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View Full Version : World Champ Cardinals vs The Cinncinnati Redlegs!



10xWSChamps
02-25-2012, 01:01 AM
Cardinals key losses:

Albert Pujols
Grades: Years 1-3 F- Years 4-10 A
Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan
Grade: D+
Edwin Jackson
Grade: A-

The loss of Pujols hurts a ton in the 'short' term. Long term, the Cardinals benefit and overall are better off not signing Pujols. A 37-42 year old Pujols making 25+ million a year (his contract is backloaded!) would have been a noose around the org's neck. LaRussa and Duncan are both losses as well. Although Duncan is an advisor to the team right now and says he'll come back if his wife gets better.

Edwin Jackson would have been nice to keep around, but not at 12M for a 3/4 starter. The money ended up being better spent elsewhere.


Reds key losses

Fransisco Cordero
Grade: F
Boxberger/Alonso/Grandel/Volquez
Grade: Years 1-3 A Years 4+ D
Ramon Hernandez
Grade: C-

I don't understand why the Reds didn't keep Cordero at just 4.5M for one year. At that price, I was upset the Cardinals didn't try to land him. Madson is a nice pickup but is inconsistent, having a fallback option like Cordero at such a cheap price seems like it would have been a no-brainer. The Reds got great production out of Hernandez, not sure why Jocketty didn't try to keep that backstop-duo together for one more year since it worked so well. I'm guessing he has fears about Hernandez getting old.

"Winner" = Reds in the short term, Cardinals in the long term.

Cardinals Key Additions

Carlos Beltran
Grade: A+
Rafeal Furcal
Grade: B

I was tempted to add Wainwright as an addition, but that'd be cheating! Beltran was an excellent pickup, he's coming off a great year where he got MVP votes. Beltran will be turning 35 this season, but for two years at $25M total, I like the pickup. I think he has two good years left in him. Linebrink is barely worth talking about.

Furcal, at 33, still has some life left in him. I think we over-paid, but it solidifies a position for a couple of years that has been a black hole since Edgar Renteria defected to Boston. I think his offense will be better this year then last year, the dropoff from 2010 to 2011 was way too extreme and IMO was an aberration. Not that he is the player he was 5 years ago, but he's better offensively then he was last year.


Reds Key Additions

Ryan Madson
Grade: A+
Mat Latos
Grade: See above
Ryan Ludwick
Grade: D

Ryan Madson was a great pickup at the price. Like I said above, I'm confused that the Reds let Cordero go so cheaply and are putting all their eggs in Madson's basket, but you can't judge the signing by that. Ludwick fell off a cliff production wise when he left St Louis. I don't know what happened to him, but he's not a very good player any more.

I like the Latos pick up a lot for the Reds for 2012. They needed a starter and the FA market was very poor this year, so Jocketty traded for one. However, I think he gave up way too much. I don't think this will work out quite like another of Jocketty's infamous trades (Dan Haren for Mark Mulder) but I think Reds fans will sad watching Grandel and Alonso from afar like Cardinals fans are watching Dan Haren. This is a "win now" trade, and it will be judged upon if the Reds do indeed win in the next two years while they still have Votto. The Cardinals have already been proven correct in the Rasmus trade, even if he ends up being an All Star guy in Toronto, the Reds trade will also be judged by the short term success or failure.

Winner: I think it's a push in the short term. Long term, Cardinals "win" by a large margin.

10xWSChamps
02-25-2012, 01:02 AM
Wow that was long winded lol

I'm going to reserve this spot for lineup/position match up between the two teams!

drowg14
02-25-2012, 11:01 AM
One thing I think you need to take into effect (affect? I never know which to use) with the Latos for Alonso/Box/Grandal deal are the positions they play. We already have a catcher for the future, for now Alonso was blocked due to Votto, and Box is just a reliever. While they could all be very good players, they won't provide as much value to our team as they will to another team (with the exception of Boxberger, but relievers inherently don't provide a ton of value in the first place). Also, there is always the argument that until they prove themselves as all-stars, you can't assume they will be.

bigredmechanism
02-25-2012, 11:28 AM
Sean Marshall is a key addition for the Reds as well, and an 'A' IMO.

izzy's dad
02-25-2012, 11:38 AM
Cordero's WHIP indicates that he was due for a pretty massive drop off in production this year. His stats show that he was very lucky last year. 4 mil plus is an overpay for Coco, and that is something the Reds cannot afford to do. Also, your argument that the Cardinals win in the future is a bit one sided in my opinion. In the next year the Reds might lose Brandon Phillips, Ryan Madson, Sean Marshall, and Scott Rolen due to their respective contracts expiring. Phillips, Madson, and Marshall all will project as type A free agents, all of them including Rolen command a big chunk of our payroll. So assuming all of those guys walk (or retire in Rolen's case) at the end of the season, the Reds will get a sweet haul of compensatory picks in the following draft. Also, with all of that money off the books the Reds can either lock down guys like Joey Votto, and Mat Latos, or go shopping in the free agent market. St. Louis clearly has a better farm system right now. Shelby Miller is a stud, and I envy the Cardinals high ceiling arms. But that said the Reds have a few of our own, along with some really interesting position players. So our farm isn't as bare a most make it out to be. I guess what I am getting at is that the Reds will be very good this year, but beyond this year I am not so certain. I am not saying that St. Louis will or won't be in a better position to be competitive than the Reds year from now. I just don't think it is cut and dry. Who knows? Ten years from now we could both be looking up at the Pirates or the Cubs (shudder). And by the way I know just as much about the future as any other guy, absolutely nothing. Just one man's opinion here.

RedsfaninMT
02-25-2012, 08:48 PM
I am utterly shocked that a Cardinals fan would think the Cards win big time in the future, but that it's a push for right now. Sorry, but losing Pujols, Duncan and LaRussa is not going to be easy to replace. I don't care what grades you give Albert, or that he would have been a drain in future years, you are rating it a push for this year, which makes zero sense. Albert will be sorely missed. I think Duncan is a HUGE loss and hope his wife recovers fully.

The Reds let Hernandez go because they have a rookie that they clearly want to give a shot to. If he matches the hype, Hernandez will not be missed.

Your statement that Madson's inconsistent, but they should have take a chance on Cordero is nonsense. Cordero lost a bunch off his fastball last year. He had decent stats, but many times got clobbered, or was flat out wild. It wasn't just the Reds and Cards who passed on Cordero, but the majority of teams in baseball. I suspect they see the seam weaknesses.

And as was already said, the Sean Marshall trade was one of the bigger acquisitions of the offseason. The Cards won the WS, and the Reds were not very good last year. The Reds have a lot of ground to make up this year, but I think they will. It should be fun to watch!

AintlifeGrande
02-25-2012, 10:42 PM
No way Beltran gets and A+ with his age and injury history.

R_Webb18
02-25-2012, 11:39 PM
once i seen ur coco grade i stopped reading

justincredible
02-26-2012, 04:00 AM
You spelled Cincinnati wrong. It's also pointless to grade these moves long term as that only holds water if both teams make no other moves for the next 10 years.

brad1176
02-26-2012, 10:42 AM
Short Term-

I think the most notable loss for the Cards could be clubhouse stability. The losses of Pujols, Larussa, and Duncan could lead to disfunction. The baseball part of them leaving are obvious, but the intangibles that they brought get overlooked at times. The Cards have some volatile personalities and they could get out of control with the losses that the team suffered. I'm not sold on Wainwright being as solid as he was before, no pitcher has ever come back this soon and returned to form. Beltran is a solid player, but his injury history coupled with his age keep him from being a solid bet. The Cards did a massive overpay for his services, according to Beltran no other team came close to what the Cards offered. Furcal...really? The Cards do have young players that are very good and they will help offset some of the inevitable injury and/or decline problems the veterans will have.

The Reds didn't really lose much this offseason, veteran wise. Hernandez and Cordero are aging players that are due for a major decline. The major additions of Latos, Marshall, Madson, and Ludwick make the team immediately better. Walt and company have also added some good depth players to help with injury and/or decline from veterans.

Winner-Reds

Long Term-

The Cards have a strong farm system with some very good starting pitchers in it. Miller and Adams are the names that immediately jump out and they might be seen this year in St Louis. They, coupled with the young players at the MLB level seem to have them set up for many years to come.

The Reds system was depleted but not emptied this offseason. Truthfully, only two of the players that were sent in trades were players that I could see as impact players at the MLB level, Alonso and Grandal, and they were both blocked at their positions by clearly better players.

Winner-On paper it appears to be the Cards, but one thing to remember when it comes to guesses on the future is that they are only guesses.

Magdal
02-26-2012, 11:47 AM
The loss of LaRussa is the worst thing that can happen to the NL Central....he blew so many games last year with his awful managing its hard to believe....Albert drug the team down on the field AND in the clubhouse, and of course on the payroll. Berkman on 1st is a big improvement concidering that Beltran takes his spot. Good bat, far better Defense.

Cards on paper are the best, but paper means nothing. They have too many injury prone players: Freese and Holliday are the worst, on and off the DL and big Craig is a clumsy eggshell as well. Berkman will also miss games due to sprains and such.

Their rocks will be Molina and Schumacher...unfortunately he is the worst 2nd baseman in the majors.

I look for a dam good race between the big 3 teams, with a possible threat coming from the Pirates.

Cardinal_Fan
02-26-2012, 07:00 PM
It's hard for me to take seriously Cardinals' fans who aren't concerned about the loss of Pujols, TLR, and Duncan. Those guys had an effect, especially the last two. I'm sure as Reds' fans people here are aware that the Cardinals beat the Reds on several occasions because TLR simply outmanaged Dusty (see Dusty's confusion about www.weather.com). Losing those guys may cost the Cardinals' some games. It's possible that Matheny is as good and I hope that he is, but this is going to be a very competitive race this year.

O and the Reds losing Coco is an F? Please, Marshall and Madson more than make up for that.

drowg14
02-26-2012, 08:48 PM
It's hard for me to take seriously Cardinals' fans who aren't concerned about the loss of Pujols, TLR, and Duncan. Those guys had an effect, especially the last two. I'm sure as Reds' fans people here are aware that the Cardinals beat the Reds on several occasions because TLR simply outmanaged Dusty (see Dusty's confusion about www.weather.com). Losing those guys may cost the Cardinals' some games. It's possible that Matheny is as good and I hope that he is, but this is going to be a very competitive race this year.

O and the Reds losing Coco is an F? Please, Marshall and Madson more than make up for that.

Truth. TLR alone is worth several wins. He was arguably the best manager in the game. I don't think Dusty will ever be considered as an elite tactician. In fact, I think that if we don't bring Dusty back after the end of his contract (2012 is last year right?) that helps us in our "long term" grade against the Cards.

RedsfaninMT
02-26-2012, 09:11 PM
Either Dusty wins a playoff series this year, or he is done. The Reds have put too much into building a winner this year to accept anything other than winning a playoff series.

brad1176
02-26-2012, 09:17 PM
Either Dusty wins a playoff series this year, or he is done. The Reds have put too much into building a winner this year to accept anything other than winning a playoff series.

I could even see Dusty being replaced mid-season if the Reds struggle out of the gate. I don't think the FO will have much patience this year with anyone.

RedsfaninMT
02-26-2012, 10:18 PM
I could even see Dusty being replaced mid-season if the Reds struggle out of the gate. I don't think the FO will have much patience this year with anyone.

No doubt! As I said, an awful lot expected out of this team. As one of my favorite coaches once said "We will strive for perfection, but accept excellence."

[deleted]
02-27-2012, 03:41 AM
It basically breaks down like this, for me: Cards have a vastly superior rotation and a slightly better offense. Reds have a vastly superior defense and a much better bullpen. It could break either way, depending on who gets hurt or who takes a stride forward. I tend to think starting pitching is key to prolonged success, so I believe St. Louis has a bit of an edge in the division right now, but I think the Reds are very close behind. It also wouldn't surprise me at all if Milwaukee won the Central again - even if the drop from Fielder to Ramirez costs them 3 or 4 wins, they still would have had a better record than St. Louis or Cincy. Their top three is pretty amazing.

Deciding who wins "long term" is an effort in futility. Anything could happen, it's tough to say. Though it looks like Cards > Reds >>>>> Brewers at the moment, based on farm systems. But like others have mentioned, picks are coming our way and money will be coming off the books in a few years for Walt to play with. A lot could go down in a lot of different ways.

I'll also add that everyone seems to view the loss of LaRussa and Duncan as being overlooked, despite everyone saying that every time St. Louis's off season is brought up. I'll go against the grain and say losing Pujols is infinitely more damaging to the the Redbirds. Look, 'intangibles' and 'clubhouse stability' exist, sure, but I can't help but feel people love to overstate their influence on a team's play. If the talent is there, the talent is there. The Cards will be absolutely fine. I mean, Dusty is as boneheaded a manager as there is, but I don't think his running things is instantly spelling gloom-and-doom for the Reds in 2011.

Magdal
02-27-2012, 12:47 PM
It's hard for me to take seriously Cardinals' fans who aren't concerned about the loss of Pujols, TLR, and Duncan. Those guys had an effect, especially the last two. I'm sure as Reds' fans people here are aware that the Cardinals beat the Reds on several occasions because TLR simply outmanaged Dusty (see Dusty's confusion about www.weather.com). Losing those guys may cost the Cardinals' some games. It's possible that Matheny is as good and I hope that he is, but this is going to be a very competitive race this year.

O and the Reds losing Coco is an F? Please, Marshall and Madson more than make up for that.You dont take it seriously because you dont watch Card games...if you did you would have seen how many game TLR blew trotting Franklin out there to blow save after save until the GM forced him sat.

You would have seen the futility of playing Theriot and Shumacher when they were the worst 2 players on the team....his absolute refusal to use the squeeze play, dbl steal or even a strait steal (unless your name was Pujols, the 2nd slowest man on the field.

Did you not watch the WS? Did you not see that monster gaffe he made in game 5? Pal, he did that stuff ALL YEAR.

And Pujols with his aloof demeaner in spite of having the worst year of his career....led all 1st basemen in errors, broke the MLB record for GIDP and was absolutely futile with the bases loaded (look it up) his 2b hits went from 40 to 20 and no triples.

Cards scored the most runs in the NL, so how is it that Pujols got under 100 RBI? He was a black holoe in the #3 hole, killing the ball when the Cards had a big lead and the pitchers were lax, and failing time after time in the clutch. (good example was in the world Series when he hit 3 HRs in a 15 run blowout.

I could go on and on....there is a LOT more. BTW: Dusty is better than LaRussa. But he sucks too.

RedsfaninMT
02-27-2012, 01:50 PM
You dont take it seriously because you dont watch Card games...if you did you would have seen how many game TLR blew trotting Franklin out there to blow save after save until the GM forced him sat.

You would have seen the futility of playing Theriot and Shumacher when they were the worst 2 players on the team....his absolute refusal to use the squeeze play, dbl steal or even a strait steal (unless your name was Pujols, the 2nd slowest man on the field.

Did you not watch the WS? Did you not see that monster gaffe he made in game 5? Pal, he did that stuff ALL YEAR.

And Pujols with his aloof demeaner in spite of having the worst year of his career....led all 1st basemen in errors, broke the MLB record for GIDP and was absolutely futile with the bases loaded (look it up) his 2b hits went from 40 to 20 and no triples.

Cards scored the most runs in the NL, so how is it that Pujols got under 100 RBI? He was a black holoe in the #3 hole, killing the ball when the Cards had a big lead and the pitchers were lax, and failing time after time in the clutch. (good example was in the world Series when he hit 3 HRs in a 15 run blowout.

I could go on and on....there is a LOT more. BTW: Dusty is better than LaRussa. But he sucks too.

You are out of your mind. I did look it up - Pujols hit .231 leading off an inning. He hit .313 with RISP, with a .922 OPS. He had an OPS of .914 in games that we late and close and a .693 OPS when the Cards were up by more than 4 runs. Finally, he had a .944 OPS when the bases were loaded - exactly the opposite of your claim.

His stats were .355 and .954 in September when the Cards made their key playoff run. The last year Albert led the league in grounding into double plays he followed it up with two consecutive MVP years.

If you don't think the Cards will miss Pujols and LaRussa, you lose all credibility. Your team won the World Series with them. I thought your post was sarcasm. That is wasn't is flat out scary.

Magdal
02-27-2012, 02:11 PM
You are out of your mind. I did look it up - Pujols hit .231 leading off an inning. He hit .313 with RISP, with a .922 OPS. He had an OPS of .914 in games that we late and close and a .693 OPS when the Cards were up by more than 4 runs. Finally, he had a .944 OPS when the bases were loaded - exactly the opposite of your claim.

His stats were .355 and .954 in September when the Cards made their key playoff run. The last year Albert led the league in grounding into double plays he followed it up with two consecutive MVP years.

If you don't think the Cards will miss Pujols and LaRussa, you lose all credibility. Your team won the World Series with them. I thought your post was sarcasm. That is wasn't is flat out scary.You can throw up all the stats you want but I tell you he was AWFUL in the clutch, and the surge he had in Sept did not make up for all the months he sucked.

If he was so good how could he not get 100 RBI? Not only is he not the best player in the NL anymore. he is only the 4th best player on his team behind Berkman, Holliday and Freese.

And I will tell you something else: the Card org. prepared to let him go! I realized that when they signed a pure power hitting 1st baseman in Berkman. His expected departure freed up money to re-sign Berk, add the MUCH needed Furcal to replace the awful Theriot at SS, sign Beltran to replace Berk in RF and have $ left over to cover Wainwright in his upcoming contract year.

The Cards are in MUCH better shape w/o him, when you look at the big picture.

[deleted]
02-27-2012, 03:48 PM
"He was absolutely terrible! Look up the stats!"

...

"I don't care what the stats say! I will continue to believe what I WANT to believe!"

Captain13
02-27-2012, 05:54 PM
Pujols is terrible. There were, like, 10 games last year he never even got on base. I mean, wow. Terrible.

izzy's dad
02-27-2012, 06:41 PM
To say that Albert Pujols was the 4th best player on the Cardinals roster last year is lunacy. I wonder if National League pitchers feel the same way you do. 6-8 years from now that probably will be true, but when Pujols is still productive 5 years from now Lance Berkman will be out of baseball, and Matt Holliday will either a below average AL designated hitter or out of baseball himself. The truth is that the loses of Albert Pujols, Larussa and Duncan will affect St. Louis for more than a few years.

Cardinal_Fan
02-27-2012, 07:26 PM
You dont take it seriously because you dont watch Card games...if you did you would have seen how many game TLR blew trotting Franklin out there to blow save after save until the GM forced him sat.

You would have seen the futility of playing Theriot and Shumacher when they were the worst 2 players on the team....his absolute refusal to use the squeeze play, dbl steal or even a strait steal (unless your name was Pujols, the 2nd slowest man on the field.

Did you not watch the WS? Did you not see that monster gaffe he made in game 5? Pal, he did that stuff ALL YEAR.

And Pujols with his aloof demeaner in spite of having the worst year of his career....led all 1st basemen in errors, broke the MLB record for GIDP and was absolutely futile with the bases loaded (look it up) his 2b hits went from 40 to 20 and no triples.

Cards scored the most runs in the NL, so how is it that Pujols got under 100 RBI? He was a black holoe in the #3 hole, killing the ball when the Cards had a big lead and the pitchers were lax, and failing time after time in the clutch. (good example was in the world Series when he hit 3 HRs in a 15 run blowout.

I could go on and on....there is a LOT more. BTW: Dusty is better than LaRussa. But he sucks too.

If you've watched the Cardinals for more than two years you get a different picture. TLR played to the strengths of his team, when had speed he would use that to his advantage, when he didn't (i.e. this year) he didn't. Who would you like to steal bases last year? Molina? Pujols? Holliday? Berkman? Craig? Freese? None of these guys are "quick." But the point is TLR got a team to play well that didn't shine in every respect.

And yea Pujols as the fourth best is a joke. The Cardinals have plenty of other good players and to be sure I put us even with the Reds and Brewers at the outset, but you can't tell me Pujols was the fourth best with a straight face. And you say he's bad in the clutch? Any fan of St Louis that watches every detail (as you claim to do) would realize that he is notoriously bad in clutch situations. If you look at his avg across the pitcher's ERA it drops dramatically (as one would expect) but his is stark, ALWAYS HAS BEEN.

I with Izzy's dad, it's simply unimaginable to think that the Cards will be immediately better off without AP, TLR, or Dunc. This could be the case, but it's foolish to assume that it is.

10xWSChamps
02-28-2012, 01:58 AM
One thing I think you need to take into effect (affect? I never know which to use) with the Latos for Alonso/Box/Grandal deal are the positions they play. We already have a catcher for the future, for now Alonso was blocked due to Votto, and Box is just a reliever. While they could all be very good players, they won't provide as much value to our team as they will to another team (with the exception of Boxberger, but relievers inherently don't provide a ton of value in the first place). Also, there is always the argument that until they prove themselves as all-stars, you can't assume they will be.

Grandel, I agree. As for Alonso, I think he would have been great to have around assuming that Votto leaves (and I think the smart money is on him leaving so...).

I think Boxberger has the chance to be a good closer or at worst a great setup guy. He just seemed like an extra player that was thrown in that had no business going to San Diego, value wise. Take out Grandel or Alonso, then great. But with both of then and Boxberger, it was way too much IMO.

BUT with all that said you can't get a guy like Latos without over-paying to some degree. The trade will be judged upon if the Reds have short term success IMO. If you guys win a WS or get to one, then it's an outstanding trade even if both Grandel and Alonso end up being MVP type players which they have a chance to be.




Sean Marshall is a key addition for the Reds as well, and an 'A' IMO.

TOTALLY forgot about Sean Marshall. A+ grade for him

I think I have to give the Reds the short term "Win" because of him.




I am utterly shocked that a Cardinals fan would think the Cards win big time in the future, but that it's a push for right now. Sorry, but losing Pujols, Duncan and LaRussa is not going to be easy to replace. I don't care what grades you give Albert, or that he would have been a drain in future years, you are rating it a push for this year, which makes zero sense. Albert will be sorely missed. I think Duncan is a HUGE loss and hope his wife recovers fully.

The Reds let Hernandez go because they have a rookie that they clearly want to give a shot to. If he matches the hype, Hernandez will not be missed.

Your statement that Madson's inconsistent, but they should have take a chance on Cordero is nonsense. Cordero lost a bunch off his fastball last year. He had decent stats, but many times got clobbered, or was flat out wild. It wasn't just the Reds and Cards who passed on Cordero, but the majority of teams in baseball. I suspect they see the seam weaknesses.

And as was already said, the Sean Marshall trade was one of the bigger acquisitions of the offseason. The Cards won the WS, and the Reds were not very good last year. The Reds have a lot of ground to make up this year, but I think they will. It should be fun to watch!

You really think that the Cardinals lose out on Pujols in the long term? Pujols has been having increasingly more common aches and pains for the past few years. He is coming off his worst year in his career. He has a ligament in his elbow that is going to blow at some point in the next 10 years that will knock him out for an entire year. Pujols at 25M a year is great for the next 3 years, maybe 4. But in 2015/16/17/18/19/20/21 his contract/production ratio would be dragging the Cardinals down.

As for Duncan/LaRussa, I think it's irrelevant in the long term. Tony has been talking about retirement for years now and is 67 years old. It was going to happen eventually, either way he wasn't going to be a Cardinals in the next 2-3 years.

You are right though about it being a push in the short term. As you can see above, I gave the Reds the win in the short term!




No way Beltran gets and A+ with his age and injury history.

Beltran is 34 and is coming off a great year. It could end up being a bad signing, but I like our chances! As for his injury history, he's been a fairly healthy player over his whole career and played 142 games last year.

He had a .910 OPS last year. Pujols had a .906. Obviously he is not Albert, but I think the Cardinals did a very good job in replacing his bat. At 12M over the next two years I think the money is well spent

With him and Berkman being off the books in the next 1/2 years, the Cardinals will have some nice money to spend. Any good first basemen on the market in 2014? :D




You spelled Cincinnati wrong. It's also pointless to grade these moves long term as that only holds water if both teams make no other moves for the next 10 years.

That's all you've got? Maybe you're new to message boards. Speculation and analyzing is what goes on here. Maybe sports message boards in general aren't for you.

justincredible
02-28-2012, 02:05 AM
That's all you've got? Maybe you're new to message boards. Speculation and analyzing is what goes on here. Maybe sports message boards in general aren't for you.

Okay, I'll leave. Sorry.

10xWSChamps
02-28-2012, 02:11 AM
Short Term-

I think the most notable loss for the Cards could be clubhouse stability. The losses of Pujols, Larussa, and Duncan could lead to disfunction. The baseball part of them leaving are obvious, but the intangibles that they brought get overlooked at times. The Cards have some volatile personalities and they could get out of control with the losses that the team suffered. I'm not sold on Wainwright being as solid as he was before, no pitcher has ever come back this soon and returned to form. Beltran is a solid player, but his injury history coupled with his age keep him from being a solid bet. The Cards did a massive overpay for his services, according to Beltran no other team came close to what the Cards offered. Furcal...really? The Cards do have young players that are very good and they will help offset some of the inevitable injury and/or decline problems the veterans will have.

The Reds didn't really lose much this offseason, veteran wise. Hernandez and Cordero are aging players that are due for a major decline. The major additions of Latos, Marshall, Madson, and Ludwick make the team immediately better. Walt and company have also added some good depth players to help with injury and/or decline from veterans.

Winner-Reds

Long Term-

The Cards have a strong farm system with some very good starting pitchers in it. Miller and Adams are the names that immediately jump out and they might be seen this year in St Louis. They, coupled with the young players at the MLB level seem to have them set up for many years to come.

The Reds system was depleted but not emptied this offseason. Truthfully, only two of the players that were sent in trades were players that I could see as impact players at the MLB level, Alonso and Grandal, and they were both blocked at their positions by clearly better players.

Winner-On paper it appears to be the Cards, but one thing to remember when it comes to guesses on the future is that they are only guesses.

Dysfunction? I don't see that happening. The new manager and pitching coach aren't trying to re-invent the wheel. Dusty Baker seems like one of the more dysfunctional managers in the MLB, are the Reds a dysfunctional team? No, I wouldn't say so. They have enough good leaders on the team.

Who are the volatile personalities on the Cardinals? Carpenter is about the only really *****y guy left, but he's not "volatile", teammates love him and he is a true leader in every sense in the clubhouse. Pujols and LaRussa were, by faaaaaaar, the most volatile and *****y personalities the Cardinals had.

Berkman, Holiday, Carpenter, Molina, Wainwright, Furcal.... all of those guys have been leaders on the Cardinals and other teams. I think we actually have a lot of guys who have a ton of leadership experience.

Early reports on Wainwright are extremely good. I wouldn't bet my life on him having everything this year, but he is reportedly throwing the ball with command and velocity. As for guys who have had success directly after TJ, Carpenter, Hudson and Josh Johnson come to mind... Also it is being reported that his curveball is looking outstanding already:




Wainwright estimates he is throwing his fastball with 90 percent effort. He is ecstatic about his mechanics and the easy velocity he is creating. The last year has allowed him to gain weight and strengthen his lower body. Since arriving in camp he has thrown about every third day and has yet to experience a setback.

"I've definitely gotten stronger," said Wainwright

"I just feel really good," Wainwright emphasized. "I feel strong. I feel ready to go. It's one of the things where the power of understatement can be really great. But at the same time Cardinal fans should know that I'm feeling pretty danged good."

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/wainwright-says-he-feels-danged-good/article_08a9fa92-5d66-500f-8885-cf55e54633ea.html#ixzz1neaPXRtr



Wainwright mixed in all of his pitches Thursday morning. He worked a lot on his cut fastball, especially as the command of the pitch betrayed him. He had good success with his changeup, and his curveball twice got the same reaction from a teammate: "Good morning!"

"I was impressed with how smooth and fluid he was," Matheny said. "You just never know when a guy comes back from surgery if there's any hesitation. That's a great testimony to he and what the training staff has been able to do. He just looked very, very smooth.

"He had jump, life on his fastball. He had movement when he was trying to."

Wainwright faced a cross-section of hitters that included catcher Yadier Molina. The goal in the "Live BP" situations is to get a balance of hitters - two from the right, two from the left - and alternate. Wainwright faced righties Molina, Tyler Greene, and Tony Cruz. He also faced lefties Hamilton, Zack Cox and - um - Lohse, sort of.

"I really don't feel like I've missed a year," Wainwright said. "It feels like I'm stepping back into something that is comfortable. It feels natural."

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinal-beat/wainwright-faces-hitters/article_75466b24-58d3-11e1-9921-0019bb30f31a.html#ixzz1nebWVBGB



Wainwright, who tore ligaments in his elbow and missed the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, threw 30 pitches warming up and another 30 to Cardinals infielder Tyler Greene, minor leaguers Robert Stock and Joseph Bergman, and former teammate Rick Ankiel. He mixed sinkers, cut fastballs and his signature curve all for strikes and never above the knees.

The performance was compelling enough for an impressed Ankiel to quip at one point, "Make a mistake one time."

Catcher Tony Cruz called Wainwright's command 'significantly" improved over last week's session against hitters.

Wainwright, who spoke confidently Wednesday afternoon about his recovery, left the field beaming. "I told you," he reminded.

A 20-game winner in 2010, Wainwright estimates he is throwing with 80-90 percent effort. He is most encouraged by the action on his breaking ball, which buckled knees during the Thursday session.

The good news doesn't surprise Wainwright.

"Too much work has been put into this by too many people, especially our training staff, for me to be surprised," he said.

Wainwright said he looks forward to building his arm strength but is ecstatic about the ease of his delivery.

"As a pitcher, you want to be able to throw that gas," he said. "But we've still got two months to go. It's gone very well."

Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist was among those on hand for the session Thursday. He is convinced Wainwright will be on the same program as the rest of the rotation when camp opens Feb. 18.

"I'm very positive about where he's at and how he feels," Lilliquist said. "Based on where he is right now, I don't see why not. There could be something moving forward that would cause us to give him extra rest. As of right now, he's on schedule. His workload is good."

Wainwright has made every scheduled throw since arriving in camp Jan. 12.

"His command is the biggest issue at this point, and it's really not an issue. It's been better every time he's gone out," Lilliquist said. "Initially, the thought process is to get through the work healthy and to feel good the next day. As it progresses, you start dialing in command. That's the last thing to come."

Wainwright, who finished in the top three in balloting for the NL Cy Young Award in 2009 and 2010, said he has no reservations about snapping off breaking pitches.

"It probably makes a difference that I hurt it on a fastball," he said. "Some guys who hurt on a curveball have reservations about throwing it when they first come back. That's not the case for me. I'm full speed ahead."

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/wainwright-wows-with-his-best-stuff/article_f4a28cba-0187-53ee-b39f-f0685fe536e4.html#ixzz1nebiVaJ9


You have to take all that stuff with a grain of salt. But it sounds like Wainwright certainly isn't damaged goods....




Really I wasn't grading Wainwright in my first post. I also wasn't grading the farm system when I talked about the "future". I just meant the future of those signings/trades/non-signings and what they meant. The Cardinals currently have one of the best farm system in the MLB, they didn't 3-4 years ago but that can change quickly with extra first round draft picks and a lot of money spent in the international rookie signings and draftees. A lot of money has been spent outside of the draft on rookies and it's one of the big areas that can create disparity from the "haves" and the "have nots". The Cardinals aren't at the Yankees level in that regard, but we do pretty darn well in spending cash on young international players. Carlos Martinez is a huge prospect for us we basically bought for $15M a year ago.

10xWSChamps
02-28-2012, 02:12 AM
Okay, I'll leave. Sorry.

Just add something to the discussion! I'm just giving you a hard time. Why not try to actually debate this stuff? It's fun!

justincredible
02-28-2012, 02:19 AM
Just add something to the discussion! I'm just giving you a hard time. Why not try to actually debate this stuff? It's fun!

Like I said, it's too difficult for me to judge things like this long term because neither team is going to stand pat long term. Both teams could look completely different in 2 years.

I do think the Cardinals were smart to not give Pujols a ton of money but then they turn around and give an almost 30 year old catcher $75m.

10xWSChamps
02-28-2012, 03:29 AM
The loss of LaRussa is the worst thing that can happen to the NL Central....he blew so many games last year with his awful managing its hard to believe....Albert drug the team down on the field AND in the clubhouse, and of course on the payroll. Berkman on 1st is a big improvement concidering that Beltran takes his spot. Good bat, far better Defense.

Cards on paper are the best, but paper means nothing. They have too many injury prone players: Freese and Holliday are the worst, on and off the DL and big Craig is a clumsy eggshell as well. Berkman will also miss games due to sprains and such.

Their rocks will be Molina and Schumacher...unfortunately he is the worst 2nd baseman in the majors.

I look for a dam good race between the big 3 teams, with a possible threat coming from the Pirates.

I have to say I disagree with nearly all of this.

I like the hiring of Matheny as the manager. No doubt that LaRussa had some downsides, but everyone does, he was a good manager overall IMO.

Albert had an increasingly surly attitude. I do think the clubhouse will improve with him gone. But he was such a force that he is going to be missed in the next three years. I think that fortunately for the Cardinals, he is already starting to decline and weirdly has gotten more and more impatient at the plate the past two years. I loved Pujols, but one thing I will be happy to see go is his extended staring at home runs and his refusal to ever try to run to get an infield single. But the positives were massive and outweighed those things.

Freese scares me as far as injuries go. I'm not too worried about Holiday. I won't be surprised if Berkman is injured, but it's a very good thing for his health that he is moving to first base.

Molina is a rock... but Schumaker? Huh? He's the least important player in the entire lineup! He's not the worst second baseman in the MLB either. His defense is a


It's hard for me to take seriously Cardinals' fans who aren't concerned about the loss of Pujols, TLR, and Duncan. Those guys had an effect, especially the last two. I'm sure as Reds' fans people here are aware that the Cardinals beat the Reds on several occasions because TLR simply outmanaged Dusty (see Dusty's confusion about www.weather.com). Losing those guys may cost the Cardinals' some games. It's possible that Matheny is as good and I hope that he is, but this is going to be a very competitive race this year.

O and the Reds losing Coco is an F? Please, Marshall and Madson more than make up for that.

Uhh, where didn't I take it seriously? I said that losing the coaches would hurt us.


Truth. TLR alone is worth several wins. He was arguably the best manager in the game. I don't think Dusty will ever be considered as an elite tactician. In fact, I think that if we don't bring Dusty back after the end of his contract (2012 is last year right?) that helps us in our "long term" grade against the Cards.

It will depend upon what Matheny is like as a manager. As I said before, I like him as a replacement. I don't think we're losing a few games from LaRussa leaving alone. It's not like the players are running the team now!

The long term grade is not based upon anything in the future. Just about what this off season means for the long term. Besides, I don't think you can bring up Dusty losing as a benefit without talking about Votto and his looming contract in two years. The Reds also have the potential benefit or loss of Votto being three years younger then Pujols at the time his contract will expire vs when Pujols' did.



Either Dusty wins a playoff series this year, or he is done. The Reds have put too much into building a winner this year to accept anything other than winning a playoff series.

I am surprised that Jocketty has kept him this long to be honest. He just doesn't seem like a manager that Walt would appreciate...



;2539785']It basically breaks down like this, for me: Cards have a vastly superior rotation and a slightly better offense. Reds have a vastly superior defense and a much better bullpen. It could break either way, depending on who gets hurt or who takes a stride forward. I tend to think starting pitching is key to prolonged success, so I believe St. Louis has a bit of an edge in the division right now, but I think the Reds are very close behind. It also wouldn't surprise me at all if Milwaukee won the Central again - even if the drop from Fielder to Ramirez costs them 3 or 4 wins, they still would have had a better record than St. Louis or Cincy. Their top three is pretty amazing.

Deciding who wins "long term" is an effort in futility. Anything could happen, it's tough to say. Though it looks like Cards > Reds >>>>> Brewers at the moment, based on farm systems. But like others have mentioned, picks are coming our way and money will be coming off the books in a few years for Walt to play with. A lot could go down in a lot of different ways.

I'll also add that everyone seems to view the loss of LaRussa and Duncan as being overlooked, despite everyone saying that every time St. Louis's off season is brought up. I'll go against the grain and say losing Pujols is infinitely more damaging to the the Redbirds. Look, 'intangibles' and 'clubhouse stability' exist, sure, but I can't help but feel people love to overstate their influence on a team's play. If the talent is there, the talent is there. The Cards will be absolutely fine. I mean, Dusty is as boneheaded a manager as there is, but I don't think his running things is instantly spelling gloom-and-doom for the Reds in 2011.


I agree with the first paragraph 110%. I think you can comfortably say the Cardinals have the most talented team. But a lot of it hinges on a handful of players being relatively healthy. One of them going down won't doom us (as evidenced by Wainwright and other injuries last year) but it's going to be very tough if we lose a number of them for extended periods, which could happen. I don't think we need "luck" from a health standpoint, but can't withstand a lot of "bad luck".

I think the Cardinals have a vastly superior farm system after the Reds just traded away a huge amount of their top end talent. The Cardinals are generally ranked around 4-8 in most farm system rankings I've seen. We've got four blue chip players.

But I hate ranking farm systems. So much can happens. Players can just not turn out (Shelby Miller looks pretty close to "sure thing" though). Or they can get traded. The Reds just traded away much of their top farm system. The Cardinals often trade players away mid-season to strengthen the team. Brett Wallace was a big time prospect who was traded for Holliday. Funny thing that Wallace is a bust as a prospect now. Dan Haren for Mulder. Rasmus for Jackson/Rczepchinski/Dotel.... I don't see us trading Shelby but who knows with the rest of those guys.

As for the third paragraph, I do agree. I don't think "stability" is much of an issue. Too many veterans that have been in leadership roles for that to happen. There's also the fact that I don't think Pujols was the most loved teammate by a long shot and LaRussa had much publicized conflicts with a large handful of players over the years. Pujols is a big loss in 2012/13/14 because of his bat. LaRussa is a big loss because of his ability as a tactician. But those have been mitigated somewhat.

10xWSChamps
02-28-2012, 03:45 AM
To say that Albert Pujols was the 4th best player on the Cardinals roster last year is lunacy. I wonder if National League pitchers feel the same way you do. 6-8 years from now that probably will be true, but when Pujols is still productive 5 years from now Lance Berkman will be out of baseball, and Matt Holliday will either a below average AL designated hitter or out of baseball himself. The truth is that the loses of Albert Pujols, Larussa and Duncan will affect St. Louis for more than a few years.

I have a hard time believing Albert will be worth anything close to 25M five years from now. You really believe that? Productive? Sure. Worth his contract? No way. The Angels can absorb that decline, the Cardinals couldn't.

Albert is coming off his worst year of his career. IMO he has started his decline in the past year and a half. He just isn't getting the bat around as well anymore. He also is chasing way more pitches then he used to in the first 9 years of his career. His walk rate was cut in half from 2010 to 2011, it was that dramatic (108 walks in 2010 vs 68 in 2011 with only 8 less plate appearances in 11)

Please realize that I'm not agreeing with Madgal here, I'm just disputing that Albert will be worth his contract in 5 year.

I don't think Holiday will be worth what he is paid now in 5 years either. But that is neither here nor there, his contract will have ended with the Cardinals. Also why even mention Lance Berkman? He has a one year contract.

I don't think you can count LaRussa and Duncan for the long term. Short term, yes. Long term, no. LaRussa has been talking about retirement for years. He will be 73 years old in 5 years. We might as well be talking about the loss of Stan Musial. LaRussa would have been gone in 2 years regardless of any circumstances, he's been itching for retirement.

izzy's dad
02-28-2012, 07:03 AM
You are correct in saying that Pujols won't be worth his contract in 5 years, but his production will still be missed for at least 3-4 of those years. Losing a bat like Pujols will have a domino effect on the STL lineup. Holliday won't see as many good pitches, Beltran just doesn't scare anyone anymore. Holliday, Berkman, and Beltran are at risk for major decline, either through injury or age those three will regress in my opinion. That is not to say that they aren't good major league bats, because they certainly are. But Pujols is elite, and I believe he will continue to be elite for at least 3-4 years. No one can say that either view is wrong or right, as we cannot see the future. One can only speculate. So what I am saying may or may not be true in the years to come, and if I am wrong I will eat my helping of crow. But in 3 years when the Reds still have guys like Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Devin Mesoraco, Mike Leake, Aroldis Chapman, etc. on their roster, I like their chances to remain competitive against a roster of David Freese, Jon Jay, Shelby Miller, etc. Again, just my opinion. I guess we will find out in time.

Magdal
02-28-2012, 12:42 PM
Most of you are thinking of the Pujols of '09 and before. He looks like a different man now....he dives at balls a foot outside on what would have been ball 4 with Berkman coming up. He simply tries to hit it out on every swing of the bat regardless of the situation. He rolls over and pulls the ball to SS on all other pitches. He absolutely NEVER goes with a pitch to RF regardless of the game situation. The only way he could acually hit a ball behind the runner is if the man on 3rd was standing in foul teritory.

These things dont show up in stats or on Sportscenter. But they are seen by savvy fans, his teamates and the opposition.

And all this bull about LaRussa being great: pure bull....if you watch every game you see him making unnesesary moves constantly. Not one game last year NOT ONE GAME was completed with the same 8 position players on the field. 150 different lineups, pitchers batting 8th, guys with a .290 OBP leading off, endless dbl switches just for the sake of it.

He has become a senile joke that has the team AND the local press walking on eggshells. But you guys don't see that in Cincy every nite. You rely on ESPN for info.

Finally, you all seem to ignore the fact that the Cardinals prepared for and LET Pujols walk. And you buy this bull about Tony "retiring". When they gave him a one year contract that said it all: bye bye Tony after 2011.

I bet you a million dollars that he will join another team after he missmanages the ASG this year.

Cardinal_Fan
02-28-2012, 01:13 PM
Magdal for someone who claims to watch every pitch you really don't know that much. TLR had a mutual option for 2012 and if you think the Cards would remove him after winning the WS you are insane. TLR always liked the short contracts because he was getting older and didn't want to be booked for the rest of his life.

I mean TLR won the world series last year and made multiple playoff appearances, what more do you expect?

Magdal
02-28-2012, 02:06 PM
Magdal for someone who claims to watch every pitch you really don't know that much. TLR had a mutual option for 2012 and if you think the Cards would remove him after winning the WS you are insane. TLR always liked the short contracts because he was getting older and didn't want to be booked for the rest of his life.

I mean TLR won the world series last year and made multiple playoff appearances, what more do you expect?The players won it...in spite of his dementia. 'Mo wanted him gone. Simple as that. He wants to run the team for a while.

RedsfaninMT
02-28-2012, 07:18 PM
Most of you are thinking of the Pujols of '09 and before. He looks like a different man now....he dives at balls a foot outside on what would have been ball 4 with Berkman coming up. He simply tries to hit it out on every swing of the bat regardless of the situation. He rolls over and pulls the ball to SS on all other pitches. He absolutely NEVER goes with a pitch to RF regardless of the game situation. The only way he could acually hit a ball behind the runner is if the man on 3rd was standing in foul teritory.

These things dont show up in stats or on Sportscenter. But they are seen by savvy fans, his teamates and the opposition.

And all this bull about LaRussa being great: pure bull....if you watch every game you see him making unnesesary moves constantly. Not one game last year NOT ONE GAME was completed with the same 8 position players on the field. 150 different lineups, pitchers batting 8th, guys with a .290 OBP leading off, endless dbl switches just for the sake of it.

He has become a senile joke that has the team AND the local press walking on eggshells. But you guys don't see that in Cincy every nite. You rely on ESPN for info.

Finally, you all seem to ignore the fact that the Cardinals prepared for and LET Pujols walk. And you buy this bull about Tony "retiring". When they gave him a one year contract that said it all: bye bye Tony after 2011.

I bet you a million dollars that he will join another team after he missmanages the ASG this year.

You sure do like to move the target! First it was "he can't hit in the clutch!" Disproved through stats. Then it was "he can't hit with the bases loaded!" Again, stats proved you wrong.

Now it's "He absolutely NEVER goes with a pitch to RF regardless of the game situation." Well, go to this website, and you will see how wrong you are with his hit spray chart.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player/albert-pujols/hitchart/85809?q=albert-pujols

He certainly hits more balls to left than right, but I count 21 hits to right and right center. More than that if you include left. Stop with the theatrics.

The season will reveal if Albert is done, and the Cards do better without him and LaRussa. You have set the bar mighty high. To do as well as you're spouting off about, the Cards will have to win 110 games, then sweep their way to another World Series title.

10xWSChamps
02-29-2012, 12:07 AM
You are correct in saying that Pujols won't be worth his contract in 5 years, but his production will still be missed for at least 3-4 of those years. Losing a bat like Pujols will have a domino effect on the STL lineup. Holliday won't see as many good pitches, Beltran just doesn't scare anyone anymore. Holliday, Berkman, and Beltran are at risk for major decline, either through injury or age those three will regress in my opinion. That is not to say that they aren't good major league bats, because they certainly are. But Pujols is elite, and I believe he will continue to be elite for at least 3-4 years. No one can say that either view is wrong or right, as we cannot see the future. One can only speculate. So what I am saying may or may not be true in the years to come, and if I am wrong I will eat my helping of crow. But in 3 years when the Reds still have guys like Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Devin Mesoraco, Mike Leake, Aroldis Chapman, etc. on their roster, I like their chances to remain competitive against a roster of David Freese, Jon Jay, Shelby Miller, etc. Again, just my opinion. I guess we will find out in time.

The Cardinals have four blue chip prospects right now and because of them, one of the top 5 farm systems in the MLB. They will be with us in five years or have been traded for a good player. Certainly you can't count on all four working out, but it's not like the Cardinals will just stand pat with internal options for five years.

Look at some of the main players:

Carpenter - FA
Waino - Trade
Holiday - Trade
Freese - Trade
Berkman - FA
Beltran - FA

Freese and Waino kind of count as prospects since we got them so young, but they were through trades.

Beltran had a damn good year last year, I don't think you can say "he doesn't scare anyone anymore."

Of course Pujols will be missed for the next few years. I said that the Cardinals get an F for the first few years of his contract. The last five or six, it turns into an A. Overall I think it's about a B, just because of how heavy you have to weigh the benefit of not having a 37-42 year old Albert Pujols making 25 million a year (and it's actually more then that in those later years, his contract is back loaded!)

10xWSChamps
02-29-2012, 12:11 AM
Most of you are thinking of the Pujols of '09 and before. He looks like a different man now....he dives at balls a foot outside on what would have been ball 4 with Berkman coming up. He simply tries to hit it out on every swing of the bat regardless of the situation. He rolls over and pulls the ball to SS on all other pitches. He absolutely NEVER goes with a pitch to RF regardless of the game situation. The only way he could acually hit a ball behind the runner is if the man on 3rd was standing in foul teritory.

These things dont show up in stats or on Sportscenter. But they are seen by savvy fans, his teamates and the opposition.

And all this bull about LaRussa being great: pure bull....if you watch every game you see him making unnesesary moves constantly. Not one game last year NOT ONE GAME was completed with the same 8 position players on the field. 150 different lineups, pitchers batting 8th, guys with a .290 OBP leading off, endless dbl switches just for the sake of it.

He has become a senile joke that has the team AND the local press walking on eggshells. But you guys don't see that in Cincy every nite. You rely on ESPN for info.

Finally, you all seem to ignore the fact that the Cardinals prepared for and LET Pujols walk. And you buy this bull about Tony "retiring". When they gave him a one year contract that said it all: bye bye Tony after 2011.

I bet you a million dollars that he will join another team after he missmanages the ASG this year.



Magdal, you are certainly representative of a vocal minority of Cardinals fans about LaRussa. I don't think it's worth anyone trying to convince you otherwise because it'll be a waste of breath.

I agree with you about Pujols. He will be missed these next few years and will still be worth that 25M a year he is making for a few years. It's just those last 5-6 that made it untenable for the Cardinals. Pujols has started to regress. He went from god-like to just a superstar, but I agree with you that the decline in the past year and a half has been obvious to anyone who is watching.

I almost feel bad for Albert in a way, he isn't going to have all that equity built up with that fan base. If he really continues on this pace of decline (I don't think it will continue to be so steady, but level off for a few years) it could get ugly in LA and with Albert being as surly as he was with the StL media, the LA media could smell blood in the water and go off on him. I don't think he realizes how good he had it here. They were building statues of him when he left St Louis, I think people will be sick of him and his contract by the time the 42 year old Albert Pujols is done in LA.

[deleted]
02-29-2012, 12:51 AM
10x, I agree with most everything you've said here and am pleased at how articulate you've been in saying it.

I need to mention, though, how wildly off-point I think you are about Cordero. Signing him for 4.5 million would be a colossal mistake. The guy is done. He's going to implode, and soon. You're upset St. Louis didn't make a run at him? Me too.

Magdal
02-29-2012, 10:13 AM
Magdal, you are certainly representative of a vocal minority of Cardinals fans about LaRussa. I don't think it's worth anyone trying to convince you otherwise because it'll be a waste of breath.

I agree with you about Pujols. He will be missed these next few years and will still be worth that 25M a year he is making for a few years. It's just those last 5-6 that made it untenable for the Cardinals. Pujols has started to regress. He went from god-like to just a superstar, but I agree with you that the decline in the past year and a half has been obvious to anyone who is watching.

I almost feel bad for Albert in a way, he isn't going to have all that equity built up with that fan base. If he really continues on this pace of decline (I don't think it will continue to be so steady, but level off for a few years) it could get ugly in LA and with Albert being as surly as he was with the StL media, the LA media could smell blood in the water and go off on him. I don't think he realizes how good he had it here. They were building statues of him when he left St Louis, I think people will be sick of him and his contract by the time the 42 year old Albert Pujols is done in LA.Vocal minority??? You surely dont live in St Louis or you would know by reading the fan forums or listening to that Kevin Slaten radio guy that there is a HUGE contingent of Tony haters. I mean huge, man! In the minds of most he could not hold Whitey's jock.

swaisuc
02-29-2012, 11:49 AM
Magdal, you are certainly representative of a vocal minority of Cardinals fans about LaRussa. I don't think it's worth anyone trying to convince you otherwise because it'll be a waste of breath.

I agree with you about Pujols. He will be missed these next few years and will still be worth that 25M a year he is making for a few years. It's just those last 5-6 that made it untenable for the Cardinals. Pujols has started to regress. He went from god-like to just a superstar, but I agree with you that the decline in the past year and a half has been obvious to anyone who is watching.

I almost feel bad for Albert in a way, he isn't going to have all that equity built up with that fan base. If he really continues on this pace of decline (I don't think it will continue to be so steady, but level off for a few years) it could get ugly in LA and with Albert being as surly as he was with the StL media, the LA media could smell blood in the water and go off on him. I don't think he realizes how good he had it here. They were building statues of him when he left St Louis, I think people will be sick of him and his contract by the time the 42 year old Albert Pujols is done in LA.


I think you have to separate the question of whether it would be smart for STL to match that contract from the question of how much losing Albert will hurt. I agree with you that they don't have the resources to tie up that much money over that many years when he will eventually decline (and may have even started). To me, that has nothing to do with the impact losing Albert will have in 2012 on the baseball team. It's the biggest loss of anyone in baseball by a good margin.

With that said, the Cards have been incredibly successful at overperforming their roster for a while now. As a Reds fan, I'm far from writing them off.

Magdal
02-29-2012, 01:14 PM
Some folks just dont follow players on other teams very well....Pujols is supposed to be the best hitter in baseball. How many walks do you think he had last year? 120? 110? 100? He walked 61 times. You think pitchers feared him like before?

How many dbls. did he have? His usual 40+? Try 29, ranked 34th in the NL.

Career highs in SO's and all time MLB high in GIDP...led NL in errors for 1st basemen.

Get your minds off the AP of 2009 and before. His day is WAY over. I am amazed that all these red flags were ignored by the Angels. They must have a lotta money.

swaisuc
02-29-2012, 02:15 PM
Some folks just dont follow players on other teams very well....Pujols is supposed to be the best hitter in baseball. How many walks do you think he had last year? 120? 110? 100? He walked 61 times. You think pitchers feared him like before?

How many dbls. did he have? His usual 40+? Try 29, ranked 34th in the NL.

Career highs in SO's and all time MLB high in GIDP...led NL in errors for 1st basemen.

Get your minds off the AP of 2009 and before. His day is WAY over. I am amazed that all these red flags were ignored by the Angels. They must have a lotta money.

Are we pretending the 2011 playoffs didn't happen?

Magdal
02-29-2012, 02:19 PM
Are we pretending the 2011 playoffs didn't happen?

The one where Freese was MVP in the NLCS and WS? Oh! You must be thinking of the 3 HRs AP hit in the 15 run blowout game when the pitchers were throwing him lollipops!

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 01:25 AM
I think you have to separate the question of whether it would be smart for STL to match that contract from the question of how much losing Albert will hurt. I agree with you that they don't have the resources to tie up that much money over that many years when he will eventually decline (and may have even started). To me, that has nothing to do with the impact losing Albert will have in 2012 on the baseball team. It's the biggest loss of anyone in baseball by a good margin.

With that said, the Cards have been incredibly successful at overperforming their roster for a while now. As a Reds fan, I'm far from writing them off.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. In my mind, the contract means everything in the evaluation of his loss and eventual benefit it will give us by not having him here making around 25M+ a year (backloaded contract) in the last 6-7 years of his career.


Vocal minority??? You surely dont live in St Louis or you would know by reading the fan forums or listening to that Kevin Slaten radio guy that there is a HUGE contingent of Tony haters. I mean huge, man! In the minds of most he could not hold Whitey's jock.

Once again, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree!

Most Cardinals fans appreciated LaRussa whether you want to believe it or not.



10x, I agree with most everything you've said here and am pleased at how articulate you've been in saying it.

I need to mention, though, how wildly off-point I think you are about Cordero. Signing him for 4.5 million would be a colossal mistake. The guy is done. He's going to implode, and soon. You're upset St. Louis didn't make a run at him? Me too.

First off, thanks for the kind words. I'm trying to be unbiased and present my case in an educated manner!

Perhaps our disagreement about Cordero may lie in how we view 4.5M. The Cardinals can afford to toss 4.5M around and the Reds have to be (or want to be) more constrained. I don't think it's a big investment at all for a guy who is still pretty effective.

Although you could be right about him imploding this year, he is getting up there. I think he's 37? 38?

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 01:27 AM
Some folks just dont follow players on other teams very well....Pujols is supposed to be the best hitter in baseball. How many walks do you think he had last year? 120? 110? 100? He walked 61 times. You think pitchers feared him like before?

How many dbls. did he have? His usual 40+? Try 29, ranked 34th in the NL.

Career highs in SO's and all time MLB high in GIDP...led NL in errors for 1st basemen.

Get your minds off the AP of 2009 and before. His day is WAY over. I am amazed that all these red flags were ignored by the Angels. They must have a lotta money.


Pujols was still a hell of a player last year and he put up outstanding numbers. I think you were spoiled by the superhuman numbers he put up year after year for a decade.

I agree that his decline has started, but he is still a damn fine player, albeit probably not the best player in baseball right now. But he is still a top 5 guy and will be for a few years IMO...

10xWSChamps
03-01-2012, 01:34 AM
The one where Freese was MVP in the NLCS and WS? Oh! You must be thinking of the 3 HRs AP hit in the 15 run blowout game when the pitchers were throwing him lollipops!

Pujols doesn't have to win the MVP, LCS MVP and WS MVP to be a great player!

Albert's post season stats:

.353AVG .463OBP .691SLG 1.155OPS
8 doubles, 5HR 18RBI

Those are some crazy numbers.

These are his stats for the month of September, when we were making our post season chase:

.355AVG .393OBP .561SLG .954OPS
7 doubles, 5HR 20RBI

Magdal
03-01-2012, 10:25 AM
A question for all tha Pujols/TLR supporters: How many games will their loss cost the team? If they are as great as some of you seem to think what would you put the number at? 10 games? More? (Cards won 96 last year)

If you think they will have a win total in the 80's...well, do you REALLY think that?! I say that they will win MORE than 96 w/o them!

Same goes for the Brews. The loss of Fielder will mean very little in the final win total....Reds fans that buy into the fantastic notion of a great drop off of the Cards or Brews must believe that the Reds (who will still have Votto) will have the Div. wrapped up in August!

The Cards final win total will be the same or MORE than last year...watch and see Boys.

texasdave
03-01-2012, 10:38 AM
Cards won 90 last year.

Magdal
03-01-2012, 12:22 PM
Cards won 90 last year.You are right...so that means they will only win like 75 this year because TLR and AP are gone? Thats exactly what you and your ilk are implying. The Reds will simply run away from the Cards if that is true.

You really think that will happen?

Jamz
03-01-2012, 01:57 PM
You are right...so that means they will only win like 75 this year because TLR and AP are gone? Thats exactly what you and your ilk are implying. The Reds will simply run away from the Cards if that is true.

You really think that will happen?

You really think that the Cards are going to win more games without them?

Anyone that thinks the Reds have the division locked up, or will easily win is being a bit extreme...but at this juncture the Reds have to be the favorites to take the NLC.

Magdal
03-01-2012, 02:21 PM
You really think that the Cards are going to win more games without them?

Anyone that thinks the Reds have the division locked up, or will easily win is being a bit extreme...but at this juncture the Reds have to be the favorites to take the NLC.I DO believe the Cards do as well or better. TLR cost the Cards about 10 games last year by my count (and I watched every game) Albert had a WAR of 5, and his failure to drive in runs after the 8th inning (unless the Cards had a good lead) nullified that 5 and eclipsed it.

You can't go by stats on a thing like this. You have to go by what you SEE. I saw the both of them suck all year, and TLR for MANY years!

Cards will win more than that 90 games they won last year, and I don't see how anyone can reasonably argue. I ask again: do any of you think they will only win 80?

RedsfaninMT
03-01-2012, 02:49 PM
I DO believe the Cards do as well or better. TLR cost the Cards about 10 games last year by my count (and I watched every game) Albert had a WAR of 5, and his failure to drive in runs after the 8th inning (unless the Cards had a good lead) nullified that 5 and eclipsed it.

You can't go by stats on a thing like this. You have to go by what you SEE. I saw the both of them suck all year, and TLR for MANY years!

Cards will win more than that 90 games they won last year, and I don't see how anyone can reasonably argue. I ask again: do any of you think they will only win 80?

Really? You can't go by stats, eh? So when the stats (you said "look it up!") show that you're wrong - that Pujols batted better in late and close scenarios than he did when the Cards had a 4+ run lead, your response is "the stats are wrong! I done seen it with my own eyes!"

And your "logic" about the Cards doing worse without Pujols and LaRussa in the lineup should equate to a loss of 10 games if it's true kinda ignores that a certain starting pitcher is returning to the lineup and Beltran was signed in the offseason. But if you took Berkman at first, didn't sign Beltran and Wainwright didn't return, then yes, the Cards would be at least 10 games worse.

Jamz
03-01-2012, 03:14 PM
I DO believe the Cards do as well or better. TLR cost the Cards about 10 games last year by my count (and I watched every game) Albert had a WAR of 5, and his failure to drive in runs after the 8th inning (unless the Cards had a good lead) nullified that 5 and eclipsed it.

You can't go by stats on a thing like this. You have to go by what you SEE. I saw the both of them suck all year, and TLR for MANY years!

Cards will win more than that 90 games they won last year, and I don't see how anyone can reasonably argue. I ask again: do any of you think they will only win 80?

Baseball is one of the only sports where statistics can tell you almost everything (for the most part.) You have to find the right statistics of course for each situation and they are dependent on other statistics and so on so forth, but the numbers are there.

With that said TLR and Pujols almost certainly added more value to the team than what Wainwright and Beltran will be able to make-up. I don't expect them to only win 80 games, but if I had to guess I'd say anywhere between 83 - 87 seems reasonable. I have the Reds pegged for anywhere between 85 - 95 and the Brewers anywhere between 81 - 86. Any one of them could win the division, but right now the advantage is with the Reds' according to projections and my personal belief.

Magdal
03-01-2012, 03:46 PM
Baseball is one of the only sports where statistics can tell you almost everything (for the most part.) You have to find the right statistics of course for each situation and they are dependent on other statistics and so on so forth, but the numbers are there.

With that said TLR and Pujols almost certainly added more value to the team than what Wainwright and Beltran will be able to make-up. I don't expect them to only win 80 games, but if I had to guess I'd say anywhere between 83 - 87 seems reasonable. I have the Reds pegged for anywhere between 85 - 95 and the Brewers anywhere between 81 - 86. Any one of them could win the division, but right now the advantage is with the Reds' according to projections and my personal belief.Beltran's glove and base running will cancel out Pujols....Furcal over Theriot is a HUGE improvement...subtract the # 5 starter and add Wainwright, that's pretty big....subtract the all American strikeout that was Rasmus for the better Jon Jay.

Now add in the absence of the worst relief pitcher in the NL last year who blew 8 saves in his 1st 10 appearaces (and the idiot that trotted him out there) and you get a conciderably better team than last year. And that will be w/o Pujols and TLR.

What say you now?

Jamz
03-01-2012, 04:04 PM
Beltran's glove and base running will cancel out Pujols....Furcal over Theriot is a HUGE improvement...subtract the # 5 starter and add Wainwright, that's pretty big....subtract the all American strikeout that was Rasmus for the better Jon Jay.

Now add in the absence of the worst relief pitcher in the NL last year who blew 8 saves in his 1st 10 appearaces (and the idiot that trotted him out there) and you get a conciderably better team than last year. And that will be w/o Pujols and TLR.

What say you now?

Well I think strictly speaking that you're talking about replacing a .07 WAR guy (Theriot) with a .05 WAR guy (Furcal), and while Rasmus was incredibly underwhelming last year he's a better player than Jon Jay. Those are not improvements IMO. There's no way that Beltran can fill in for Pujols...even last year in which he was fully healthy Beltran (4.7 WAR) is nowhere near the impact player that Pujols (5.1 WAR) is and he's a huge injury risk.

I don't think anyone is saying that St. Louis is going to drop off the map, but you have to look at potential drops in production from most of their big hitters due to the absence of Pujols, and the loss of TLR could affect them more than you're expecting (or not at all.)

However, when projecting them vs. the Reds you have to realize that Cincinnati has significantly improved their team this off-season. Adding batting depth, gaining experience for their up and coming potential star players, and vastly improving their pitching staff. When you combine that with down years due to injury/illness and confidence issues it's no wonder that the Reds are projected to have the better team (even if only marginally.)

Magdal
03-01-2012, 04:23 PM
Well I think strictly speaking that you're talking about replacing a .07 WAR guy (Theriot) with a .05 WAR guy (Furcal), and while Rasmus was incredibly underwhelming last year he's a better player than Jon Jay. Those are not improvements IMO. There's no way that Beltran can fill in for Pujols...even last year in which he was fully healthy Beltran (4.7 WAR) is nowhere near the impact player that Pujols (5.1 WAR) is and he's a huge injury risk.

I don't think anyone is saying that St. Louis is going to drop off the map, but you have to look at potential drops in production from most of their big hitters due to the absence of Pujols, and the loss of TLR could affect them more than you're expecting (or not at all.)

However, when projecting them vs. the Reds you have to realize that Cincinnati has significantly improved their team this off-season. Adding batting depth, gaining experience for their up and coming potential star players, and vastly improving their pitching staff. When you combine that with down years due to injury/illness and confidence issues it's no wonder that the Reds are projected to have the better team (even if only marginally.)I AM NOT comparing the Cards to the Reds! They may win 107 games for all I know. I'm just saying that the Cards will be better this year, and gave my reasons why.

As far as Rasmus being better that Jay: you gotta be kidding! Rasmus lived in mortal fear of the wall and blew 2 games that I can remember in the 9th. Jay was solid out there and dropped nothing. Rasmus hit .240 and Jay .297. Jay was also the best bunter on the team.

Cards will win more games w/o Pujols, TLR, Franklin, Theriot, Rasmus and the 5th starter replaced by Wainwright.

Win more that Reds? I dunno. That's why we play the season!;)

[deleted]
03-01-2012, 04:29 PM
Magdal is out of his clearly out of his mind (They won 96 games! Look at the stats! Ignore the stats!), but if you throw enough **** at the wall, some is bound to stick. So I agree with him on this: with Wainwright, Beltran, and Freese in, Theriot out, and a whole season of their revamped bullpen, St. Louis could very easily win a few more games this year than last.

It also continues to shock me that in light of the Braun verdict people are still kinda throwing Milwaukee in the mix as a fringe third place team. Is the replacement of Fielder (5.5 WAR) with Aramis Ramirez (3.6) REALLY going to drop the team TEN wins? I'm starting to think they should still be the favorites here.

Magdal
03-01-2012, 04:59 PM
;2541074']Magdal is out of his clearly out of his mind (They won 96 games! Look at the stats! Ignore the stats!), but if you throw enough **** at the wall, some is bound to stick. So I agree with him on this: with Wainwright, Beltran, and Freese in, Theriot out, and a whole season of their revamped bullpen, St. Louis could very easily win a few more games this year than last.

It also continues to shock me that in light of the Braun verdict people are still kinda throwing Milwaukee in the mix as a fringe third place team. Is the replacement of Fielder (5.5 WAR) with Aramis Ramirez (3.6) REALLY going to drop the team TEN wins? I'm starting to think they should still be the favorites here.Agreed. Mil. should be solid. All 3 teams can hit. Pitching will decide the Div winner, and nobody can predict that right now. (and of course the advent of injuries to key players)

Jamz
03-01-2012, 05:20 PM
;2541074']Magdal is out of his clearly out of his mind (They won 96 games! Look at the stats! Ignore the stats!), but if you throw enough **** at the wall, some is bound to stick. So I agree with him on this: with Wainwright, Beltran, and Freese in, Theriot out, and a whole season of their revamped bullpen, St. Louis could very easily win a few more games this year than last.

It also continues to shock me that in light of the Braun verdict people are still kinda throwing Milwaukee in the mix as a fringe third place team. Is the replacement of Fielder (5.5 WAR) with Aramis Ramirez (3.6) REALLY going to drop the team TEN wins? I'm starting to think they should still be the favorites here.

Like I said before I have the Reds for 85 - 95, Brewers for 81 - 86 and Cards for 83 - 87. Milwaukee will miss Fielder for sure, and with all of the gongshow going on around the team because of the Braun issue I can see there being some distraction. The other thing is that these three teams play each other fairly often and one being better than the year prior could change records a lot as well as just some natural variance.

Magdal
03-01-2012, 05:53 PM
Like I said before I have the Reds for 85 - 95, Brewers for 81 - 86 and Cards for 83 - 87. Milwaukee will miss Fielder for sure, and with all of the gongshow going on around the team because of the Braun issue I can see there being some distraction. The other thing is that these three teams play each other fairly often and one being better than the year prior could change records a lot as well as just some natural variance.Nope...Brews won't miss a beat w/o that fat strikeout, .270 hitter. You don't think ANYTHING of Ramirez, huh? (or Beltran)

RedsfaninMT
03-01-2012, 07:27 PM
Beltran's glove and base running will cancel out Pujols....Furcal over Theriot is a HUGE improvement...subtract the # 5 starter and add Wainwright, that's pretty big....subtract the all American strikeout that was Rasmus for the better Jon Jay.

Now add in the absence of the worst relief pitcher in the NL last year who blew 8 saves in his 1st 10 appearaces (and the idiot that trotted him out there) and you get a conciderably better team than last year. And that will be w/o Pujols and TLR.

What say you now?

Which base running Beltran are you referring to? The one who stole 3 bases in 2010, being caught once, or the one who was 4 for 6 in 2011? And if they have Beltran running at all, whomever makes that call should immediately be fired. He isn't young anymore, and they didn't sign him to steal bases. They need his bat. You don't risk that kind of bat on the base paths. This was a point brought up on MLB radio the other day, and to a man, every one of them laughed at the caller who said he expected Beltran to steal 15+ bases this year.

[deleted]
03-01-2012, 08:12 PM
Like I said before I have the Reds for 85 - 95, Brewers for 81 - 86 and Cards for 83 - 87. Milwaukee will miss Fielder for sure, and with all of the gongshow going on around the team because of the Braun issue I can see there being some distraction. The other thing is that these three teams play each other fairly often and one being better than the year prior could change records a lot as well as just some natural variance.

You really think that less then 2 WAR difference between Fielder and Ramirez + 'distraction' about Braun's test will make Milwaukee fall as many as fifteen games in the standings? The Brewers won almost 20 more games than did the Reds in 2011, and even with Fielder leaving, their roster isn't really that different. I know you like ZiPS (I do too) so I'll use that for a second: ZiPS projects Fielder as having a wOBA about 30 points higher than Aramis next year. However, they also see Mat Gamel as having approximately the same advantage over Casey McGehee - so basically, the offense could even out. Milwaukee could easily win 95 or more games again.

We'll certainly be better with the pitching upgrades we made, but we face a big uphill battle in the Central. I think 'on paper' we're almost as good as Milwaukee and St. Louis, but the back end of our rotation keeps us from quite reaching that level.

Jamz
03-01-2012, 08:22 PM
Nope...Brews won't miss a beat w/o that fat strikeout, .270 hitter. You don't think ANYTHING of Ramirez, huh? (or Beltran)

It's not that I don't think anything of them...they just are clearly not on the same level as the players they are trying to replace. Most of my gripes with Beltran have to do with his health and age.

I mean you mention Fielder as a fat, strikeout machine but he had an OBP of .415 last year and an average of .299 (compared to Ramirez' .361 and .306) so not only does he have way more power but he also gets on base more. Neither are great fielders or base runners...but Fielder posted a higher WAR just last year than Ramirez has in his entire career.

I won't go into Beltran vs. Pujols but it's pretty clear which players are better. Missing those two is definitely going to hurt both of those teams.

texasdave
03-01-2012, 08:47 PM
Pythagorean W/L 2011

Milwaukee 90-72
St. Louis 88-74
Cincinnati 83-79

I think the Reds were closer in 2011 than the standings may have indicated.

Jamz
03-01-2012, 08:51 PM
;2541151']You really think that less then 2 WAR difference between Fielder and Ramirez + 'distraction' about Braun's test will make Milwaukee fall as many as fifteen games in the standings? The Brewers won almost 20 more games than did the Reds in 2011, and even with Fielder leaving, their roster isn't really that different. I know you like ZiPS (I do too) so I'll use that for a second: ZiPS projects Fielder as having a wOBA about 30 points higher than Aramis next year. However, they also see Mat Gamel as having approximately the same advantage over Casey McGehee - so basically, the offense could even out. Milwaukee could easily win 95 or more games again.

We'll certainly be better with the pitching upgrades we made, but we face a big uphill battle in the Central. I think 'on paper' we're almost as good as Milwaukee and St. Louis, but the back end of our rotation keeps us from quite reaching that level.

Just two years ago we were a 91 win team with a roster that most would argue wasn't as good as the roster we're going to be fielding this year. Would you have expected us to drop more than 10 games in a year with no major changes? In that same time Milwaukee was a 77 win team. Even teams that remain exactly the same (ours pretty much did last year) can go through struggles and vary a lot from one year to the next. Expecting Milwaukee to put up 96 wins again this year just because they had one great season isn't necessarily realistic to their situation.

All three teams are similar but I believe, at this point, the Reds have the edge in offence, defence and in their bullpen with the addition of Marshall and Madson. Their starting rotation is probably the weakest of the three, but it's not that far behind IMO and shouldn't be what separates the teams.

It's not so much that I think Milwaukee or St. Louis are much worse than last year...I just don't think they'll perform to that level again and if Cinci can rebound from a bad year last year they're going to be better as well as having new additions which makes it harder on Milwaukee and St. Louis to maintain those wins too.

[deleted]
03-01-2012, 09:22 PM
I think the difference between the 2010 Reds team and the 2011 Brewers team is that most of us knew our a lot of our players were outperforming their talent that year. We knew Arroyo wasn't as good as his record and ERA would indicate, and we knew he would regress. We knew Rolen couldn't keep hitting 20+ homeruns because of age and injuries, and we knew Gomes wouldn't hit .260+ again. That's why so many fans were so frustrated that the front office didn't make any moves between seasons, despite us making the playoffs.

Now, Stubbs and Bruce also had huge years that season, and it's totally possible Milwaukee has players that underperform in 2012. Marcum, for instance, showed some sluggish signs in the postseason. But I don't think the Brewers of 2011 have as many 'crash-and-burn' candidates like we did in 2010. I don't see Greinke imploding like Arroyo did, but Bronson's collapse wasn't a surprise. Teams that remain the same can certainly struggle or break through, but I think expecting them to do so without specific reasons might be unwarranted. A case can be made that Milwaukee will not win the division again because of the loss of Fielder and the additions other Central teams have made, but I think them losing 10-15 games from their record might be too much.

The Brewers could certainly win 83 games this year, no doubt. A lot can happen in a baseball season. But looking at things objectively, I don't personally see the evidence to support that at this time.

I do like our chances, and dave makes a good point with the expected W/L records based on run differentials. I think Cincinnati has the best defense and bullpen in the division, with an offense a tick below St. Louis's and a tick above Milwaukee's. I also agree we have the weakest rotation of the three, which is why I believe we face an uphill battle. I weigh starting pitching more than defense or relief pitching, and see it as the key to success.

10xWSChamps
03-02-2012, 12:34 AM
Baseball is one of the only sports where statistics can tell you almost everything (for the most part.) You have to find the right statistics of course for each situation and they are dependent on other statistics and so on so forth, but the numbers are there.

With that said TLR and Pujols almost certainly added more value to the team than what Wainwright and Beltran will be able to make-up. I don't expect them to only win 80 games, but if I had to guess I'd say anywhere between 83 - 87 seems reasonable. I have the Reds pegged for anywhere between 85 - 95 and the Brewers anywhere between 81 - 86. Any one of them could win the division, but right now the advantage is with the Reds' according to projections and my personal belief.

IMO

Wainwright/Berkman/Beltran of 2012

Will be pretty damn similar in WAR to:

McClellan/Pujols/Berkman of 2011

Also, Ryan Franklin blew 11 saves in the first 6 weeks. I think Motte will be better then that. Our bullpen got a makeover at mid season, it cost us so many games in the first few months. I believe we will saves win there as well.

This is not to say that a Wainwright/Pujols/Berkman would not be better then Wainwright/Berkman/Beltran. It would be, but overall I think that the WAR generated will be at least and good with a good chance to be higher (i.e. more wins generated).

swaisuc
03-02-2012, 09:11 AM
IMO

Wainwright/Berkman/Beltran of 2012

Will be pretty damn similar in WAR to:

McClellan/Pujols/Berkman of 2011
Also, Ryan Franklin blew 11 saves in the first 6 weeks. I think Motte will be better then that. Our bullpen got a makeover at mid season, it cost us so many games in the first few months. I believe we will saves win there as well.

This is not to say that a Wainwright/Pujols/Berkman would not be better then Wainwright/Berkman/Beltran. It would be, but overall I think that the WAR generated will be at least and good with a good chance to be higher (i.e. more wins generated).


I agree.

The bigger factor will be if Holliday, Molina, Jay, Craig, Freese of 2012 will be anywhere near what they were in 2011.

10xWSChamps
03-04-2012, 01:53 AM
Well I think strictly speaking that you're talking about replacing a .07 WAR guy (Theriot) with a .05 WAR guy (Furcal), and while Rasmus was incredibly underwhelming last year he's a better player than Jon Jay. Those are not improvements IMO. There's no way that Beltran can fill in for Pujols...even last year in which he was fully healthy Beltran (4.7 WAR) is nowhere near the impact player that Pujols (5.1 WAR) is and he's a huge injury risk.

I don't think anyone is saying that St. Louis is going to drop off the map, but you have to look at potential drops in production from most of their big hitters due to the absence of Pujols, and the loss of TLR could affect them more than you're expecting (or not at all.)

However, when projecting them vs. the Reds you have to realize that Cincinnati has significantly improved their team this off-season. Adding batting depth, gaining experience for their up and coming potential star players, and vastly improving their pitching staff. When you combine that with down years due to injury/illness and confidence issues it's no wonder that the Reds are projected to have the better team (even if only marginally.)


Rasmus has a lot of talent. But for whatever reason, he has been a huge liability at the plate and in the field for a couple of years now.

I haven't "given up" on Rasmus' talent for sure, I think Toronto made a nice trade for them and it obviously ended up being a great trade for the Cardinals. But I think there is still a fair chance that Rasmus ends up being one of those many players whose talent doesn't translate while Jon Jay, not having the upside of Colby, will be able to actually reach his peak unlike Rasmus.

Rasmus is a head case with a lot of issues to resolve before he becomes a quality (or even average) MLB player. Whatever Jon Jay ends up becoming at his peak, at least he isn't a liability.

10xWSChamps
03-04-2012, 02:01 AM
It's not that I don't think anything of them...they just are clearly not on the same level as the players they are trying to replace. Most of my gripes with Beltran have to do with his health and age.

I mean you mention Fielder as a fat, strikeout machine but he had an OBP of .415 last year and an average of .299 (compared to Ramirez' .361 and .306) so not only does he have way more power but he also gets on base more. Neither are great fielders or base runners...but Fielder posted a higher WAR just last year than Ramirez has in his entire career.

I won't go into Beltran vs. Pujols but it's pretty clear which players are better. Missing those two is definitely going to hurt both of those teams.

I don't disagree with anything here per say.

You probably already know this, but when looking at WAR (win creation), it's really: Pujols-Berkman-1/2 Rasmus-McClellan (starting rotation)-1/3 Furcal-2/3Theriot versus Berkman-Beltran-Jay-Wainwright-Furcal

I think there's a good chance the total WAR will be better from the latter then the former.

10xWSChamps
03-04-2012, 02:08 AM
I agree.

The bigger factor will be if Holliday, Molina, Jay, Craig, Freese of 2012 will be anywhere near what they were in 2011.

IMO:

Holliday should be better assuming he doesn't miss 35 games.

Molina should be around the same. It's hard to judge him. He made big strides pretty much every year at the plate. Was 2011 his best year? It's kind of a wait and see thing, I admit it could end up being worse, or possibly better if he can take yet another step forward at the plate. I think overall it will be about the same though.

Jon Jay's WAR should increase, if nothing else then because of increased playing time basically means increased WAR. Overall, the centerfield position should undoubtedly improve. Rasmus was just awful last year and I think there's a good chance the young Jon Jay improves a bit, he's not quite at his peak yet although I think he is close to it.

Craig's WAR will probably go down. I don't think he's as good as he showed last year.

For Freese it's all about health. I think there's a good chance he'll play more then 100 games this year unlike last year. So in that sense it should also go up, he also took a big step forward in his development the last three months of the year (including playoffs), so I am interested to see if he can become even better in that regard.