Chris Carpenter's outstanding season has been recognized by Major League Baseball with his selection as NL Comeback Player of the Year. Carp put aside all the questions about his health this season and won 17 games, led the majors in winning percentage (.810), and led the NL in ERA (2.24) and ERA+ (185).
Carp also had a 3.79 strikeout-to-walk ratio (144 K vs 38 BB), and allowed 7 home runs this season. Seven. The same number he allowed as a 22 year old rookie in half a season with Toronto. Braden Looper allowed five times that many.
Congratulations, Chris. I hope that's not the end of the post season awards for him.
The Cardinals are finalizing their post-season roster, and although some slots remain to be decided upon, the Post-Dispatch is reporting Khalil Greene has been left off the roster. Khalil did not have a good season by any measure, and would not have contributed much in the playoffs. It's curious he was replaced on the roster by Troy Glaus, who hasn't exactly lit it up either (.250 OBP? Two XBH in 32 PA?). A bench of Jason LaRue, Julio Lugo, Rick Ankiel, Joe Thurston, and Troy Glaus won't strike fear in the hearts of Joe Torre, Charlie Manuel, and Jim Tracy. Unfortunately, this team doesn't have many other attractive options for the bench.
Thirteen position players leaves 12 pitchers. Carpenter, Wainwright, Lohse, Pineiro, Smoltz, Franklin, Miller, Motte, McClellan, and Reyes are most likely locks to make the squad. That leaves Hawksworth, Boggs, Wellemeyer, and Thompson for the last two slots.
There's no good reason to include Wellemeyer on the roster. He has been awful this season both as a starter and a reliever. Hawksworth's been great, but he's also walked 15 hitters in 40 innings, which is not a good ratio for a reliever in the post-season. Boggs is a spot starter and long man, as is Thompson. So the question becomes Boggs or Thompson? Boggs' fastball topps out at about 93 MPH, and he has a 7.14 K/9 ratio. Thompson topps out at 88 MPH, and he has a 3.83 K/9 ratio.
If missing bats is important in the post-season, and current conventional wisdom says yes, Boggs will make the club. However LaRussa is loyal to his veterans, so I could see Thompson making the club too. I'll go with Boggs.
There'll be a series preview up tomorrow.
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