NUMBERS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!Clearly, Cards Mgr Oliver Marmol believes in analytics.  We’ve seen all of his veteran coaches depart. One can make the supposition that all of them felt that “Ollie” revered his numbers more than their experience  & expertise. Let’s look at NUMBERS SPEAKING LOUDER THAN WORDS across the Sports World.

…All the talk (words) prior to the NCAA Mens-Bball tournament was about the usual teams. The Best teams from the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12 dominated the talk. THE NUMBERS DO SPEAK LOUDER THAN THE WORDS as one checked out the scoreboard. Gonzaga was somewhat familiar as a Final 4 team but Miami, Florida Atlantic, San Diego State? THE NUMBERS (ON THE SCOREBOARD) SPEAK LOUDER THAN ALL THE WORDS of the “experts”. Watching San Diego State & Florida Atlantic compete against each other showed big-time talent, with height, speed, skill, quickness and good coaches. 2023 may be the year that the so-callled outsiders became accepted as part of the Final Four teams.

…The numbers tell us definitely that the Cardinals number of wins will drop….albeit not a great deal.  However, “losing ground” as a 2nd place team doesn’t ever seem appealing. In 2022, the Cards were 48-28 vs Central division teams. That’s a 63% winning rate. Outside the division the Redbirds were 45-41, a 52% winning rate. In 2023, the schedule has been completely revamped. The Cards will now play EVERY MLB team (hence, Toronto opened the season in StL—fun to see them!)If the Cards win at the same rate in & outside their division they’ll win 90 games. THE NUMBERS TELL US THAT THE CARDINALS will still be a 1ST PLACE TEAM. Remember, Milwaukee also had the same benefit as the Cards with respect to scheduling. Sooo….now, they also have the same issue of winning more games outside the division.

…Nonetheless, the National writers  have rated the Cardinals offense as #4 in the entire MLB. Atlanta, Toronto & the Dodgers are rated 3-2-1 respectively. Soooo…. THE NUMBERS TELL US LOUDER THAN WORDS that we’re going to face teams with weak pitching and especially  weak bullpens.The Cardinals pitching staff was rated #9 and that was with a healthy Wainwright. In a 30 team league, #9 barely makes the top 1/3 of the league in pitching. It’s said by many that pitching often determines who wins & who loses.  Many Cardinal fans, including me, would like to trade a “prospect or 2” for a proven starter.  We don’t know how many more years our corner infielders will still be at..or close to…their top performance. It seems that both Goldy (35 years old) & Arenado(31) are still performing at their peak level. But…we all know… that Fr Time will touch them some day….THOSE NUMBERS SPEAK LOUDER THAN  WORDS

…Now, winning at the same rate, isn’t a “given”.  It actually may be tough to match. Will Paul Goldschmidt be the NL-MVP again? Albert’s not coming back to carry the team on his back in the 2nd half again. The Cardinals “Opening-day” pitcher in 2023 was Miles Mikolas. One would assume that your “Ace” starts the season.  However, Mikolas finished with a 12-13 record last year. Is that “Ace” level of performance? Adam Wainwright will be 42 years of age in August. His ERA last year was 3.71 raising his career ERA to 3.38. Which is good, very good for this era of baseball. Clearly Wainwright, whom I admire in many, many ways, is in the waning days of his career. He’s already injured. Are his 11 wins last year attainable in 2023? Who will pick up the slack? THE NUMBERS TELL US LOUDER THAN ANY WORDS THAT IT’LL BE TOUGH FOR WAINWRIGHT TO WIN 11 GAMES. See below…..

…Possibly, Waino has the goal of reaching 200 career wins. He has 195 wins. It seems like a starting pitcher, in the modern era, needs a minimum of 200 wins for HOF consideration. The only exception that I found was Sandy Koufax. Koufax was 165-87 in his 12 year career. He won 25 games or more in 3 years. He won ZERO Cy Young awards but won the NL MVP once and 2 World Series MVP awards. Koufax had severe arthritis in the once-in-a-generation left arm that led to the demise of his career. In fact, in April of 1966 Koufax was told that he couldn’t go another season due to severe arthritis , but he did just that – winning a career high 27 games with a career-best 1.73 ERA while piling up 323 IP (he went over 300 inn-3x in his career). Wainwright has never won a Cy Young Award nor does he hold any Cardinal records (he’s 2nd in several categories). The NUMBERS TELL US –IT’S 200 WINS OR BUST!

…GIVE US THE YEAR that the Cardinals last won TWO post-season playoff series. 

…with the 3rd highest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) rating of 6.3 was Tommy Edman. Yet it seems that Edman is getting shuffled around. I wish that they’d put him @ SS and forget about. 2B seems to be an issue for the ’23 Cards. Brendan Donovan a talented player who appears to be able to play anywhere on the field deserves to play every day. With a higher WAR than other infielders, the numbers say he should be inserted @ 2b daily.  In 2022 compared to all other Cardinals, Donovan was #3 in Batting Avg, 2nd in OBP, 5th on the Cards in OPS. It almost seems like his versatility has played AGAINST him. THE NUMBERS TELL US LOUDER THAN WORDS, THAT AT THIS TIME, THESE TWO DESERVE TO BE PLAYING DAILY.

…the haunted word of “great prospect” (seemingly applied to most every Cardinal rookie) is most heard about 22 year old Nolan Gorman. He did have strikeout issues last year. His strikeouts/plate appearances rate was 91/357—25% of the time. It appears that he’s worked hard to “lay off” that high fastball out of the strike zone. If he continues to do that, he’ll be a very productive batter. Where does he fit in? He should be the every-day 2b. But…. Donovan has really “made the waters muddy” by coming out of nowhere to be so productive. It’s not fair to Donovan but if Gorman gains regularity, I’d look to use Donovan as a stunt man—2b, SS, LF, RF. Play him 4 of every 5 games while still using Gorman@ 2b.

….Cardinals quiz answer—It was 2013 that the Cards won 2 post-season series but lost the World Series. Other Playoff years with ONE series victory were:   2019 & 2014. The Playoff Years with NO Series win after 2013 were-2022, 2021, 2020, 2015.  Cards missed playoffs 2018, 2017, 2016.

… WHAT DO THE NUMBERS TELL YOU?  Please share your thoughts even if I can’t hear your words by going to either  Bob Ryan Facebook page or on Thanks for the read!  Have a super week! Bob

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