The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals spring training hitting and pitching in the last decade

Comparing St. Louis Cardinals spring vs. regular season batting average and ERA during the 2000-2009 period.

Recently, I looked at St. Louis Cardinals spring training wins, losses and rankings in comparison to the regular season. I thought I might take a similar view, but this time though the lens of team batting average and ERA.

In the data below, I only have the Cardinals’ spring rankings in the last four years. Their regular season record in batting is quite amazing. In the last decade, the Cardinals have always been in the top half of the league in batting average, though their spring training hitting was not good in 2006 or 2007.

I also listed the top individual hitter each spring and regular season. We are again reminded of Albert Pujols’ greatness. Who remembered that among all the problems that Khalil Greene batted .408 with David Freese right behind at .386 last spring? Me either.

Having a .400 hitter or two each spring is par for the course, but it helps by having Pujols around.

St. Louis Cardinals spring training and regular season results, hitters, 2000-2009

Spring Season Spring Season
Year BA NL Rank BA NL Rank Top hitter BA Top Hitter BA
2009 0.290 5 0.263 4 K Greene 0.408 Pujols 0.327
2008 0.286 5 0.281 1 Pujols 0.407 Pujols 0.357
2007 0.255 14 0.274 7 Molina 0.400 Pujols 0.327
2006 0.260 15 0.269 4 Edmonds 0.424 Pujols 0.331
2005 0.279 0.270 3 Pujols 0.458 Pujols 0.330
2004 0.275 0.278 1 Pujols 0.381 Pujols 0.331
2003 0.282 0.279 2 Pujols 0.415 Pujols 0.359
2002 0.259 0.268 2 Coolbaugh 0.385 Pujols 0.314
2001 0.271 0.270 3 Sutton 0.390 Pujols 0.329
2000 0.290 0.270 6 Polanco 0.439 Polanco 0.316
Avg. 0.275 0.272 3.3 0.411

For the pitchers, I looked at starters. They have done well compared to their peers the last four springs. Three times in the last decade, Dave Duncan’s charges finished the regular season with a team ERA over 4.50 and each time, the staff finished in the second division in the measurement.

Individually, despite having led the Cardinals in regular season ERA four times, Chris Carpenter was the spring pacesetter just twice and only once did his numbers really stand out, back in 2006.

St. Louis Cardinals spring training and regular season results, pitchers, 2000-2009

Spring Season Spring Season
Year ERA NL Rank ERA NL Rank Low ERA ERA Low ERA ERA
2009 4.35 4 3.66 4 Pineiro 1.44 Carpenter 2.24
2008 4.01 4 4.19 7 Thompson 2.70 Wellemeyer 3.71
2007 2.29 1 4.65 11 Wainwright 1.10 Wellemeyer 3.11
2006 3.65 2 4.54 9 Carpenter 0.68 Carpenter 3.09
2005 3.73 3.49 1 Carpenter 3.38 Carpenter 2.83
2004 4.53 3.75 2 Simontacchi 1.13 Carpenter 3.46
2003 5.65 4.60 11 Stephenson 3.12 Morris 3.76
2002 3.34 3.70 4 Williams 2.33 Williams 2.53
2001 4.40 3.93 3 Hutchinson 1.42 Williams 2.28
2000 4.58 4.38 7 Stephenson 1.35 Ankiel 3.50
4.05 4.09 5.9 1.87

Note the decade averages of spring batting average and ERA are not significantly better than their regular season decade mark. Very close, indeed.

Bottom line, I am not sure there are any takeaways from this, which is really the point. It is dangerous, perhaps downright foolish, to try to read much of anything from spring training stats.

Other spring training-related articles you may have missed:
“St. Louis Cardinals spring training radio and television schedules”
“Cardinals spring training rosters and numerology”
“Cardinals spring training ticket prices this decade”
“Cardinals spring training demographics”

Follow me on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.