WELCOME BACK TO THE THIRD WEEK OF HOT SEAT OR COLD THRONE.

If you missed last week’s edition, here is the basic gist of how this thing works:

Hot seat = bad.

Cold throne = good.

For more details, check out version 1.

The offseason is now upon us, so it is time to reflect on the year. This edition looks at the entire 2017 season.

HOT SEAT

  • Corner Infielders

Matt Carpenter played through much of the year with a shoulder injury and ended up with a career worst year. While it would be absurd to claim that he’s lost it, he will need to show improvement by for next year. Third base should have been Jedd Gyorko’s from the start, but it wasn’t. Jhonny Peralta played 21 games there before his release. It is clear now that the Cardinals have an idea of what their infield looks like, so hopefully 2018 bring more stability.

  • Breakout years

2017 provided evidence that a breakout year may be nothing more than just that. Aledmys Diaz, Seung Hwan Oh, Dexter Fowler, among others all did not produce at the levels expected from last season. Thankfully for the Cardinals, Paul DeJong stepped up and played better than Diaz ever did at SS. Fowler turned things around after a slow start; however, the closer role is a big question mark for 2018. Juan Nicasio filled in nicely, and is open to coming back.

  • Strong starts

The Cardinals took a very long time to get things going in 2017. They were two games under .500 at the All Star Break. In June, when it seemed as if the Cardinals were starting to figure out their lineup, the went 13-16. This slow start would put them in a hole that their 3 straight months of .500+ records could not successfully close the gap they dug at the start.

COLD THRONE

  • The future

The undoubtable thing that we have learned from this season is that the Cardinals have a foundation for success for years to come. Tommy Pham, Luke Weaver, Kolten Wong, Carson Kelly, Jack Flaherty, among countless others. The pieces are there, they’ve all had experience, and they’re so close to putting it all together.

  • Maturity

As unimpressive the Cardinals’ start to their season, the finish was something to admire. With a team rooted in rookies, they were able to string together a solid run, including a 16-12 September. Although it came up slightly short, you cannot fault the fight and finish in this team. For all the #FireMatheny talk, you have to believe he had a role in keeping rookies locked in through the tumultuous finish to the season.

  • Front office

Mozeliak made all the right moves this year. Calling up Pham, DeJong, signing Nicasio. Mozeliak put all the pieces together that the Cardinals could have asked for. This offseason, fans can be confident that the pieces needed to make the playoffs in 2018 will be assembled.

That’s all for Heat Seat or Cold Throne this year. Until next time, tweet us with your thoughts @Cardsblog.