If you're like me, you can't wait for the baseball season to start. By the way, pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter in 23 days and 13 hours, but who's counting? Anyway, the Cardinals have made some great moves, and I applaud them. There's still going to be old faces, but there are some new looks.
So how is the team going to look? Well, here's my lineup and positions.
Batting First: Skip Schumaker CF
Second: Ryan Ludwick RF
Third: Albert Pujols 1B (no brainer)
Fourth: Rick Ankiel LF
Fifth: Troy Glaus 3B
Sixth: Khalil Greene SS
Seventh: Yadier Molina C
Eighth: Pitcher's Spot
Ninth: Adam Kennedy 2B
Bench: Brian Barton LF/RF, Jason LaRue C, Brendan Ryan 2B/SS, Nick Stavinoha LF, Brian Barden 3B, Chris Duncan 1B/LF
Starting Pitchers: Adam Wainwright, Kyle Lohse, Todd Wellemeyer, Joel Pineiro, Jaime Garcia or Mitchell Boggs
Bullpen: Chris Carpenter, Ryan Franklin, Josh Kinney, Brad Thompson, Trever Miller, Jason Motte, Royce Ring, Kyle McClellan
Closer: Chris Perez
Looks very similar to last season, but with new and younger players, the Cardinals could contend in October. The only question I have is the fifth starter. Is Jaime Garcia injured? I heard that he had surgery, but if he's better, then I'd pen him in as the fifth starter. If he's hurt, Mitchell Boggs will fit in nicely.
Now, a look at Spring Training.
Players that will make a name for their future in Jupiter—Brian Anderson and David Freese. Brian is a hitting machine down in the minors. With Yadi as the guy behind the plate for years to come, we could see Brian as the backup next year.
David is a guy with power that could fit in nicely in any lineup. He hit .306 with 26 HR and 91 RBI in Memphis last season.
Players that will play in Jupiter, but could get a callup in September: Colby Rasmus, P.J. Walters, and Jess Todd. Colby is a no brainer. A five-tool player, he will get called up. Walters and Todd have strong arms, with Walters pitching 158 innings with 156 strikeouts covering Springfield and Memphis last season.
Todd pitched in Palm Beach, Springfield, and Memphis last season, with a 2.88 ERA in 153 innings.
Players that are hanging by a string: Adam Kennedy. I say this due to his actions towards the end of the season last year. Wanting to be traded to a contender or see more playing time with the Cards, he will most likely be given the second base job if he doesn't give it to someone else again.
Sorry, but this season should be Adam's last in St. Louis, with a cluster of younger players in the minors.
In all, the Cards should put up good numbers. I, like many people, would like the youth movement to carry the Redbirds. With the mix of veterans and rookies, the Cards could be a contender in the N.L. Central.