What do we know about the St Louis Cardinals?


The 2012 season is ten games old for just about every team. Obviously that is far too small of a sample size to really determine how the season will go, but it is enough to raise some questions and possibly answer some from spring training. The Cardinals entered the 2012 campaign with plenty of question marks. How have they responded to the doubters so far?

  • Just like last season, the St Louis Cardinals were dealt a hard blow when they lost a starting pitcher. There is still no definite timetable for Chris Carpenter‘s return, but the team is confident he will be back by May. There were questions as to whether anyone could fill the void he left, but Lance Lynn has performed exceptionally well through two starts. He has always been projected as a solid number five starter, but he has shown the strike-out ability, walk-rate, and poise that could possibly earn him a rotation spot even when Carpenter returns.
  • Everyone though last season’s power surge and offensive burst by Yadier Molina was a contract year fluke, but so far he is proving the naysayer’s wrong. I don’t think he keeps his pace, but with three home runs in the first ten games, it is entirely conceivable that he belts at least 15 homers.
  • Neither Daniel Descalso nor Tyler Greene has looked exceptionally well at the plate, so second base is still up in the air when Skip Schumaker returns.
  • So far, it looks like Rafael Furcal is still a capable leadoff man. Health is obviously going to be a big concern, as he hasn’t put together a full season in a while, but if he can give the Cardinals 130-140 games, it will alleviate some of the team’s concerns.
  • Carlos Beltran looks like he can definitely help to fill the void left by Albert. I don’t expect a 40 home run season, but he looks like he could provide the typical 30/100/100 year Albert was known for putting up.
  • Lance Berkman‘s 2010 was the fluke, not 2011. He will have to stay healthy once he returns from his calf tear, but his offense looks just as solid as last season.

Obviously, as I said, the team isn’t a lock to continue performing at this pace, but it is encouraging to see strong play by the new era Cardinals. I don’t expect Skinny Jake and Kyle Lohse to end the season with sub 2 or even sub 3 ERAs, but it is awesome to see them excelling in their contract years. The next 152 games aren’t as scary or worrisome now that we’ve seen that this unit definitely has the ability to provide a division flag at the end of the season.