Starting pitching, Matt Holliday and down on the farm highlights

The bats were as cold for the weather with a few exceptions, but the Cardinals won their 6th straight series this weekend (if you count the opening game at the Marlins) at the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lance Lynn continues to look like a front of the rotation starter for the future. The sample size is small, but Lynn is simply electric on the mound. He has 3 above average pitches that he commands well. Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse continue to hit their spots and show the Cardinals have as deep a starting rotation as any team in MLB.

It’s unrealistic to think that the 0.99, 1.31 and 1.42 ERA’s of Lohse, Westbrook and Lynn can be kept up, but as long as they continue to give the Cards a chance to win every night until Adam Wainwright finds his form, this team can go a long way. As bad as the Cubs have played (4-12) to start the year, the Cards streak of winning series could hit a snag this week. I say that because Jaime Garcia’s splits continue to suffer on the road, and Wainwright just isn’t there yet. They will be starting the first 2 games of the Cubs series.

I’ve read some interesting things to start the year, and one last night topped all others. That interesting thing was someone wanting to trade Matt Holliday. Talk about a short attention span. First of all, Holliday has a no trade clause. Holliday is known for being a slow starter, with last year being the exception to the rule. Holliday is hitting .197 with a .240 OBP, 3 HR’s and 8 RBI’s. Going into his 9th MLB season, Holliday has a career mark of a .313 AVG, a .385 OBP, and averages 29 HR’s and 109 RBI’s over 162 games. The last 2 and a half years as a Cardinal should have proved to all who doubt him that he’s not a product of Coors field. Holliday’s March/April OPS in his career is .852, by far his lowest. For his career he’s .924, and the lowest in any other month is .895 in August. I guess these types of rants are to be expected early in the year, but c’mon man!

With the way the Cardinals are playing despite the injuries to Chris Carpenter, Allen Craig, Scott Linebrink, Lance Berkman and now Jon Jay, there’s little to talk about. Mike Matheny has this team playing as well as any team in baseball, so let’s look at the future and how some of the bigger names are doing down on the farm.

Matt Adams has continued in AAA Memphis where he left off in AA. For those that don’t know, Adams is our 1B of the future, was the Texas League Player of the Year in 2011, and both Mark McGwire and John Mozeliak rave about him. He suffered a setback the other night with a hyperextended elbow, and is expected to miss some time. In 16 games with Memphis, Adams has a line of .349/.388/.571 with 3 HR’s and 8 RBI’s.

The Cards 2B of the future is Kolten Wong. He skipped High-A ball to move to AA to start the year, and he just might be the everyday 2B for the Cards are early as next year. He’s commonly compared to Ray Durham both offensively and defensively, and projects to hit in the 2nd spot in the order. Wong impressed the Cardinals enough for them to take him in the first round in 2011, largely because of his success in the Cape Cod League, where they use wood bats. So far in 2012 at AA, Wong has a line of .352/.426/.593 with 1 HR and 8 RBI’s. Wong put up similar numbers in his first pro season last year. A weak spot for the most part since the days of Fernando Vina with a few short term successes, 2B might be a serious strength in the near future. I think Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene are just keeping the seat warm for now.

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