St. Louis Cardinals

Manager: Mike Matheny
Stadium: Busch Stadium
2008 Record: 86-76 (4th in NL Cent)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule

LINEUP

08: Batting | Runs (4th in NL)
PLAYER B POS
Skip Schumaker L 2B
Rick Ankiel L CF
Albert Pujols R 1B
Ryan Ludwick R RF
Troy Glaus R 3B
Khalil Greene R SS
Chris Duncan L LF
Yadier Molina R C
OFF THE BENCH
Colby Rasmus L OF
Brendan Ryan R INF

PITCHING

08: Pitching | ERA (7th in NL)
ROTATION T POS
Chris Carpenter R SP1
Adam Wainwright R SP2
Kyle Lohse R SP3
Todd Wellemeyer R SP4
Joel Pineiro R SP5
BULLPEN
Ryan Franklin R Setup
Dennys Reyes L Setup
Jason Motte R Closer
 
What does it take to move from the outfield to second base? Skip Schumaker is finding out fast. "I haven't worn a cup in six years," he says. "I'll have to start." The guy who played all three outfield positions in 2008 is trying to step in for Aaron Miles, who signed with the Cubs. If Schumaker can pull off the swap (Brendan Ryan and Tyler Greene are also in the mix), it would give St. Louis a .300 hitter in the middle infield and open a spot later this season for top prospect Colby Rasmus. The 29-year-old Schumaker was a shortstop until his junior year of college, but he had never played second before this spring. And yes, it's a big adjustment. "I'm sore in places I've never been before," he said one afternoon after taking hundreds of ground balls from infield coach and former Cardinals second baseman Jose Oquendo. Schumaker is also getting guidance from Gold Glove first baseman Albert Pujols. "He told me to pretend I'm guarding Michael Jordan, to stay low and move my feet," Schumaker says. No one needed to tell him about wearing the cup.
-- Tim Kurkjian

ESPN The Magazine's Cardinals preview Insider

PROSPECTS

HITTER TO WATCH:

Colby Rasmus is a potential Rookie of the Year, a plus center fielder with a great swing and plenty of power potential down the road.

PITCHER TO WATCH:

Jason Motte is a converted catcher who throws 98 mph like he's playing catch, and even though his slider is below-average he has dominated hitters at every level since he took the mound.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.

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AL
NL
 

SPORTSNATION

Is Albert Pujols still the best first baseman in the National League or have others closed the gap? Will Ryan Ludwick have another big year and be among the top right fielders in the game? Register your vote.

NL poll page

Featured Comment

Ryan Ludwick had an amazing breakthrough season last year. As with Yadi, hard to imagine him repeating the same feats this year.


2NOteamsrule

National League fan previews

FANTASY

SLEEPER

Chris Carpenter looked remarkably healthy in the spring and is only four years removed from a Cy Young season, and three seasons from a 15-win, 3.09-ERA campaign. For the price, if he gives you even 15-20 starts, he's going to be one of the steals of the draft.

BUST

This one, choosing Todd Wellemeyer, is all about workload concerns. He threw 111 1/3 more innings in 2008 than he did the year before, and 44 2/3 than he had in any other season in his professional career. Besides, his numbers weren't Cy Young material anyway. Expect regression.
--Tristan H. Cockcroft

INJURY TO WATCH

Chris Carpenter. Carpenter's past two seasons can be summed up as follows: bone spur removal, Tommy John surgery, nerve problems in shoulder, nerve transposition surgery at the elbow. After more than two years, Carpenter can finally say that he feels good. And it shows. His performance this spring has been both impressive and inspiring. The Cardinals are optimistic, albeit cautiously so, but it does appear that Carpenter is headed for a stellar season.
-- Stephania Bell

MORE

30 Questions: Was Ryan Ludwick's 2008 season a fluke?

PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS

  • Jayson Stark

    Stark
    No. 15 overall
    (3rd in
    NL Central)

  • Tim Kurkjian

    Kurkjian
    No. 10 overall
    (2nd in
    NL Central)

  • Buster Olney

    Olney
    No. 6 overall
    (2nd in
    NL Central)

  • Rob Neyer

    Neyer
    No. 17 overall
    (3rd in
    NL Central)

  • Jim Caple

    Caple
    No. 17 overall
    (4th in
    NL Central)