NL Central Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

Ryan Gaydos@@RyanGaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 24, 2009

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals will most likely end up second to the hated Chicago Cubs again. The Cardinals do have the lineup and the talent, but overall, the Cubs are better.

Albert Pujols is poised for a big season and we all have to watch out for Todd Wellemeyer this year as he shocked us last year with a 13-9 record and a 3.71 ERA. Adam Wainwright will head the staff as he had an 11-3 season, though mostly injured in the season, he pitched in 20 games and if was healthy would've have St. Louis a playoff push.

Ryan Ludwick is coming off a terrific season where he had 37 homers and 113 RBIs and is looking to improve even more.

Keep an eye on: Jason Motte, rp

Jason Motte is a new reliever on the block for St. Louis. He spent his days last year in Triple-A Memphis. He was 4-3 with a 3.24 ERA in 63 games. If Chris Perez can't cut it as closer, expect Motte to step in.

Projected Lineup
1. Skip Schumaker, lf
2. Ryan Ludwick, rf
3. Albert Pujols, 1b
4. Rick Ankiel, cf
5. Troy Glaus, 3b
6. Yadier Molina, c
7. Khalil Greene, ss
8. Adam Kennedy, 2b

Projected Pitching Staff
1. Adam Wainwright, rhp
2. Kyle Lohse, rhp
3. Todd Wellemeyer, rhp
4. Joel Pineiro, rhp
5. Chris Carpenter, rhp

Projected Bullpen
Chris Perez
Jason Motte
Ryan Franklin
Trever Miller
Josh Kinney
Kyle McClellan
Brad Thompson

Top Prospects
1. Colby Rasmus, of
2. Brett Wallace, 3b
3. Bryan Anderson, c
4. Daryl Jones, lf
5. Jason Motte, rhp