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Thread: Setting the Tone

  1. #76
    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by The Operator View Post
    If you believe my friends over at BirdsOnTheBat, this team is more Tony LaRussa's brainchild than any team ever before. He'll probably feast or famine doing things his way, as it looks like he has most of the control in that organization with Jocketty out of the picture.
    Part of what you are saying is correct. LaRussa does have a lot of control now. He had a lot of control when Jocketty was in the picture also . Jocketty, LaRussa, and Duncan all worked together. That is why a lot of people thought LaRussa would be gone once Jocketty left. The Cardinals wanted to go in a different direction, and so a lot of power had shifted to Jeff Luhnow. Last year Luhnow was demoted, and LaRussa regained the power that he had while Jocketty was the GM.

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  3. #77
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMo4Life View Post
    Really? I do expect them to top that total, because the 2011 is better than the 2010 team. Barring any additional injuries of course. Last year the Cards had a 3 man rotation for most of the season. Those 3 starters were great starters, but they had to do the work of 5 pitchers. A lot of times the #5 spot was skipped which stretched the big 3 out and wore them out earlier than usual. Penny was injured almost the entire season. Lohse was injured most of the season, and when he came back he was horrible. Westbrook didn't arrive until towards the end of the season. Other pitchers such as Walters and Hawksworth filled in the rest of the rotation. Also, the Cards had a black hole at 3B in 2010. This year they have David Freese which is an upgrade offensively and defensively.

    Of course, losing Wainwright does hurt, but the Cards have more depth in pitching this year than they did last year. We still have a 5 man rotation, that can be very good, and can be very bad. All in all... I like this team a lot better than the 2010 team.
    The Cards last year had 5 great players which carried the team to whatever success they had.

    They have already lost Waino for the season, and the odds suggest that it will be difficult for the other 4 to collectively match or succeed there years last year, simply becuase they were so good.

    Rasmus is very interesting, but the rest of the team is very blah.

    Anything can happen in baseball, but I think that the Cards, with few good young players and a lack of quality prospects are more likely to regress than do better.

    Their fielding is unspeakably bad, especially at SS and 2nd.

    Unless some guys like Berkman find the fountain of youth, the Cards are likely in trouble.

  4. #78
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    The Cards last year had 5 great players which carried the team to whatever success they had.

    They have already lost Waino for the season, and the odds suggest that it will be difficult for the other 4 to collectively match or succeed there years last year, simply becuase they were so good.

    Rasmus is very interesting, but the rest of the team is very blah.

    Anything can happen in baseball, but I think that the Cards, with few good young players and a lack of quality prospects are more likely to regress than do better.

    Their fielding is unspeakably bad, especially at SS and 2nd.
    Unless some guys like Berkman find the fountain of youth, the Cards are likely in trouble.

    I've been as hard as anyone on their defense, but I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. Their defense is bad, but its not atrocious, IMO.

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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    I've been as hard as anyone on their defense, but I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. Their defense is bad, but its not atrocious, IMO.
    SS and 2B are well below average, as is RF. Well below average.

    LF and CF are average. 3B is likely average. 1B and catcher are above average.

    I think the fact that SS and 2B are so below average that makes their total defense appear so bad. Defense up the idle is crucial to a pitch to contact staff. So, I guess it's not unspeakably bad, as I was able to speak about it.

    Call it speakably bad.

  6. #80
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    SS and 2B are well below average, as is RF. Well below average.

    LF and CF are average. 3B is likely average. 1B and catcher are above average.

    I think the fact that SS and 2B are so below average that makes their total defense appear so bad. Defense up the idle is crucial to a pitch to contact staff. So, I guess it's not unspeakably bad, as I was able to speak about it.

    Call it speakably bad.
    Theriot is around a league average SS, and Holliday is above average in LF. Schumaker is bad though, you're right.

  7. #81
    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Felipe Lopez at 3B was unspeakably bad.

  8. #82
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMo4Life View Post
    Felipe Lopez at 3B was unspeakably bad.
    Ah yes. The "Past Lopez!" posts over at botb were always fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    Don't worry. I'd say the game threads are about league average.
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  9. #83
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    ESPN's first batch of power rankings came out today. It seems the Reds have impressed, and sit at #5 right now. Cubs are at 14, and no other NL Central team is better than 20th.

    Yanks and Phils, of course, are 1 and 2.

  10. #84
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Theriot is around a league average SS, and Holliday is above average in LF. Schumaker is bad though, you're right.
    Theriot is a league average defender? I'm not doubting you, but I just find that hard to believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

  11. #85
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    Theriot is a league average defender? I'm not doubting you, but I just find that hard to believe.
    Career UZR of 3.4 with no real noticeable decline or trends. I don't watch him enough to opine on it, but that's about 3,700 innings of data to go off of.

  12. #86
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Career UZR of 3.4 with no real noticeable decline or trends. I don't watch him enough to opine on it, but that's about 3,700 innings of data to go off of.
    I believe you, guess I just live in Cubbyville and hear about how awful he is all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    Let's face it, you mis-hit the bun with the mustard squirter, no one will really care.

  13. #87
    Member MattyHo4Life's Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by The Operator View Post
    Ah yes. The "Past Lopez!" posts over at botb were always fun.
    Well...that is one of the few things that I agree with them on. lol

  14. #88
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    SS and 2B are well below average, as is RF. Well below average.

    LF and CF are average. 3B is likely average. 1B and catcher are above average.

    I think the fact that SS and 2B are so below average that makes their total defense appear so bad. Defense up the idle is crucial to a pitch to contact staff. So, I guess it's not unspeakably bad, as I was able to speak about it.

    Call it speakably bad.
    You are right, When the Cards acquired Theriot I thought that they made a huge upgrade. Putting him at 2B while keeping Ryan at SS would have given the Cards a pretty strong defensive foundation up the middle with those two, Molina and Rasmus. Add Pujols, Holliday and Freese and they could have been average or better at 7 of the 8 spots. With one poor decision they killed themselves. Now they have a below average Theriot at SS and a horrid Schumaker at 2B. I really hate the current trend of taking a misfit who has a mediocre bat that won't play in the OF and a mediocre (or worse) glove that won't play on the left side of the IF and sticking him at 2B. The Cardinals have undermined the core of their defense by having two guys playing way out of position right in the heart of it. IMO, Skip Schumaker (with the possible exception of Rafael Betancourt) is the worst every day player in the NL.

    On a side note, I fear the Reds will do the same thing with Valaika when Phillips leaves and only hope that the Reds will extend Phillps for a couple years until Hamilton or Torreyes is ready.

    Back to the Cardinals, I just don't see them higher than 3rd w/o Wainwright, with the horror in their MI and with Berkman in RF. I'm not a believer that Berkman will bounce back offensively and I think that even on offense he'll be below average in RF. They also have significantly weakened the pen. I thought Motte and McKlellan in the late innings was a pretty good tandem. I'm not a big Franklin fan, but with those guys holding the fort until the 9th, thought he'd get them by. Now with McKlellan in the rotation and so much reliance on Batista and Miller, I think the bullpen could be a problem spot. Dave Duncan is going to have to come up with an arm or two to save the day (and I think Brian Tallet and Mitchell Boggs might be the kind that could step up under Duncan) but the Cardinals have come to depend on that too much IMO and they are going to get burned eventualy when there just isn't enough for him to work with. This might be the year.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  15. #89
    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: Setting the Tone

    Quote Originally Posted by MattyMo4Life View Post
    Really? I do expect them to top that total, because the 2011 is better than the 2010 team. Barring any additional injuries of course. Last year the Cards had a 3 man rotation for most of the season. Those 3 starters were great starters, but they had to do the work of 5 pitchers. A lot of times the #5 spot was skipped which stretched the big 3 out and wore them out earlier than usual. Penny was injured almost the entire season. Lohse was injured most of the season, and when he came back he was horrible. Westbrook didn't arrive until towards the end of the season. Other pitchers such as Walters and Hawksworth filled in the rest of the rotation. Also, the Cards had a black hole at 3B in 2010. This year they have David Freese which is an upgrade offensively and defensively.

    Of course, losing Wainwright does hurt, but the Cards have more depth in pitching this year than they did last year. We still have a 5 man rotation, that can be very good, and can be very bad. All in all... I like this team a lot better than the 2010 team.
    Yes Really. Losing Waino is a huge blow. He was a Cy Young contender, garunteed to eat up innings and save the bullpen. I don't care how much depth you have, depth isn't going to replace 200+ innings of "league best" stuff. As much as Carpenter annoys me, he's obviously been great as a card. However, at 37 he's shown the signs of wear & tear the last couple of seasons, I don't expect that to get a whole lot better. He was a bit inconsistant last year, relatively speaking. I still think he'll be solid, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him land on the DL simply due to his age and innings logged on that arm. Garcia was great last year, but had a huge jump in innings coming off his TJS surgery w/o a ton of minor league development IIRC. That would scare me a bit as a fan, though I fully admit it may be unsensible worrying.

    So of your big 3 last year, you've got 1 out for the year, 1 at 37, and the other coming off a huge jump in innings. Obviously there not going to perform up to last year's standards, just based on Waino being out for the year alone, but it will be hard for the other 2 to meet, or exceed the numbers posted last year.

    As for the other spots, Westbrook doesn't excite me. Sure he'll eat up innings, but at what, league average results? Perhaps Duncan works his magic with Lohse, it would be all that shocking, but Lohse seems like such a mental miget on the mound. Great stuff, great results one day, the next time out he throws them over the middle and gets rocked.

    The defense has been well covered. Offensively, Pujols & Holliday are good enough to carry any offense. However Berkman's bat looked as slow as Junior's bat towards the end of his Reds tenure. The cards are smart to hit him in front of Pujols, so he'll see more fastballs, which I'll assume he's cheating on to a similar extent that Junior did, but eventually opposing pitchers will figure it out, start him off w/ heat, and throw him a low of changeups and breaking stuff that he'll have trouble hitting. I've seen the proverbial "best shape of my life" talk with him, perhaps there's some truth to that that helps his bat this year over what I saw last year, we shall see, but how much wear & tear is playing in the OF going to put on his legs and therfor his swing? Didn't he have bad legs last year? I saw a lot of talk about Molina's "bad year" last year and expected a bounce back. Molina has logged a ton of innings behind the plate, a position notrious for wearing down a player's body. I'm sure he'll still be great defensively, but I don't see a big bounce back season from him at the plate. Rasmus & Freese could be solid, if not great, don't see much from SS or 2b.

    Overall, I think this team is significantly worse than last season. If I'm wrong, happily send me a plate of crow, I've got my ketchup ready, but it wouldn't surprise me to see them under .500 when the season wraps up.


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