This is the second edition of the Redbird Roundup: a weekly St. Louis Cardinals notebook, check-in, and your one-stop shop for important transactions, movement in standings, player trends, and more.
Opening Week Game Results (1-5 in the week) (3-6 overall)
- Monday 4/3: Atlanta Braves 8 - St. Louis Cardinals 4
- Tuesday 4/4: Atlanta Braves 4 - St. Louis Cardinals 1
- Wednesday 4/5: Atlanta Braves 5 - St. Louis Cardinals 2
- Friday 4/7: St. Louis Cardinals 0 - Milwaukee Brewers 4
- Saturday 4/8: St. Louis Cardinals 6 - Milwaukee Brewers 0
- Sunday 4/9: St. Louis Cardinals 1 - Milwaukee Brewers 6
Week 2 MVP: Jordan Montgomery
Perhaps this week's MVP could have gone to Jordan Walker but another Jordan stepped up and salvaged just a bit from an otherwise disastrous week for the St. Louis Cardinals. For a few hours on Saturday night, Jordan Montgomery provided Cardinals fans with a performance that we had been hoping for from all of the starting pitching on the team. Monty pitched 7 innings against the Brewers on Saturday, surrendering only 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 9 opposing batters. It was a start that the club desperately needed and hopefully will steer the ship in the right direction for this pitching staff.
NL Central Standings
- Milwaukee Brewers (7-2)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (6-3)
- Chicago Cubs (4-4)
- Cincinnati Reds (4-4)
- St. Louis Cardinals (3-6)
Injuries and Transactions
10-day / 15-day IL: RHP Adam Wainwright, LHP Packy Naughton, OF Lars Nootbaar, INF Paul DeJong, RHP Wilking Rodriguez, C Tres Barrera, and INF Jose Fermin
Recalled: 1B Juan Yepez and LHP Génesis Cabrera from AAA Memphis
Division, Pennant, and World Series Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)
To win NL Central: +145 ($100 wager wins $145)
To win NL Pennant: +1000 ($100 wager wins $1,000)
To win World Series: +2200 ($100 wager wins $2,200)
RHP Tink Hence (High-A Peoria): The Cardinals' top-ranked pitching prospect and 73rd overall ranked prospect by MLB.com turned in an impressive outing to start his 2023 season. Hence struck out 6 batters over 4 innings pitched on Thursday night for High-A Peoria. He did not surrender any earned runs and only walked two batters. It will be interesting to see how the Cardinals organization utilizes Hence this year as he has not pitched deep into ballgames thus far in his professional career.
LHP Matthew Liberatore (AAA Memphis): I am going to keep tabs on Matthew Liberatore because I think it's just a matter of time before he joins a reeling Cardinals pitching staff in St. Louis. The left-handed starter pitched another great game on Thursday against Nashville: allowing zero earned runs over 5 innings pitched and striking out 7 batters.
Statistic Explanation: FIP
The next statistic that I will tackle is Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP). If you missed the first edition of the Redbird Roundup, I explained wRC+ and why I think it's one of the best metrics of all-around performance for batters, check it out here. A pitcher's FIP tells us how well they perform on outcomes that they have total control over (Home Runs, Hit-By-Pitches, Unintentional Walks, and Strikeouts).
The formula for FIP is: ((HR x 13) + (3 x (BB + HBP)) - (2 x K)) / IP + FIP constant. FIP Constant is added to level the scale for the entire league's Earned Run Average.
This metric aims to take away what the pitcher cannot control (their defense) and has often been a more accurate representation of performance on a year-over-year basis. To continue the exercise from last week, take a look at the 2022 MLB leaders in FIP:
1. Kevin Gausman (TOR - 1.94 FIP): 9th in American League Cy Young Voting
2. Aaron Nola (PHI - 2.10 FIP): 4th in National League Cy Young Voting
3. Max Fried (ATL - 2.24 FIP): All-Star, 2nd in National League Cy Young Voting
4. Carlos Rodón (SFG - 2.51 FIP): All-Star, 6th in National League Cy Young Voting
5. Max Scherzer (NYM - 2.63 FIP)
Clearly, the correlation between low FIP and award recognition is not as high as one might expect. Despite this, FIP remains an important metric to track how pitchers perform in situations that are under their control exclusively.
If you have ideas for items that you would like to be included in the weekly Redbird Roundup do not hesitate to reach out! Leave a comment or DM @HenryFitz16 on Twitter - any and all feedback is welcome.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.