Dan Buffa: Matt Holliday is a model of consistency, as Whitener cleanly pointed out. Expectations for him coming into his 12th season and 5th with the Cards, I expect nothing less than the usual standard from the big fella. 145 games played, an on base percentage of at least .375, a batting average of .305, 115 RBI(with better speed on team at bottom of the order comes better chances for the top of the order later in the game) and around 25 home runs. You don’t get mind blowing stats from Holliday but that you do get a guaranteed level of production that should be appreciated with the other insane outfielder contracts from his era. Anybody looking up Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth’s overall production since their big deals sure can attest. And for all the purists who are barking at the news of Robinson Cano jogging down the line(same crowd who got on Pujols about it here), they can be satisfied in knowing no Cardinal on the team hustles down the line harder than Holliday. Sure he doesn’t win gold gloves in left field, but he makes the plays and doesn’t make stupid cutoff throw decisions. He is a prototypical slugger who can get on base, score runs, and knock runners in. He is clearly one of the best signings from Mo’s time here.
John Nagel: I am with Joe, I would love to see Holliday out of the 2 hole. Many of you have shared similar views that I have in that he is consistent. I do worry that his decline may start this year, but it should be a small decline and he still should be around .300 with around 20 bombs.
Matthew Phillip: +1 to both Ben’s comment regarding defense and to Joe’s comment regarding batting the #2 spot.
As for defense, two comparable players, Luis Gonzalez and Lance Berkman, give reason to pause about whether Holliday’s offense — even if it remains constant — will sufficiently offset his fielding. Gonzalez’s fielding swiftly declined after his age-34 season, so perhaps Holliday has one more year. Berkman, of course, aged out of left field by the time he was Holliday’s age. I’m not sure if first base is an option this year for Holliday, but I’m guessing he’ll need to buy a mitt for Spring Training 2015. And perhaps Mike Matheny can invite Keith Hernandez down as a special instructor.