First off a hello to all you PAH9ers; second, thanks to Erik for letting me tag along over here.

For those that haven’t heard of me I used to write here.  I’ll basically be doing the same thing over here that I did over there, which means a steady diet of numbers, graphs, and pitch f/x.  Some of it will be broad spectrum, but most of it will be Cards focused (or at least brought back to the Cards).  Now back to your regularly scheduled analysis.

CHONE projections for hitters are out, so now we can provide another piece of the 2010 projected value puzzle.  First just a quick table of the “relevant” Cardinals and their projected wOBA (for full stat lines go poke around the linked site)

Name 2010 Projected wOBA
Albert Pujols 0.433
Ryan Ludwick 0.356
Colby Rasmus 0.334
Skip Schumaker 0.330
Yadier Molina 0.329
Brendan Ryan 0.310
Julio Lugo 0.311
Allen Craig 0.346
David Freese 0.337

It’s good (but maybe overly optimistic?) to see both Freese and Craig come out as better than league average performers offensively. That really bodes well for Freese as all signs point to him being a capable (i.e. league average-ish defender).  It’s much less stellar to see Boog so low.

Keep reading after the jump for some FA projections along with a little more Cards analysis

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I’m trying to cut down on the blogging habit for a while, but this certainly came as news and is worth commenting on.

So before securing a replacement for Adam Kennedy, the team let him go? Weird. Very weird. I thought the org and the player kissed and made up and everyone was happy. Apparently Tony was not. The relevant question now is: Who wins the job? You would think the club would look outside with several good candidates out there, but Goold says they’ll look internally.

Here are the in-house candidates by their CHONE projections:

  • Joe Thurston – .322 wOBA. I got nothing on his defense, but in his last three minor league seasons he was +8, -4, -5 per 150 games.
  • Brendan Ryan – .308 wOBA- minus 4 on defense.
  • Brian Barden – .310 wOBA, neutral on defense.
  • Jarrett Hoffpauir – .324 wOBA, last three seasons in minors -9, 0, -15.
  • Skip Schumaker – .328 wOBA, glove???

I had Kennedy for .8 WAR but if he replicated his 2008 campaign in which he was a + 10 defender, he’d be at 1.2 WAR. Running each player through the spreadsheet and giving the starter 500 PA’s I get:

Thurston: .8 WAR
Ryan: .1 WAR
Barden .5 WAR
Hoffpauir .4 WAR
Skip .7 WAR, who really knows with the glove. I put him down as a -8 defender, and I think I am being nice.

Thurston projects to be every bit as good as Kennedy, if you can call that good. The bottom line is ditching Kennedy is no huge loss. If Skip can prove us wrong and be serviceable at 2B, it could clear the way for Colby.

Jerry Crasnick reported last week that the Cardinals phoned Ray Durham to see if he’d be interested in backing up Kennedy but nothing really happened. Hopefully Mo calls again. Eric Seidman of Fangraphs earlier today made a great case for Durham. I know the Cardinals would rather not eat AK’s salary and pay for another 2B, but Durham could probably be had for cheap. I think he’d look good batting 2nd, 7th or maybe even leading off if he can come close to posting another .380 on base%.

Yesterday, out of the blue, we learned that Troy Glaus underwent surgery to repair a torn muscle near his right shoulder and could miss 5 weeks or more of the season. That sucks and certainly calls into question “why now?”, but there’s not much that can be done about it now. So can the Cards weather this? I think so.

First of all, let me say there’s not a good enough reason to bring up Brett Wallace right now. If there were no other viable 3B options in house, then maybe, but there’s no reason to start the Walrus’s service time unless you plan on keeping him up in the big leagues for good. Let the big guy work on his defense in the minors where it doesn’t matter and then install him permanently as the regular 3B next season after Glaus walks. 

That brings us to David Freese. Why? Because he has little left to prove in AAA and will turn 26 early in the season. He’s an able defender and a decent hitter.  Freese’s CHONE projection calls for a .335 wOBA, a far cry from Glaus’ .372, but it’s respectable enough. I knocked down Glaus’ plate appearances to 500 and give 155 of them to Freese and it knocks the team off 3 runs. I also knocked Glaus’ projected .372 wOBA to .365, considering he may start slow coming back.  You can see the results here

The short of it is the Cardinals as they stood before this news had 88 win talent. Minus some Glaus, plus some Freese, the result is 87.4 wins. In other words, if Freese does play and plays as projected it costs the Cardinals only 6 runs. Not good, but certainly bearable. 

Now if La Russa mismanages the roster (and he very well could, knowing Tony) and plays a lot of Brendan Ryan at 3B, that could cost the Cardinals another 4-6 runs. Here’s hoping Freese has a strong showing in spring training and that he lives up to his prospect billing as a Cardinal rookie.

The bottom line is having Glaus out of the lineup for a month isn’t going to break the season. Barring a big move, the season right isn’t riding on Troy’s health so much as it is on Carpenter’s.

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