Considering that the Cardinals just closed today on the purchase of their top minor-league affiliate, expect this tilt to be more of a celebration of all things Cardinals and a nice Friday night out in Memphis for the locals than it is a ‘game’.
In fact, it will not count in the official Spring Training record books. The Cards finish the Grapefruit League at 11-13-2. For math majors like myself, that’s a losing record.
Minimal injuries. Sans Jamie Garcia’s setback and the slow progress of Jason Motte (who’s role was up in the air to begin with), the Cardinals got through Spring Training about as healthy as any team in baseball.
The competition between Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez proved that Martinez will be a MLB starter at some point soon, adding another electric and young option to baseball’s deepest rotation.
Kolten Wong got off to a good start to build confidence. He finished with a .375 AVG | .434 OBP | 2 HR | 9 RBI | 5 2B | 4 BB line. He keeps that production anywhere near up, and the Cardinals could be on pace for 100+ wins.
Peter Bourjos won the CF job from Jon Jay. The defensive upgrade is palpable. If Randal Grichuk continues to progress into a legit prospect, this might be a trade that the Cardinals look back on as one of the best they’ve made in years. (Reminder: Bourjos & Randal Grichuk for David Freese & Fernando Salas)
The bullpen didn’t inspire much confidence. Even as late as yesterday, we saw Aardsma and McGregor get lit for 5 runs in the 8th inning to blow a 4-1 lead and lose a game 6-4. If this were March 1st instead of March 28th, that wouldn’t be news. But the Cardinals don’t still have the bullpen swing men in place.
Not to be to big of a homer, but I really looked to see if any other player that the Cardinals will be counting on (like Matt Adams or Allen Craig) had sub-par springs. And for the most part, every regular was on pace for what would have been their season expectorate.
The regular season opens on Monday in Cincinnati against the Reds. Friends, real baseball is almost here.