Projections and Paces – Cardinals

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The article below is meant to provide a quick look at how my
preseason projections match up with the paces of select major league
hitters.

Albert Pujols
2008: .357/.462/.653, 37 HR, 100 R, 116 RBI, 7 SB in 524 AB
Proj..: .328/.440/.624, 40 HR, 108 R, 118 RBI, 6 SB in 543 AB
Pace: .320/.444/.689, 56 HR, 126 R, 140 RBI, 22 SB in 544 AB

On the off chance that the current paces hold up, Pujols will lead the
Cardinals in homers by 34, in runs by 46, in RBI by 63 and in steals by
seven.

Skip Schumaker
2008: .302/.359/.406, 8 HR, 87 R, 46 RBI, 8 SB in 540 AB
Proj..: .287/.343/.396, 7 HR, 80 R, 44 RBI, 8 SB in 508 AB
Pace: .284/.333/.387, 7 HR, 80 R, 46 RBI, 2 SB in 537 AB

The transition to second base has gone about as well as hoped, but
Schumaker is back hitting like the fifth outfielder it was assumed he’d
be prior to last year.

Chris Duncan
2008: .248/.346/.365, 6 HR, 26 R, 27 RBI, 2 SB in 222 AB
Proj..: .256/.337/.473, 18 HR, 48 R, 53 RBI, 2 SB in 336 AB
Pace: .255/.345/.417, 12 HR, 51 R, 73 RBI, 0 SB in 493 AB

Duncan is hitting .230 since his strong April, and he’s due to start
losing more playing time to Colby Rasmus once the Cardinals are
finished in AL parks.

Yadier Molina
2008: .304/.349/.392, 7 HR, 37 R, 56 RBI, 0 SB in 444 AB
Proj..: .274/.332/.381, 9 HR, 42 R, 60 RBI, 1 SB in 457 AB
Pace: .284/.358/.397, 12 HR, 58 R, 53 RBI, 10 SB in 493 AB

Molina did hit an empty .300 last year, but most of his success came
against lefties. He’s currently at .292/.355/.390 against righties,
which would top his previous best OPS by 55 points.

Colby Rasmus
2008: N/A
Proj..: .245/.329/.416, 12 HR, 55 R, 44 RBI, 14 SB in 368 AB
Pace: .272/.322/.467, 17 HR, 68 R, 63 RBI, 2 SB in 471 AB

Rasmus has been all over the place as a hitter during his young
career. He finished April at .254/.357/.305 with no homers in 59
at-bats. In May, he hit five homers on his way to a .212/.256/.447 in
month. In June, he’s been a singles and doubles machine, but he’s yet
to walk in 51 at-bats, giving him a .392/.392/.686 line.

Ryan Ludwick
2008: .299/.375/.591, 37 HR, 104 R, 113 RBI, 4 SB in 538 AB
Proj..: .264/.337/.484, 27 HR, 87 R, 100 RBI, 3 SB in 541 AB
Pace: .233/.306/.423, 22 HR, 48 R, 77 RBI, 7 SB in 394 AB

Ludwick was hitting .274/.339/.538 before suffering a hamstring
injury of May 12. He’s been awful since returning at the end of the
month, but he still might find his way to 25 homers and 90 RBI.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.