2021 ZiPS Projections: St. Louis Cardinals

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for nine years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Batters

Can we just say 87 wins and call it a day? It feels like that’s what I’ve been projecting for the Cardinals for the last 15 years or so. That’s an exaggeration, but not an extreme one: ZiPS hasn’t projected them outside the 85–90 win range in a full season since 2011. Going back to the first official ZiPS team standings in 2005 — I only did players in the initial couple of years — St. Louis’ projections have been below .500 once (2008) and above 90 wins once (2010). The lineup rarely has superstars at the top of the lineup, but the Cards have a knack for keeping their floor incredibly high.

It’s not looking like anything will be all that different this year, pending any moves made this winter. The first thing to talk about is the loss of Kolten Wong at second base, practically the poster boy for the club’s “low ceiling, high floor” way of life. I’m not a fan of declining the option year for Wong, but the way the roster is built, it’s not going to cost many wins: He gets the third-best projection on the team, but Tommy Edman, the replacement as of this moment, isn’t far behind. It strikes me as unlikely that Matt Carpenter was ever going to be displaced at third by Edman if Wong stayed around, after all. ZiPS is a fan of José Rondón, signed to a minor-league contract, and thinks he’d be a perfectly adequate replacement for Edman as an all-purpose substitute. I don’t think it’s far-fetched that this happens, either: The Cards have that high floor largely because they can sniff out useful role players for free.

ZiPS expects Dylan Carlson to be fine, if unspectacular, as a starter, but has a veritable bounty of worries about Dexter Fowler in right. In about a thousand plate appearances over the last three years, he’s at a decidedly unenticing 0.4 WAR, and he turns 35 before Opening Day; it’s unlikely that this is just a small road bump in his career. It’s entirely possible, though, that an upgrade isn’t deemed necessary in a division in which nobody seems in the mood to push their stack of chips. I think that would be a mistake, and I’d love to see some of the funds not being used on Wong going toward a big addition. Marcell Ozuna has a .281/.350/.512, 4.1 WAR projection in St. Louis and history with the team, or St. Louis could close a Nolan Arenado deal and move Carpenter to right. Either would be fine!

It’s increasingly looking like no deal will be made to bring back Yadier Molina; he doesn’t appear to be pleased by the team’s offer. It’s awkward to part on uneasy terms with a big part of your franchise history, but if there’s no willingness to spend money aggressively this winter, it’s hard to justify going with Molina over Andrew Knizner. Nobody can sign the 2011 Yadi, just the 2021 version.

Pitchers

In nine starts in 2020, Jack Flaherty allowed more than twice as many runs (22) as he did in the second half of the 2019 season (10). Obviously, that level of performance was unsustainable, but it’s hard to characterize last year as anything but a disappointment for the former Cy Young contender. If not for Adam Wainwright looking like he was in his prime and Kwang Hyun Kim exceeding expectations, the rotation would have been in much more difficult straits.

The good news is that Flaherty is likely to have a better 2021, and ZiPS sees him getting back to All-Star levels. His 4.11 FIP in 2020 better describes his abilities than the ERA near five, and the projections have him beating that number handily as well. One note of caution: Unusually, ZiPS thought a lot more of Flaherty’s advanced data than StatCast did. Generally the various estimators ZiPS uses are in the same neighborhood as MLB’s, but it’s not the case here for some reason. Remember, I said caution, not panic!

As for Kim, while his 1.62 ERA was more than two runs better than his FIP, ZiPS does see him as a valuable No. 2 starter. ZiPS was out on a bit of a limb on Kim before last season, projecting him with an ERA of 4.00 in 2020 as a full-time starter, more positive than any prognosticator than I remember. As it turned out, Kim’s 3.88 FIP was identical to the 3.88 ERA ZiPS translated for his 2019 season with the SK Wyverns of the KBO. Suffice it to say, nothing that happened in 2020 changed how the algorithms feel about him.

I have to think there’s a real chance that Carlos Martinez blows his projection completely out of the water. The conditions of his 2020 were unusual enough — coming back from a COVID-19 stint while simultaneously returning to starting — that a brutal set of outings may be fouling his projection more than they ought to. But the projections are what the projections are, and my thumb is not part of the algorithms.

ZiPS likes the team’s bullpen a lot more than Steamer does, as Andrew Miller, Ryan Helsley, Kodi Whitley, and Tyler Webb all get much better projections from the former. Also getting a much better projection is eternal ZiPS favorite Giovanny Gallegos. Where the systems do agree is that the depth drops off significantly after the front-line names: ZiPS sees a big plunge once you get past Whitley and maybe Seth Elledge. A low-key signing would be advantageous here; someone like Chaz Roe would be a hoot. After watching Miller and Roe sliders, batters may not be able to see a straight line against Gallegos in the ninth.

Batters – Standard
Player B Age PO PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Paul DeJong R 27 SS 595 531 76 130 28 1 23 83 48 153 4 2
Paul Goldschmidt R 33 1B 599 517 79 135 26 2 23 72 76 144 5 2
Kolten Wong L 30 2B 524 458 60 122 22 4 9 51 44 77 14 5
Harrison Bader R 27 CF 440 386 61 88 17 3 15 46 38 140 12 4
Tommy Edman B 26 3B 595 548 72 142 23 6 12 55 34 114 14 5
Dylan Carlson B 22 CF 533 477 64 117 27 7 15 64 46 133 11 6
Matt Carpenter L 35 3B 491 411 65 90 22 1 16 56 67 131 2 1
José Rondón R 27 SS 424 396 47 96 20 3 15 51 22 104 6 4
John Nogowski R 28 1B 401 352 47 91 15 1 8 38 40 51 1 2
Andrew Knizner R 26 C 361 330 38 83 14 1 8 37 20 63 2 1
Yadier Molina R 38 C 414 385 36 99 16 0 8 46 17 62 3 0
Brad Miller L 31 LF 371 322 42 72 15 3 14 49 43 107 3 2
Edmundo Sosa R 25 SS 531 496 55 120 22 3 10 47 18 113 4 3
Tyler Heineman B 30 C 289 257 27 59 11 1 4 20 21 42 4 0
Austin Dean R 27 LF 477 436 56 114 25 3 15 61 34 98 3 3
Tyler O’Neill R 26 LF 421 383 57 87 15 1 21 60 32 132 7 2
José Godoy L 26 C 327 296 31 69 13 0 5 26 22 62 1 1
Irving Lopez L 26 2B 454 411 47 91 17 4 8 36 27 95 2 2
Rangel Ravelo R 29 1B 384 345 44 86 18 1 9 44 30 66 0 1
Julio Rodriguez R 24 C 387 369 35 80 15 1 10 37 16 91 0 0
Max Moroff B 28 SS 332 282 40 55 10 1 8 39 45 101 4 2
Lane Thomas R 25 CF 421 381 46 82 16 4 11 43 33 125 9 7
Nolan Gorman L 21 3B 533 489 57 99 23 5 19 62 37 186 1 3
Justin Williams L 25 RF 386 355 41 87 15 1 11 41 26 98 4 2
Brendan Donovan L 24 2B 372 330 39 70 16 3 5 29 33 94 3 2
Evan Mendoza R 25 3B 469 440 44 104 17 3 6 34 25 106 5 2
Justin Toerner L 24 RF 457 400 49 86 13 2 9 35 47 128 12 10
Lars Nootbaar L 23 LF 461 423 46 99 13 3 9 39 36 86 4 6
Dexter Fowler B 35 RF 416 363 50 83 15 2 12 49 45 106 5 3
Kramer Robertson R 26 SS 481 422 52 91 17 2 6 34 45 93 13 9
Matt Wieters B 35 C 253 227 20 48 8 0 6 29 19 60 1 1
Ivan Herrera R 21 C 311 280 33 61 8 1 8 27 23 76 1 1
Juan Yepez R 23 RF 401 369 44 81 17 1 12 44 26 100 5 2
Rayder Ascanio R 25 SS 381 349 34 70 14 0 6 27 24 89 4 5
Scott Hurst L 25 CF 409 374 36 73 15 2 6 29 29 130 4 4
Elehuris Montero R 22 3B 461 432 46 94 19 1 12 44 25 140 1 2
Conner Capel L 24 LF 494 458 47 102 19 3 8 41 30 122 10 8
Luken Baker R 24 1B 490 446 45 90 23 1 11 44 40 139 1 1
Delvin Perez R 22 SS 424 394 35 77 10 3 1 19 20 109 12 9

 

Batters – Advanced
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Paul DeJong .245 .316 .431 98 .186 .301 4.9 7 3.3 Jhonny Peralta
Paul Goldschmidt .261 .359 .453 117 .191 .320 6.0 2 3.0 Gil Hodges
Kolten Wong .266 .345 .391 98 .124 .304 5.1 6 2.7 Adam Kennedy
Harrison Bader .228 .314 .404 92 .176 .316 4.6 8 2.2 Ty Gainey
Tommy Edman .259 .309 .389 86 .130 .308 4.5 7 2.1 Michael Young
Dylan Carlson .245 .315 .426 97 .180 .310 4.8 0 1.8 Junior Felix 펠릭스
Matt Carpenter .219 .338 .394 96 .175 .280 4.6 -2 1.6 Corey Koskie
José Rondón .242 .284 .422 86 .179 .292 4.2 4 1.5 Chris Woodward
John Nogowski .259 .339 .375 92 .116 .283 4.5 7 1.3 Steve Christmas
Andrew Knizner .252 .303 .373 81 .121 .290 4.1 3 1.2 Matt Walbeck
Yadier Molina .257 .296 .361 76 .104 .289 4.0 3 1.1 Chris Coste
Brad Miller .224 .318 .419 96 .196 .289 4.6 1 0.9 Doug Jennings
Edmundo Sosa .242 .280 .359 70 .117 .295 3.5 4 0.7 Jose Castro
Tyler Heineman .230 .296 .327 68 .097 .261 3.6 3 0.7 Buck Rodgers
Austin Dean .261 .317 .436 100 .174 .307 5.0 -5 0.6 Wil Cordero
Tyler O’Neill .227 .290 .436 91 .209 .287 4.5 -1 0.6 Tyrone Woods 우즈
José Godoy .233 .295 .328 68 .095 .279 3.4 3 0.6 Gary Bennett
Irving Lopez .221 .288 .341 68 .119 .269 3.3 4 0.4 Chris Lombardozzi
Rangel Ravelo .249 .315 .386 87 .136 .285 4.3 2 0.4 Mike Brown
Julio Rodriguez .217 .251 .344 58 .127 .261 3.0 6 0.3 Jeff Winchester
Max Moroff .195 .309 .323 71 .128 .272 3.3 -2 0.2 Lauro Felix
Lane Thomas .215 .281 .365 72 .150 .290 3.4 2 0.2 Kenny Kelly
Nolan Gorman .202 .266 .387 73 .184 .282 3.4 1 0.2 Lance Madsen
Justin Williams .245 .299 .386 82 .141 .309 4.1 1 0.2 Andre Ethier
Brendan Donovan .212 .293 .324 66 .112 .281 3.2 2 0.1 Sam Bozanich
Evan Mendoza .236 .278 .330 63 .093 .299 3.3 5 0.1 Juan Melo
Justin Toerner .215 .308 .325 71 .110 .293 3.2 6 0.1 Tom Lombarski
Lars Nootbaar .234 .295 .343 71 .109 .274 3.4 7 0.1 Trot Nixon
Dexter Fowler .229 .320 .380 88 .152 .290 4.2 -5 0.0 Michael Tucker
Kramer Robertson .216 .305 .308 66 .092 .263 3.1 -3 0.0 Mike Moriarty
Matt Wieters .211 .279 .326 62 .115 .261 3.1 -1 0.0 Chad Kreuter
Ivan Herrera .218 .286 .339 68 .121 .270 3.3 -4 -0.2 Matt Treanor
Juan Yepez .220 .273 .369 70 .149 .268 3.5 2 -0.3 Edward Lowery
Rayder Ascanio .201 .257 .292 47 .092 .252 2.4 4 -0.4 Gil Velazquez
Scott Hurst .195 .256 .294 48 .099 .282 2.4 3 -0.8 Justin Justice
Elehuris Montero .218 .265 .350 63 .132 .293 3.1 -4 -0.9 Chad Spann
Conner Capel .223 .272 .330 61 .107 .287 3.0 1 -1.2 Alex Negron
Luken Baker .202 .269 .332 61 .130 .267 3.0 0 -1.3 Felix Colon
Delvin Perez .195 .247 .244 33 .048 .268 1.9 0 -1.7 Luis Ugueto

 

Pitchers – Standard
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO FIP
Jack Flaherty R 25 12 8 3.26 31 31 171.3 131 62 22 51 215 3.39
Miles Mikolas R 32 9 8 3.99 26 26 151.0 153 67 22 29 121 4.21
Kwang Hyun Kim L 32 9 8 4.05 25 24 140.0 139 63 20 37 117 4.31
Dakota Hudson R 26 10 10 4.34 34 28 155.7 148 75 18 68 121 4.59
Carlos Martinez R 29 7 8 4.50 21 21 114.0 110 57 16 45 105 4.50
John Gant R 28 7 6 4.14 42 12 95.7 86 44 11 43 92 4.19
Austin Gomber L 27 5 5 4.39 29 17 98.3 93 48 15 42 101 4.54
Adam Wainwright R 39 7 8 4.63 20 20 114.7 118 59 18 41 101 4.66
Daniel Ponce de Leon R 29 7 7 4.53 26 21 105.3 92 53 15 57 115 4.61
Giovanny Gallegos R 29 4 3 3.24 52 0 58.3 46 21 7 17 73 3.21
Austin Warner L 27 7 8 4.80 23 22 125.7 131 67 19 49 105 4.81
Anthony Shew R 27 5 6 4.66 19 18 100.3 105 52 15 33 84 4.59
Ryan Helsley R 26 4 4 4.31 33 11 77.3 70 37 10 38 79 4.45
Alex Reyes R 26 4 3 4.02 21 9 53.7 46 24 6 29 64 3.98
Thomas Parsons R 25 8 10 4.94 26 26 145.7 160 80 26 40 109 4.99
Angel Rondon R 23 7 9 4.93 25 25 133.3 136 73 21 60 115 5.03
Génesis Cabrera L 24 6 7 4.67 39 15 106.0 99 55 18 50 117 4.82
Nabil Crismatt R 26 6 7 4.76 25 19 115.3 118 61 21 35 103 4.83
Jordan Hicks R 24 4 3 3.67 63 0 61.3 52 25 6 28 71 3.75
Ricardo Sanchez L 24 7 8 4.82 22 20 108.3 119 58 16 33 75 4.80
Garrett Williams L 26 7 8 4.85 29 19 102.0 98 55 12 64 89 5.02
Kevin Herget R 30 5 6 4.75 21 12 77.7 82 41 14 22 65 4.85
Evan Kruczynski L 26 5 7 5.15 23 22 117.0 124 67 18 53 93 5.13
Alex FaGalde R 27 7 9 5.17 22 21 108.0 117 62 19 40 81 5.27
Tyler Webb L 30 3 2 4.04 57 1 55.7 50 25 7 21 54 4.11
Andrew Miller L 36 4 4 4.00 55 0 45.0 39 20 5 20 49 4.11
Johan Oviedo R 23 7 9 5.27 24 23 114.3 115 67 16 74 102 5.39
Kodi Whitley R 26 3 2 4.23 41 1 55.3 52 26 7 23 54 4.28
Seth Elledge R 25 4 4 4.40 47 2 57.3 52 28 8 32 63 4.68
Liarvis Breto L 28 2 3 4.64 22 3 42.7 42 22 5 23 37 4.80
Jacob Patterson L 25 5 5 4.45 56 1 64.7 62 32 9 27 65 4.42
Jake Woodford R 24 6 8 5.35 27 19 112.7 117 67 21 54 96 5.47
Edgar Gonzalez R 38 7 9 5.42 22 20 98.0 109 59 15 49 67 5.49
Roel Ramirez R 26 2 3 4.92 34 4 56.7 58 31 9 28 51 5.14
Rob Kaminsky L 26 2 2 4.54 35 0 41.7 40 21 5 22 36 4.67
Ryan Meisinger R 27 2 3 4.73 31 1 45.7 43 24 8 18 48 4.67
Jesus Cruz R 26 4 4 5.06 37 5 53.3 49 30 8 32 58 4.92
Junior Fernández R 24 2 3 4.63 47 0 56.3 52 29 6 32 52 4.69
Patrick Dayton L 25 3 3 4.62 43 0 60.3 61 31 8 26 49 4.72
Johnny Hellweg R 32 0 1 5.06 11 0 10.7 11 6 2 6 9 5.62
Brett Cecil L 34 2 3 4.75 42 0 36.0 37 19 6 15 31 4.87
Bryan Dobzanski R 25 3 4 4.99 49 1 57.7 55 32 8 35 57 5.04
Ramon Santos R 26 2 3 5.19 37 3 60.7 62 35 8 36 48 5.29

 

Pitchers – Advanced
Player K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BB% K% BABIP ERA+ ERA- WAR No. 1 Comp
Jack Flaherty 11.3 2.7 1.2 7.3% 30.9% .274 132 76 4.3 Dave Stieb
Miles Mikolas 7.2 1.7 1.3 4.6% 19.1% .290 108 93 2.5 Bob Tewksbury
Kwang Hyun Kim 7.5 2.4 1.3 6.2% 19.7% .289 106 94 2.3 Tommy John
Dakota Hudson 7.0 3.9 1.0 10.0% 17.8% .280 99 101 2.0 Ownie Carroll
Carlos Martinez 8.3 3.6 1.3 9.1% 21.2% .291 96 104 1.3 Pat Rapp
John Gant 8.7 4.0 1.0 10.4% 22.3% .285 104 96 1.3 Charlie Williams
Austin Gomber 9.2 3.8 1.4 9.8% 23.6% .294 98 102 1.2 Bob Kuzava
Adam Wainwright 7.9 3.2 1.4 8.2% 20.2% .299 93 107 1.1 Red Faber
Daniel Ponce de Leon 9.8 4.9 1.3 12.3% 24.8% .284 95 105 1.1 Tom Cheney
Giovanny Gallegos 11.3 2.6 1.1 7.2% 30.8% .283 133 75 1.0 Keith Foulke
Austin Warner 7.5 3.5 1.4 8.8% 18.9% .299 90 111 1.0 Jimmy Anderson
Anthony Shew 7.5 3.0 1.3 7.6% 19.2% .300 92 108 1.0 Brady Raggio
Ryan Helsley 9.2 4.4 1.2 11.2% 23.3% .288 100 100 0.9 Luke Walker
Alex Reyes 10.7 4.9 1.0 12.3% 27.2% .299 107 93 0.9 Richie Lewis 리치
Thomas Parsons 6.7 2.5 1.6 6.3% 17.2% .297 87 115 0.9 Steve Fireovid
Angel Rondon 7.8 4.1 1.4 10.1% 19.4% .295 88 114 0.8 Robert Averette
Génesis Cabrera 9.9 4.2 1.5 10.7% 25.0% .295 92 108 0.8 Tony Arnold
Nabil Crismatt 8.0 2.7 1.6 7.0% 20.7% .292 91 110 0.8 Denny Harriger
Jordan Hicks 10.4 4.1 0.9 10.6% 26.8% .297 118 85 0.7 Wayne Nix
Ricardo Sanchez 6.2 2.7 1.3 6.9% 15.8% .299 89 112 0.7 Jeff Mutis
Garrett Williams 7.9 5.6 1.1 13.7% 19.1% .291 89 113 0.7 Joaquin Andujar
Kevin Herget 7.5 2.5 1.6 6.6% 19.4% .296 91 110 0.6 Tim Harikkala 하리칼라
Evan Kruczynski 7.2 4.1 1.4 10.1% 17.7% .299 84 120 0.5 Jake Chapman
Alex FaGalde 6.8 3.3 1.6 8.3% 16.9% .294 83 120 0.4 Chris Beasley
Tyler Webb 8.7 3.4 1.1 8.9% 22.9% .283 107 94 0.4 Joe Beimel
Andrew Miller 9.8 4.0 1.0 10.2% 25.0% .291 108 93 0.3 Luis Arroyo
Johan Oviedo 8.0 5.8 1.3 13.9% 19.1% .298 82 122 0.3 Kevin Ritz
Kodi Whitley 8.8 3.7 1.1 9.6% 22.5% .294 102 98 0.3 Jerry Reed
Seth Elledge 9.9 5.0 1.3 12.5% 24.6% .295 98 102 0.2 Anthony Chavez
Liarvis Breto 7.8 4.9 1.1 11.9% 19.2% .296 93 108 0.2 Dean Stone
Jacob Patterson 9.0 3.8 1.3 9.5% 23.0% .298 97 103 0.2 David Wells
Jake Woodford 7.7 4.3 1.7 10.7% 19.0% .291 81 124 0.1 Justin Sturge
Edgar Gonzalez 6.2 4.5 1.4 10.9% 14.9% .300 80 126 0.1 Ed Riley
Roel Ramirez 8.1 4.4 1.4 10.9% 19.9% .299 88 114 0.0 Kevin Joseph
Rob Kaminsky 7.8 4.8 1.1 11.9% 19.5% .289 95 105 0.0 Chris Cumberland
Ryan Meisinger 9.5 3.5 1.6 9.1% 24.4% .289 91 110 0.0 Willie Mueller
Jesus Cruz 9.8 5.4 1.4 13.3% 24.1% .293 85 117 0.0 Thomas Santiago
Junior Fernández 8.3 5.1 1.0 12.6% 20.5% .289 93 107 0.0 Willie Eyre
Patrick Dayton 7.3 3.9 1.2 9.7% 18.4% .293 93 107 0.0 Anthony Ferrari
Johnny Hellweg 7.6 5.1 1.7 12.5% 18.8% .290 85 117 -0.1 Moe Burtschy
Brett Cecil 7.8 3.8 1.5 9.6% 19.7% .295 91 110 -0.1 Joe Grzenda
Bryan Dobzanski 8.9 5.5 1.2 13.3% 21.7% .296 86 116 -0.2 David Aardsma
Ramon Santos 7.1 5.3 1.2 12.9% 17.2% .295 83 120 -0.2 Tim Meeks

Players are listed with their most recent teams wherever possible. This includes players who are unsigned, players who will miss 2021 due to injury, and players who were released in 2020. So yes, if you see Joe Schmoe, who quit baseball back in August to form a Finnish industrial death metal fourth-wave ska J-pop band, he’s still listed here intentionally.

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR, which is to say, WAR values as calculated by me, Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in the full release of ZiPS. Finally, I will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on a depth chart to produce projected team WAR. ZiPS is assuming that the designated hitter will continue in force in 2021; if it does not, there will be widespread minor adjustments across the board come April.

ZiPS is agnostic about future playing time by design. For more information about ZiPS, please refer to this article, or get angry at Dan on Twitter or something.





Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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MorboTheAnnihilator
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MorboTheAnnihilator

As a Cardinals fan I wish this sentence, “St. Louis could close a Nolan Arenado deal and move Carpenter to right.” actually read “St. Louis could close a Nolan Arenado deal and move Carpenter to the unemployment line.”

Harold Reynolds
Member
Member
Harold Reynolds

I actually wouldn’t mind him in a utility role. Sure he’s overpaid but the deals already done. Put him in his best role which at this points seems like a utility guy for the corners and 2B I guess if you’re desperate and with shifting.

Dave Stewart
Member

Hi Harold! Welcome to the web sight!

MorboTheAnnihilator
Member
MorboTheAnnihilator

Carpenter can’t really field. He had a 95 wRC+ in 2019, an 84 wRC+ in 2020, and the statcast number to back both of those performances up. He’s still a sweetspot/launch angle god, but his exit velocity, average, max, and +95%, has cratered over the last two years.

sadtrombone
Member
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sadtrombone

If there is one thing I have learned from a number of people (family, doctors, sports) it’s that if you keep getting back injuries, you’re probably screwed and you just hope to space out the injuries a bit. I wonder how he’d do if he could go back to first base full time, or even DH full time.

tdouglas
Member
tdouglas

If Arenado is the only acquisition, then Carpenter is still one the top eight players on the team. He’s certainly better than Fowler, although there’s a chance he totally blows in right field and makes the difference negligible. I still hold hope that Carpenter can hit at a league-average level, which with his decent defense at third holds value. ZiPS agrees with that.

For the most part, he’s hitting the ball as hard as he ever has. His xwOBA of .323 wasn’t fantastic, but it’s certainly playable. His contact rates cratered, which is somewhat alarming; if we start 2021 and he is still rocking those poor contact rates, it might be time to move in a different direction. We’ll see.