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Exit Interview: Rafael Furcal

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
To give myself a reason to look back on this season, I've started this series of blog posts to review each player that spent time in St. Louis during 2012.  More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny's office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter.

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Player: Rafael Furcal

Season stats: 121 games, 477 AB, 18 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 49 RBI, 12 SB, 44 BB, 57 K, .264/.325/.346

Hero/Goat: Hero 7, Goat 11

Overall grade: B-

Positives: Looking at the numbers, Furcal had a better season than I remembered.  That was mainly due to a strong first two months (.333/.391/.460) which was farther back in the memory core.  Furcal played very regularly--some would say too regularly, especially after how events transpired--and was a big part of why the Cards got off to such a strong start.  Given what the shortstop position looked after he went down (Pete Kozma's miracle run notwithstanding), when he was good he was one of the most valuable parts on the team.

Negatives: The problem was, the season didn't last just two months.  From June 1 to August 30, when he was shut down with his elbow problem, Furcal hit just .215/.278/.265.  No doubt injury played a part in that, but we don't know how much.  Furcal was a drain on the top of the lineup for weeks until Matheny realized it wasn't getting better and put Jon Jay up there.  

Outlook: Furcal went with a plasma-rich replacement therapy rather than surgery when he was hurt last year.  Currently the club doesn't expect that he'll need surgery but they admit they'll know more in November.  Personally, if he avoids it I'd be shocked.  Not only because that's the track record of the Cardinals but also because he was the Top Goat here this season and, in the four years I've been doing Hero/Goat, no Top Goat has played another game in Cardinal red.  We'll see if that streak continues, but it would seem shortstop is on the radar for John Mozeliak this offseason.


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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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