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UCB Roundtable Question 12-13-2011

Posted by JE Powell

For the December project for the United Cardinal Bloggers, each member asks a question of the entire group. I was slated to ask my question 12-13-2011. The following is my question followed by the responses of my fellow Cardinal bloggers. 

First of all, there has been a plethora of great questions asked and I have really enjoyed answering all of them. For my question I am going to ask you to peer into your crystal ball, read your tea leaves, or make an educated guess based on SABRmetrics or however you choose to do it to answer the following:

On the current 25-man roster, which players do you see going into the Hall of Fame one day, if any, and why (they do not have to go in as a Cardinal, just in general)? Now, for the sake of the question, please assume there will be no major or career ending injuries and that there will be no sudden, drastic decline in play that would kill a players chances. Just for clarification, I do mean the Hall of Fame in general, I.E if you think a player will get in, but not until the Veteran’s Committee elects the player, that still counts.

Daniel Solzman, Redbird Rants 

Molina but he has to keep his offense up.  Defensively, he’s the best catcher in the game right now.

Holliday is possible with 1300 hits and 200 homers through 8 seasons but I don’t know whether he’ll have a 15 year career or a 20 year career.  He has the BA, no doubt there, to get the hits.

Lance is nearing 2000 hits but he’s at 358 home runs.  If he gets to 500, I’d say he would be a lock.  That’s the only thing stopping me from putting him in right now.

As much as I like Carp, I just don’t think he’ll be elected, not by the writers anyway.  Right now, he’s nowhere close to 200 wins and just shy of 1700 strikeouts.  Even if he pitches two more seasons, he would not get the numbers you would want HOF players to have.

Adam is 66-35 with 724 strikeouts in 5 seasons so far.  If he’s still dominant over the next 10 years and puts up great numbers, I’d induct him.

Christine Coleman, Aaron Miles’ Fastball

My opinion of the Hall of Fame might be different than others. Numbers, obviously, make the case for a Hall of Famer, but I also think a Hall of Famer had to/has to have that extra *something* that makes you instantly recognize his greatness. There are some recent Hall of Famers that I don’t think really earn that title for me.

With that, I could possibly see Yadi as a Hall of Famer someday, depending on how his career continues both on defense and offense. Maybe.

Ray DeRousse, STL Cardinal Baseball

Of the current roster, I can’t see any potential Hall of Famers except Wainwright if he manages to stay healthy for 13-15 more years and puts up numbers. I don’t think Berkman or Holliday will have numbers spectacular enough to make it.

Bill Ivie, I-70 Baseball

I will echo Ray’s vote for Wainwright.  If he simply continues at pace for another 10 years he will be close to 200 wins.

Yadi’s offensive production has been on the rise, and he needs that.  He can get to the hall based on his defense, but he needs to get to a few minor milestones (2500 hits would be nice) to solidify his call.

Mark, RetroSimba

Matt Holliday has the best chance if he can put together 5 or 6 high-quality
consistent seasons for the Cardinals. He has a NL MVP Award. His career batting average is .315. He has 1,348 hits and 770 RBI. He turns 32 in January. If he can keep the career batting average above .300 and get to 2,500 hits and 1,350 RBI, he has a chance.

Because of his statistics and his popularity with the writers who do the voting, Lance Berkman could be a candidate, too. But I think he’s marginal. His hits total is 1,822. He turns 36 in February. His career batting mark is .296. Holliday’s age gives him a chance to achieve better totals than Berkman.

Chris Carpenter would be a cinch if he hadn’t missed virtually all of the 2003, 2007 and 2008 seasons because of injuries. His career stats likely won’t be strong enough, though. But any Cardinals fan knows he has been a Hall of Fame-quality ace and one of the best big-game pitchers in franchise history. He could be a Veterans Committee pick.

Daniel Shoptaw, C70 At the Bat

I’ll chime in for Molina and Wainwright.  Obviously still a lot of baseball to be played, but with the lower standards for catchers, some good offensive seasons and Molina should make it.  Waino, we’ll have to see how he does returning from the surgery.

Tom Knuppel, Cardinals GM

I just don’t see anyone except maybe Wainwright but my feeling is there are no future HOF’ers on the Cardinals roster at the moment.

Jon Doble, Redbird Dugout

My initial thought was nobody.

Lots of guys would be in the Hall of Very Good though.

Wainwright is 30 right now and has 66 career wins. I think he’s basically going to need about 250 wins to be considered, which means his next 8 years would need to be downright amazing.

Molina could get some consideration, but I honestly think that comes down to whether Ivan Rodriguez gets consideration. They are both viewed as exceptional defensive catchers with excellent pitcher handling and pitch calling abilities. Rodriguez had a nice bat in his prime too, but it has deteriorated as he gets more innings on his knees.

However, Lance Berkman is one guy I can see getting in the easiest. He is one of the best switch hitters of all time. 11th in batting average, 2nd in OBP, 2nd in SLG, 4th in HRs, 10th in RBI (but within striking distance of 8th this season). He’s up there in every category for switch hitters.

Thank you very much for all the bloggers that have participated in the October/November United Cardinal Bloggers Monthly Project: Post-Season Roundtable (the project is now into December due to the Cardinal improbable run to the World Series,though I am sure Cardinals fans will not complain).  If you are interested in reading the questions and responses at the other wonderful Cardinals’ blogs, check out the October Project page. It has all the links to the other blogs.

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Progressive Game Blog: Fifth Inning

Posted by JE Powell

The top of the fifth inning was pretty uneventful as Kyle Lohse was able to put the Brewers down 1-2-3.  The first batter was Rickie Weeks who flew out to Lance Berkman in right field. Second up was Craig Counsell and a little ground ball to Albert Puujols for the out numero dos. The last batter Lohse faced in the inning was Ryan Braun, he of the recent contract extension that keeps him a Brewer through 2020. Braun fouled out near the tarp to Pujols who make a basket catch for the third and final out of the top half of the inning.

Yovani Gallardo started the game for the Brewers and was still pitching, and quite well, in the fifith inning. The first to bat of the inning for the Cardinals was Matt Holliday who struck out swinging.

Berkman was up second and walked after working the count full. It was a pretty good at bat for the Big Puma who not only worked the count full, but also fouled several balls off. I really like to see this from batters because if every batter can cause the pitcher to throw six to seven pitches per at bat, the pitcher is nearing 100 pitches by the fifth or sixth innings. Even if it results in an out, I still like to see Cardinals at bats where the batter forces the pitcher to throw at least six to seven pitches. This one, as I said, resulted in a Berkman walk, so all the better.

Yadier Molina was the third batter of the inning and came up to bat with one out and one on. He made contact with a one and one count, but didn’t hit the ball very hard. In fact, the ball went off of Brewers’ pitcher Gallardo’s glove and kept the ball from being a double play ball. So, if nothing else, Molina advanced Berkman over to second.

Daniel Descalso was the fourth Cardinals batter to come to the plate in the fifht inning. Descalso’s at bat was very similar to Berkman’s in the inning. Descalso worked the count full after fouling off a couple of pitches, and then walked. Another very good at bat in the inning.

The fifth, and final, Cardinals batter of the inning was Tyler Greene who came to bat with two on and two out. Greene made good contact on only the second pitch he saw,  and it to just shy of the warning track, but Mark Kotsay made a nice hopping (skipping? definitely not leaping) catch to take away a hit. The ball gets over his head and Greene probably would have been looking a two RBI triple. Despite the fact that it resulted in an out, it was a decent at bat for Greene and if not for a good play, could have been a great at bat.

The Cards had a runner in scoring position and two on at one point in the inning, but failed to get anyone home. This game, I think, was an example of Gallardo pitching very well, rather than the Cardinals just not hitting. The Cards have a very good hitting  lineup and rarely hit that poorly, therefore, Gallardo pitched great. He didn’t necessarily pitch great in the fifth, allowing two walks, but he pitched well enough to get out of the inning without allowing a hit or a run to score.

And the Award Goes To…

Posted by JE Powell

Today is the 5th and final day of the United Cardinal Bloggers Monthly Project for March and now we get to the awards part of the show. Who will win what? Like a blind squirrel maybe I will find a nut (according to my wife I AM a nut).

American League

C y Young–Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

King Felix was so good for the Seattle Mariners last season that he won the 2010 Cy Young award with a 13-12 record. It’s hard to win games with a pathetic offense, but the voters took that into consideration and gave it to, in my opinion, the right guy. I see a repeat. Depending on when/if a trade happens, that could hurt his chances, though.

MVP–Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox

Gonzalez has quite a bit more protection around him this year than in years past, so I look for him to have a monster season. He’s a Gold Glove winner and I think after the 2011 season, he will be an MVP, too.

Manager of the Year–Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox

Why not? If the Red Sox win the division, which I think they will, I think we will see with a MOY on Terry’s desk. Well, I guess we wouldn’t actually see it on his desk, but you get my point.

Gold Gloves

Ichiro Suzuki, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Evan Longoria, Joe Mauer, Brendan Ryan, Mark Buehrle, Franklin Gutierrez, and Robinson Cano

National League

Cy YoungJosh Johnson, Florida Marlins

I know that the odds on favorite will be Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee, but Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter have taken votes away from each other the past few years, so I think that’s going to happen with Halladay and Lee this season. Josh Johnson pitched very well last year and I think he is going to take home the award this year.

MVP–Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

Sure, Joey Votto won it last year, but who in their right mind will pick against AP5?

Manager of the Year–Fredi Gonzalez, Atlanta Braves

I picked them to win the division this year and I think if they do, Gonzalez will win the award because just about everybody expects the Phillies to run away with the division.

Gold Gloves

Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen (if he stays healthy all year), Troy Tulowitzki, Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Michael Bourn, Matt Holliday, and Shane Victorino.

I decided not to do the the Silver Slugger award because it’s just not as a high profile awards as the other four. I also didn’t do the Hank Aaron, Relief Pitcher, Comeback Player, or Rookie of the year awards because I didn’t feel like it. Just to be honest.

Just a quick note: This is a gripe of mine about the NL MVP last season (it’s done, there’s nothing I can do about it, I need to get over it, etc.), but Joey Votto won the MVP award last year, but Pujols won the Gold Glove at 1st base, Silver Slugger, had more home runs, runs, RBI, hits, less strike outs, more doubles, and more at bats than Votto. Votto had a slightly better OBP, OPS, and SLG, but just a hairs difference. I feel that Pujols should have won it last year. Don’t get me wrong, Joey Votto did an exceptional job last year, but overall, I don’t think he was more valuable than Pujols.