Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Jim Edmonds and the ex factor

The Reds continued their makeover in the Cardinals’ image Monday, acquiring "the great betrayer" Jim Edmonds from Milwaukee for outfielder Chris Dickerson.

The Cardinals and Reds share more than a primary color in their uniforms these days: Each team has five players on its 40-man roster who has played for the other team. First, let’s look at the Reds:

Age Player WAR w/STL
35 Scott Rolen 25.3
36 Miguel Cairo 0.2
40 Jim Edmonds 45.3
35 Mike Lincoln (60-day DL) -0.4
41 Russ Springer (15-day DL) 2.0
Total 72.4

Walt Jocketty’s quest to revisit the Cardinals’ glory days means that Cincinnati now has a whopping 72.4 worth of former Cardinals’ Wins Above Replacement now on the team. As for the Cardinals:

Age Player WAR w/CIN
30 Felipe Lopez 2.5
36 Jason LaRue 6.2
33 Dennys Reyes 0.1
31 Kyle Lohse 2.2
37 Ryan Franklin 0.0
Total 11.0

Their ex-Red representation is considerably smaller, though they have the same number of players.

In the Reds’ case, all of their former Redbirds are well past their primes; Rolen and Lincoln are the youngest at 35, whereas the Cardinals have three ex-Reds younger than that in Lopez, Lohse and Reyes.

In neither case, though, do the teams rely heavily on their rival’s former guys, with the notable exceptions on offense of Lopez and Rolen, who have taken 7.8% and 8.5% of their respective team’s plate appearances this year. Franklin has faced 13.9% of the bullpen’s batters and 4.5% of the overall staff’s:

The primary impact of the Reds’ former Cardinals, therefore, is not necessarily to give a physical advantage as much as a mental one. Rolen and Edmonds represent more to the Cardinals as part of their identity than do any of the former Reds in St. Louis. Indeed, they are synonymous with the team’s recent golden age and are #20 and #8 on their all-time batters’ WAR list. Whether that translates into an edge in this week’s series remains to be seen.

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