Curt Schilling, John Kruk discuss St. Louis Cardinals, NL Central


ESPN baseball analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk participated in ESPN’S MLB Opening Night/Opening Day media conference call on Wednesday afternoon, where they discussed the St. Louis Cardinals and the National League Central Division.

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Schilling and Kruk’s comments on the National League Central and the St. Louis Cardinals:

Curt Schilling: I think I said it the other day, the NL Central, whoever finishes in last I don’t think is going to be a last‑place team. I think much like the AL Central, for the most part, all of the clubs are kind of ‑‑ well, other than St. Louis and Pittsburgh, who I think are ahead of the curve, all the clubs seem to be coming around somewhat at the same time. I wonder about Cincinnati. If Votto is healthy and Cueto is Cueto and they get a couple surprises, they could be in contention; they could be a five‑team race. For me I want to see how they all get out of Spring Training from a health perspective.

John Kruk: I think it’s St. Louis and Pittsburgh and then the others are playing for third, just on paper. But I think the thing with Pittsburgh is they have to stay healthy and Andrew McCutchen is the main guy. He has to stay healthy. You don’t know what you’re going to get from Pedro Alvarez, and the Cardinals are just the Cardinals; every year you think, well, maybe they’re not as good as you think they are. They’re better than what you think they are, and they just know how to win.

That culture that they’ve built with starting with Tony LaRussa passing down to Matheny and Adam Wainwright getting it from Chris Carpenter, they just know how to win and they know how to pitch. They’ll play better defense.

So to say that the Cubs and the Reds and the Brewers are on par with the Cardinals right now would be kind of silly, but again, like Curt said, stranger things have happened and teams that you didn’t think could contend all of a sudden jump in it and they believe in themselves.