Saturday, March 05, 2005

Cardinals better in '05?

Gammons says so. Doesn't make much sense to me, with the biggest drop-off being at SS, where Eckstein replaces Renteria. Eckstein is gritty, and don't get me wrong - I love grit, but grit is most effective when accompanied by talent. This is unfortunately where Eckstein is lacking. Renteria, on the other hand, was either the #1 or #2 best SS in the NL over the past few years accompanied by Furcal. Another of their big acquisitions was Mark Mulder, who was pretty much a below average pitcher from July on last year. The Cards seem to think he's an ace, but I don't, and I think they gave up too much to get him by trading Daric Barton and Kiko Calero, as well as Dan Haren, a pitcher with a dominant minor league history. One is considered to be possibly the best hitter in the minors, and the other is a highly effective reliever with nasty stuff. Chris Carpenter's season last year had much more to do with the great offense the Cardinals had, not some tremendous improvement out of an oft-injured pitcher. He will fall off sharply from last season. Matt Morris? Don't get me started. A pitcher with an ERA around 5 is not, I repeat not, and "ace". Yeah, he eats innings, but doesn't do much else. I am not taking the Cardinals lightly, obviously us Brewer fans are in no position to do that, but I am saying they are not a great team. A good one? Yes. They are still essentially loaded with bats with Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, and Larry Walker, if (a BIG if) he's healthy. I will say right now that this Cardinals team, managed again by the easy-to-dislike Tony LaRussa, wins no more than 90 games and has a hard time winning the Central again unless Jocketty is able to pick up a good SP on the cheap.

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