|C||Yadier Molina||SP 1||Chris Carpenter|
|1B||Albert Pujols||SP 2||Adam Wainwright|
|2B||Skip Schumaker||SP 3||Kyle Lohse|
|3B||David Freese||SP 4||Brad Penny|
|SS||Brendan Ryan||SP 5||Blake Hawksworth|
|CF||Colby Rasmus||CL||Ryan Franklin|
|RF||Ryan Ludwick||RP||Trever Miller|
|IF||Felipe Lopez||RP||Dennys Reyes|
|IF||Julio Lugo||RP||Jairo Garcia|
Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.
|Key Additions||Key Losses|
|SP||Brad Penny||Free Agency||SP||Joel Pineiro||Free Agency|
|IF||Felipe Lopez||Free Agency||OF||Rick Ankiel||Free Agency|
|OF||Matt Holliday||Free Agency||SP||John Smoltz||Free Agency|
Top Prospects: Jairo Garcia (P), David Freese (3B), Daryl Jones (OF), Robert Stock (C)
The Cardinals finished 2009 with a 91-71 record, good for the NL Central division title. They were helped quite a bit by their mid-season acquisitions. The biggest name was clearly free-agent-to-be OF Matt Holliday, acquired from the A’s in July. With St. Louis, he helped to carry the offense with a .353 batting average, 13 HR, and 55 RBI in only 63 games. As usual, their offense was led by 1B Albert Pujols (.327, 47 HR, 135 RBI), who won his 3rd MVP award and 2nd in a row. In the rotation, the Cards were led by 2 Cy Young candidates in Chris Carpenter (17-4, 2.24 ERA) and Adam Wainwright (19-8, 2.63 ERA). Unfortunately, they faced the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs, and were swept 3-0.
Team Outlook for 2010
The Cardinals biggest move of the offseason was resigning OF Matt Holliday. They gave the OF a 7 year, $120 million dollar contract extension, and was widely viewed as a massive overpayment. However, they did get their man, and an elite run producer to complement Pujols. The team is probably the strongest team in the division, led by their 2 aces and 2 excellent hitters. Their offense is not particularly amazing outside of the two main hitters, but they are solid and overall provide a good lineup to manager Tony LaRussa. The only questions I really see on this team are at 3B, with David Freese slotted in as the starter in Spring Training, and at the back end of the rotation.
The main concern I have with the team at this point is injuries. While not thought serious, it is worth monitoring the back injury of Albert Pujols. He played in today’s game, and should still be ready for Opening Day. I am also concerned about the two aces, Carpenter and Wainwright. For Wainwright, it’s a jump in innings last season that could potentially present a problem this year. For Carpenter, this is a pitcher who has had Tommy John surgery twice, and is always a risk for an injury.
Fantasy Outlook for 2010
Lots to like here for fantasy players. Pujols is clearly the top player in the game right now, as he provides elite value in 4 categories and solid value in the 5th. OF Matt Holliday, SP Chris Carpenter, and SP Adam Wainwright are all top-tier players at their position as well. A sleeper in my opinion would be SP Brad Penny. Pitching coach Dave Duncan has worked well with many pitchers who have come before, and I think that Penny could be this year’s version.
Prediction for 2010
The Cardinals are one of the elite teams in their division, and the league as a whole. I think that they could run into a little bit of bad luck this year, and finish out of the playoffs. It may not be by much though, if it does happen.
86-76, 2nd in the NL Central, Wild Card winner