Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cards Suck

10 Games that dropped the STL into the land of the suckatatious.

The Cards had three key problems: 3rd base, shortstop, and bullpen. Bullpen takes a little bit of luck, I admit, but the other two problems?

Let's examine the years had by some Cards "alumni":

Scott Rolen (3b): All star, anchored hot corner for division winner Cincinnati, ave .290, ops .870

David Eckstein (SS): Switched to 2nd base, but batted .270 and plays for division winner San Diego Padres.

Cards got rid of these guys....why? Rolen they traded for Troy Glaus, and Eckstein was not signed as a free agent. Now, Glaus was , and played in MLB since 1998. His lifetime is .255. Rolen's lifetime is .285.

Glaus was 32 at the time of the trade, and not surprisingly he came up lame. Sure, Rolen was 33 at the time of the trade, but Glaus was not much younger. And .030 on a lifetime average is a lot of hits over the course of a season. And Rolen is a much better defender than Glaus.

Rolen was traded because Tony decided he didn't like him. And Eck was let go because of money.

And now the Cards suck. Can you even name the current third baseman? I can name a parade of five clowns, but their aggregate batting average is (seriously) .224. And that's actually better than shortstop Brendan Ryan's truly remarkable .221. These schmoes are automatic outs.

It's not that hard. The Cards suck because their 3b and SS players suck.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

it seems quite unlikely that the Padres will be division winners.

Anonymous said...

it seems quite unlikely that the Padres will be division winners.

Kindred Winecoff said...

David Eckstein is one of the worst players in baseball. An empty .270 BA is nothing to desire. Skip Schumaker is hitting almost that well.

Ryan has been a drag on the offense, but he's one of the best defensive SS in the game. (He's also been incredibly unlucky on offense: his BABIP is .251 this year... 80 points lower than last year.) He has value even when he's not hitting.

The Cards lost because Lohse was terrible when not hurt, Penny pitched for a month before getting hurt, and they had no depth behind those guys. Freese was an average 3B until he, too, got hurt with no depth behind him.

Despite all that they've also just been unlikely: according to first-order wins (Pythag expected wins) the Cards should be just one game behind the Reds in the standings.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.php

There are someone problems with this team, but re-signing David Freaking Eckstein won't fix any of them.

PeeDub said...

Munger, you need to give back your FJM card if you're bemoaning losing Eckstein.

Mungowitz said...

Yeah, cut and paste error on SD. I'll leave it, though, cause it'll get Skarbek all upset.

And I am NOT asking for Scotty and Eck back. What I am saying is that you can't win with a combined .225 average at short and third.

The point is a reductio ad absurdum: We might as well have kept Scotty and Eck. 'Cause their replacements SUCK.

Lenin3 said...

Professor Munger,

To my mind you are pointing out through subtlety that the current GM sucks. Mo Suck therefore so do the Cardinals.

Two more data points for this season: For an offense that was struggling around the trade deadline, the GM thinks that more starting pitching (Westbrook) is needed and therefore lets get rid of a solid hitter (Ludwick). Personally, I think that was to clear up dollars for resigning Pujols (Cardinal owners must be scared that if he leaves seats will be empty). Second, to shore up third base they add Pedro Feliz from Houston who might have a .235 average.

I asked the question of my friends at midseason, "do we seriously not have a better prospect at triple or double A than B. Ryan?" They responded, "but look at his defense." Jeez. A bad GM can only hope for such suckers as fans.

Kindred Winecoff said...

Mungo -

Think about this way: shedding Rolen's (and then Glaus') salary allowed us to sign Matt Holliday. The marginal step from, say, Mather to Holliday is > than the marginal step from Freese to Rolen.

If Freese and Penny don't miss the majority of the season the Cards are in first. Their replacements were, erm, replacement-level players. If the Pythag records hold up the Cards are in line for the division or WC in the last week of the season. The Reds have been lucky in Pythag and injuries, the Cards have been unlucky in same. These things happen sometimes.

Anonymous said...

"I asked the question of my friends at midseason, "do we seriously not have a better prospect at triple or double A than B. Ryan?" They responded, "but look at his defense." Jeez. A bad GM can only hope for such suckers as fans."

How many shortstops in the MLB have a UZR comparable to B. Ryan? Less than a handful. He saves a lot of runs. But he makes a convenient scapegoat for lazy sportscasters who just look at his batting average this year.

The desperate quest for a bat with "pop" at ss can lead to foolish moves, like Luke Gregerson for Khalil Greene.

Anonymous said...

The Cardinals will have a player that finishes in the top 3 in MVP voting and in the top 3 for CY Young. Given that, and the fact that this team will barely finish above 500, and given that this team plays in the same division as the Pirates, it seems to me that there is a whole lot more going wrong for Cards than the left side of their infield.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of Ryan and Ludwick for nothing (immediately) is the problem. Baaadd GM'ing...