Today on Twitter, a conversation began about whether John Mozeliak was a good General Manager. Outside of John Mabry, there may not be an employee of the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization that brings more mixed feelings from fans than John Mozeliak. Some see Mozeliak as an overrated GM who has ridden the coat tails of those before him. Others see him as a genius at team building. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
By all accounts, the St. Louis Cardinals have talented hitters. A quick glance down their everyday lineup, even when you consider new shortstop Ruben Tejada in at short for Jhonny Peralta, the Cardinals have a lineup that seems to be capable of providing above average production at every position. Yet two weeks until the season starts and the Cardinals sit 28th of 30 teams in run production.
It isn’t a question of lack of talent. So it really does beg the question: Why does the Cardinals’ offense suck so bad?
After the 2015 season saw five of the St. Louis Cardinals’ nine Opening Day starters spend significant time on the disabled list, the team got bad news again. Jhonny Peralta, injured over the weekend, is expected to miss two to three months with a torn tendon in his left thumb. And so begins the team’s 2016 disabled list adventures.
Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak discussed that the Cardinals want to evaluate their internal options before making a decision whether to pursue players outside of the organization. Of course, the media still loves a good trade rumor story, so they have already begun discussing all of the potential options available or potentially available. I doubt that will happen though.
Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections are out. They have the Cardinals finishing 82-80 in third place in the NL Central and 10 games back of the division winning Cubs.
It’s not a glowing endorsement from PECOTA, though last year they projected the Pirates to go 81-81 and they won 97 games last year. So there’s that.
Part of the problem is that projection systems will find it difficult to project the Cardinals because of the injuries that plagued them last season. They won’t reflect full seasons from guys like Adam Wainwright or Matt Holliday or even new additions like Stephen Piscotty or Randal Grichuk.
Easy peasy, right?
When the 2015 season wrapped up a month and a half ago, the Cardinals had five players on the roster that you could be comfortable with playing center field everyday. Now a week before Christmas and the only one that could go out there and play center field today is Tommy Pham. Which is ironic, considering injuries have basically defined his minor league career.