New Stat: Hit Game Rate (HGR)

One of my favorite things to do is come up with stats that look at different things. I have my Runs Created stat that basically considers how many runs you were a part of during a particular season (Runs + RBI – HR). Tonight, I shall go over the Hit Game Rate and see how the current Cardinals team stacks up.

Now what is a Hit Game Rate, you might be asking? Very simply put, a Hit Game is a game in which you get a hit. Hit Game Rate, is how often you get a hit in any given ballgame. This isn’t like batting average where it measures how many hits you get. It simply counts how often you have a ballgame in which you get a hit, whether it be one hit or five hits.

The basic idea of the stat is to gauge whether a person is being consistent or whether their batting average might be inflated by one or two really hot games. After all, Player A who goes 1-for-4 for four nights will have a .250 batting average, but Player B who goes 0-for-4 for three games and then 4-for-4 the last will also have that .250 batting average. Each is a very different player and perceptions of the player will be different.
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Cardinals release J.C. Romero

It was a busy day for the St. Louis Cardinals on a transaction front. The team announced that they have released LHP J.C. Romero and recalled RHP Eduardo Sanchez. In an unrelated move, the team released minor league outfielder Amaury Cazana.

Romero, 35, signed a $750,000 deal with the Cardinals as the second left handed reliever out of the bullpen. He spent time with four different organizations in 2011 and likely was hoping for some security where he could settle in and rebuild his value. For the first month of the season, he looked to be well on his way to doing just that. Over 8 appearances he pitched 4 2/3 innings allowing 4 hits and no runs. However it all went downhill from there. In his last 3 appearances, totaling 3 1/3 innings he allowed 10 hits and 9 runs, all earned.

In his place, the Cardinals will call up reliever Eduardo Sanchez. Sanchez, 23, impressed in 2011, posting a 1.80 ERA over 30 innings. He even got a chance to close for the Cardinals before he began struggling with control issues. The Cardinals cut him during Spring Training to give him an opportunity to work on his mechanics and control, now he’s back with improvements made, says the organization.
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Who stays, who goes?

Who will stay and who will go is probably the question on a few players’ minds right now. The St. Louis Cardinals are due to activate Lance Berkman before tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves, which means that they need to open up a spot on the 25 man roster. Any of the team’s bench players could find themselves on the block. Even pitchers may not be safe according to a few things I’ve read that claim the team is considering going with 11 pitchers for a little bit.

To lead off, I think going with 11 pitchers would be a really bad idea. The way Mike Matheny has utilized the pitching staff, we could probably exist that way for awhile. However, one or two bad starts by the rotation in a row, or a long extra innings game, and you’ll find yourself chasing your tail making roster moves for the next couple weeks (as once you demote a player he has to stay in the minors for at least 10 days).

The Cardinals are hitting the meat of their schedule with a 3 game set against the Braves (my preseason pick for World Series Champions) and then next week with the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. All three teams are quality opponents who will provide the Cardinals tough challenges. Going undermanned in the pitching staff could end up being a costly mistake.
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April Grades: Pitching Staff

Yesterday I tackled my April Grades for the Cardinals’ position players and today I will tackle the grades for the Cardinals’ pitching staff and the manager. Chris Carpenter is still out and we’ve kind of forgotten that he even exists with how great the staff has been so far in 2012.

Manager Mike Matheny – Matheny was my #1 choice to take over for Tony La Russa after he announced his retirement. We’ve long heard about his potential as a manager. However, I didn’t really like that he had zero managerial experience. It’s something I held heavily against Jose Oquendo. But I felt that Matheny always had the ability to be a good manager, and so far he has been.

It’s hard to take over for a probable future Hall of Fame manager, but he has and he’s done it by making it into his own team. Over the last few years, I felt that the Cardinals had strayed from that “Play Like a Cardinal” ideal and become flat with their on field play. This year, I see some excitement. I see some of that baseball that I recall seeing earlier in La Russa’s tenure coming back. It’s a fun time to be a Cardinals’ fan. Grade: A.
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April Grades: Position Players

I know it’s been awhile since I was able to add to the blog, it’s not for lack of desire, but more a lack of time. Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten a job, been working on finishing the projects at my internship, and my wife and I adopted a dog. Needless to say, there has been very little “routine” in our lives since the last blog post.

For the Cardinals, the last couple weeks have brought some changes. Lance Berkman hit the disabled list. Skip Schumaker and Allen Craig have returned. Erik Komatsu is now Designated for Assignment (DFA) and will likely get picked up on waivers or brought back by Washington. Chris Carpenter has yet to return to throwing after his neck injury in Spring Training.

With one month of the season in the books for the Cardinals, it’s time to hand out some early season grades for the team. Today will be a look at Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak and the offensive players on the roster. Tomorrow will look at the Cardinals’ coaching staff and the pitchers. Let’s dig in.
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