This year’s monthly project continues with April’s Cardinals’ Approval Ratings. Once again I questioned Cardinals’ fans on their satisfaction with current Cardinals’ players on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most satisfied and 1 being the least satisfied. Response was about equal with the preseason approval ratings, however I did lose some and gain others.
There was very little that surprised me with the way trends went. The biggest gain by a position player was Lance Berkman who went from a 6.0 to a 9.4 which was an increase of 3.4 points. The biggest gain by a pitcher would be Kyle Lohse who went from a 7.2 to a 9.3 to become the highest rated pitcher on the staff. With Lohse being the highest rated pitcher, the highest rated position player continued to be Matt Holliday who moved from a 9.3 to a 9.8 after the month of April.
The biggest losers? Albert Pujols fell from his 9.0 in the preseason to a 7.3 rating, a loss of 1.7 points. Obviously, his slow start impacted the results of fans’ opinions on how happy they were with his play. Meanwhile, no surprise who the lowest rated pitcher was, none other than the pariah of the bullpen, Mr. Ryan Franklin. Franklin fell from 6.8 to a 2.2 to be the lowest ranked player on the list.
Check out the other gainers and losers, movers and shakers.
On the bench, Gerald Laird is the highest rated position player with his 7.3 rating, up 1.7 from his preseason number. He’s joined at the top by Daniel Descalso who scored a 7.1 which was up 0.9 from his preseason number. There were also two new members of the bench list, Nick Punto debuted with a 6.2 and Mark Hamilton with a 6.4.
In the bullpen, the most exciting new member of the Cardinals bullpen is the highest rated reliever, that would be Eduardo Sanchez, who scored an 8.8 in his debut on the charts. The other reliever that began the season in Memphis, Fernando Salas, joins Sanchez at the top with his 8.0, up 1.2 and the highest gain by a bullpen arm. The only player to remain constant was in the bullpen too. That would be Brian Tallet who once again scored a 5.9.
It also seems as if out of sight is out of mind for Cardinals prospects. Shelby Miller, Zack Cox, and Matt Carpenter each experienced a drop from their preseason positions. Miller lost 0.9 points, Cox lost 0.8, and Carpenter fell a whole 2 points.
Back to the lineup and things that have me a little confused. Yadier Molina, despite the fact he was hitting .289 at the end of April, lost 1.3 points as he fell from 8.0 to 6.7 as he joined Pujols as the only starting players to decline in their ratings in April. Molina’s drop confused me, I guess many fans still had the echoes of his slow start in their heads when filling out the form. Should be interesting to see if and how he jumps in the May rankings.
Mr. Error, Ryan Theriot surprisingly was the position player with the second highest jump. While some of this jump can be assumed was a result of a heavy rating of 5 because they hadn’t seen him play, I was surprised that he managed to be rated as high as poorly as his defense has been. Maybe I’m mistiming my discussion of his defense, but he was not that effective in the month of April and nearly record settingly bad. With his 1.8 jump to a solid 6.7 that was a surprise.
The final piece that interested me was my ranking for how competitive do you feel this Cardinals team to be. Before the season began, that question scored a 6.9. Now? It got a 7.3, so it seems that fans think that this current Cardinals team is better than they originally thought. This is also reflected in the rating for John Mozeliak, which jumped 0.8 as the memory of no Pujols extension faded from memory. Tony LaRussa‘s also jumped 0.6 as I think he’s getting some love for allowing some of the baby birds to get solid playing time.
But speaking of that Albert Pujols extension. The one question that I’ve gone back and forth on whether to include. While the general view of the competitiveness of this Cardinals team has increased, the opinion that we will resign Albert Pujols has declined from a 7.4 to a 6.8. That was the one that really had me scratching my head.