Auditing Our Cardinals Roster Predictions

Coming into spring camp, Ray Mileur forecasted 23 of the 25 opening day St. Louis Cardinals players.

If you're like me, you read others' predictions and at times wonder how some of those outrageous ideas might ever come to pass.

Here at The Birdhouse, we stand tall behind our writing. To that end, this article revisits the opening season roster predictions made independently by Premium Article Ray Mileur and Premium Article me that were published here for subscribers prior to the start of spring training camp.

Mileur's projected roster (23+2 NRI) Make/Miss Walton's projected roster (23+2 NRI) Make/Miss
Starters (5) Starters (5)
Carpenter Carpenter
Wainwright  Wainwright 
Lohse  Lohse 
Wellemeyer Wellemeyer
Pinero Pinero
Relievers (7) Relievers (7)
Franklin Franklin
Kinney Kinney
McClellan McClellan
Miller (L) Miller (L)
Motte Perez miss Motte
Manning (L) miss Reyes Ring (L) miss Reyes
Thompson Thompson
Infielders (5) Infielders (5)
Molina  Molina 
Pujols Pujols
Ryan Ryan
Greene, K Greene, K
Freese (NRI) Freese (NRI)
Outfielders (3) Outfielders (3)
Schumaker (L) Schumaker (L)
Ankiel (L) Ankiel (L)
Ludwick Ludwick
Bench (5) Bench (5)
LaRue LaRue
Rasmus (NRI) Thurston (L) (NRI)
Barden Barden
Duncan (L)  Duncan (L) 
Mather miss Thurston Mather miss Rasmus

As the above table shows, Ray had the more accurate prediction, hitting 23 of the 25 opening day players, while I was one behind at 22.

The key difference between us was Ray's projection of Jason Motte over Chris Perez in the closer's battle, while I thought it would go the other way. We were both right in assuming that there wasn't room for both of them on the initial roster.

While we also disagreed on the second left-handed reliever in the bullpen – Ray tagged Charlie Manning, while I selected Royce Ring – neither of us could foresee the mid-camp signing of free agent Dennys Reyes. If a tie had to be broken here, I would give myself the small nod, only because Ring survived in big league camp eight days longer than Manning.

All along, Ray was also more optimistic about the Skip Schumaker move to second base than I was, though at that point in February, we both still listed him as an outfielder.

Like many others, we whiffed on the selection of Joe Mather as a reserve. Interestingly, we each had a different non-roster invitee making the team, but neither of us predicted both.

Ray correctly thought top prospect Colby Rasmus would be named to the 25-man roster, while I had the right feeling about Joe Thurston's bid. Ray would clearly get the nod here, as Rasmus may be a major difference-maker on the 2009 Cardinals.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at his blog, The Cardinal Nation.

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