Coming off their sixth postseason appearance in the last seven seasons along with an excellent player development system, the St. Louis Cardinals should easily be in contention again in 2016, barring some crazy unforeseen scenario. They won’t be without some competition in the tough NL Central, however should emerge as a legit playoff contender. The Cardinals pitching rotation should see an elevation over the way they looked at the end of the 2015 season, as Adam Wainwright is back and healthy after last season’s torn Achilles’ tendon and both Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are a year better and stronger. Mike Leake is now on the roster to replace Lance Lynn who underwent Tommy John surgery in the fall. Their bullpen should be bolstered by Korean reliever Seung-hwan Oh who was the top guy in saves in the Japan Central League for the past two seasons. Losing outfielder Jason Heyward to the division rival Chicago Cubs was a tough pill to swallow, however they have Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk in the wings ready to fill that void. Third baseman Matt Carpenter is one of the more underrated guys in the league and will kick off their lineup nicely this season. St Louis is banking on OF/1B Matt Holliday to have a rebound season after an injury-filled 2015 and are hoping to have him back to form throughout 2016. The acquisition of veteran Brayan Pena gives the Cardinals their best back up to catcher Yadier Molina that they’ve had in his tenure, allowing the four-time platinum Glove winner his best shot to remain healthy throughout the long season.
Fans of this storied organization will not want to miss the fireworks this season as they attempt their seventh playoff berth in eight seasons. Be sure to secure your St. Louis Cardinals tickets for all the games and head down to watch these guys in person all summer long. Grab a hot dog, a cold beverage and a bag of peanuts and enjoy some Cardinals baseball.
St Louis Cardinals History
The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most storied franchises in the MLB. They have won the second most World Series with 11 and have collected 18 NL Pennants in the more than 100 years the team has been playing professionally.
The club has always been based in the city of St. Louis, but they have not always gone by the name the Cardinals. At first, they were known as the Brown Sticking or the Browns and this club played in the American Association. This was the first professional baseball league and the precursor to the National League. While playing in the AA, the club had its first taste of success, going to the World Series four consecutive years between 1885 and 1888. They only posted a 1-2-1 record in those games, but they were still one of the most dominant baseball teams in the first league.
This transition to the new league, the National League, did not go well at first, but, like the Yankees, it appeared the team just needed a couple decades to acclimate. Once the team did, it rallied behind Rogers Hornsby and began to demonstrate the postseason dominance fans have come to know and expect. St. Louis won its first World Series in 1926 and played in four more over the course of the next eight years, winning two more.
Eventually Hornsby retired and the Cardinals needed a new superstar for fans to celebrate. That star would be Stan Musial, who won the MVP award three times in the 1940s. The team had plenty of other players who won the MVP, and this star-studded roster added three more World Series to its resume.
The next two decades were not kind, but eventually Bob Gibson emerged as one of the fiercest pitchers ever in the MLB. Once again, with a future Hall of Fame player on the roster, St. Louis returned to the postseason, winning two World Series. Many stars have come and gone since, including Ozzie Smith and Albert Pujols, and the franchise has rewarded with a few more division titles and a couple more World Series wins to add to its pedigree. This team continues to thrive at home at Busch Stadium (now in its third generation) with teams that continue to use these past champions as a blueprint for building a roster.