The baseball season is officially over. And Thank God. Cardinals nation can finally put a frustrating 2017 season in the rearview mirror and focus on the future.
But what will it take to build a winning team for 2018?
While the Cardinals front office is most likely very well aware of the following, below are 10 numbers all Cardinals fans need to keep in mind this off-season.
Take these numbers as you wish:
The Cardinals’ team OPS last season.
Sure it ranked 8th in the NL, but it’s 26 points above the 2015 world series champion Royals team -- which tells me that while the Cardinals do need a bat, they may not need as much offensive help as people may think.
The Cardinals' combined WAR in 2017
The team’s wins above replacement ranked 10th in baseball, better than the Brewers and the Twins. But light years behind the Cubs’ 51.5 WAR.
The combined WAR for Cardinals starting pitching last season, which was 6th in the National League.
Luke Weaver’s earned run average in his first 11 starts. He also had 65 Ks in 52 2/3 innings.
The Cardinals' record in 1-run games last year.
The Cards’ record against the Cubs in 2017, who actually won 13 of 16 and 21 of the last 30. It was 1978 the last time the Cubbies beat up on the red birds so consistently.
Currently the estimated committed payroll for the Cardinals in 2018. The $149 million payroll last year ranked right at league average – 16th in baseball. The salary cap is $197 million.
The exit velocity of Jose Martinez’s 2017 home runs – which ranked 8th in all of baseball – tied with Manny Machado and just .2 miles per hour behind Paul Goldschmidt and just .6 miles per hour behind Giancarlo Stanton.
Unforced base-running errors last season – ranked 4th most in all of baseball.
Number of pennants since Rally Cat appeared, which proves that squirrels, dogs…. Birds, just about any other living mammal is better.