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Archive for February 24th, 2011

Spring training hasn’t been very kind to the St. Louis Cardinals. First, Albert Pujols decided to table contract extension negotiations until after the season, and now it has been confirmed that Adam Wainwright will have Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season.

Pujols and Wainwright are both vital parts of the Cardinal team. In fact, the Cardinals are more dependent upon their best position player and pitcher than just about any other team. Combined, the Cardinals received 34.5% of their total WAR production from Pujols and Wainwright, the fourth highest percentage in the major leagues. So, the thought of losing one next season and being without the other this year has likely diminished much of the optimism usually associated with spring.

Top WAR Contributions from Teams’ Best Pitcher and Position Player, 2010

Source: fangraphs.com

As illustrated by the graphs above and below (click to enlarge), which display each team’s 2010 WAR leaders relative to its position players’ or pitchers’ total, much of the Cardinals’ production emanated from Pujols and Wainwright. Among position players, Pujols contributed 32.4% of the team’s WAR (considering the Cardinals’ $100 million payroll, maybe $30 million for Pujols makes sense after all?), which ranked sixth in the National League and eighth in the Majors. Meanwhile, Wainwright contributed 37.4% of the team’s pitching WAR, a level higher than every N.L team but the Brewers.

2010 WAR Leaders Relative to Team (Position Players)

Source: fangraphs.com

2010 WAR Leaders Relative to Team (Pitchers)

Source: fangraphs.com

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