Please see the earlier article for all the disclaimers about where the data came from 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 free update in March. Buy the Forecaster here.
2009 Projections vs. 2008 Actuals* - St. Louis Cardinals Pitching
* Major league equivalent Triple-A and Double-A stats are included, so 2008 numbers for these players are not actuals.
Especially without another starting pitcher, the situation in aggregate looks discouraging. While Adam Wainwright is projected to hit 200 innings for the second time in his career and Kyle Lohse should again approach 200, the rest of the rotation may not fare as well.
Ace Chris Carpenter is penciled in for just 82 innings, while the wheels may come off the Todd Wellemeyer bandwagon. Among the concerns expressed by Shandler was the large increase in innings from 2007 to 2008.
While Joel Pineiro's workload is forecast to grow and his ERA may drop under five, do you really want him on the mound for 165 innings?
Wainwright and Lohse are the only Cardinals pitchers projected to reach double digits in wins and neither of them may reach 15. In all fairness, while wins are clearly important, projecting them for individual players can be a challenge. A better bullpen could help in real life.
Good news in that the loss of saves from Ryan Franklin last season are added to Chris Perez in 2009. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Cardinals will trust Perez in the ninth. Shandler notes Perez' effectiveness against both righties and lefties and sees his Achilles heel, control, on the upswing.
It can't be too exciting when the only pitchers projected to improve in ERA from last year are Joel Pineiro, Brad Thompson and Kyle McClellan. Newcomer Trever Miller's consistency is noted, which is reflected in his line.
Brad Thompson and Joel Pineiro continue to allow too many baserunners and Wellemeyer's forecast is bleak in this area, especially compared to 2008. Kyle McClellan should see improvement, though Wainwright is projected to move from excellent to above-average.
Not much notable here other than this is a category for young men, with Chris Perez' 86 strikeouts in 73 innings leading the way. Probably due to lack of consistent track record, neither Josh Kinney nor Jason Motte is included in this section of the Forecaster.
It is interesting to me to note that Braden Looper is projected to replicate his 2008, while the other impending free agent starter, Kyle Lohse, got a four-year extension. The latter's 2008 second-half was viewed to be an outlier. If Shander's projections come to pass, it will seem the Cardinals signed the wrong man, at least for 2009.
It's not as if we didn't know that the Cardinals haven't made any strong additions to their staff in this off-season to-date. However, the edge will be in the young players not fully reflected in these projections.
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 the 2009 Cards: Hitters"
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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