. So, as it turns out, Adam Wainwright is a good guy. Same as it ever was.


  • I wrote about the offseason trend of top-flight relievers being traded and asked whether the Cardinals should have joined the movement, either by acquiring a co-relief ace to go with Trevor Rosenthal or by trading Trevor Rosenthal. I express great relief that the Cardinals did not do the former and suggest that the latter may have been a good idea had the right offer been in place.


  • For as much attention as high contact sports leagues, most notably the National Football League, have gotten regarding concussions, Major League Baseball has been relatively unscathed. But as Joe Schwarz points out, concussions remain a problem in baseball, particularly when it comes to catchers. Although some steps have been taken to limit head injuries, the problem has not gone away, and the mere fact that fewer baseball players are dealing with long-term ramifications due to concussion than football players should not be considered good enough. Every sports league should place the utmost priority on player safety issues such as these.
Happy Wednesday!