Monday Musings: ESPN Rankings.

Recently, ESPN did it’s yearly top 100 players list, and it ranked two Cardinals back to back. They had Matt Carpenter at 69th, and Trevor Rosenthal at 68th.

Two things here:

Carpenter 69th? He should be higher. The man is one of baseball’s best players, and adapts to his teams needs better than just anybody. else? Need OBP this year got it. Need power more this year? Ok. The only thing I don’t see him doing is suddenly turning into a 50 steals guy, though stranger things have happened. (Not many, admittedly, but a few.) The guy is the backbone of our offense, and with Jason Heyward gone and Jhonny Peralta injured, we’re going to be relying on him even more this year.

Second, why does a one inning reliever rank higher than a position player?

I love Rosie, and I’m glad we have him, but come on. Carp plays nine innings every day, where as Rosie pitched a total of 68.2 innings last year in 68 games (nice symmetry there). Basically a third of what a decent starting pitcher pitches.

This is another example of why relievers in general, and closers specifically, are overrated. Yes Rosie’s good, yes his 48 saves last year were impressive. But ranked higher than Carpenter? a guy who plays daily, gets on base and now has 30 homer potential (he hit 28 last year) Come on people, wake up! The save is an over-valued stat, just like wins are, and often leads to closers getting a payday they don’t deserve. Why pay out when you can take a failed starter, plug him into the pen and get an effective closer? (Hello Wade Davis.)

Again, I love Rosie, but if he keeps being an effective closer until Free Agency, he’s going to demand a salary higher than a inning pitcher really deserves. It’s not a knock on him, but rather a knock on the perception of closers in general.

As always, thanks for reading.

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