MLB 2013 Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

The ever contending Cardinals may be on the outside looking in this year Photo: Yadier Molina at bat in the rain/AP Keith Srakoci

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.

Adam Wainwright at spring training/AP Julio Cortez

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 

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

 


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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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