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Thread: NL Central showdown

  1. #1
    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    NL Central showdown

    Interesting article on ESPN:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/po...ition-rankings

    I think he is about right on the positional matchups (though I think Beltran is a better RF than Hart). However, I think he is way off on pitching and over-rates the Brewers pitching staff a bit. I also feel that Braun's suspension should be taken into account. On a regular season, Bruan is a better LF than Holliday but if Braun is going to miss 50 games, that is going to play huge into what the Brewers can do this year.

    I think Cueto and Latos is a better pitcher right now in their career than Carpenter right now. I wouldn't put Carpenter as the #1 starter in the division. I also don't agree with his assessment of putting Wainwright as a #3 starter. That just seems a bit ridiculous in my opinion. I know things are iffy with his TJ surgery but we are talking about a guy who finished second the past two years (2011 not included of course) in Cy Young votes behind Halladay. I just don't feel he should go from near the top pitcher in baseball to a #3 starter, just like that.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Just to clarify on Wainwright. I errored in what I said about him being 2nd the past to seaons he has pitched. He was 3rd in 09 in that crazy voting process behind Lincecum and Carpenter and second in 2010 behind Halladay. Still, my main point still applies.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    I agree that Hart is over-rated. Considerably. And I've got several problems with his starter rankings. Overall, not too shabby.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    I agree that Hart is over-rated. Considerably. And I've got several problems with his starter rankings. Overall, not too shabby.
    The starter rankings are wonky. I think he gives too much credit to Brewers staters in my opinion.

    I'm also scratching my head on intangibles. Yeah the Cards lost Pujols, LaRussa, and Duncan but they are also a battle hardended team where a lot of younger players got heavy playoff experience. He also mentioned the Brewers fans being an intangible. As a Cards fan, I'm just scratching my head at this because St. Louis has a great fan base that shows up even when the team is bad.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Well, I'd kind of have to agree with him on the intangibles. Simply put, you don't know what you're going to get from the new coaching staff there. And no matter how good the fan base is, they don't contribute to anything on the field. Getting a player pumped up is great in some sports, but I think it's almost a detriment in baseball. That's one of the few sports where keeping an even keel and remaining as calm as possible is usually for the best. So I usually put the fan portion at the bottom end of the spectrum.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    Well, I'd kind of have to agree with him on the intangibles. Simply put, you don't know what you're going to get from the new coaching staff there. And no matter how good the fan base is, they don't contribute to anything on the field. Getting a player pumped up is great in some sports, but I think it's almost a detriment in baseball. That's one of the few sports where keeping an even keel and remaining as calm as possible is usually for the best. So I usually put the fan portion at the bottom end of the spectrum.
    That's why I'm puzzled as to why he labeled the Brewers #1 on the intangible list. A lot of what his opinion was based off of the Brewer "fanbase". He also overrates Roenike in my opinion as well. There were times where he looked completely outmanaged by LaRussa, esp. in the playoffs. To be completely frankly, I would rather have Dusty Baker as a manager than Ron.
    Last edited by MikeThierry; 02-07-2012 at 01:52 PM.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

    “I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter

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    Re: NL Central showdown

    I don't buy the Brewers at all - I still see it as a 2 team race with Brewers pulling up third and the Pirates and Cubs good enough to make the Brewers sweat third place, especially early.

  9. #8
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeThierry View Post
    Interesting article on ESPN:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/po...ition-rankings

    I think he is about right on the positional matchups (though I think Beltran is a better RF than Hart). However, I think he is way off on pitching and over-rates the Brewers pitching staff a bit. I also feel that Braun's suspension should be taken into account. On a regular season, Bruan is a better LF than Holliday but if Braun is going to miss 50 games, that is going to play huge into what the Brewers can do this year.

    I think Cueto and Latos is a better pitcher right now in their career than Carpenter right now. I wouldn't put Carpenter as the #1 starter in the division. I also don't agree with his assessment of putting Wainwright as a #3 starter. That just seems a bit ridiculous in my opinion. I know things are iffy with his TJ surgery but we are talking about a guy who finished second the past two years (2011 not included of course) in Cy Young votes behind Halladay. I just don't feel he should go from near the top pitcher in baseball to a #3 starter, just like that.
    I would actually move Beltran down on the list. I would put Hart/Bruce ahead of him because of age and injury history. I just don't see how he goes a full season avoiding the injuries that have plagued him over the past few years.

    The interesting thing about these types of comparisons is its about looking forward and not looking back. You can slot Carpenter the top overall pitcher based upon his history but looking forward should he be #1? Especially after all the extra work it took getting through the playoffs?

    As for SS after Castro that is a jumbled up mess. Age issues, youth issues, defensive issues, etc. It would be interesting to bump this topic after the WS and see how these projections held.

  10. #9
    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I would actually move Beltran down on the list. I would put Hart/Bruce ahead of him because of age and injury history. I just don't see how he goes a full season avoiding the injuries that have plagued him over the past few years.

    The interesting thing about these types of comparisons is its about looking forward and not looking back. You can slot Carpenter the top overall pitcher based upon his history but looking forward should he be #1? Especially after all the extra work it took getting through the playoffs?

    As for SS after Castro that is a jumbled up mess. Age issues, youth issues, defensive issues, etc. It would be interesting to bump this topic after the WS and see how these projections held.
    Well if he is putting Braun as the #1 LF in the division without taking into account his suspension, I think you have to put Beltran as the best RF in the division, if he is healthy. He was healthy last year and while he does have an injury history, that doesn't mean he won't have a healthy year this year. Until Beltran has an injury, I'm putting him at the top in RF.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

    “I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter

    Mike Shannon

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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeThierry View Post
    That's why I'm puzzled as to why he labeled the Brewers #1 on the intangible list. A lot of what his opinion was based off of the Brewer "fanbase". He also overrates Roenike in my opinion as well. There were times where he looked completely outmanaged by LaRussa, esp. in the playoffs. To be completely frankly, I would rather have Dusty Baker as a manager than Ron.
    He concludes the article by saying this:

    "Whoa! Didn't expect that, did you? As much as everyone seems to be building the NL Central as a two-team battle between the Cardinals and Reds, I see the Brewers remaining good enough to be in the thick of the race."

    With that in mind, it seems plausible to think he wanted to provide some kind of "unique" or "insightful" analysis that the average reader would find surprising or memorable. To make that happen, he had to fudge some of the rankings a bit and give the Brewers more credit than they deserve, and the "intangibles" category was an easy place to do that. This would also explain why he overrates Corey Hart, doesn't seem to consider Braun's suspension, and loves the Brewers' rotation.

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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I would actually move Beltran down on the list. I would put Hart/Bruce ahead of him because of age and injury history. I just don't see how he goes a full season avoiding the injuries that have plagued him over the past few years.

    The interesting thing about these types of comparisons is its about looking forward and not looking back. You can slot Carpenter the top overall pitcher based upon his history but looking forward should he be #1? Especially after all the extra work it took getting through the playoffs?

    As for SS after Castro that is a jumbled up mess. Age issues, youth issues, defensive issues, etc. It would be interesting to bump this topic after the WS and see how these projections held.
    This is the biggest issue for the Cardinals. Health.

    The main guys they are relying on to lead them in 2012, Beltran, Carpenter, Berkman, and Furcal will be 35 or older this season. Holliday will be 32.

    History tells us that they can't expect full seasons from all of them, in fact, odds are at least half of them will likely miss significant time in 2012 and/or provide reduced production. And they really have no depth to fill in when that happens.
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    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Good point Legally. Schoenfield does do some good work at times but there are other times where he tries to be the smartest guy in the room and his thoughts become a bit cloudy and flawed.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

    “I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter

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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    This is the biggest issue for the Cardinals. Health.

    The main guys they are relying on to lead them in 2012, Beltran, Carpenter, Berkman, and Furcal will be 35 or older this season. Holliday will be 32.

    History tells us that they can't expect full seasons from all of them, in fact, odds are at least half of them will likely miss significant time in 2012 and/or provide reduced production. And they really have no depth to fill in when that happens.
    I am selling the Cards and selling them hard.

    As you mentioned they are old, and not getting any younger. They are counting on guys to improve when history tells us that they are on the dowside of their career.

    Oh and not to mention they lost the best player in baseball, a HOF manager, and a great pitching coach in the same off season. The Cards have shown the ability to be resilant but I think that was more a product of Albert and TLR than anything else.

  15. #14
    Member MikeThierry's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I am selling the Cards and selling them hard.

    As you mentioned they are old, and not getting any younger. They are counting on guys to improve when history tells us that they are on the dowside of their career.

    Oh and not to mention they lost the best player in baseball, a HOF manager, and a great pitching coach in the same off season. The Cards have shown the ability to be resilant but I think that was more a product of Albert and TLR than anything else.
    That's fine if everyone is going to bring the age factor into it (even though they have a ton of young guys as well that they rely on, esp. in the bullpen). I would rather be the underdog in the division than the favorite.
    “Our next home stand follows this road trip.”

    “I just want to tell everyone Happy Easter and Happy Hanukkah.” says on the day before Easter

    Mike Shannon

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    Re: NL Central showdown

    Actually, i think he was spot on with Wainright at #3. He's a year removed from TJ, and control is the last thing to come back. It's going to take more than 6 weeks to shake off the rust, plus he'll likely have at least two dead arm periods, one in ST and another mid season. Plus if the Card's are smart, they are going to baby his arm a bit, restrict his innings. I see a lot of no decisions for him this year. I'd be surprised if he won 10-12 games. I'd be stunned if he had an ERA below 4.00
    Suck it up cupcake.


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