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Plenty of evidence points towards the first base slot lagging far below other teams and Cardinal expectations in 2015.
Let’s compare Adams to three players with significant declines due to injuries in 2014 and see how they bounced back in 2015. A healthy Votto, Belt, and Davis delivered increases in BA of 59, 37, and 66 points respectfully.
The St Louis Cardinals do not need to be trading top prospects to attract a first baseman or dropping massive dollars on an aging one. Spring Training games are fast approaching, and before we know it baseball will be back soon. However, right now only season ticket holders know when they will be at the ballpark this summer. According to the representative for the Cardinals that I just spoke with this morning, single game tickets will be going on sale Friday, March 4th. It seems like the days and milestones are flying by, we are just five days from seeing actual live baseball in front of our eyes.
I know I am sure glad that we have seen the evolution of the secondary markets, as I remember waiting hours in the queue online just to have a look at the games that I wanted to go to.
Now, you can buy tickets a matter of minutes after they go on sale, with little to no wait involved.
I am hoping that I can score a great value to some of these awesome giveaway games this season. What games are you looking forward to going to this year?
Let us know what you are looking forward to in the comments, and have a great day Cardinal Nation!
I realize that the Cardinals have already promoted outfielder Randal Grichuk, who is now above Peter Bourjos on the team’s center field depth chart and about even with Jon Jay. If the plan is not to use Bourjos and give him a chance to prove himself, then move him out of the way. There really isn’t one, but if there were you might be surprised at the name atop the leaderboard.
Kozma has a .464 batting average, but a check of his overall stats shows a hitter who may not produce much beyond the occasional base hit. There is no question Kozma will see action at the eighth spot in the lineup, unless manager Mike Matheny pulls the old Tony La Russa strategy and bats the pitcher in the eighth hole. We all know spring training stats are a giant aberration compared to the rest of the season. Unless Matt Carpenter or Jhonny Peralta get hurt, Kozma is not apt to see much playing time.
Adam Wainwright records second 20-win season by Daniel SolzmanHas the Cardinals’ luck finally run out? It was disappointing, but at least the magic number to clinch the NL Central dropped to three thanks to the Atlanta Braves defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2. As broadcaster Tim McCarver pointed out, numerous times, Lackey needed to keep the ball away from the middle of the plate in order to be successful in the start against the Cubs.
After reviewing three-season averages of available defensive metrics, for fun, let's look at a visual comparison of some National League Central outfield defenses as well. With the acquisition of Jason Heyward, arguably the best defensive right fielder in baseball, the outfield defense of the St. Single-season defense metrics are volatile and subsequently tough to use when analyzing players. For those wondering why the NL Central suddenly has only three teams, don't worry, there are still five teams. As shown by the numbers and reinforced by the visuals below, neither center fielder will need much help going to their left as Heyward has pretty much everything (this may be a slight exaggeration) covered.
First, I must credit Wes Keene and Ed Chapman for sending me their renditions of the first graph, and then Ed Chapman for graciously taking the time to make the final three graphs as well.
Just a few short hours ago, three pitchers and one hitter were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. With Smoltz cracking the 75% cutoff, today marked the first time that one of the nominees was a former Cardinal since relief pitcher Bruce Sutter was inducted in 2006.

In order to be listed on a ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame, players must have served at least 10 years in the Major Leagues and have been retired for five.
After the votes are casted, players listed on over 75% of ballots earn an entry to the Hall of Fame. So given this criteria, lets take an inside look on how former Cardinals fared in the 2015 ballot.
Most fans associate John Smoltz with the Atlanta Braves, but some may have forgotten that the 8-time All-Star pitched his final half-season with the Cardinals in 2009.
Another former closer experienced a bit of a setback on the Hall of Fame ballot, as Lee Smith only mustered votes on 30.2% of ballots. Larry Walker was arguably one of the biggest building blocks for the Colorado Rockies just a few years after they became an expansion team.
As the only former Cardinal to be eliminated from future ballots, Troy Percival only garnered votes on 0.7% of ballots this year. From that analysis, we naturally draw the conclusion to pick up a player on the free agent market or through a trade to plug the hole.
How did Matt handle high pressure situations? On July 7th, the St Louis Cardinals trailed the Pittsburgh Pirates by a ? game when Adams smashed a ninth inning walk off.
His weaknesses of a low walk rate and average defense can be improved with coaching and more experience. We already have what we need in Matt Adams and have a backup in Stephen Piscotty. Fans should expect to see a new contributing Adams back in 2016. I know that I am anxiously awaiting the day when I get a chance to buy tickets to the games I want to attend this year.
I am sure some of you remember playing the waiting game on the phone or in line at the box office. Louis Cardinals have to start having discussions about promoting top prospect Oscar Taveras. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) leads off of second base in the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. However, if Kozma can get on base and have the pitcher bunt him over to second, that could result in more production at the top of the lineup. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher John Lackey throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. The offense, however, lacked any edge as the Cubs won 3-1 and took the final series this season with Birds. Yadier Molina hustled in after the ball got away due to a throwing error by catcher Wellington Castillo.
A much needed day off. Michael Wacha takes the hill at Chase Field for the Cards against Trevor Cahill. Thus, for comparison purposes, I used the last three seasons of defensive data for the included players and collected a whole-number average for each statistic. Davis had a limited amount of experience in left field in 2013 (265.0), so I reworked his numbers a little bit to include that. I did not include the Reds or the Cubs in this post, but I will be more than happy to do so in the future. Well, the best outfield alignment, in terms of defense at least, would be Marte in left, Bourjos in center, and Heyward in right. However, going to their right will be extremely important as Holliday, who is about to turn 35 years old, is the worst defensive outfielder included in this post.
I spent roughly an hour trying to make them on my own and after failing numerous times, I called in the experts. Then, hundreds of BBWAA members who meet voting requirements can select up to 10 names on the specific ballot to become a Cooperstown legend.
A player is dropped off future ballots if their name appeared on less than 5% of ballots for that year or if they were denied Hall of Fame status after 15 consecutive years on a ballot. As a former All-Star starter and closer, Smoltz was recognized for his successfully accurate four-seam fastball. Smith played on eight different teams in his 18-year career and was a league leader in saves four times between the Cardinals, Cubs and Orioles.

Many baseball fans knew the former Cardinal as Big Mac for the power he brought to the game, he is consistently left off Hall of Fame ballots for his involvement with PEDs. The Canadian Clubber served six years with the Montreal Expos before the 1994 baseball strike, but revitalized his career in Colorado with three batting titles and his only MVP award in 1997. Yet, the reliever still compiled 35 wins, 781 strikeouts and 358 saves in a noteworthy 14-year career with four teams.
They could be joined by projected first-year eligibles Jim Edmonds, Troy Glaus and David Eckstein for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, but only time will tell when the next Cardinal is elected into Cooperstown. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (32) celebrates after hitting a two run walk off home run off of Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Justin Wilson (not pictured) during the ninth inning at Busch Stadium. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (32) rounds third base after hitting a 2 run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Busch Stadium.
Matt Adams fought through a serious quad tear that required surgery to repair and took him out for four months in 2015.
Oscar Taveras (may he rest in peace) was not going to wow anyone with his glove out there, and though Randal Grichuk, a long-time center fielder, flashed the leather a handful of times last season, he is pretty clearly not ready for an everyday spot in a big-league lineup.
For the Reds, we do not know who their left fielder will be next season as they chose to move on from Ryan Ludwick. To be frank, not many balls would land in the outfield grass with that combination at the ready.
Though I will admit that the graphs are extremely crowded, you can still see that there is a pretty defined white backwards "S" between Holliday and Jay in the first graph.
In his 21 seasons, the righty accumulated 213 wins, 3084 strikeouts, 154 saves and a career ERA of 3.33.
McGwire is best remembered for breaking the single-season home run record in 1998 with 70 blasts, but even though the record stood for three years, he just managed votes on 10% of ballots in his ninth year eligible.
Percival won his only World Series title with the Los Angeles Angels in 2002 and represented them on four different All-Star teams. Although we hoped for more, replacements Reynolds and Moss followed their historical stats and we suffered at first base. Matt worked on hitting to the opposite field and demonstrated growth early in 2015 while posting a 0.304 average prior to May. Lackey’s numbers reflect that while he may have deserved better, he still could have done a little more to help his team.
Polanco has what I will consider one season at his current position (RF), so I left his data alone. Thankfully for the Cardinals, they will likely have two of those three players on their 25-man roster going into 2015 (barring any trade "rumor" becoming true). In the second graph, with Bourjos in for Jay, that white spot is no longer present as Bourjos's range extends to cover some of Holliday's ground. While the closer reached 50% of votes in 2012, Smith only has two more years of eligibility for the Hall of Fame and hopes to fill vacancies on next year’s ballots with three big-name pitchers elected today. Joining the Cardinals in 2007, Percival posted a 1.80 ERA and made his only career start before retiring two years later. Louis to Pittsburgh last night means more trouble for the Birds or the Pirates walking the plank. Given that he is an ex-CFer, one would reasonably expect his numbers to improve over the course of a full season. Plus, given the youth of their roster, viable three-season defensive data is virtually nonexistent. Yet, as we know, Mozeliak stated that Jay will be the team's primary center fielder going into 2015. The graphs are mainly included as eye candy and as a supplement to the data included in the tables, but either way, I look forward to discussing them in the comments.

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