Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Cardinals look to set new high — in lineup’s uniform numbers

Although the Cardinals have been all but mathematically eliminated, they still have, in the words on the Iron Horse, an awful lot to live for, such as individual awards. And now with their Memphis callups, sporting spring-training numbers on their uniforms, they also have an opportunity to set a new season-high: the sum of their starting lineup’s uniform numbers.

The acquisition of Pedro Feliz may have failed offensively, but it gave the Cardinals a tremendous difference between the third basemen on their roster. No, we’re not talking about defensive skill — we mean between their jersey numbers. With Feliz sporting his typical #77, and sometime third sacker Felipe Lopez wearing #3, the Cardinals have the widest uniform-number gap — 74 — between fellow players of the same position since 2007, when #99 So Taguchi and another #3, Preston Wilson, both started at various times in right field for a difference of 96, a record that can only be tied but never broken (the Cardinals have retired numbers 1 and 2).

Feliz has figured in nine of the top 10 uniform-number lineups this season:

Gm C 1B 2B 3B SS LF CF RF SP Total
138 4 5 55 77 13 7 28 44 50 283
148 19 5 55 77 13 7 28 15 50 269
129 4 5 55 77 13 7 28 44 35 268
137 19 5 27 77 13 7 28 34 54 264
22 4 22 55 23 27 7 28 47 50 263
132 4 5 55 77 13 7 28 15 54 258
142 4 5 55 77 13 7 28 15 54 258
124 16 5 55 77 3 7 15 44 35 257
143 4 3 55 77 13 7 28 15 50 252
120 4 5 55 77 13 7 15 44 29 249

Fellow double-numbers Randy Winn (#44) and Skip Schumaker (#55) joined Feliz in several combinations. Conversely, Lopez was in nine of the lowest-sum lineups:

Gm C 1B 2B 3B SS LF CF RF SP Total
89 4 5 12 3 13 7 28 8 29 109
108 4 5 12 3 13 7 28 8 29 109
118 4 5 12 3 13 7 15 8 50 117
110 4 5 12 3 13 7 28 15 35 122
94 4 5 12 3 13 7 44 8 29 125
105 4 5 12 3 13 7 28 15 50 137
109 4 5 12 3 13 7 28 15 50 137
6 4 5 3 23 13 7 22 47 29 153
10 4 5 3 23 13 8 22 47 29 154
96 4 5 12 27 13 7 28 8 50 154

Aaron Miles returned to the club and his old jersey number returned to him to make possible some low combinations. So it appears that three of the team’s midyear acquisitions — Feliz, Winn and Miles — were beneficial in one way, anyway (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Of all the players who started this season, here’s the maximum possible lineup Tony La Russa could’ve tried (but, amazingly, given his 142 different batting orders, didn’t):

Po Player #
C LaRue 21
1B Mather 22
2B Schumaker 55
3B Feliz 77
SS Greene 27
LF Winn 44
CF Ludwick 47
RF Stavinoha 34
SP Garcia 54
Total 381

And the lowest:

Po Player #
C Molina 4
1B Pujols 5
2B Miles 12
3B Craig 8
SS Lopez 3
LF Holliday 7
CF Mather 22
RF Jay 15
SP Lohse 26
Total 102

Curiously, the mid-range-numbered Joe Mather appears on both lists — now that’s versatility!

Speaking of numbers, here’s hoping that when the team’s e-number finally zeroes out, Tony La Russa trots out his maximum-possible lineup, which, including the newbs, would be:

Po Player #
C Pagnozzi 19
1B Hamilton 64
2B Descalso 63
3B Feliz 77
SS Greene 27
LF Winn 44
CF Schumaker 55
RF Stavinoha 34
SP Garcia 54
Total 437

See, like we said, they’ve got an awful lot to play for. Well, perhaps not an awful lot. But we’d like to see the Reds come up with a higher-number lineup than that. What you got, Brandon Phillips?

4 Responses to “Cardinals look to set new high — in lineup’s uniform numbers”

  1. fred Says:

    You’ve forgotten So Taguchi: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tagucso01.shtml and Kerry Robinson: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/robinke02.shtml

    That split is 99 to 0. Looks like they played together in 2002: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SEA/SEA200206120.shtml

  2. Pip Says:

    Great catch, Fred!

    Can you confirm that K-Rob wore 0 in that game? It looks like he also wore #13 that season.

  3. fred Says:

    I don’t know if he did or didn’t wear 0 then, but in August ’03, Kerry PH’d for Taguchi:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN200308290.shtml

    According to that site, Kerry wore 0 all of ’03.

  4. jcr723 Says:

    A little levity is nice…especially in these trying times!

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