The Alex Reyes situation was probably one of the worst things that could have happened to the Cardinals. But its still the Cardinals. And its still only Spring Training.
Yeah, I agree that things do not look promising for the Cardinals right now. The loss of Reyes dealt a considerable blow to the pitching staff, and no one was quite sure what to expect before the injury anyway. However, lets not abandon ship just yet.
After missing the postseason for the 1st time in years and being eliminated DURING the last game of the year, the Cardinals deserve to be cut at least some slack. A lot of people “know” the Cardinals won’t make it to the postseason. You can’t be eliminated from the playoffs before you play a single one of 162 games. They still have a legitimate chance at the post season.
For starters, we are getting back a starter in Lance Lynn.
We missed him a whole lot in 2016 and probably would have made the Wild Card with him. He is coming back off of TJ, so expectations should not start out astronomically high. However, he know how to pitch and I think he will do just fine in 2017.
As for the other starters, its almost impossible to do worse than last year (outside of Martinez). If Adam Wainwright and Mike Leake can have career average years (or at least better than last year), then there is no reason to count this team out yet. Especially if Martinez continues to be Carlos Martinez.
No one should worry about the offense that much.
I don’t think there are many concerns with the offense after last years performance. With the addition of Dexter Fowler, this lineup can perform extremely well. It has the potential to thrive consistently too. The defense however, is yet to be determined. On paper, they improved with Fowler, but we won’t know for sure until we are in the thick of the season. All in all, the offense will take care of itself.
The Central Division is the Cubs to lose right now.
The beauty of a new season is that everyone starts out with the same record no matter how much hype surrounds the team. That being said, if the Cardinals aim to dethrone the Cubs atop the central, then they are slightly delusional. Cubs are just a very good club, which is not a knock to the Cardinals.
The Cubs would have to massively under perform while the Cardinals devilishly out perform themselves. Not saying that it isn’t possible, which it very well can happen.
However, the chances of that happening are slim. On the bright side, the Cardinals still have very positive Wild Card potential. That is all you need to have a shot at winning the World Series anyway. If you remember one line from this article, let it be this one: No matter how bad the team is, you cannot be eliminated from postseason contention with an 0-0 record.
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