St. Louis Cardinals Offseason Scorecard

Right Field BleachersCorrespondent IFebruary 11, 2009

By virtue of Houston only playing 161 games, the Cardinals actually finished in 4th last year.  Here we go…

Last year’s Cardinals were an interesting beast.  They relied almost completely on production from position players, putting up the second best positional WAR in the entire major leagues, mostly bolstered by an NL leading 86 batting runs above average, 12 better than the No. 2 Cubs.  They also played pretty solid defense.  However, there’s been a pretty good amount of turnover this year, as you can see above. Once again, the major question mark will be the rotation.  Adam Wainwright will probably be solid again, but then there’s nothing but question marks.  I really have no idea what to expect out of former Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter.  Kyle Lohse was signed to what is potentially the worst contract of the entire offseason, at 4 years/41M.  Most projection systems see him as a 4.20 ERA pitcher, which, in this market, is certainly not worth 10M/year, especially including the high likelihood of a decline.  Wellemeyer is unproven, and Piniero is proven to be awful.  Still, any team with Albert Pujols can definitely make some noise, especially if Ryan Ludwick puts up another great season.  The Cardinals could be a force with Carpenter, but I’m not really sure at all what to expect without him.