With playoff appearances in six of the last seven seasons and a stout player development system, the St. Louis Cardinals will find themselves in contention again in 2016 barring some freakish setback. They will have some competition in the tough NL Central, however should emerge in the thick of a pennant race. Their pitching rotation should be improved over the way they ended in 2015, as Adam Wainwright is fully healed from last season’s torn Achilles’ tendon and both Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are a year better and stronger. Mike Leake will be in the mix to replace Lance Lynn whose Tommy John surgery was performed in the fall. The Cardinals bullpen will get a boost from Korean reliever Seung-hwan Oh who was a superstar in saves in the Japan Central League for the past two seasons. While the loss of outfielder Jason Heyward to the Chicago Cubs was a rough one especially to a division rival, they have Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk ready to fill the void. Third baseman Matt Carpenter sits atop the lineup and is one of the more underrated guys in the league. St Louis is hoping that OF/1B Matt Holliday will have a bounce back year after a rough and injury plagued 2015 season. The acquisition of Bryan Pena over the off season
gives the Cardinals their best back up behind the plate to catcher Yadier Molina that they have possessed in his time with the club, giving the four-time platinum Glove winner an excellent shot of remaining healthy throughout the long season.
This offseason, the Cardinals set out to snag two of the most prominent available free agents and came in second both times. Hard thrower David Price signed with the cash-heavy Red Sox and Heyward selected the flashier Cubs. St Louis certainly wasn’t happy about it and will use the disappointment as fuel to their fire in 2016. Fans will not want to miss the fireworks this season as they attempt their seventh playoff berth in eight seasons. Be sure to secure all your St. Louis Cardinals tickets and watch this talented ball club battle this summer in the competitive NL Central.
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