2017 ZiPS Projections – St. Louis Cardinals

After having typically appeared in the very famous pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have been released at FanGraphs the past few years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the St. Louis Cardinals. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Arizona / Atlanta / Boston / Chicago AL / Chicago NL / Cleveland / Detroit / Houston / Kansas City / Los Angeles AL / Los Angeles NL / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York AL / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Tampa Bay / Toronto / Washington.

Batters
On Monday, the author of this post published the ZiPS projections for the Milwaukee Brewers. Among the findings one might have extracted from that document? No Brewers position player receives a forecast greater than 2.8 wins for 2017. Not much better than average, in other words.

Examining the numbers presented here, one finds a similar trend. Among those players currently employed by the St. Louis Cardinals, no batter is projected by Dan Szymborski’s computer to record more than 3.1 wins in 2017. Which is to say, not much better than average.

This might comes as a surprise. While the Brewers weren’t particularly good in 2016 and aren’t expected to be particularly good in 2017, the Cardinals missed the playoffs by a single game in 2016 and have comported themselves this offseason — as they have in many other, recent offseasons — as a team that intends to compete for a World Championship.

Pitching is one variable that separates the Cardinals and Brewers, of course. Another is sheer volume of competent pieces, though. The Cardinals appear to have a distinctly egalitarian approach to roster construction. While none of their starting field players is projected for more than 3.1 wins, all of them are forecast for more than 2.2 wins. They are infested with competence.

Pitchers
Like their field-playing counterparts, the Cardinals’ starting rotation is populated uniformly by average or slightly better pieces. Carlos Martinez (192.0 IP, 4.2 zWAR) represents the one exception: at four-plus wins, he not only receives the club’s top overall projection, but is acquitted as something more like a legitimate star. But Mike Leake (173.2, 2.0), Michael Wacha (138.1, 1.6), Adam Wainwright (149.1, 2.1): they’re all in the average range.

A note on the final member of the Cardinals’ likely Opening Day rotation, Lance Lynn (98.0, 1.6): ZiPS accounts for the fact that he missed the 2016 season, not why he missed it. All reports suggest he should be fine for spring training, etc. His absence is almost certainly what informs his modest innings projection, however.

Bench/Prospects
While Jhonny Peralta (454 PA, 1.8 zWAR) appears as Kolten Wong’s (495, 2.4) platoon partner in the depth-chart image below, the Cardinals’ infield situation is likely to be a fluid one — or has the potential to be, certainly, given the presence of five useful options. Matt Carpenter (601, 3.0), Aledmys Diaz (511, 2.7) and Jedd Gyorko (477, 2.4) are all capable of playing multiple positions and all receive a projection of two wins or better.

Nor does that even represent the entirety of the club’s competent infield depth. Greg Garcia (427, 1.5) and the cruelly neglected Wilfredo Tovar (454, 1.3) profile as strong bench players. Harrison Bader (441, 1.2) and Tommy Pham (347, 1.3), meanwhile, represent the top outfield alternatives.

With regard to pitchers, Alex Reyes (121.1 IP, 1.8 zWAR) was quite impressive in his brief exposure to major-league competition last year. Szymborski’s computer suggests he profiles as basically a league-average starter already. Luke Weaver (115.2, 1.6) was less impressive in terms of run prevention, but actually produced superior fielding-independent indicators to Reyes during his own, brief major-league run. His projection is also promising.

Depth Chart
Below is a rough depth chart for the present incarnation of the Cardinals, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player. For caveats regarding WAR values see disclaimer at bottom of post. Click to enlarge image.

cards-depth

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site and author’s own haphazard reasoning.

Batters, Counting Stats
Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS
Yadier Molina R 34 C 507 43 132 27 1 7 54 3 2
Stephen Piscotty R 26 RF 625 77 154 36 3 18 79 8 6
Matt Carpenter L 31 1B 601 86 134 34 4 18 67 2 4
Dexter Fowler B 31 CF 552 75 122 24 6 11 43 12 5
Aledmys Diaz R 26 SS 511 64 124 28 3 15 62 8 5
Jedd Gyorko R 28 2B 477 55 107 17 1 22 70 1 1
Kolten Wong L 26 2B 495 59 114 17 6 11 46 13 3
Randal Grichuk R 25 CF 524 69 122 30 5 23 69 5 4
Jhonny Peralta R 35 3B 454 46 106 23 1 13 49 1 2
Greg Garcia L 27 SS 427 44 89 17 2 3 29 7 3
Wilfredo Tovar R 25 SS 454 46 107 18 3 2 35 19 9
Tommy Pham R 29 CF 347 44 76 13 4 11 36 9 3
Harrison Bader R 23 CF 441 52 99 17 4 14 50 11 10
Carson Kelly R 22 C 415 41 93 19 1 7 41 0 1
Matt Adams L 28 1B 360 37 86 20 1 13 53 1 1
Eliezer Alvarez L 22 2B 433 46 102 25 4 5 43 19 13
Chad Huffman R 32 1B 287 34 63 16 2 9 25 3 2
Luke Voit R 26 1B 542 61 124 17 4 14 61 1 1
Paul DeJong R 23 3B 479 51 106 22 3 13 53 6 3
Jacob Wilson R 26 3B 398 43 82 20 1 11 44 2 3
Dean Anna L 30 2B 405 44 87 18 3 3 34 3 3
Jesse Jenner R 23 C 193 20 43 8 0 3 16 1 1
Todd Cunningham B 28 RF 458 52 102 18 3 5 39 14 5
Breyvic Valera B 25 2B 508 49 126 16 4 1 36 8 7
Eric Fryer R 31 C 195 21 40 7 1 1 17 2 2
Brandon Moss L 33 1B 467 54 94 18 2 22 61 1 0
Jose Martinez R 28 LF 438 46 108 21 2 8 42 6 2
Nick Martini L 27 RF 455 46 96 18 3 5 36 6 4
Edmundo Sosa R 21 SS 401 38 90 12 3 6 32 5 5
Gabriel Lino R 24 C 281 26 55 12 0 5 24 0 2
Brayan Pena B 35 C 223 14 54 9 0 2 14 1 1
Alberto Rosario R 30 C 142 11 30 7 0 1 9 0 0
Patrick Wisdom R 25 3B 427 40 81 19 3 9 40 5 2
Alex Mejia R 26 SS 376 34 83 15 2 3 28 3 2
Anthony Garcia R 25 RF 410 45 86 19 1 11 42 4 3
Jordan Schafer L 30 CF 104 10 20 4 1 1 4 8 3
Bruce Caldwell L 25 2B 435 42 80 17 3 8 38 3 1
Magneuris Sierra L 21 CF 542 52 124 20 3 5 41 21 16
Carlos Peguero L 30 RF 346 39 73 14 1 15 42 4 1
Jonathan Rodriguez R 27 1B 490 50 101 19 1 11 46 5 4
Dickie Joe Thon R 25 2B 420 36 78 15 2 6 31 9 8
Austin Wilson R 25 RF 396 39 68 12 1 7 32 4 4

***

Batters, Rates and Averages
Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Yadier Molina 507 5.9% 11.6% .107 .307 .282 .327 .389 .312
Stephen Piscotty 625 7.8% 18.4% .170 .313 .273 .338 .443 .342
Matt Carpenter 601 13.1% 19.8% .189 .308 .263 .366 .452 .352
Dexter Fowler 552 12.5% 21.4% .147 .322 .259 .360 .406 .342
Aledmys Diaz 511 6.7% 16.8% .171 .298 .268 .325 .439 .329
Jedd Gyorko 477 7.5% 22.0% .195 .273 .246 .306 .441 .320
Kolten Wong 495 7.1% 15.8% .140 .286 .256 .322 .396 .317
Randal Grichuk 524 5.3% 27.1% .223 .304 .249 .296 .472 .329
Jhonny Peralta 454 7.7% 17.8% .156 .289 .257 .317 .413 .315
Greg Garcia 427 10.5% 20.4% .081 .306 .241 .333 .322 .295
Wilfredo Tovar 454 5.1% 11.9% .071 .286 .254 .298 .325 .287
Tommy Pham 347 9.5% 27.1% .174 .314 .244 .320 .418 .327
Harrison Bader 441 5.4% 26.1% .165 .305 .244 .299 .409 .320
Carson Kelly 415 5.3% 20.0% .109 .289 .242 .286 .351 .277
Matt Adams 360 6.1% 22.8% .183 .303 .258 .306 .441 .317
Eliezer Alvarez 433 7.2% 21.0% .122 .323 .260 .319 .382 .323
Chad Huffman 287 8.7% 21.3% .184 .289 .247 .324 .431 .331
Luke Voit 542 8.7% 22.3% .138 .310 .255 .325 .393 .313
Paul DeJong 479 6.5% 28.2% .153 .316 .242 .299 .395 .304
Jacob Wilson 398 6.8% 23.6% .153 .273 .228 .287 .381 .291
Dean Anna 405 9.4% 14.6% .092 .279 .242 .315 .334 .291
Jesse Jenner 193 5.2% 16.6% .095 .278 .240 .292 .335 .279
Todd Cunningham 458 6.8% 14.8% .095 .286 .249 .313 .344 .295
Breyvic Valera 508 6.5% 8.9% .058 .295 .270 .317 .328 .292
Eric Fryer 195 8.7% 22.1% .068 .295 .229 .299 .297 .273
Brandon Moss 467 9.4% 28.1% .214 .274 .228 .310 .442 .318
Jose Martinez 438 6.8% 16.9% .122 .309 .269 .318 .391 .310
Nick Martini 455 8.6% 17.8% .096 .281 .235 .308 .331 .287
Edmundo Sosa 401 4.5% 21.4% .095 .294 .239 .278 .334 .274
Gabriel Lino 281 5.3% 31.3% .103 .294 .211 .257 .314 .250
Brayan Pena 223 5.4% 10.8% .072 .284 .261 .302 .333 .278
Alberto Rosario 142 4.2% 17.6% .076 .271 .227 .270 .303 .251
Patrick Wisdom 427 6.8% 30.9% .132 .283 .207 .263 .339 .266
Alex Mejia 376 4.5% 16.8% .080 .281 .239 .278 .319 .260
Anthony Garcia 410 7.3% 22.4% .146 .279 .233 .301 .379 .299
Jordan Schafer 104 8.7% 25.0% .098 .292 .217 .287 .315 .287
Bruce Caldwell 435 8.7% 33.3% .120 .300 .206 .277 .326 .266
Magneuris Sierra 542 3.5% 22.5% .080 .306 .242 .270 .322 .275
Carlos Peguero 346 7.2% 32.7% .193 .304 .230 .289 .423 .305
Jonathan Rodriguez 490 8.2% 28.8% .122 .304 .226 .292 .348 .285
Dickie Joe Thon 420 5.0% 32.9% .095 .290 .200 .251 .295 .253
Austin Wilson 396 6.8% 36.6% .098 .299 .192 .273 .290 .259

***

Batters, Assorted Other
Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Yadier Molina 507 4.8 94 4 3.1 Paul Lo Duca
Stephen Piscotty 625 5.5 110 5 3.1 Willie Montanez
Matt Carpenter 601 5.9 121 3 3.0 Kevin Youkilis
Dexter Fowler 552 5.4 108 -6 2.8 Mitch Webster
Aledmys Diaz 511 5.2 105 -3 2.7 Khalil Greene
Jedd Gyorko 477 4.8 100 3 2.4 Phil Nevin
Kolten Wong 495 4.8 94 4 2.4 Bill Spiers
Randal Grichuk 524 5.0 104 -4 2.2 J.J. Davis
Jhonny Peralta 454 4.7 96 1 1.8 Tim Wallach
Greg Garcia 427 3.8 79 2 1.5 Ed Giovanola
Wilfredo Tovar 454 3.5 72 6 1.3 Gary Cates
Tommy Pham 347 4.9 98 -3 1.3 Lou Collier
Harrison Bader 441 4.1 90 -1 1.2 Jim Lindeman
Carson Kelly 415 3.5 72 1 1.1 Rene Rivera
Matt Adams 360 4.9 100 3 0.9 Daryle Ward
Eliezer Alvarez 433 4.3 90 -3 0.9 Brad Wellman
Chad Huffman 287 5.0 103 0 0.7 Daryl Boston
Luke Voit 542 4.6 94 1 0.7 Domingo Michel
Paul DeJong 479 4.2 86 -6 0.6 Ty Wigginton
Jacob Wilson 398 3.7 79 0 0.6 Paul Russo
Dean Anna 405 3.7 77 0 0.6 Ed Giovanola
Jesse Jenner 193 3.4 70 1 0.6 Mike Nickeas
Todd Cunningham 458 4.0 78 4 0.6 Rick Manning
Breyvic Valera 508 3.7 76 -1 0.5 Omar Vizquel
Eric Fryer 195 3.0 63 2 0.5 Joe Kmak
Brandon Moss 467 4.8 101 -4 0.4 Graham Koonce
Jose Martinez 438 4.6 91 -3 0.4 Mike Brown
Nick Martini 455 3.6 74 5 0.3 Scott Bikowski
Edmundo Sosa 401 3.2 66 -1 0.2 Mark DeRosa
Gabriel Lino 281 2.6 54 2 0.2 Alvin Colina
Brayan Pena 223 3.6 73 -4 0.1 Rick Cerone
Alberto Rosario 142 2.9 55 1 0.1 Charlie Greene
Patrick Wisdom 427 3.1 62 3 0.1 Greg Thissen
Alex Mejia 376 3.1 62 1 0.1 Mark DeRosa
Anthony Garcia 410 4.0 83 -2 0.0 Vito Chiaravalloti
Jordan Schafer 104 3.4 64 -2 -0.2 Kevin Koslofski
Bruce Caldwell 435 3.1 63 -2 -0.3 Steve Fanning
Magneuris Sierra 542 2.9 60 2 -0.5 Trench Davis
Carlos Peguero 346 4.4 90 -11 -0.7 Doug Frobel
Jonathan Rodriguez 490 3.5 73 0 -0.8 Kurt Airoso
Dickie Joe Thon 420 2.3 48 -1 -1.2 Robert McIntyre
Austin Wilson 396 2.5 53 -1 -1.5 Shawn Buhner

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats
Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Carlos Martinez R 25 31 31 192.0 182 65 18 174 76 71
Adam Wainwright R 35 24 24 149.3 115 40 16 151 71 66
Mike Leake R 29 28 28 173.7 120 38 20 181 86 80
Alex Reyes R 22 25 20 121.3 140 63 12 103 56 52
Lance Lynn R 30 18 18 98.0 87 38 10 95 44 41
Luke Weaver R 23 22 21 115.7 99 28 13 116 55 51
Michael Wacha R 25 25 24 138.3 117 45 16 137 68 64
Seung Hwan Oh R 34 68 0 64.7 81 15 6 51 20 19
Zach Duke L 34 70 0 55.3 60 24 5 46 20 19
Miguel Socolovich R 30 53 0 61.3 63 21 5 52 24 22
Brett Cecil L 30 60 0 47.3 59 15 4 39 17 16
Tyler Lyons L 29 48 0 61.0 62 16 9 54 25 23
Trevor Rosenthal R 27 59 0 58.7 73 32 5 51 24 22
Kevin Siegrist L 27 68 0 60.3 70 28 8 49 26 24
John Gant R 24 29 19 117.3 106 49 16 116 65 61
Daniel Poncedeleon R 25 23 23 126.0 83 55 15 133 72 67
Matthew Bowman R 26 61 0 68.0 55 21 6 64 30 28
Sam Tuivailala R 24 58 0 61.3 72 32 6 52 27 25
Marco Gonzales L 25 16 16 82.3 61 29 12 89 47 44
Zach Phillips L 30 42 0 49.3 54 24 5 43 22 21
Mike Mayers R 25 23 22 119.3 87 43 17 128 70 65
Rowan Wick R 24 47 0 44.3 49 26 3 38 20 19
Jonathan Broxton R 33 62 0 56.7 52 21 6 52 27 25
Austin Gomber L 23 21 21 116.0 92 43 19 121 68 64
Artie Reyes R 25 18 18 96.0 57 39 11 106 57 53
Seth Maness R 28 56 0 54.7 34 12 6 59 27 25
Kevin Herget R 26 47 0 67.0 56 26 8 66 33 31
Jordan Schafer L 30 39 2 49.7 46 21 7 49 27 25
Josh Lucas R 26 44 0 55.7 45 19 7 56 29 27
Ryan Sherriff L 27 43 0 58.7 42 22 7 61 31 29
Justin Wright L 27 48 0 53.7 42 28 6 53 29 27
Jeremy Hefner R 31 16 16 78.3 60 30 14 84 49 46
Kendry Flores R 24 26 22 113.7 82 41 19 125 70 65
Trey Nielsen R 25 22 16 95.0 59 42 14 105 59 55
Corey Littrell L 25 38 11 95.0 67 37 16 104 58 54
Deck McGuire R 28 26 23 127.7 95 48 22 136 80 75
Daniel Schlereth L 31 17 0 17.3 12 16 2 18 13 12
Ronnie Shaban R 27 46 0 52.3 35 20 8 57 31 29
Chris Perry R 26 42 0 53.7 54 44 6 49 32 30
Jerome Williams R 35 24 12 87.7 52 26 15 101 58 54
Chris Ellis R 24 26 26 131.0 106 84 18 133 86 80
J.C. Sulbaran R 27 28 21 117.7 78 58 23 134 85 79

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages
Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Carlos Martinez 192.0 815 22.3% 8.0% .289 3.33 3.63 81 88
Adam Wainwright 149.3 639 18.0% 6.3% .291 3.98 3.86 97 94
Mike Leake 173.7 740 16.2% 5.1% .290 4.15 4.04 102 98
Alex Reyes 121.3 530 26.4% 11.9% .294 3.86 3.82 94 93
Lance Lynn 98.0 427 20.4% 8.9% .294 3.77 3.93 92 95
Luke Weaver 115.7 491 20.2% 5.7% .298 3.97 3.82 97 92
Michael Wacha 138.3 597 19.6% 7.5% .291 4.16 3.95 102 96
Seung Hwan Oh 64.7 260 31.1% 5.8% .288 2.64 2.58 65 63
Zach Duke 55.3 236 25.4% 10.2% .285 3.09 3.49 76 85
Miguel Socolovich 61.3 257 24.5% 8.2% .283 3.23 3.22 79 78
Brett Cecil 47.3 196 30.1% 7.7% .302 3.04 2.74 74 66
Tyler Lyons 61.0 253 24.5% 6.3% .274 3.39 3.96 83 96
Trevor Rosenthal 58.7 259 28.2% 12.4% .315 3.37 3.49 82 85
Kevin Siegrist 60.3 258 27.1% 10.9% .274 3.58 3.98 88 96
John Gant 117.3 517 20.5% 9.5% .294 4.68 4.51 114 109
Daniel Poncedeleon 126.0 566 14.7% 9.7% .291 4.79 4.87 117 118
Matthew Bowman 68.0 289 19.0% 7.3% .283 3.71 3.64 91 88
Sam Tuivailala 61.3 268 26.9% 11.9% .297 3.67 3.68 90 89
Marco Gonzales 82.3 365 16.7% 7.9% .296 4.81 4.73 118 115
Zach Phillips 49.3 215 25.1% 11.2% .293 3.83 3.84 94 93
Mike Mayers 119.3 529 16.4% 8.1% .296 4.90 4.81 120 117
Rowan Wick 44.3 197 24.9% 13.2% .299 3.86 3.75 94 91
Jonathan Broxton 56.7 243 21.4% 8.6% .284 3.97 3.79 97 92
Austin Gomber 116.0 512 18.0% 8.4% .291 4.97 5.02 122 122
Artie Reyes 96.0 433 13.2% 9.0% .296 4.97 4.83 122 117
Seth Maness 54.7 235 14.5% 5.1% .291 4.12 3.92 101 95
Kevin Herget 67.0 293 19.1% 8.9% .291 4.16 4.32 102 105
Jordan Schafer 49.7 219 21.0% 9.6% .294 4.53 4.55 111 110
Josh Lucas 55.7 242 18.6% 7.8% .291 4.37 4.23 107 102
Ryan Sherriff 58.7 259 16.2% 8.5% .292 4.45 4.53 109 110
Justin Wright 53.7 242 17.3% 11.6% .288 4.53 4.75 111 115
Jeremy Hefner 78.3 349 17.2% 8.6% .291 5.29 5.20 129 126
Kendry Flores 113.7 507 16.2% 8.1% .296 5.15 5.16 126 125
Trey Nielsen 95.0 432 13.7% 9.7% .293 5.21 5.34 127 129
Corey Littrell 95.0 426 15.7% 8.7% .293 5.12 5.29 125 128
Deck McGuire 127.7 567 16.8% 8.5% .289 5.29 5.14 129 124
Daniel Schlereth 17.3 86 14.0% 18.6% .291 6.23 6.08 152 147
Ronnie Shaban 52.3 234 15.0% 8.6% .292 4.99 4.93 122 119
Chris Perry 53.7 254 21.3% 17.3% .294 5.03 5.25 123 127
Jerome Williams 87.7 390 13.3% 6.7% .294 5.54 5.22 136 126
Chris Ellis 131.0 610 17.4% 13.8% .291 5.50 5.42 135 131
J.C. Sulbaran 117.7 545 14.3% 10.6% .293 6.04 6.03 148 146

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other
Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Carlos Martinez 192.0 8.53 3.05 0.84 119 4.2 Kevin Brown
Adam Wainwright 149.3 6.93 2.41 0.96 100 2.1 Bob Walk
Mike Leake 173.7 6.22 1.97 1.04 96 2.0 Lary Sorensen
Alex Reyes 121.3 10.39 4.67 0.89 103 1.8 Kerry Wood
Lance Lynn 98.0 7.99 3.49 0.92 105 1.6 Wade Miller
Luke Weaver 115.7 7.70 2.18 1.01 100 1.6 Joe Blanton
Michael Wacha 138.3 7.61 2.93 1.04 95 1.6 Shawn Boskie
Seung Hwan Oh 64.7 11.27 2.09 0.83 150 1.3 Trevor Hoffman
Zach Duke 55.3 9.76 3.91 0.81 128 0.8 Scott Eyre
Miguel Socolovich 61.3 9.25 3.08 0.73 123 0.8 Danny Kolb
Brett Cecil 47.3 11.23 2.85 0.76 130 0.7 George Sherrill
Tyler Lyons 61.0 9.15 2.36 1.33 117 0.6 Gabe White
Trevor Rosenthal 58.7 11.19 4.91 0.77 118 0.6 Jim Kern
Kevin Siegrist 60.3 10.45 4.18 1.19 111 0.5 Ron Villone
John Gant 117.3 8.13 3.76 1.23 85 0.5 Pedro Liriano
Daniel Poncedeleon 126.0 5.93 3.93 1.07 83 0.4 Ken Pumphrey
Matthew Bowman 68.0 7.28 2.78 0.79 107 0.4 Brandon League
Sam Tuivailala 61.3 10.57 4.70 0.88 108 0.4 Ryan Bukvich
Marco Gonzales 82.3 6.67 3.17 1.31 82 0.3 Chris Waters
Zach Phillips 49.3 9.86 4.38 0.91 104 0.2 Arnold Earley
Mike Mayers 119.3 6.56 3.24 1.28 81 0.2 Derek Lowe
Rowan Wick 44.3 9.95 5.28 0.61 103 0.2 Mark Littell
Jonathan Broxton 56.7 8.25 3.33 0.95 100 0.2 Pete Walker
Austin Gomber 116.0 7.14 3.34 1.47 80 0.1 Anthony Ward
Artie Reyes 96.0 5.34 3.66 1.03 80 0.1 Jake Joseph
Seth Maness 54.7 5.59 1.97 0.99 96 0.1 Casey Cox
Kevin Herget 67.0 7.52 3.49 1.07 95 0.0 Brian Rose
Jordan Schafer 49.7 8.33 3.80 1.27 88 -0.1 Scott Watkins
Josh Lucas 55.7 7.27 3.07 1.13 91 -0.1 Andy Larkin
Ryan Sherriff 58.7 6.44 3.37 1.07 89 -0.2 Anthony Ferrari
Justin Wright 53.7 7.04 4.69 1.01 88 -0.2 Dean Brueggemann
Jeremy Hefner 78.3 6.90 3.45 1.61 75 -0.2 Chris Rojas
Kendry Flores 113.7 6.49 3.25 1.50 76 -0.2 Dustin Moseley
Trey Nielsen 95.0 5.59 3.98 1.33 76 -0.2 Kevin Hodges
Corey Littrell 95.0 6.35 3.51 1.52 78 -0.4 Jeff Hundley
Deck McGuire 127.7 6.70 3.38 1.55 75 -0.4 Kip Bouknight
Daniel Schlereth 17.3 6.24 8.32 1.04 64 -0.4 Mike Barlow
Ronnie Shaban 52.3 6.02 3.44 1.38 80 -0.5 Rick Berg
Chris Perry 53.7 9.05 7.37 1.01 79 -0.6 Bill Bene
Jerome Williams 87.7 5.34 2.67 1.54 72 -0.7 Jim Barr
Chris Ellis 131.0 7.28 5.77 1.24 72 -0.7 Ivan Montane
J.C. Sulbaran 117.7 5.96 4.44 1.76 66 -1.5 Giovanni Carrara

***

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2017. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.05 ERA and the NL having a 3.97 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.”

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, Szymborski will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on depth chart to produce projected team WAR.

We hoped you liked reading 2017 ZiPS Projections – St. Louis Cardinals by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Bip
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Bip

This is the most Cardinals projection ever. Everyone is good, but none of the projections are outstanding or interesting. And of course they have enough promising young player projections that one or two will step up and become a star and they will be good again. If not for the Cubs juggernaut, I could see them rolling over the division again.

output gap
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output gap

Rarely do teams roll over their divisions with ~87 win teams.

Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson
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Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson

Pro-rating the WAR totals to 600 PA’s and 180 IP, we get the club easily clearing 90 wins.
Martinez 4.0; Diaz 3.2; Carpenter, Piscotty, Fowler, Lance Lynn and Gyorko 3.0 each; Wong 2.9; Reyes 2.7; Wainwright, Weaver, and Grichuk 2.5 apiece. And so on.
The key to projecting beyond 90 wins is depth rather than frontline talent, as Carson alluded to. The #4 outfielder, both backup infielders, and the numbers 6 and 7 starting pitchers all project as 2+ WAR contributors in full-time roles.
The top 9 potential bullpen arms are uniformly above average as well, with projected FIP- rates of 63, 66, 78, 85, 88, 89, 92, 96, and another 96. (Their projected ERA- numbers are actually even better.)
In terms of wins above average, the bullpen and bench should be worth 1-2 apiece, the rotation roughly 4 more, and the starting eight another 6 or 7. All told, that’s 12-15 wins above average, or 93-96 victories. A bit too rich for me, but I’d bet on 91-93 wins.

output gap
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output gap

The problem with this approach is that you aren’t getting 600 PA’s / 180 IP for some of these guys. Wong can’t lefties and will be platooned, and never exceeded 2.3 war. Gyorko has never exceeded 525 PA and 2.4 war. Weaver has never pitched 130 innings in a season, and Reyes has only broken 140 if you count his time in AZ following his suspension.

Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson
Member
Neils-Henning Orsted Joc Pederson

I get what you’re saying. I obviously did a poor job of making my point re depth.
I’m saying that because there is in most cases so very little WAR dropoff from the StL starters to the depth guys, hitters and pitchers can therefore both be projected more “aggressively” — to 600/180, for instance.
Case in point: if their #2 starting pitcher goes down in Spring Training, the #6 guy represents less than a 1 WAR loss over 180 innings. Then if the #3 arm comes up lame in April, there’s barely half a win projected dropoff to the #7 starter over the next 5+ months.
Same with Wong, Gyorko, Peralta, and Greg Garcia on the infield. Since each projects at 2.1 to 3.0 WAR per 600 PA’s, it’s reasonable to figure the keystone + hotcorner will provide ~5 WAR, and the leftover bench AB’s should be high quality; nearly as high in fact as Carpenter & Diaz are projected to provide at 1B and SS.
Finally, there’s less that a 1 WAR dropoff from the #1 outfielder to the best bench guy — who’s capable of manning all three OF positions without embarrassing himself.
Or just think of it this way. If every starting pitcher and every man in a hypothetical Team X’s starting lineup projected as a 2-WAR guy, you’d have a below average team as soon as anyone got hurt, assuming the bench guys and rotation depth were of typical MLB quality. But if the bench guys and rotation depth were *also* projected to be 2-WAR talent, the injuries would theoretically be completely irrelevant.
Per ZiPS, the St. Louis roster appears to be a modified version of Team X, so to speak.