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UCB Project: February/March Roundtable

Posted on March 22, 2010 at 9:31 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals | United Cardinal Bloggers
Starting at the latter part of February and running through last week, the United Cardinal Bloggers held one of their regular roundtables.  I tend to always take the last slot so that everyone else can get their questions in, but eventually I've got to come up with one as well.  In keeping with the spirit of the season, I asked the following:

"What are you most looking forward to in the season to come?"
After the jump, see what the members of the UCB want to see in the upcoming season.


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Nick (Pitchers Hit Eighth): As one of the most vocal members of the 'Honkin for Jaime' group, that's definitely high on my list - the guy has just been lights out this spring.  Could be one of the better homegrown pitching prospects to come through St. Louis (and stay here for a bit, hopefully) in a while.

Perhaps most importantly when it comes to the Cardinals (or any other team for that matter), I'm looking forward to a relatively injury-free season.  Let's see another great year from Carp, Wainer, and Pujols.  No injuries.  Simple, right?

Steve (Play A Hard Nine): I think I am most excited about seeing the maturation of the younger players.  Can Rasmus become the offensive player we all think he can?  Can Garcia step up and grab the 5th spot, with his eyes on the 3 spot in the next few years?  Can Mitchell Boggs or Jason Motte become legitimate 8th inning shut-down relievers?  Can David Freese be a league average player?  I'm interested in seeing how those questions play out over the next 162.

Chris (Bird Brained): I don't know if the word is necessarily "excited," but I'm definitely intrigued by the players in the Cards' system that appear to be figuring into the big club's 2010 plans and just how good they turn out. With the big Holliday contract and the looming Pujols deal, the farm system will have to fill in a lot of the other positions for the foreseeable future, starting now. So if the highly touted prospects don't pan out in the bigs, this team could be in trouble. I will also be intrigued by how they draft in 2010; these kids should project to make the team in the next 2-4 years, which is right in the heart of the big money deals. Will they go after a top-tier second baseman in case they can't afford to retain Skip? What about a replacement glove/bat for Ludwick? Who is the Cards' next closer?
 
Believe me, I'm excited to see a full year of Pujols & Holliday. I can't wait to watch Waino and Carp mow down lineup after lineup again. But the kids will have a lot of my attention in 2010.

Mike (Stan Musial's Stance):
I'm excited to see how Holliday uses his contract and NLDS Game 2 gaffe to motivate himself.  I think he'll have a monster year in 2010.  I'm excited to see Rasmus settle down and play like the All-Star he can be.  To see Wainwright freeze someone with a curve ball, Carpenter dominate, Lohse find himself, and how many hats I throw at the radio listening to Brad Penny labor through 5 innings.

In short, I'm ready to start the season and NL Central title defense.  It promises to be an interesting year for Cardinal fans.

Jeff (5 O'Clock Blogger): I think I'm most eager to see Colby Rasmus take the Great Leap Forward. He'd always produced during the minor leagues, and from Strauss' arcticle from a few days ago it seems he was overwhelmed for much of last season.

Now that that's past and that he seems to have a better handle on the extracurriculars, he can go back to just playing ball. He'll be a fun player to watch. Plus, I picked him as one of my keepers in my fantasy league, so I have a vested interest in his success. :^)

Justin (Intangiball): The starting rotation excites me as much as anything. While the lineup is something of a known quantity, every member of the rotation offers some intrigue. Can Carpenter stay healthy? Will Wainwright build off of his amazing Cy Young bid? Which side of the Penny is going to turn up? Can Lohse find his 2008 form? And of course, who and what can we expect on the fifth day? (cough..cough..Jamie..cough)

But most of all I'm just looking forward to sunny days at the ballpark. For all of our in depth analysis and stat surfing, it's just a hell of a good time to watch it all unfold.

Travis (Fredbird Follys): I think what I'm most looking forward to is a season where our only arguement for being a contender was having Albert Pujols.
 
Last year was such a big question mark with us wondering if Carpenter would be healthy enough to see an inning, Wainwright keeping it up all year, Joel Pinero finding his stride, a repeat from Ludwick and we were all kinda wondering who the kid in center field was.
 
Now we have the rotation, we have the bats, we have the talent. Let's go take some names.
 
I'm looking forward to my first summer living in St. Louis and seeing a lot of games at Busch Stadium. I'll probably tell my freakin grandkids about this summer because "I saw back in 2010 when Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday kicked the living [crap--sorry, Travis!] out of every single team on a baseball field." (I'll probably be a foul mouthed old geezer)
 
That and beer. I'm really forward to kicking back with an ice cold Budweiser and THEN watching Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday kick the living [crap] out of everyone who steps onto a baseball field.

Pip (Fungoes): I'm most looking forward to Cardinal fans supporting the organization this year. I say that a bit tongue-in-cheek, but talent-wise this is the best team the Cardinals have had since the 2004-2005 group, and possibly better. Whether it pans out in the long-term, the Holliday deal showed that ownership is committed to winning, so I hope fans will remember that when the team hits a losing streak, if Carpenter misses half the season with another injury or if the team gets swept in the first-round of Selig Roulette again.

I thank all these guys for putting up with me and giving such great answers.  I've said before one of the things I love about baseball is the daily-ness of it.  I look forward to going home from work, turning on FSN, and watching Pujols and Holliday and Rasmus in the lineup and Carpenter, Wainwright and (hopefully) Garcia in the rotation.  There's going to be a lot to enjoy this year and I can't wait to get to it.


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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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