The Cardinals Will Probably Be Good Again Next Year and Other Bullets

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The Cardinals Will Probably Be Good Again Next Year and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

kolten-wong-cardinals-failThe long holiday weekend is winding down, and most of the leftovers are gone. I polished off the last (generous) piece of the apple-pear-cranberry pie last night, so we’re down to a bunch of turkey. I think I’m going to try to make some turkey noodle soup with it.

I wish there was more stuffing left over. It goes quickly around here. And I’m only just now realizing, as I type this, that we literally have stuffing only at Thanksgiving. But I love stuffing. Why don’t I just get it more often? I’m an adult. I can make that choice now.

You’re wondering why I have no comment in this space on yesterday’s Ohio State-Michigan game. There will be no comment.

  • This piece gets into how the Cardinals can keep up with the Cubs, and, among the suggestions, all the Cardinals have to do is sign Dexter Fowler, sign one of Chapman/Jansen/Melancon, and then trade for Chris Sale. That’s all. Boom! Suddenly competitive!
  • In all seriousness, while I don’t really agree with most of the piece, it did get me thinking. The Cardinals won’t have to do anything near that dramatic to be a competitive team in 2017, and Cubs fans would do well to remember it. By FG’s Base Runs and by BP’s expected wins, the Cardinals won four fewer games than they should have last year, which would have left them at 90 wins. Sure, that would have still left them 13 games behind the Cubs*, but that all came in an inarguably disappointing year for the Cardinals, in which they dealt with a host of serious injuries. And 90 wins, in almost any year, is going to be competitive in almost any division. The Cardinals don’t lose a ton this offseason, either, with Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss departing in free agency (but the duo was barely worth 2.0 WAR combined). Guys like Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are a year older, of course, but the Cardinals also have plenty of younger guys (plus a full season from Alex Reyes) to offset that.
  • Even incremental improvements this offseason for the Cardinals could leave them right back up there battling atop the NL Central standings. I am of the mind that the regular season is more fun when both the Cubs and the Cardinals are good, playing meaningful games down the stretch, so here’s hoping the Cardinals do step back up next year (but, well not too far up). Being that last year was just the second time in the last eight that the Cardinals haven’t made the playoffs (and they’ve had just one losing record (2007) in the 2000s), the better bet is that they’ll be fine.
  • *Of course, by those same metrics, the Cubs should have won 107 to 113 games last year (my word), but, hey, we’re trying to be generous to the Cardinals here.
  • I was on Beyond the Boxscore’s podcast, “In Play, Pod(cast),” wrapping up the Cubs’ season and looking ahead to 2017. Good chat.
  • If you recall, the Cubs recently released reliever Spencer Patton so that he could seek a deal in Japan, and Robert Murray reports that he’s getting a pretty good one, which could be worth more than $1.2 million. Get paid when you can.
  • I’m very tempted by this Ninja coffee bar system being that it is a deal of the day at Amazon, but I am assuming it would actually be more complicated to make myself the variety of fancy coffees than it seems. Anyone got one of these by chance?
  • Cubs super utility prospect Chesny Young will be playing in the Dominican Winter League this year. I like the idea of him facing more polished pitching in a competitive professional league, because Young is a guy who clearly could be a future big leaguer, given his ability to play effective defense all over the place, his baserunning ability, and his high contact approach. Last year, at AA – just two years out from when he was drafted in 2014, mind you – Young hit .303/.376/.387 with a 10.3% BB rate and a mere 11.6% K rate. As we’ve seen time and time again from high contact minor leaguers, though, without any semblance of power, a few things happen in tandem in MLB that crush the production: better pitching and defense reduces the BABIP and ISO organically, the K rate increases at least slightly because of the better pitching, and the BB rate drops precipitously as the pitching not only has better control but is also more willing to challenge in the zone (because the risk of serious damage is so small). Suddenly, that batting average drops to .270, the OBP drops to .320, and the SLG drops to .330, and a promising player becomes only barely passable. If the defense is still strong at a number of positions, that can be a worthwhile bench bat, but you’d love to see just a little more power added to keep pitching and defenses honest. It can make a world of difference in the overall offensive production.
  • This would not work for Clark the Cub:

  • The 25% off part ends at 3pm CT and applies to more stuff than just the book, by the way:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.