2009 St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Preview

Last season, the St. Louis Cardinals (86- 76) managed to finish 11.5 games out of first place. For the second year running, they were out of the running. Since winning the World Series in 2006, they've had to play second fiddle and sometimes third fiddle to the Chicago Cubs. This season may hold more of the same for this team.

Starter Chris Carpenter (0- 1 W/L, 1.76 ERA, .286 BAA) has had an array of injury problems the last few years. When he's healthy his 88- 94 mph fastball that tails down into the zone is impossible to hit. His curve changes speed nicely. His shoulder is worrisome. The number two guy, Adam Wainwright (11- 3 W/L, 3.20 ERA, .245 BAA), is a tall, powerful pitcher with a tough fastball, wicked curveball and nice change. He has fine command. Kyle Lohse (15- 6 W/L, 3.78 ERA, .272 BAA), Todd Wellemeyer (13- 9 W/L, 3.71 ERA, .245 BAA) and Joel Pineiro (7- 7 W/L, 5.15 ERA, .301 BAA) round out the starting rotation. The relief squad is developing and includes future closer Chris Perez (3- 3 W/L, 3.46 ERA, .227 BAA).

This is a club with excellent bats. Leadoff hitter Skip Schumaker (.302 BA, 46 RBI, 8 HR) knows how to use the strike zone and make contact. Ryan Ludwick (.299 BA, 113 RBI, 37 HR) offers a smooth swing and puts the ball in play. In the third spot, Albert Pujols (.357 BA, 116 RBI, 37 HR) has a dynamic swing and manages to almost always get the bat on the ball. He's one of the best hitters in the game. Troy Glaus (.270 BA, 99 RBI, 27 HR), Adam Kennedy (.280 BA, 36 RBI, 2 HR) and Yadier Molina (.304 BA, 56 RBI, 7 HR) are all quality hitters.

The defense on this team is very strong. Behind the plate, Molina is a quick, agile presence. The infield is sound in every spot. In center, Rick Ankiel gets a good break on most balls and has a strong and accurate arm. Schumaker in right and Ludwick in left both offer fine defense.

Manager Tony La Russa has been with St. Louis for 13 years and a major league manager for 30. Now in the last year of his contract, the Cardinal skipper may retire after this season. La Russa knows how to make the most of a bad situation. He ably guided the club last season despite the fact that he was dealing with an injury-laden lineup. GM John Mozeliak starts his second year as the top administrator for the Cards. Overall, he's a stat guy who knows how to make the numbers work.

The Cardinals can make some waves if their starting rotation remains healthy. They possess some fine offensive weapons and La Russa is one of the best managers around. The guy has won 2,461 games, which is second to Connie Mack. By the end of this season, he should be close to 2,550. Just how close he is will determine whether or not this team makes a post-season appearance.

Check out the Cardinals other NL central division rivals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros.

For more info on St. Louis check out the MLB website for the Cardinals.


2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews

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