LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2013 — The St. Louis Cardinals finished the season with an 88-74 record, which was good enough to get them into the wild card playoff. From there, they were able to go all the way to the NLCS before losing to the San Francisco Giants.
The Cardinals were hoping to have a healthy Chris Carpenter back in the rotation this season, but Carpenter’s nerve issue resurfaced and he was placed on the 60-Day disabled list in February. Top pitching prospect Shelby Miller will fill that void in the rotation. Also Jason Motte will be sidelined while he is nursing an elbow strain and may not be ready for opening day, which means Mitchell Boggs will assume closing duties.
The injury bug has not been limited to the Cardinals’ pitchers. Oft-injured shortstop Rafael Furcal will miss the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this month. This leaves St. Louis with Pete Kozma to play shortstop.
The Cardinals always seem to find a way to make themselves relevant regardless of circumstance. This year may prove to be too much for the Cardinals to find the playoffs, as the wild card spots may end up coming from the east and west divisions in the National League. Barring a monumental collapse by the Reds, there is not much of a chance that the Cardinals can win the National League Central.
Projected payroll: $111,150,000
Notable Players Out: 2B/OF Skip Schumaker, RHP Kyle Lohse
Notable Players In: IF/OF Ty Wigginton, LHP Randy Choate
Prospect Watch: OF Oscar Taveras and RHP Carlos Martinez
Highlight Hitter: 1B Allen Craig (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .283/.337/.478 19 HR/66 R/82 RBI)
Highlight Pitcher: RHP Adam Wainwright (ZiPS 2013 Projections: 14-9, 3.42 ERA, 8.13 K/9, 173.7 IP)
Projected Lineup: C Yadier Molina, 1B Allen Craig, 2B Matt Carpenter, 3B David Freese, SS Pete Kozma, LF Matt Holliday, CF Jon Jay, RF Carlos Beltran
Projected Rotation: RHP Adam Wainwright, LHP Jaime Garcia, RHP Jake Westbrook, RHP Lance Lynn, RHP Shelby Miller
Projected Closer: RHP Mitchell Boggs
Manager: Mike Matheny
Projected 2013 Finish in NL Central: 1. Cincinnati Reds 2. St. Louis Cardinals 3. Pittsburgh Pirates 4. Milwaukee Brewers 5. Chicago Cubs
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.