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Redbird Musings: Is Matt Carpenter really having a good year?

Live from the South City porch in Princeton Heights, another batch of Redbird musings.

  • Matt Carpenter is having a down year, at least by the standards of Fangraphs. Carpenter currently ranks 180th in the Major Leagues in WAR at 1.9. He is below Tommy Pham (4.6), Carlos Martinez (2.8), Michael Wacha (2.4), Jedd Gyorko (2.3), Paul DeJong (2.3), Kolten Wong (2.2), and Yadier Molina (2.0). Widely known as the Cardinals best all around player, Carpenter sure isn’t acting like it this year. But he hits home runs and draws walks so zip it, right?
  • Wacha has a 2.4 WAR. This is why I stretch my trust between Fangraphs and Baseball Reference. Via Fangraphs, Mike Leake actually had a 1.9 WAR this season even though he’s pitched like crap since June.  Sabermetrics and good old fashioned statistics needs to sit down and figure out a truce that everyone can agree on.
  • Leake is gone and I am happy. If you look at his ERA over the course of the season, he was adding a run per month and then August just blew up on him. The five year contract was becoming an eye sore and I don’t give a shit how old he is. Mike Leake wasn’t pitching well, didn’t forecast well for the next year, and was getting in the way of other younger stronger arms. Stop crying over it…if you are. That’s like getting mad about the 17th lead dying on Game of Thrones.
  • Dexter Fowler’s bat is solid. He is hitting above .260, the on base percentage is at .360, and the dude has pop. The 15 home runs are two off a career high and the slugging percentage of .478 is a career high. All gravy, except for Fowler’s defense. According to the graphs of the fan, Fowler’s Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) is -5.3. It’s not as bad as the Colorado Rockies days, but it’s still a rough look for a center fielder. Fowler has cost the Cardinals 14 runs in the field this season and he frequently loafs around when base hits and gap knocks roll his way. He is a little too ginger in the field for me, and the stats back it up. Sooner rather than later, Fowler needs to be a left fielder.
  • Stephen Piscotty still isn’t that good. 2017 just needs to end, but what if 2018 isn’t that much better. How long can the Cardinals trade on the 2016 good Piscotty stock? He may be the next shocking trade, ala Leake, this offseason.
  • Randal Grichuk isn’t a stud, but he’s got three things that keep him from the road. Home runs, slugging percentage, and run saving in the outfield. I wrote him off in July, but he’s found a way to hang around.
  • If you want to watch a team in the standings, watch Colorado. They may be the Cardinals only chance of playoff activity. They lost Friday night and with the Cardinals win, the Birds are only four games back. Of course, that means the Cardinals must climb over the Brewers, who also stand ahead of them in line.
  • At least Harrison Bader’s back and starting on some days. Jack Flaherty made his debut. Sandy Alcantara is here. Oh boy, oh boy.
  • Mike Matheny could be let go in the offseason if the Cards fail to make the playoffs, but John Mozeliak stays. There it is.

That’s all I got today. Frankly, I’m tired of these Cardinals. They are an inconsistent mess, an incoherent action film being released during summer’s death. Forgive my blunt edge today, but I’m sick (literally sick) and tired (from being sick) of finding optimistic or original words about this team.

Thanks for reading,


Dan Buffa
Baseball has a way of bringing out the good, bad, and ugly in all of us. All I have is an opinion. Pull up a chair and hear me out. St. Louis born and bred.
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