Cardinals news from a Sabermetric point of view

Cardinal advent calendar, Day 1: Matt Adams

[Note: When we were younger, we always thrilled to tear November off the calendar and see December, because it meant something special: a new advent calendar and opening one little door with a piece of chocolate behind it each day until Christmas. So we’re reviving a project we did in 2009 and making our own advent calendar of sorts to “unveil” a little present each day for you, gentle reader. Count down the days until December 25 with us with a little capsule of each of the 25 players who mainly comprised the Cardinals this season. We hope you enjoy, even if there’s no chocolate.]

PA/BF B-Ref Nickname Contract Status 2013 Stat Best Known For
319 m ja ad Team control through 2018 .365 wOBA, third-best on team Two extra-inning home runs 9/4 @CIN

When the Cardinals signed Allen Craig to a five-year, $31-million contract extension in March, Adams went from blocked prospect to officially persona non grata. But David Freese started the season on the DL, so Adams made the opening-day roster and stayed with the club all year, posting 1.7 WAR as Mike Matheny‘s most-used pinch hitter and spot starter. By spelling Craig at first base, Adams in turn allowed Craig to start in the outfield 41 games, which undoubtedly saved wear and tear on Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran, who respectively played 141 and 145 games. And when Craig went down with his ankle injury on Sep. 4, Adams took over first in Gehrigian fashion (hitting two home runs in extra innings after Craig departed) and actually finished the season with a higher wOBA(.365)  than Craig (.363) while playing better defense … led club with 5.3% HR rate (league average: 2.4%).

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