Steve’s note: We’d like to welcome Rui on board here at Gas House Graphs. We think he’ll be a valuable edition to the group as he tries to incorporate infographics, which are popping up all over sabermetrics, into the site.

For my introductory post, I thought that I’d keep it simple; I went through Baseball Almanac’s “Opening Day” page, created an Excel file of all the Opening Day lineups the Cardinals have seen throughout the Aughts (Hey, we’re in the slight-less-awkward-to-say Teens now!), and created a heat map of sorts to visualize which positions have seen the most turnover.  Then I added a completely unnecessary Arch (for the St. Louisness, you see) simply due to the fact that Photoshop is a skill that has eluded me throughout the years that I hope to improve on in the future.  Hopefully over the next couple of weeks, the graphs will start looking more like Justin Bopp’s, and less like a 14-year-old Rui playing on MS Paint in Biology class

Click image to enlarge

To nobody’s surprise, our catchers, first basemen, and center fielders have been incredibly consistent, mostly due to the effectiveness of Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols, and Jim Edmonds.  Second base has been a notorious turnstile in Cardinals nation, but actually isn’t the position that has seen the most turnover; that honor belongs to right field.  With nine different players (as opposed to three each for catchers and first basemen) occupying the position on Opening Day in ten years, the Cardinals have seen the likes of Bobby Bonilla, JD Drew, Eli Marrero, Reggie Sanders, Larry Walker, the immortal Preston Wilson, current 2B Skip Schumaker and Ryan Ludwick attempt to lock up right to no avail.

2011, unfortunately, doesn’t offer much hope in terms of right field stability.  A 10th player in 11 years, Lance Berkman, is signed to a one year contract and the future beyond him is murky.  Allen Craig or Jon Jay could try and hold the spot throughout the remainder of their cost-controlled years, but neither of them are sure-fire starters in the Major Leagues.  I would anticipate even more turnover at the position in the future, unless Matt Holliday makes the permanent switch there.

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