The Cardinal Nation blog

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

St. Louis Cardinals players best at bunting

Recently, the topic of bunting has been prominently represented here at The Cardinal Nation blog.

With Adam Wainwright deploying the play twice on Tuesday night (double play in the third, sacrifice in the fifth before Pete Kozma was thrown out trying to take third base), it seems a good time to revisit the subject.

First, I presented a summary of bunting data at the team level from the St. Louis Cardinals in recent seasons. Among other things, it indicates that manager Mike Matheny orders bunts at about the same rate as Tony La Russa did in recent years. You can review that data here.

As a follow on, researcher Tom Orf offered several player-specific lists of Cardinals bunting-related leaders. They are the subject of this post.

The first list is the Cardinals top 20 sacrifice bunters since the beginning of the La Russa era in 1996. Wainwright moved up to 11th place with his successful bunt Tuesday evening. Pay special attention to the identity of the fifth-place hitter on this list.

Sacrifices 1996-2013 # From To
Matt Morris 56 1997 2005
Chris Carpenter 45 2004 2012
Yadier Molina 39 2004 2013
Edgar Renteria 38 1999 2004
Mike Matheny 36 2000 2004
Placido Polanco 35 1998 2002
Kyle Lohse 34 2008 2012
Jon Jay 29 2010 2013
So Taguchi 27 2002 2007
Andy Benes 27 1996 2002
Adam Wainwright 26 2005 2013
Garrett Stephenson 25 1999 2003
Jeff Suppan 23 2004 2010
Brendan Ryan 21 2007 2010
Todd Wellemeyer 21 2007 2009
Woody Williams 20 2001 2004
John Mabry 19 1996 2005
Todd Stottlemyre 19 1996 1998
Braden Looper 18 1998 2008
David Eckstein 18 2005 2007

The final two lists are broken out by years and highlight those Cardinals with the most bunt base hits.

Bunt hits 2000-2013 #
Bunt hits 1960-1999 #
Fernando Vina 28 Vince Coleman 64
Edgar Renteria 22 Ozzie Smith 47
Kerry Robinson 15 Lou Brock 44
J.D. Drew 14 Ted Sizemore 31
Eli Marrero 12 Julian Javier 25
David Eckstein 11 Matty Alou 23
Aaron Miles 11 Curt Flood 17
Jim Edmonds 10 Delino DeShields 17
Jon Jay 9 Royce Clayton 16
Tyler Greene 8 Garry Templeton 15
Colby Rasmus 7 Rex Hudler 14
Placido Polanco 7 Tom Herr 14
Tony Womack 7 Bake McBride 13
Rafael Furcal 6 Bill White 13
Brendan Ryan 5 Dal Maxvill 9
Scott Spiezio 5 Luis Alicea 9
Mike Matheny 4 Terry Pendleton 8
Miguel Cairo 4 Bob Forsch 7
Bo Hart 4 J.D. Drew 7
Orlando Palmeiro 4 Milt Thompson 7
Joe Thurston 3 Todd Stottlemyre 7
So Taguchi 3 Tony Scott 7
Abraham Nunez 3 Willie McGee 7
Eduardo Perez 3 Mike Shannon 6
Ray Lankford 6
Todd Zeile 6
Vada Pinson 6

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11 Responses to “St. Louis Cardinals players best at bunting”

  1. blingboy says:

    It will be a tall order to replace Lohse’s 24 quality starts last year. The guy with the second highest percentage of quality starts to total starts was Kelly, and he’s not in this year’s rotation either.

    Hopefully, good health will help. Miller should help.

    Lynn just keeps winning although I understand his peripherals prove he’s not that good. When FIPs and BABIPs get you into post-season I’ll get worried. In the mean time, I hate the way he’s always the first name mentioned for the guy to go to the pen or get traded.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I can understand the concerns about the bullpen. Yet the starters have been very good. Over time, the starters my fall back a bit and one must hope relief will improve accordingly.

      Despite all the road games and reasonably difficult competition, the Cards are playing .600 ball, which has them on pace to win 97. Anyone too upset at this point is lost in the trees, in my opinion.

    • crdswmn says:

      Lynn’s peripherals are just fine. I don’t know who would say otherwise, except someone who doesn’t know what peripherals are. He has the highest K/9 in the rotation

    • Nutlaw says:

      Yeah, come on, bb! Lynn has a 3.55 FIP, slightly less than his 3.68 ERA! No strawman evil sabermetric opposition here! Sure, if he could cut back on his walks a bit, he’d be dominant, but he’s still doing quite well.

    • Nutlaw says:

      Cards have a sparkling team 2.38 starter ERA, with an NL average of 3.90 and second place ATL at 2.89. No worries about starting pitching yet.

      Fourteenth out of fifteen in bullpen ERA with 5.37 is much less great, and only Mujica is helping to keep that number under control.

    • blingboy says:

      Last year lance led the staff in wins and made the All Star team, yet he won the blog’s ‘which starter would you trade’ poll by a wide margin.

      http://thecardinalnationblog.com/2012/11/07/should-the-cardinals-trade-starting-pitching-for-a-shortstop/

      He still gets mentioned as the guy to trade or send to the pen to make room for somebody else. I was told several times last year and over the winter that he wasn’t as good as his record. I don’t get it. What is he supposed to do? Be the first Cardinal starter in a decade to strike out more than a batter an inning? Wait, he did that.

      • crdswmn says:

        Part of the problem is that many fans rely on their own perceptions to make judgments instead of looking at the numbers. Because he has had a tendency to struggle in the early innings, and those early innings leave an impression on perception, fans mistakenly have a lower opinion of his abilities than is actually the case.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Since I was happy with Super Pete, backed up by Ronny and Aura, I was never going to trade Lynn, which means Mo was not going to trade Lynn either, because neither of us is guided by fan polls.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Given the Cards lost the guy who collected 100 percent of last year’s saves, given loss of Chris Carpenter, given Boggs was thrown off by closing, and given Freese’s early injury that he is still trying to come back from, we are off to a great start to the season.
    Wainwright, Miller, Lynn, and Garcia have been super. Westbrook is skating by too. We are scoring just enough to win games. In due course, Jay, Freese, Descalso, and others will warm up and we can keep winning. The important thing was to avoid a bad April and this has been done.

    • blingboy says:

      April is not over.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        If you want to hold negative thoughts, here is a doozie: Wigginton. Ultra low .301 OPS, 15 at bats, 7 Ks. Old Wiggy is having a hard time getting untracked.
        Meanwhile, Mujica is looking like a star is born.
        It would be nice if Mo would listen more to the scout who championed Mujica and less to the scout or analyst who recommended Wigginton.

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