Please see the earlier article for all the disclaimers about from where the data came and how it should be used. Suffice it to say that the Forecaster has been the leading publication of its kind for the last quarter of a century for good reason.
The $24.95 is well spent, and for that price you get a downloadable version and a free update in March. Buy the Forecaster here.
2012 Projections vs. 2011 Actuals and 2011 Projections - St. Louis Cardinals Pitching
Innings. As always, the rub here is health concerns. Can Chris Carpenter go a a fourth consecutive season without major injury? He is still down for 200-plus frames. Jake Westbrook, Kyle Lohse and Jaime Garcia are all down from 189 innings with Adam Wainwright returning to 160.
Wins. Folks might have been able to guess this conclusion themselves, except for the last part. Carpenter slightly up in victories, with Lohse and Westbrook down. Wainwright doubles Kyle McClellan's results from last year and ties Carp for second on the team – behind Garcia! The Forecaster says to expect "continued growth and improvement" from the left-hander.
ERA. Not good news here. Garcia and Westbrook are the only staff members in the same role that are expected to lower their ERA from 2011. As one might imagine, Westbrook will still be on the wrong side of four. Kyle Lohse is forecast to pack an entire run onto his ERA from last season. Most of the relievers are expected to join him, which if happens, means the pen will not be a team strength in 2012.
WHIP. Lohse's downturn can be predicted with a return to a more traditional (for him) number of baserunners. Mitchell Boggs is the pitcher with the highest number of forecasted runners per inning allowed, but Westbrook is expected to be only slightly better.
Strikeouts. No surprises here as past rates tend to continue - with the exception of the co-aces. Carpenter's drop in strikeouts is likely due to age with Wainwright ramp up from surgery perhaps cutting into his K's.
Unlike the hitting projections, which offered some opportunity for optimism, there is little excitement generated about the 2012 Cardinals pitchers based on these numbers, with the bullpen the key area of concern.
For graciously sharing their data as they do each year at this time, thank you again to Ron Shandler and BaseballHQ.com.
Part one: "BaseballHQ Predicts 2012 Cardinals Hitters"
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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