Opening Day is nearly upon us!
The writing team gathered on Tuesday night to talk preview the 2023 Cardinals’ season and answer your questions! First to the podcasts and then to a brief written recap of the episode for those who can’t watch or listen:
Opening Day is nearly upon us!
That means the Cardinals are finalizing the roster and, as usual, are forced into some tough decisions with the 40-man. Mike Jones — skyricesq — joined us to talk roster mechanics, including the moves the Cardinals have already made, like losing Freddy Pacheco to the Tigers, and those yet to come in order to add Jordan Walker to the 40 and the active roster. The writers speculate a little on how they could accomplish that; we think their best route would be putting someone like Jose Fermine or Wilking Rodriguez on the 60-day IL, but there is no clear and easy path.
The roster talk naturally shifted the conversation toward Jordan Walker and the writers had a fairly animated discussion how whether or not he should be on the roster and what that will mean for playing time throughout the outfield. Why did they do it? Our answer vary, from his rising stardom and charisma (Heather) to the draft pick compensation they’ll get if he finishes high in the Rookie of the Year voting (Jason).
Walker’s presence will have an impact on playing time for the rest of the outfielders and DH candidates. Yepez, who was really quite good as a rookie in ‘22, is now relegated to AAA. Carlson, who was a good soldier playing centerfield through injuries last season, will have to fight for playing time in a 4th outfield role. Tyler O’Neill, who really hasn’t played much center field, looks to have a lock on that position. Through platoons and wise usage, the Cardinals should be able to get all 4 outfielders 400-450 PAs, which is more than Nootbaar and O’Neill were able to earn last season because of injury and ineffectiveness.
The writers then took on some quick-hit predictions on the season, covering best offensive player, best pitcher, prospect predictions, and a variety of other topics. If you want the full run down of predictions, you’ll have to listen or watch!
We also took your questions. We got to most of the ones that were asked on the site, with a few combined into one. Thanks to everyone who participated! I was really pleased with the response. It’s something we’ll make a regular part of our podcast episodes — both with the writers and for our special guest interviews — because you all were clearly into it.
Lastly, the writing team made their predictions for the Cardinals’ season and playoff chances. I won’t give them all away, but I will say that Adam Akbani, the new writer here, definitely has the analytics down. He stuck with the betting/projection odds at around 87 wins and a Wild Card appearance. He was our low end. At the high end was Gabe with 100 wins and a World Series!
I’ll go on record here, as I did in the podcast, and predict 95 wins and a World Series appearance. (Though I think a trip to the NLCS is more likely; I just want Goldy and ‘Nado to have at least one World Series together.)
Next up for the podcast will be a minor league preview here in two weeks. Blake and Adam will be on, and we’re hoping to have friend-of-the-pod Kyle Reis, if he’s available. No promises yet!
See you tomorrow for Opening Day content!