Expect The…..Expected

Not a whole lot of news in Cardinal Nation today as the winter weather arrived to the city under the Arch last night, from what I understood.  Does sleet in November mean an active baseball December?  I’m not sure the Farmer’s Almanac is clear on that matter.

As everyone knew would happen, Carlos Beltran rejected the qualifying offer from the Cardinals.  They are still free to sign him to a deal, but I think we know that there aren’t going to be any discussions in that regard.  The Beltran era was a short one, but I think he’ll always get a warm welcome when he returns to St. Louis.  If nothing else, his tenure here changed a lot of minds about him, going from hated rival to beloved teammate.

Shelby Miller came in third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, another expected development.  If the voting had been taken at the end of May, perhaps even the end of June, Miller would have likely won going away.  It wasn’t that he was bad in the second half (6-3, 3.28 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) but his slight tailoff plus the stellar performance of Jose Fernandez (and the headline-generating of Yaisel Puig) meant that he slipped to the bronze.

Speaking of Miller, he says that he isn’t concerned about the fact that he basically sat out the whole playoffs.  That’s more in line with the comments Mike Matheny made at his end of the year press conference and seemingly at odds with Miller’s remarks right after the World Series.  Given the emotional setting of the latter, I think less that this was a “get Shelby on the same page” and more that he’d really had a chance to think about it and process everything, taking in what his manager and general manager were telling him.  It’s sounds like he’s got a good attitude about everything, even the fact that he has to go immediately from his wedding this weekend to Joe Kelly‘s wedding next week.

Bernie Miklasz lays out the situation surrounding David Freese.  We’ve talked a lot about Freese in the blogosphere and other places since the season ended, because he’s a fascinating and troublesome piece.  Can he bounce back to what he was last year?  Can he be a bench guy, letting Matt Carpenter float from second to third depending on how Kolten Wong does?  Is it better to give a guy that’s a local icon a fresh start?  The more I read and the more I consider, I think having Freese on the bench as a solid bat and with semi-regular starting time works to St. Louis’s advantage for next year.

More Exit Interviews are coming your way today.  As I noted on Twitter, feel free to use those as a place to give your own grade to the player or any comments about them that you’d like to make.  Hope you enjoy!

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