Monday, May 02, 2005

Cardinal Players of the Month - April

This is nothing official, just my own take on the subject.

Starting Pitcher - Matt Morris

It would be easy enough to argue for Mulder, Carpenter, or Marquis, but Morris is my pick. Signing a cheap deal during the off-season, Morris was not expected to be able to join the Cardinals until May, if not June. Instead, Matty-Mo took the mound three times in April, compiling a 2-0 record with a 2.12 ERA. His peripheral stats look great as well. Nineteen strikeouts over 17 innings vs. just 3 walks. A WHIP of 0.94. Batters hitting just .210/.242/.323/.565 off of him. But most important of all? He's only allowed 1 home run so far this year. Take a look at his home runs per at bat ratios over recent history.

2001 - 0.060
2002 - 0.076
2003 - 0.116
2004 - 0.173
2005 - 0.059

I'm not ready to proclaim that Morris is going to return to 2001 form based on just 3 starts, but it is encouraging. And for those of you that may not recall - 2001 was the season that Morris went 22-8 with a 3.16 ERA. If the Cardinals get anything close to that out of what was supposed to be their #4/#5 starter this year? Look out!

Relief Pitcher - Randy Flores

Yes, I realize he hasn't been perfect. But Flores, thus far, has provided a solid 2nd lefty out of the bullpen. And don't let his inflated ERA (5.19) fool you. Opponents are only hitting .188/.297/.313/.610 off of him this season - the best OPS allowed out of the bullpen in April among guys that aren't now on the DL. He's striking out 11.4 batters every 9 innings, and sporting a WHIP of 1.15. Once he piles up some more innings, his ERA is going to come into line as well.

Starting Hitter - Albert Pujols

The guy is supposedly off to a slow start, yet still hit .322/.396/.611/1.007 in April, hitting safely in the last 11 games of the month. Compared to 2004, he's off to a better start hitting wise, but worse OBP wise (.287/.411/.609/1.020). Through yesterday, Pujols is on pace to hit 56 doubles, 42 home runs, and drive in 134. Ho hum.

Bench Player - So Taguchi

What the heck has gotten into this guy? He hit .370/.433/.630/1.063 over 27 at-bats in April. Entering this season, So had 13 career doubles, 3 triples, and 6 home runs. Last month he hit 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 home run. Seven career stolen bases entering the year, 1 in April. We can hope that he keeps it up, but he did have a couple of hot months last year as well.

April - .214/.241/.286/.527
May - .400/.429/.650/1.079
June - .212/.250/.273/.523
July - .242/.250/.364/.614
August - .450/.500/.550/1.050
September - .293/.383/.415/.798

I must say - the last 2 months of last year, combined with his start this year, may indicate a bit of improvement on his part. Not that it's likely, mind you. But nonetheless, he was great in April!

2 Comments:

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should Morris's numbers be 210/242/323/565? Otherwise the numbers don't add up.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Robb said...

Good catch. The mistake has been corrected.

 

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