Here at The Birdhouse, we stand tall behind our writing. To that end, this article revisits the opening season roster predictions made independently by Ray Mileur and me that were published here for Scout.com 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)|
|Relievers (7)||Relievers (7)|
|Miller (L)||Miller (L)|
|Manning (L)||miss Reyes||Ring (L)||miss Reyes|
|Infielders (5)||Infielders (5)|
|Greene, K||Greene, K|
|Freese (NRI)||Freese (NRI)|
|Outfielders (3)||Outfielders (3)|
|Schumaker (L)||Schumaker (L)|
|Ankiel (L)||Ankiel (L)|
|Bench (5)||Bench (5)|
|Rasmus (NRI)||Thurston (L) (NRI)|
|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 email@example.com. Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at his blog, The Cardinal Nation.
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