There are two words in Major League Baseball most fans do not like to hear. Every opening day of a 162 game season if you hear these words it makes for a long summer. The two words that fans dread is a rebuilding year. Most teams have rebuilding years but there is one team and one fan base that will never let that happen, the St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis has been described to have one of the best fan bases in baseball. Whether the team is having a World Series year or a down year the fans will be attending every game. Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak will make sure his fans are well taken care of as his team year in and year out will contend for the National League Central division. St.Louis did lose some power to their lineup such as Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss, but the team has a good mix of returning and young players to help them in 2017.
Cardinals Key Players
1B/3B, Matt Carpenter: Despite missing a little time due to an injury this 3 time All-Star was able to hit 21 home runs in 2016, he also drove in 68 runs which was 2nd best on the team. Carpenter also received NL player of the week honors in June of last year.
RF, Stephen Piscotty: In his first full season in St. Louis the young right fielder played in 153 games. Piscotty led the way in the RBI department with 85 of them for the Redbirds. The Cardinals look to make him the future of the team receiving the 2016 Cardinals Heart and Hustle Award.
OF, Dexter Folwer: A 2016 World Series Champion is joining the Cardinals. Fowler will be 31 this season but can still give some help to the top of the lineup.
SP, Adam Wainwright: The veteran to this Cardinals staff has been with the team since 2005. After missing most of 2015 the three time all-star was able to bounce back last season posting a 13-9 record. Wainwright looks to lead the pitching staff for the 2017 season injury free.
C, Yadier Molina: Still one of the best catchers in the game, this 7 time All-Star has been this teams catcher since 2004. Molina has not missed a beat, in 2016 his batting average was over .300.
The Cardinals were able to hit a NL best 225 home runs in 2016 and finished 2nd in all of Major League Baseball. Players like Brandon Moss, Matt Holliday, and Jeremy Hazelbaker accounted for 60 of those dingers. All three have signed with other clubs which could affect the long ball in St. Louis. Last year was the first year St. Louis has not made the playoffs since 2010. The Cardinals still have the hitting and the experienced pitching to keep up with the NL Central. Many experts are picking the Cubs to take this division but make sure you keep an eye on the Redbirds.