by on October 23, 2012 · 8 comments

Based on what we saw in 2012, feigned knowledge of the minor league system, and some tarot cards someone left in the driveway, I shall attempt to predict the future.  Barring an unexpected retirement or alien abduction, the 2013 Cardinals have roughly $89.5M guaranteed in salary to 9 players.  Add up some guesstimates for arbitration-eligible and pre-arbitration players, and the total comes out to around $115-118M.  Sounds pretty reasonable for a team that could clear nearly $40M from the books by 2014, so I’ll work with a payroll constraint of about $115M.

BOLD PREDICTIONS: Based on nothing other than what can be extracted from my baseball-addled brain, I’ll make some bold and not-so-bold predictions about 2013.

  1. The incredibly good bullpen crew that finished 2012 for the team will be disassembled.  Trevor Rosenthal needs more time as a starter to demonstrate whether or not he can be a full-time starter at the major league level.  Memphis seems like a great place for him to begin the year.  Joe Kelly might also fall in this category as well.  The team will eventually need to replace Chris Carpenter and Jake Westbrook at a minimum.
  2. Barring any health setbacks, the 8 regulars in the field next year will be Molina – C, Allen Craig – 1B, Matt Carpenter – 2B, Furcal – SS, Freese – 3B, Holliday – LF, Jon Jay – CF, Beltran – RF.
  3. The starting 5 will consist of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, and Shelby Miller.
  4. The bullpen will start with Lynn, Mujica, Salas, Boggs, Motte, Freeman, and 1 player to be named later (maybe Kyle McClellan).
  5. The bench promises to be crowded, and a trade to plug a hole makes some sense.  As of now, I predict Tony Cruz, Daniel Descalso, Skip Schumaker, and Ryan Jackson make the team out of ST.
  6. Saying goodbye: Marc Rzepczynski.
  7. Saying goodbye: Lance Berkman.
  8. Walking in Memphis:  The Marte Partay and Maikel Cleto will get more time to hone their skills at Memphis.  If Cleto ever learns to throw something more useful than a flat fastball, maybe he will break into the bullpen by the All-Star break next year.
  9. Kyle Lohse will sign a deal for at least 4 years / $60M somewhere that isn’t in Missouri.  Of course, that will happen after the team offers him a 1 year qualifying offer with an agreement already in place that he’ll decline it.  Cardinals make an offer slightly above the minimum in order for Lohse to go shopping with that as the floor number for negotiations.  In return, the Cardinals get 100% assurance that Lohse won’t sign the deal.  Team gets a compensation pick in the rule 4 draft, and Lohse gets more money from another team.  Solid deal.
  10. Adam Wainwright will receive his well-earned contract extension that runs through his age 36 season.
  11. This time next year we’ll be talking about a 2014 starting rotation of Wainwright, Miller, Kelly, Lynn, Rosenthal or Carlos Martinez.
  12. Jaime Garcia will get shopped quietly once he comes back from his current injury.  He’s still quite affordable through the guaranteed portion of his contract, and it would be reasonable for a pitching hungry team like the Twins or Royals to make a run at obtaining him.
  13. The Cardinals will go shopping for an impact right-handed hitter.  They won’t find one.  They will eventually decide that the solution is to start Ryan Jackson over Furcal and have the switch hitting Furcal available as a pinch hitting, super sub.
  14. Someone will sit down and explain “win probability added” to Mike Matheny, and he’ll still give away outs next season.  It’s not that he’s stupid; he’s just incredibly stubborn.
  15. Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras will get mentioned constantly from now until they both debut at some point with the Cardinals.  Plate discipline in AAA will slow their respective rolls, though.  That’s fine, because they probably won’t be truly needed until the roster expands (if then).
  16. The Cardinals will take a NLC division winner or bust mentality into next season, because the wild card leaves far too much to chance.  I think they will take it with 92-94 wins despite the tougher schedule due to the Astros moving to the AL.
  17. Also at this time next year we’ll be bemoaning the end of the Skip Schumaker era in St. Louis.
  18. Jon Jay and Yadier Molina will both be finalists for a Gold Glove award.  Yadi will take home both the award and a 2nd Platinum Glove honor.
  19. Regardless of what happens during the winter, I still won’t care what trolls think.
  20. I will root for the Tigers, even though I probably won’t watch much of the World Series.



Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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Justin October 23, 2012

This is exactly the type of article/blog I was looking for to help with the pain of the way the season ended. I am extremely excited for the future of the team, and agree with just about every point you made. I just wish there was someway to hit a redo button on the Westbrook contract, and insert Kelly/Lynn into the 5 spot in the rotation, and then add the other when Garcia is shopped for, good, young shortstop, hopefully. I just don’t believe that the shortstop of the future is in the organization yet, but I do agree that by the end of the year the shortstop will be someone other than Furcal. Thanks for this, and all I can say is that the countdown to Spring Training has begun!

Dennis October 24, 2012

Indeed, the countdown has already started, but it’s a long one. Thanks for reading. Maybe the Westbrook deal looks bad to some in hindsight, but I like the idea of keeping him around a bit. He’s a veteran guy who learned a bit from Dave Duncan himself, and I’m not a huge fan of turning over more of the starting pitching staff at the same time than necessary.

these american servers October 24, 2012

I probably won’t watch mch WS this year either. I can’t pull 4 either of these teams; the giants beat the cards so I want them 2 suck it but when the AL team wins the WS the republican candidate becomes prez so I guess just watch football and basketball

Dennis October 24, 2012

Heh. I’m a huge Jim Leyland fan, and I’m willing to watch Verlander pitch. I still won’t watch too much, though. I’ll be right there on the football, though.

SocraticGadfly October 26, 2012

According to Matheny, you’re already out of date. He told Matt Carpenter to get his 2B work started ASAP. Who he wants at 1B, I don’t know, but he’s got a different idea than you.

Dennis October 30, 2012

I only predicted Marp to win the job, and he doesn’t have a chance to do that until spring. I also put Allen Craig at 1B. Not sure how that’s changed already. The only real questions that remain are who will be non-tendered or traded over the winter.

EE RIPPER October 29, 2012

Hi Dennis,
I just would like to congratulate the Cards for an exciting, deep run into the postseason. The mashfest against the Nats was epic..Losing Carp & Berkman so early & yet still making that run….way cool.You may recall in April I said the Cubs would lose 100+ games..and I was right so..
…My prediction for the Cards is +/- 93 wins…while the Cubs +/- 93 losses..(hey that’s some kind of bizzaro symmetry there lol)
I’m not sure as to why you have such enmity towards the Giants….maybe I missed something.

Dennis October 30, 2012

Yeah, I recall the 100 loss prediction for the Cubs. I wasn’t sure they were going to make it, but they managed to finish well.

My only issue with the Giants and their fans is the hypocrisy that runs deep when it comes to being apologists for PED users. McGwire and Bonds really are quite different situations. The fact that the team had the services of a PED user this season for 113 games doesn’t seem to bother too many people in/around SF. If that happened to a Cardinal, I would be pretty conflicted to see the team go on to win the WS.

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