In the fifth graphic in the series, we look at how to replace runs the St. Louis Cardinals will be losing due to free agency. What seems huge and catastrophic, might not be that bad if Lance Berkman can replicate his 2011 season, especially if the Cards decide to pick up some OF help in FA.
Instead of just using runs scored straight up, I've used wRC (weighted runs created) and wRAA (weighted runs above average) to get a more accurate reading. 2012 projections are from Bill James data on Fangraphs.
Click after the jump to see how the Cards can stay competitive.
Over the weekend, the Cards were working towards finishing up a deal with Rafael Furcal. Especially due to a lack of SS options behind Jimmy Rollins, barring injury risk, this is a good move.
Lance Berkman can move from RF to take over 1B duties, and replacing the RF hole with Carlos Beltran. Allen Craig can of course take the RF spot, but this combo of Berkman/Beltran comes closer to Pujols/Berkman, and an upgrade to Berkman/Craig:
Berkman/Beltran: 184 wRC
Pujols/Berkman: 235 wRC
Berkman/Craig: 147 wRC
A great article over at Roto Hardball today also talks about the benefits of Beltran in the OF.
The remaining loss, Nick Punto, is a blessing in disguise. Skip Schumacher appears to the solution (with Tyler Greene filling in, since Schumacher is projected to only play 138). This is where the loss in wRC can be replaced:
Furcal/Pujols/Berkman/Punto: 324 wRC
Furcal/Berkman/Beltran/Schumacher/Greene: 312 wRC
2012 Projections from Bill James on Fangraphs.