Cardinals Ready to Return to World Series

Photo Courtesy: Eric Fischer
Can the St. Louis Cardinals fly far again?  Photo Courtesy: Eric Fischer

By Steve Painter

The St. Louis Cardinals are most certainly a dynasty, similar to the Braves historic run in the 90’s and early in the 2000’s. GM John Mozeliak has once again tweaked the roster and added Peter Bourjos, Johnny Peralta, and Mark Ellis to supplement and indeed, improve the already impressive Red Birds.

Some work remains, however, as Bourjos, Jon Jay, and Daniel Descalso are up for arbitration. But those matters should be handled almost effortlessly and the team ready to take the field with an inspired attitude to repeat as NL Champions.

Coach Mike Matheny will have fun every day, barring injury, in filling out a lineup card. His problem will be a good one – How to find playing time for all of the tremendous talent on the roster. Matt Adams is in a 1B, while Allen Craig is penciled in at the RF position. But how about Oscar Taveras? Will he be moved to RF? It would not be a surprise, given his talent. Mark Ellis is penciled in at second, but Kolten Wong will be given every chance to win that job during the spring.

And the pitching? With Wainwright, Wacha, Lynn, Kelly, and Miller there are no lingering questions about the top 5 starters. Rosenthal will close and the team has an impressive array of relievers to fill the holes during games.

The only team that will give the Cardinals a problem appears to be the Dodgers, who themselves are talent laden. St. Louis makes returning to the World Series a team expectation not a dream.