Thursday, February 25, 2016

DrB's 2016 NL Power Rankings: #5 Cardinals

#5 St. Louis Cardinals

Starting Position Players:  C Yadier Molina, 1B  Mike Adams, 2B  Kolton Wong, 3B  Matt Carpenter, SS Jhonny Peralta, LF  Matt Holliday, CF  Randal Grichuk, RF  Stephen Piscotty.

Starting Rotation:  Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Jaime Garcia, Mike Leake.

Bullpen:  Trevor Rosenthal, Seung Oh, Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, Jordan Walden, Tyler Lyons, Jonathan Broxton.

Bench:  C Brayan Pena, 1B/OF  Brandon Moss, IF Greg Garcia, IF Jedd Gyorko, OF Tommy Pham.

The Cardinals won 100 games last year, but the ship is developing leaks.  I am not sure how much Molina and Holliday have left.  The Grichuk/Piscotty/Pham trio could be great, but still has a lot to prove and Kolton Wong did not have his expected breakout last year.  The starting rotation is formidable if everyone is healthy, but the top 4 are all injuries waiting to happen and even Mike Leake had an elbow twinge last year, which I think is the biggest reason why the Giants lost interest.  Top prospect, RHP Alex Reyes, will start the season under a 50 game suspension, but could be ready to help by midseason.  The bullpen looks OK, but it's interesting they brought in a 30+ yo from Korea and immediately penciled him in as their setup man.  The Bench is strong.  The Cardinals will probably make the playoffs again, but it's not as sure a thing as in the recent past.


  1. I live in St. Louis so this time of year I hear a LOT about the Cardinals. The big worry is Molina.

    He has had back-to-back thumb surgeries on the same thumb and he's going to miss most of Spring training. But beyond that, he may miss much of April as well and when he comes back he's more likely to be a contact-oriented, no-power defensive catcher. And that's if the Cardinals are lucky. If they're not lucky, Molina will be a problem because he's so good defensively and calling a game that the pitchers have a full ERA less when he's their catcher than the back-up.

    As for the rest of them. I think the Giants infield is, for the most part, a definite step up over the Cards. Losing Heyward was a blow to the OF but they've got some young talent they called up last year that did a pretty good job filling in for injured playrs.

    But, beyond that, I do really like Grichuk (CF) and think that he'll, with a full season, blossom into a good defensive OF with really good, line-drive power (25+ HR potential) though he's got a bit of a swing-and-a-miss in him. In fact, he's a lot like Jarrett Parker in that part of his player profile.

    In the end, to me at least, the Cardinal season hinges on the pitchers keeping it close to last year and Molina's health.

  2. I live in Hawaii and heard that Kolton Wong is training extra hard so that his body doesn't wear down as much as he feels it did last season. Hope he has a breakout season. Maybe they should try him as a lead off hitter


  3. My view: The Cardinals have a very strong organization, and they've been really good at developing talent over the years. I wouldn't say they'll be top tier this year, but I also wouldn't count them out. Kinda like our Giants, this is a team that always competes.

    1. Well, a #5 power ranking gets them into the playoffs, so I, for one, am not counting them out. If all the pitchers are healthy, they could win 100 again, but all their starters are above average injury risks, IMO.