Originally Posted by Johnny Fan
Okay, still don't see the Cards as improving themselves that much, stayed about the same. Right now I see them staying about even this offseason and the Reds and Pirates a step behind. Reds don't know what they have in Hamilton who will replace Choo and they have a stubborn pitcher in the pen who refuses to do what is best for the team. Pirates loss some nice late season additions and pitching.
You don't see it because you don't want to or because you're sure they haven't? They have the best fielding CF'er in the game right now. He has great speed. If his bat plays they have improved significantly from Jon Jay's weak arm and inconsistent routes to the ball.
Peralta is average to above average fielder with decent power and OBP. He's a significant offensive upgrade to Kozma.
The departure of Freese takes away one of the weaker bats from last year and replaces it with Carpenter who is a strong fielder....particularly at 3rd. They are replacing Freese's bat with Wong. While Wong struggled in his 59 plate appearances last year, his bat played awfully well at every stage in the minors. Wong also has very good speed. In any event, if he struggles, Ellis will get more at bats and that's a known quantity.
You can argue until the cows come home about Adams struggles vs lefties, but he hit 17 HR's in about 300 AB's and was a one man wrecking crew when Craig was injured late last year. There's a lotta pixie dust in that organization. Craig plays a better RF than Beltran and we all know about his hitting.
From the Cardinals' perspective, they have removed all weaknesses. With Garcia coming back, some starter is going to the pen. They aren't likely to have that early bullpen weakness that stunted them last year.
We can all point to Taveras and Wong and say what have they proven? It's a fair question. The same one we used to discuss Miller, Kelly and Wacha last year.
That darned farm system keeps grinding out quality players.