Dec 6, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; ESPN anchor Buster Olney broadcasts live during the Major League Baseball winter meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Image credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN says St. Louis Cardinals have 4th-best lineup

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ESPN senior writer Buster Olney ranks the St. Louis Cardinals with the 4th-best lineup in Major League Baseball.


Olney leads off his talking about the Cardinals with one sentence that stands out: “No team has been better at making changes on the run without losing anything.:

It could not be truer. This is a franchise that won the World Series in 2011 after starting pitcher Adam Wainwright‘s season was lost in Spring Training following Tommy John Surgery.

In 2012, Chris Carpenter‘s season was just about lost before he pitched towards the end of the regular season after getting a rib removed.

What the organization has done with stacking their farm clubs with power arms is amazing to say the least. This offseason, the Cards set out to improve their offense and they took care of most of the issues before Thanksgiving with the acquisition of Peter Bourjos via trade and the free agent signing of Jhonny Peralta. After the Winter Meetings, Mark Ellis signed as a free agent. He decided to take less playing time if it meant playing for a contender.

With the way the club looked against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, it’s hard to forget that they led the National League in runs scored and all of baseball in batting average with runners in scoring position.

This is a Cardinals team that does not have Carlos Beltran or David Freese. Jon Jay will ride the bench unless he’s traded. Pete Kozma is not going to get much, if any, playing time. I would not be surprised if he is moved in the next few weeks.

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